Let’s say you worked hard on your business website, spending lots of time researching, writing, and meeting with your team. You assumed that your efforts to optimize your website would not be in vain, that after a few months, search engines would pick up your website. Your hopes of ranking well with Google® and showing up as one of the top 3 in searches for your keywords almost came true but not quite. Or maybe you did make it to the “top,” and you’re getting traffic but not sales.
Now let’s say you are not the kind to give up. You want to know how you can fix it. You do have some options. One is to try blogging. You can truly use your website builder to help you create a blog for your website. It will show up in your navigation menu.
According to one study, small businesses that blog get up to 55% increased traffic to their websites. That same study shows that a blog adds 97% more inbound links. In SEO-speak, links are the golden ticket. 434% more pages are indexed (helping your chances of organic SEO results) for websites that have blog pages. Blogs provide fresh content to your website, making it search engine friendly.
So what does this average for you? It method that if you’re not blogging on your site, you’re missing 55% more opportunities to reach more customers and sell your product or service.
Blogging is Easy
If you’re worried that having a blog will require that you know how to “code,” worry no longer. You don’t have to be familiar with HTML to create a blog, thanks to content management systems. To get started, you can follow these steps:
Get a blog great number. If you already great number your website by a Web hosting company, see if they great number blogs too. Chances are that they do. Your website builder tool should allow you to add a blog page to your existing site. If you don’t see this option, search for reputable blog hosting companies or go to WordPress.org and find out your options for building a blog with your own hosting and domain (this is more difficult, but who doesn’t like options, right?).
Before you start creating your blog… you have to choose your platform. WordPress® is the most popular and offers an incredible number of options for customizing a site. Because it’s Open Source, it’s benefited from a global “team” of developers. When you begin, you’ll need to sign up for an account at WordPress.org.
Please observe: If you stumble on WordPress.com, be aware that this site is used mostly by those who don’t have their own domain or hosting. If you don’t have a website and simply wish to have a free blog, this is an option, but the blog will be hosted at WordPress.com, either under a sub-domain myblogname.wordpress.com or you can use your own domain name and have it mapped to your WordPress.com hosted blog. With this setup you’ll have very limited access to the high store of themes and plug-ins obtainable by WordPress.org, and you won’t be able to use advertising or have access to your FTP files. If you are blogging for business, this is probably not the best option for you due to limited flexibility and optimization possible.
Start brainstorming. You’ll need a name for your blog. It’s easy to use your company name, like MyCompany Blog. Or you can get creative with something like, From the Desk of your Company CEO. Another idea is Company A Updates. Your blog title should be easy to remember. Also think about the kind of message and tone you will express in your blog. Will it be serious and very specialized or lighthearted and fun? Will it be informative (blogs should always be informative in some way or provide some value to your reader)?
Most people use an informal tone to encourage a conversation with the target buyer persona and include the reader. Just as you would with website content, it’s good to make it easy to skim a blog post within a few seconds and know what it’s about. Once you have a reader hooked, they can scroll back up and read more carefully so they can respond or proportion your post with others. To that end, you may want to:
- Use bullets, headers, bold, and italics where appropriate to increasing rapidly the page
- Write short paragraphs so the reader doesn’t get lost
- Use pictures (make sure you give credit to the photographer or provide a link for the image source)
- Add social bookmarking widgets like a “retweet” button or a “proportion it” tool bar so your readers can easily proportion your great post with others
Blog Post Ideas
So what do you write about and how often? Well, you want your posts to be informative as possible. If you provide helpful information and avoid boring sales language, you will have a better chance of winning the trust of your target audience. Once you do that, they’ll be more likely to buy from you later.
Blog post subjects can be anything. But if you own an ecommerce business, then you could focus a post on how a particular product you sell solves a problem and makes the consumer’s life easier. Provide background information and specifications. How-to tips and usage ideas are other subject options. It’s also a good idea to use your target keywords in your posts make them easier to find.
Promoting Your Blog
The best way to promote your blog is to “talk” about it, create some buzz. You can do several things to this end: write a news release announcing your blog, tweet a blog post, add your blog to social bookmarking sites, and more. You can also add your blog’s link to your business cards and email identifying characteristics.
Building self-hosted blogs is not nearly as daunting as you may imagine. Use your website builder to add your blog to your site in conjunction with your current website hosting package. This free website builder is your personal tool to success. All you have to do is write and click “publish.”