How to Set Up a Business Blogby Miranda Brookins
Whether you own and operate a technology start-up or a small, local bakery, business blogging can help you initiate and build relationships with potential and existing customers. Business blogs are designed to inform consumers, get them engaged with your brands and turn them into loyal customers. This inbound marketing technique can help you attract visitors to your website, as you post on topics related to their online searches and the products or services you offer.
Review your business goals and objectives to see how business blogging can help you achieve them. One of a graphic designer's business goals may be to obtain five new clients each month. A blog can help attract new clients if the blog contains content for small business owners on topics such as the importance of a logo, how to hire a graphic designer, ideas for brochure layouts or how to design an email marketing template.
Identify the purpose of your blog, as this will help you determine the business blog's layout and design, content and tactics for promoting it to your potential readership. Some companies use blogs to generate leads, build brand awareness, improve their reputations or handle customer service.
Decide whether you want to write the blog posts or delegate the responsibility to one of your employees, such as the marketing manager, social media assistant or copywriter. If you don't have a suitable writer on your staff, hire a freelance writer who specializes in ghost blogging for businesses.
Decide whether you want to host your business blog on your website or set up a different website for it. If you plan to host it on your current website, hire a website designer to add a blog to your existing website.
Register for a blog through a service such as WordPress, Blogger or TypePad, if you want to host your blog on a separate website. Register for a domain, also known as a Web address or URL, through these blog services or use a company such as BlueHost, Go Daddy or Yahoo! Small Business.
Give your blog a relevant name that gives visitors insight about the types of topics and information your blog will cover. If you're not hosting your blog on your company website, ensure that your blog's domain name mirrors the blog name you select. For example, if you own a coffee shop, you may name your blog "Barista's Corner" or "Coffee Bean News."
Hire a graphic designer to create a header for your business blog, which features your business logo and the name of your blog. The header should be consistent with your company's branding.
Schedule a meeting with your blog writer to come up with a content strategy and schedule for your blog. During your meeting, focus on coming up with blog post topics that help you achieve your blogging goal and add value to your business goals and objectives. You, or your writer, need to blog on a consistent schedule, so you may want to start small with one blog post a week.
Ask your website or blog designer to add analytics to your site, using a program such as Google Analytics, Yahoo! Web Analytics, AWStats, SiteMeter or Clickly. Analytics will help you keep track of how many people visit your business blog, which posts they read, the keywords they search that leads them to your blog and the length of time they stay on your blog. These details will help you come up with topics for your blog.
Use social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ to promote your business blog to potential customers and current customers.