A blog (short for web log) is a series of articles on various topics for the purpose of educating, entertaining or opinion-sharing. Some blogs earn income for the blogger through advertising banners, while others have been converted into books — some even allow the author to become an ‘influencer.’ Businesses use blogs to build their client base, create awareness and gain leads. But few business owners actually know how to start a blog.
Before we answer that, let’s touch briefly on why every small business should blog.
Editor’s note: Website Builder from GoDaddy is now Websites + Marketing, an all-in-one tool to get online, promote your business and grow.
What’s the point?
Blogging increases your online exposure and shows that you’re an expert in your field. Regular keyword-rich blog posts can rank your website higher in search engines. And if you want to do business and make money via the web, then you want to be found by search engines. They’ll introduce you to new leads.
Blogging attracts people who otherwise might never hear about your business.
They also show your readers that you’re willing to spend time sharing your expertise and experience for their benefit.
It adds value to your business, and value builds loyalty.
Now for how to set up a blog of your own.
What should I name it?
Every blog has a name, and you want one that goes with the type of business you own. If you already have a website, you could just call it the [your business name] blog. You won’t need a separate domain name for your blog either; you can just give it a sub domain. This will look a lot like your website domain name, with the word “blog” added on.
You don’t need a website to have a blog. But if you have a website, it’s smart to build your blog on it.
Having your blog live on your website is also great because regular blog posts are seen by Google as fresh content and the sign of a ‘live’ site. This will help your search ranking, moving it closer to the top of listings.
How to set up a blog on your GoDaddy website
First, log into your account by clicking Sign In in the upper right on GoDaddy.com. Go to My Products. Click the arrow next to Websites and select Manage next to the site you’d like to add a blog to.
Now click Edit in the upper right.
Select Pages and then Add.
Select New page and type Blog into the Page Title field. Unless you unclick the Show in Navigation button, your blog will be listed in the site navigation (recommended). You have the option of including it in your website footer as well (also recommended, as people often look there for navigation).
Choose from three display options for your blog by selecting Add below the one you want.
Your blog is ready to go! Adjust the layout, colours and photos via the toolbox in the right side margin. You can have some fun with your blog, but be sure to keep your font and colours consistent with the rest of your website and business materials. This will help reinforce a consistent “look” that customers will come to recognize.
It’s now time to write your first blog post!
In this first post, you’ll want to introduce yourself and explain to readers what you plan to write about and why it matters to you. Add photos of yourself, along with your products and services — video too, if you like. The more authentic and personal you can be in this first post, the better. Give readers a reason to come back for more.
Get complete details on formatting your first blog post and selecting photos from the image library here. To learn what you can do to help search engines find your blog post, read this article. Remember, search engines are the gateway to more viewers.
A word about topics
It’s good to keep the momentum going now that you’ve created your first blog post. And the way to do that is to post regularly.
Think of keywords around your business. These are the words that likely customers type into the search box when looking for your product or service, and are a great way to choose topics for your blog posts.
For example, a plumbing supplier might choose to write a post about “mixer taps,” where the hot and cold water comes from a single tap and turns on via a lever.
In fact, you could probably come up with a few posts on that topic alone.
- What to look for when buying a mixer tap.
- How to set the hot water’s maximum flow.
- Reducing the water pressure out of the tap.
- How to fix a leaking mixer tap.
Keep going and you’ll find there’s no end of topics you can post about.
How to start a blog
Although it can feel like a big undertaking, it’s not too difficult to start a business blog with the right tools. The benefits for your business and your readers can be huge.
Remember, find topics that potential customers are likely looking for online right now. Write helpful posts on these topics, then share them on social media to get them in front of even more people. Blogging requires a steady investment of time but very little money. Here’s to your success!