How can I start a blog for my business? I received this question in my email from a lady living in far-away Alaska (USA). Because of the many details that is important for me to share and explain, I have decided to publish everything in this 5000 tutorial.
To create a blog for your business, you need;
- Approximate start up cost or capital of USD150-250
- A mobile responsive WordPress themes template for designing
- A domain name and webhosting of the domain name
- WordPress software installation
- Excellent and well detailed articles/contents called blog post to be published
One thing you should understand is that starting a business blog automatically boosts the reach, integrity and conversion (in terms of sales, services and increased revenue generation) of your business. The concept of blogging involves writing and publishing unique articles (called blog posts) relating to the nature of your business on your site.
Table of Contents
- What is a blog and its importance
- Get a Website With Blog Features ( The perfect design)
- Name and branding concept
- Domain name acquisition
- Hosting of the domain name
- WordPress software Installation and Configuration
- Configuring your website, installing plugins and adjusting the settings
- Important page set up, categories, menus, widget settings
- How to write blog posts and publish them on your business blog
- Configuring your business blog on Google search console
Traffic Generation / Success Tips
- Scheduling of blog post publications
- Email Lead acquisition / Subscription box
- Use of social media accounts – Facebook, Instagram, twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube
- Relative Blog and site Networking
What is a blog and its importance
You need a blog to get favor and high ranking for your business website/blog on the search engines (especially Google) because with a blog:
- You publish constant streams of articles and blog post
- You get engaged with your visitors, customers and clients; through a blog, you can get feedback from thousands of customers on how your services, products and tools is faring.
- A blog also makes it possible for you to study consumer behavior and know which products/services is actually needed.
- A blog brings your business closer to the consumers, wholesalers and retailers; it helps develop bond and mutual understanding between your business and its users.
It is no longer news that it is now important for a business to have an online presence. However, most people just build or get a website and leave it like that. It does not work that way and success which you are expecting from the search engines and the internet will not come.
It is because websites are static and stationary and the internet or the search engines (Google, Bing) that will send the traffic to you does not like a static or stationary site.
The answer is in the creation of a blog along with your website; because with a blog, as you publish contents on a consistent/dedicated time schedule, the search engines will be crawling, indexing and sending more traffic to you. People can search the web, get information through your blog posts and eventually gets converted as a customer, purchasing customer or a lead on your site.
In essence, your website should have a blog feature (though, not all website does that, and that is why I will be recommending the perfect website template design for you).
Get a Website design with Blog Features (The perfect design)
The real tutorial is about to get started. I need to be clear on two things:
- Those that already have a website for their business
- Those that do not have a website or online presence for their business yet.
For those that already have a website for their business already and you want to start a blog for the same, you have two options:
- Either you change the template design to latest trends in the industry (It will have the blog feature)
- Or you create a blog separately with new hosting and different domain name (because you cannot use the domain name you are already using for the website). The first option above is the best and preferred.
So, either way, this tutorial is also perfect for you, just continue reading.
Now, for those that do not have a website for their business and wants to start a blog for the same, just follow this tutorial and everything will be explained fully.
Step 2 (1)
Introducing WordPress Themes
You do not have to spend hundreds or thousands of money to build a blog or site anymore; the latest industry trend is the use of WordPress themes.
WordPress themes are website or blog templates that you can use for the overall design of your site and you will get the best professional outlook. I recommend the purchase of premium business WordPress themes from reputable companies. All you have to do is to purchase them and install them on your site/blog.
Examples of business WordPress themes that are also mobile responsive (can be viewed perfectly well even on palmtop, laptops and mobile phones) are listed below: The most important feature is that they have blog features that can make it possible for you to start blogging.
Please remember, that no matter your business niche (engineering, construction, shipping etc.), all the templates shown above can be adjusted to fit it; it is just a matter of changing background pictures etc. And for specific designs, just search using the keyword of the industry you are looking for e.g. shipping, fashion etc.
