10 Tips to Getting Your Business Blog Started
I preach about blogging (using WordPress) for small business – until I’m blue in the face, really. But there is good reason. Let me explain:
Blogging might very well be the single most important thing you do for your small business online. It’s not the only thing – but it sets the foundation for everything else you do online. What ever you are doing anywhere else online, your blog is what will ultimately capture your visitors’ interest and as long as you are consistently adding new, engaging content, keep them coming back for more.
Consider your blog as your “Relationship Maker” , “Branding Agent” and your “Expert Creation Assistant”. A well written, informative blog will help you accomplish all three of these things.
Certainly you can begin “relationships” on social networks like Twitter and Facebook, but your business mission on these sites is to create enough interest so that your social media “friends” will go visit your website. This is why it is not only important to have a nicely designed site but a well integrated WordPress blog to keep their interest. If your visitors like what they are reading – it is extremely important to give them value – not only will they continue to come back and possibly buy your products, and services or even walk into your store, they will also become advocates for you and your business to their networks!
Once you get people to your site, your blog can help mold people’s perceptions of you and your business. Branding as a concept means much more than your logo and colors… What you say on your blog will shape your visitors opinions about you in ways far greater than any logo of service mark. This is why it is important to use your blog consistently, relevantly and on message. And above all else: Give your visitors HUGE VALUE.
Expert Creation Assistant
The more valuable and insightful your blog is the more you leverage yourself as an expert – Period.
One of the major reasons to use your blog to establish yourself as the expert in your field is because your competition probably isn’t… Yet.
All that being said, here are 10 things to do to get your blog started:
- Install and set-up your self hosted WordPress blog (Or hire someone else to do it. Your blog should be fully and neatly integrated into your site and not hosted somewhere else like blogger or WordPress.com
- Write a list of 30 topics you can write about – just headlines
- Set up news alerts from http://www.google.com/alerts. Once Google Alert is set up, you can receive daily digests of articles and blog posts on virtually any topic. This is a great way to discover new topics to write about.
- Write 1-3 Blog posts per week.
- Always stay Ahead! Write five to 10 posts and save them as drafts in your blog. Do not publish them yet.
- Send an email to your friends, family and colleagues and invite them to read you blog and ask them to leave comments.
- Invite people in your online networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) to read your blog.
- Find 10 blogs that target similar markets (not competitors) – read them, add comments and make friends with those bloggers. The blogging community always seems ready to help other bloggers spread the word.
- Make friends with 10-20 people who already have strong social networks and ask them to help you spread the word.
- Stay consistent with your blog posts – write 1-3 blog posts per week.
Good luck and happy blogging. Above all else… Have fun!