Now that you know the benefits to having a blog for your business, and some topics that you can start writing about, it’s time to get started. So, where do you start?
Well, first things first, you need to establish a purpose for your blog. Is it your goal to entertain or to educate? Are you selling your products, or merely offering insight to help with a purchasing decision? Understanding why you want to blog is very important as it will set the stage for the topics you will cover. Word of advice: Don’t use your blog to sell! Rather, use it as a way to inform and educate people. There is more value in this type of blogging, and you will keep your followers coming back for more information. So ask yourself, “What am I trying to accomplish with my blog?”
Next, you will want to do some research on your target market. Think about who it is that you will be talking to on your blog, such as contractors, business owners, owner-operators, etc. This will help you stay focused and speak their language. You also want to know what issues and or problems they are dealing with. This gives you a focus for your content, as your goal should be around creating content that provides a solution to these issues/problems.
Ok, so now you have your purpose and you understand your audience, it’s time to pick a domain name and blog design. There are a lot of online blog hosting websites that you can use, but we prefer WordPress.org, which is what our blog lives on. There are other options, such as WordPress.com, Blogger and Tumblr, but you don’t have as many ownership and branding options as you do with a WordPress.org blog. In terms of your domain name, think about some common keywords that people use to search for your business. That way, when they do a search with those keywords, your blog is also appearing as a result. You should also keep your design very modern, and can even reflect some of the design elements as your website. With WordPress.org, you have a lot of options when it comes to blog theme designs, so once you’ve established your blog, play around and see what works best. If you’re ready to get started, check out this great article that helps you set up a WordPress.org blog in 20 minutes.
Now your blog is set up and ready to go, what do you do next? It’s time to lay out a content calendar. This will help you stay on track and consistent. First, determine how often you would like to post. Think about your resources and realistically come up with your ideal number of posts per week/month/etc. For us, we are a small team of 3, so our goal is to post at least once per week. It’s ok to start small and then build upon it. The most important thing is to stay consistent though. Don’t post for 2-3 weeks straight and then go silent for 2 months. After you determine your post frequency, you should think about creating an editorial calendar that will help keep you focused on the right topic. This calendar should lay out the topic, content idea, keywords, and your publishing date. All of these things will keep you on track!
Some final thoughts before you get started. Don’t be afraid to get creative and share your expertise. Your customers and prospects are looking for quality information, and you have the know-how to help them out. Take advantage of it!