You can get professionally looking WordPress themes for your business blog from the following reputable companies:
Just search and view various demos for corporate and business related designs/templates. Once you see your preferred choice, just buy it (for as low as USD45-99) and download the ZIP file on your computer system. Continue reading, we will come back to it later (installation and configurations).
If you check the templates I listed above, you will see the blog sections at the top of the designs. This is the type of templates you should get!!
I recommend these types because you can display your services, products etc. on the FrontPage of your site/website/blog and be publishing your posts, articles, updates on the blog section. I will explain as we progress.
Name and branding concept
If you are just starting out, you will need to think of a suitable brand name that will naturally explain your purpose to clients and people.
A very good example is Facebook. Facebook is a global name, it’s a brand that is known and accepted worldwide, so think of a unique name for your business blog.
However, if you already have a business name or website, just use that same name for your blog. The most important issue is that the name you are choosing should also be used for all the social media accounts you will be opening.
This means that if your business name is ‘Victoria secrets; then your Facebook, twitter, Instagram and Google+ pages should also be facebook.com/victoriasecrets, twitter.com/victoriasecrets, Instagram.com/victoriasecrets etc. I am just using the above illustrations as an example.
Domain name registration
The domain name is the language the internet protocols understands. It is literally the same name as the name of your business blog and website.
In other works, using the above examples, your domain name will also be ‘victoriasecrets.com’, victoriasecrets.co.za, victoriasecrets.org. victoriasecrets.ca etc.
When you chose the wrong domain name that will not represent your brand, purpose and vision; it is the first early step to destruction. This means, using the wrong name will not get you early success or no success at all.
To start and create a blog for your business starts with getting the right domain name and registering it, thereafter, you host the domain name; doing these two is the very beginning of your proof of seriousness.
I seriously recommend you get the domain name for your business blog as soon as possible, however, you will need to search for the name and if the name is not in use (by anyone else), then you need to grab it fast.
Use the domain name search box below from Bluehost to search:
You can search with different name extensions e.g. .com, .org, .ca , .co.za etc. The general rule is ‘if you get the right domain name, do not wait, do not waste time, register it immediately and secure it for yourself!!
Hosting of the domain name
You have not finished yet; registering the domain name goes along with the hosting of the same. By hosting, it means you are getting your business blog on the internet and making it available for people to be able to reach and contact you.
Without hosting of the domain name, you have not started at all!!
From professional experience, I usually recommend that my clients chose a long term hosting package because of the advantage it has on Google search ranking pages. I also recommend Bluehost hosting because I use them and also use them for all my clients. They are a professionally managed company with full technical expertise, reliability and they are also economically friendly.
However, the sweetest deal is this: When you get the domain name, and decide to get the hosting package also; bluehost gives you free domain name (it becomes free, you will not pay for it, saving you a good sum of money).
WordPress software Installation and Configuration
This is going technical, but entertain no fear because everything will be explained in the simplest language you will understand.
During the process of registering for the hosting, Bluehost automatically guides you on the installation and initial configuration. For better explanation, just follow the pictures and photos illustration below.
There are important things you need to do, watch out for and also take note:
- Your login details: We have two types of login; they are your Bluehost account login and WordPress login.
- When you open bluehost and registering, you will need to create an account on them, take note and remember the username (it is mostly your email address or Admin) and password you chose.
Now, during the registration, you will be asked which software you want to use, chose WordPress (you will see their logo, “W”); it automatically installs it in the background for you, during this process, you will be asked to create a username and password. These details is what is called your WordPress login. This is very important, you should write them down somewhere because after this, you will not be coming to bluehost again, but rather concentrate on your blog and starts to get active on it.
If the registration and installation is successful,, you are going to see some of the following displayed instructions:
- A welcome message from WordPress
- An optional display on the type of blog you want (Just select ‘Business’)
- A box displaying the title of the blog/site and the description for it.
At this point, your business blog is 50% ready and what is remaining to do is the set-up, page set up and editing of important elements.
