Why do people set up blogs in the first place, whether the deal is a personal blog or a company blog? Many will say: to be heard, to make a contribution, to matter.
Actually the truth is quite different. Blogs are set up because of the crucial place Networking has assumed in the world of business, and there being no Networking environment like the internet, naturally blogs live online.
Basically then, your blog is a powerful networking tool that gives you access to the millions and hundreds of millions of fellow web users, businesses, interests and whatnots present online, and the combined exponential opportunities they represent.
Breaking it down
Wealth is in numbers. Period. It was true a hundred years ago, it is true of China, and it is true for you. The Internet is synonymous with numbers also. As at 2015 there was a global Internet penetration of 51% or 3.2 billion confirmed Internet users around the world. These numbers represent real people with needs, desires, dreams and yearnings that you can help with, talk to, gain personal fulfillment as you do so, and make a buck or two while you are at it.
Your blog thus holds the key to unlocking the vast potentials that the Internet and the World Wide Web both make possible. This is everything meaningful a blog does for you.
The skeptics who deride blogging as a fad and ultimately a business model whose time will pass are just descendants of the folks who told the Wright Brothers that their plane would never fly. Of course blogging will evolve, what doesn’t? Vlogs are already a sure sign of that, but in whatever form, the act and art of communicating personal visions, thoughts, your opinion of the world, or just Grandma’s soup recipe, will always be around while there is a man to hear, read or see, and the technology to power it.
The question though is, do you have the requisite know how, courage and sheer push to begin the journey that will change your life in every way you have come to know?
I know. You don’t know a thing about blogging, right? Also you are a total newbie about computers, programming, and code. Well, why do you think I am sitting behind this keyboard for? We have already determined you do need that company blog for your business to actually begin to matter. What we need to do now is set you firmly on the path to being the smug owner of a dynamic, profitable blog.
There are basically two ways to go about this:
1. Pay a web developer to design a blog.
2. Go the DIY (or do it yourself) route.
As to the former, all you need to do is pick up the phone, or hit Google. Many good web developers exist even in your local area. Depending on your business needs and budget, they can quickly set up a viable Company Blog for you in less than a fortnight probably.
This article however is for the “number 2” people; those who either can’t immediately afford to pay a web developer or prefer the exciting adventure of watching something they’ve fashioned themselves grow to fruition. I’ll give you a hint. If you navigated to this page all by yourself, you already have all the skills you require to build and maintain an outstanding Company Blog. So, let’s begin.
Don’t rush off yet to register a domain name. First, sit down with a cup of your favorite beverage and think about how you want your company blog to look. Should it be a faithful reality to screen adaptation of your business, or do you want to go a little counter culture and add some pizzas to the whole shindig? Be bold. Just because it is a business blog doesn’t fly it autopilot mode to boring town. Remember, the Internet is all about perception, and visuals are a big come-on for the average web user who will be your regular type of visitor.
Secondly what do you want to talk to visitors about? Since you are building a business blog, you probably have a niche already, or an area or focus you want to blog about. It doesn’t matter what that is, what does matter is how you present it to your audience.
Please look at other blogs out there, and not just those in the same industry or niche as you. You will be amazed at the ideas that overwhelm you just by seeing the personal expressions of others captured in their blog themes or design. If Newton could stand on those giant shoulders, why shouldn’t you? Now that you have a rough idea of what you want, we can go to the practical side of things.
Getting it done.
Choose a blogging platform
It is time to choose a blogging platform, or the software that your blog will operate on. You don’t need to grow faint however, the rise of several free blogging platforms means you don’t need to know code or programming language to set it all up.
Many platforms exist, and each one has its hits and misses. Some of the more popular platforms are:
Of all of these, WordPress.org, Blogger, Tumblr, and Wix are the most popular. WordPress.org is the world’s most used blogging platform with almost 100 million active users, and is a good choice for a beginner business blog. The advantages of using WordPress.org are many. It has a lot of useful plug-ins, adds-on, creative and lively themes some of which are free, and also has a great response time, which means your blog won’t take forever loading.
The other honorable mentions:
Blogger is a close second to WordPress.org and also very popular and is owned by Google. Tumlr is extremely user friendly, and is a cross between a social network site and a blog. Wix is basically a free web hosting and design site.
