Blogging is a tough thing for business owners to wrap their minds around and get excited about adding to their business. Blogs can be a great tool for reaching out to your clientele and building lifetime relationships. Blogging done right can be a tremendous asset to your business. For that reason I give you my step-by-step beginner’s guide to blogging.
I have talked about the numerous benefits of writing as a business owner. There’s the benefit of writing for clarity as well as utilizing blogging as a bootstrap marketing tool. Ultimately, blogging is a great tool for building intimacy with your clients that create lifetime relationships.
This post is going to be chalk full of links and tips that will help you set up a blog coming from someone who has been doing it for over two years now.
Step 1- Set up an account with wordpress.org. Here’s the resource that WordPress provides to get you started. At this point I have a lot of business owners ask me why I don’t want them to use a free service like wordpress.com or blogger. While these services are easier, there are some downsides to be aware. I won’t get into these here but I did write a post on why you should self host your blog that you can check out.
Step 2- You need to find a domain name (if you don’t already have one) as well as a hosting service. I use Hostmonster or Hostgator for hosting. These plans are great for starting out and they are easy to access and use. They use a program called Simple Scripts that makes installing WordPress on your host simple to do.
Step 3- Once you have WordPress installed and ready to go, now it’s time to look for a theme for your blog. The theme is basically the design.
There are free themes at:
WordPress as well as a number a free WordPress theme sites.
There are also a lot of places to get premium themes. A couple I have used in the past are:
Just like a lot of things in life you get what you pay for. Free themes can be great but aren’t as good looking as premium themes.
Step 4- Once you have a theme in place you can start looking for different plugins to enhance the user experience of your blog.
Here’s a great resource on the top plugins for WordPress. There are tons of enhancements that are easy to install and make your site look that much more professional. These enhancements include ways to connect to social media and podcast as well as installing contact forms.
The great thing about plugins is that there are tons of videos to allow you to view installation tips in case you are stuck on something and not sure how to proceed.
The best thing about all of these steps is that you can use WordPress as your primary site platform or you can mask the design of your current site and add a WordPress blog as a tab on your current site.
The Key Is Ease of Use:
One of the most frustrating aspects of web development in the past for business owners has been making changes to your site in a timely manner. With a platform like WordPress (see above) editing and creating new content is easy because of the use of a WYSIWYG editor. WYSIWYG stands for “what you see is what you get”. It really is a straightforward tool for creating web content.
If you have been putting off creating a blog because of fear of it being too complicated. Don’t worry about that. These are all things that you can do for yourself and begin creating content immediately. This is one of the best ways to engage with clients and build credibility for your platform. If you need any help, leave a comment and I would be happy to help as well. Happy blogging.