If you check the browser from where you are browsing from (e.g. chrome, safari, internet explorer, Mozilla Firefox etc.), you will see the URL address (typically, it looks like this: http://www.yournewbusinessblog.com/wp-admin); this is just an example, however, do not forget this format because it is what you will be using to access your blog/site to post updates and publish contents.
WordPress login page typically looks like the image below:
Configuring your blog
This is the pre- installation adjustments and settings you have to. Basically, you will be installing what is called WordPress plugins, adjusting your themes/design and also adjusting related settings on the new blog.
The following issues will be discussed:
- Theme upload/settings/adjustment
- Permalink settings
- Plugins Installation
- FrontPage settings
- Blog Page/Post Settings
A brief explanation:
Step 7 (1)
The procedures on how to start a blog for your business or company is very straightforward and it starts with the way you present yourself to the outside world. You need to look professional, with a mobile responsive, beautiful design outlook.
We need to change the default design we have presently to the new template we purchased. As earlier discussed, I believe you’ve made purchase of the template (WordPress themes), and if not, read my guidelines above and also check out the following companies to make the purchase:
So, once the purchase is done, download the ZIP file on your computer and upload it on your blog. This is how you do it:
- Open your browser and type the WordPress login URL there: i.e http://www.yournewbusinessblog.com/wp-admin)
- It will open the login page, type your username and password , press enter and the WordPress dashboard of your business blog will open
- However, if you are still on the page from the beginning, you do not need to login because you are already logged in
- Once there, locate ‘Themes’, then click ‘Add new’, locate the source of your downloaded ZIP and upload the ‘WordPress File” inside it.
Please watch the video below for elaborate understanding!!
Demo Upload Option
And sometimes, you may want your design to look exactly like the demo of the purchased template, in such instances, after uploading the themes, you need to upload the demo file from the ZIP file.
Please watch this video to learn how to do that:
After doing this, relax, and let us move to the next settings, which is the permalink settings:
Step 7 (2)
The permalink settings is an important settings you should not ignore, as a matter of fact, it should be the first thing you need to set and adjust once you have installed WordPress and your site is up. We are changing the permalink settings from date based archive to name based archive because of obvious SEO advantages.
However, if you want your blog posts to reflect dates and month in the URL (e.g. http://www.yournewbusinessblog.com/2018/10/03/ournewproducts) as being reflected in the default permalink settings instead of what I am telling you to do (http://www.yournewbusinessblog.com/ournewproducts) , then you can leave the permalink settings unchanged.
However, I sincerely advise that you change these settings to name based.
To do that, follow the steps below:
- After login to your WordPress dashboard
- Check the left hand side of the dashboard
- Locate settings and under settings, you will see permalinks
- Click through it and you will be brought to the settings page
- Simply change the default settings i.e. date based settings to name based settings
- Click on save
That is all!!
Step 7 (3)
WordPress plugins powers the function of a WordPress blog and website. With a plugin, you can almost turn your blog into anything you want and desire.
For example, the following plugins does the task below:
- Sale of digital downloadable items e.g. eBooks, music, Videos etc. (Plugin is called Easy Digital Download plugin)
- Email leads (Name of plugin is called Sumome)
- Sharing of posts on social media ( e.g. Sumome)
- Contact form (Contact form 7 or Jetpack plugins) etc.
The following are important plugins you should install and have on your blog.
- Yoast SEO plugin
- W3 Total Cache
- Jetpack plugin:
- Sumo plugin
- Nofollow Plugin ( very important ; not allowing dofollow link leak, it makes your blog safe from Google penguin penalty)
As a business blog, I think it is important you have the earlier mentioned compulsory plugins and if you think you need a particular plugin for a task I did not mention, simply go to wordpress.org and search under the plugin repository.
To install a plugin is easy, just follow and watch the video below:
Or simply follow the images below:
And to the FrontPage settings and adjustment;
Step 7 (4)
The Frontpage of your blog is an important element because it is the gateway and doorway to everything on the site.