Register a domain name.
Your domain name or URL is your unique identity on the World Wide Web and will usually take the form: www.yourblogname.com, or .org, or .net. Domain names are a vital resource on the web and getting the one you want is sometimes a matter of luck. It helps if you can coin a unique name that no one has thought of first. Make certain that the domain name you do choose has some bearing on your business or company in some way.
Many users cannot always remember a URL but they can usually recollect your business name. It helps if your URL sounds a little like your business so it is easier for the visitor to get to. Also this is good for the branding of your company. Your Domain name must also have something to do with your niche, so it shows up when the right keywords are searched. After you have decided on which URL to use, you must then register it at a site that provides Domain Name registration services. This should cost you something in the region of $10 dollars for a year. If you do not want to pay for a Domain name, you may get a free one, which will read something like www.yourblogname.yourhost.com. This means your blog URL will not be stand alone but will be a sub-domain name attached to the main Domain name of the host.
Choose a Hosting Option.
Hosting sites own the Computer servers which house your blog. Consider them the landlords of the online apartment where your blog lives. There are 2 ways you can host your Company Blog. You may acquire free hosting or you may choose to self host. When you decide to free host your site, there are a number of disadvantages. You may not be allowed to place advertisements of your own on the blog; though your host will frequently place such Ads which visitors see when they are on your blog. This means your host is making money from the Ad revenues on your site, but you probably will not share in this income. Another drawback to free hosting is that your host can choose to terminate or close your blog at anytime, and sometimes for any reason. You don’t want to spend time and effort over months or years building up a log and a following only for it to disappear suddenly. Also, if you use WordPress, you will not have access to certain free themes and adds-on if you choose free hosting.
When self hosting, you will have to pay an annual fee to your web host for the privilege of having your Company Blog on their servers. This fee depends on the size and speed you require for your log or site. Usually there are cheaper versions. Choose a price range that is comfortable for you to start at. Now you are set to go.
Now choose a theme
Assuming you went with WordPress.org as your platform, you now need to choose a design or layout that you feel best represents your brand. Remember users hang around blogs and sites that are aesthetically pleasing. You can see a selection of styles in the WordPress Theme Directory, or you could get a theme from a third party website. Let your choice reflect your business’s style and core values.
You need to make sure your chosen theme responds well across a variety of devices, especially mobile. Mobile friendliness is one of Google’s deciding factors for how it ranks websites and blogs. Also UX or user design has shown that users often stay longer at sites that are aesthetically pleasing to them, so you should take your theme very seriously.
Content, Content, Content!
Blogs are about what you place on them. This may be an interesting article, a video which is funny, or a piece of news of interest to your typical visitor. Each time you update your blog, it is called a blog post. Develop the habit of making new posts at regular intervals. This is one way to build traffic for your blog, or increase the number of leads (visitors) who come to your blog. Make your posts unique and informative. If people find they gain from a look at your posts, you will most likely see them again, thus converting your leads to customers. Be careful that you don’t just copy and paste in someone else’s material. Plagiarism is frowned upon fiercely on the web. If you cannot come up with original content of your own, one way to ensure a steady stream of original content is to hire a professional content writing service such as Romdale Services.
Market Your Company Blog.
A hidden blog is an ineffective blog. Get your blog out there every way you can. Many bloggers use the most popular Social Media platforms to build a following for their blogs. Be careful how you do this so you are not guilty of spamming, which is the web equivalent of singing your own praise too much, and we all know how boring that can be to the hearer! Other ways you can market your blog include email marketing, getting an influencer involved, and plain online advertising.
Make Some Money!
You can make money directly on your blog by having Google AdSense advertisement placed on it or by the use of an Amazon Associates ID or other affiliate links. When anyone clicks on those Ads, the advertisers pay your blog some money. For many bloggers, this is the principal reason for having a blog in the first place.
Why you really should consider a Company Blog
It’s a great way to interface and communicate with your customers, as well as build your customer base.
It is a cost effective method of keeping your customer base up-to-date about the latest news concerning your products and services.
It gives your company a trendy image.
It is a sure fire cheap way to promote your brand.
All the successful companies are doing it.
You can make additional income through blogging.