This stage looks at how you can set it up.
Remember, I earlier encouraged that you need to have a website for the business, and the design to use should have a blog feature. I think this is important because the FrontPage of the design talks about your business, services and products.
If you uploaded the demo from the theme, we just have to edit the pictures, videos and contents to your desire. And if not, you will have to start setting it up.
You can do all these things from/through:
- Edit link on the FrontPage
- Widgets settings
- Menu Settings
- Page settings
All of these settings and tutorial can be read from the guidelines below:
Step 7 (5)
Blog Page/Post Settings
This is the main reason why you are here, and as such, kindly pay attention to this guidelines here and the ones that will follow later.
If you publish an article, news updates or blog posts; all of them falls under ‘Blog’ sections. You can view them under the blog link at the top of the template below (just using this as an example).
To set your blog and post settings, follow the guidelines below:
- Go to your WordPress dashboard, towards the left hand side, locate and click on general
- Once in general, adjust all necessary items/issues e.g. name/title of blog, description, URL structure etc.
- From general, go to the accompanying settings as seen in the image below:
Important page set up, categories, menus, widget settings
When starting your business blog and setting it up, there are important pages you need to put in place. Examples of this pages are:
- Your contact page
- About us page
- Products Page
To set up pages on your blog, see the image below:
Step 8 (1)
As a business blog, any article you write and publish should fall under a particular category. Eg. When publishing updates about your business, you can create a category called ‘News’ for such type of contents.
Again, if you running a promotion and you write a blog posts about the promotion, you will need to create a category (e.g. you call it promotion) and publish the posts under it.
To create a category, see the image below:
Step 8 (2)
The image below is the perfect definition of what is called a ‘Menu’. A menu is an important website building element and it must be taken seriously.
To create your menu for your website enabled blog features, see the image below and also watch the video below:
Step 8 (3)
The image below is the meaning of a widget; for your business blog, your widget makes it easy and possible for you to edit and redesign the front page, the blog pages and virtually anything you want to do on the site.
Just study the widget very well, and try out some changes yourself. Remember, any changes you do, always click on save for it to be permanent, then refresh the page by pressing F5 or you just click on the refresh icon on your browser (you will see the changes).
How to write blog posts and publish them on your business blog
As earlier mentioned, the art of business blogging involves publishing unique articles relating to your chosen field. Blogging for your business purpose is much more a relationship thing, because you are getting closer to your target audience through your blog posts.
In other words, your articles/post should be well detailed, informational and helpful.
Now, you are getting ready to start blogging, and the first step is how you can publish your first blog posts.
The steps below is a summary of how to go about it:
- Login to your WordPress dashboard, remember…https:///www.yourblog.com/wp-admin/ and if you already there, it’s fine.
- Once you are inside the dashboard, you will see posts, or publish your first post
- Click on it or click on ‘Add new post’; the image below will be shown to you.
Now, on that page, you will see the box to write your articles, and the tools above it. The tools above contains links and materials you will use to edit your contents, add flavor to it etc. It contains the font’s settings (font type, colour etc).
Now, get ready and start writing your blog posts; however, I have also listed the guidelines below on the type of perfect blog posts you should write about:
- The perfect blog post for your business should always contain brief introduction, the why, the how and ‘the where’.
- This means it should be well detailed, with comparisons, good pictures, good videos (just like what you are reading right now); it should be better than the same blog posts your competitors have written about.
- It should be more than 300 word count; honestly, the perfect blog post should range from 500+ upward word count.
- It should be proof-read, well edited and it should not contain grammatical errors.
- Again, do not copy and paste, do not plagiarize, do not use duplicate contents; your own blog posts should be unique and original.
- Once you are ready to follow the above rules, then you are ready to start writing your posts/articles and have them published.
For more understanding, you can watch the video below:
After writing them, you should look towards the right hand side of your page, you need to publish it under a particular category as earlier mentioned above.
By default, the category is always set to ‘Uncategorized’; for each blog post, you will need to chose and instruct it to get published under the right category.
In addition, it is important you have a featured image for your blog posts; still on that same page and right hand side, if you look downwards, you will see the space for ‘featured image’; please upload the right picture to use as your featured image.
When blogging, the benefits of using featured images are:
- Google picks it up and indexes featured images; by doing this, you can get human traffic from the search engines directly to your business blog and website.
- When sharing on social media websites e.g. Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Pinterest etc; featured images are important because without them, your shared posts may not get shared or never seen at all.
When looking for images to use, you can always go to gettyimages.com to look for professional, good looking images. Or you can search the web for free pictures to use; however, the best bet is to always use the images you took with your phone/camera yourself.
After publishing the blog posts, you are not finished yet, you need to make use of social media to spread it and you also need to get it indexed on the search engines ( Google and Bing). That brings us to the next phase which is all about promoting the business blog posts you have published.
Configuring your business blog on Google search console
Now that your business blog is up and running, you need to configure it on Google and other search engines because you need them.
99% of all blogs and website depends on the search engines for traffic and worldwide exposure. So, it is important you configure your blog on them.
To do this, you will configure your blog on:
- Google search console
- Google Analytics: This will give you an idea of where your traffic is coming from, the demographics, country, mobile phones/desktop PC and what your visitors did/are doing on the site etc.
To set up on Google search console, kindly watch the video below:
Through the video above and the one below, you will understand the basics of:
- SEO- search engine optimization
- Using the ‘fetch as’ tools to quickly index your posts and blog in Google database
- Using the sitemap i.e understanding sitemap, how to generate it and also the submission on the Google search console.
To quickly understand SEO ( search engine optimization), the first step is to install the Yoast SEO plugin , and watch the video below.
To set up on Google analytics, watch the video below:
If you need help, you can reach out to me via comment section or through the contact page.
You are done with all the set-up, the next stage is how to make the blog successful, how to spread its reach and actually make it become a huge success. This is where the real work lies!!
Success Tips / Getting Traffic / promotion
Guidelines to become successful and get internet / Human traffic
- Schedule blog post publications
- Email Lead acquisition / Subscription box
- Use of social media accounts – Facebook, Instagram, twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube
- Relative Blog and site Networking
Explanation on each:
Schedule blog post publications And Consistency
The tips on how to start a blog for your business and make it successful starts with being consistent with the posts publication , and one trick to help you out is to schedule each posts and publish them at a consistent time range e.g. probably one or two posts per week.
This is how to get it done:
- Write down quality posts (you may need to hire professional writers at odesk, hire someone like me, check out fiverr etc.)
- For example, for a month, if your plan is to publish 4-8 posts per week, you can have the posts ready using the above mentioned method.
- Write them on your blog posts as if you want to publish them NOW, however, you are not going to
- For each written post, go to schedule (as seen in the image below); and give it the right time e.g. for each posts, you can schedule 6 or 7 days’ time difference.
- At the time you have set for each post to be published, it will automatically be published.
- In other words, this method saves you time and stress and you will be able to actually focus on the sales and services of your business.
If you remain consistent with the publications, you will start getting targeted traffic and lots of activities on your website and blog.
Email Lead acquisition / Subscription box
This is an important step. Quite often, it has been said’ that the money is in the email’; a proof of your seriousness with your blogging business starts with efforts to get the email address of visitors landing on your page.
There are many benefits to this:
- If you are able to get the email address (called email leads) of customers and visitors, then you can turn them into paying customers and starts depending on the search engines lesser.
- The more your email lead grows, the higher your chances of really making money.
- You can sell your products and services directly to your email leads by sending them emails ; from research it has been proven that this works because the people on your email leads actually knows about your products.
- The best way how it works is to email them about some special offers (e.g. selling your unique products at a great discount and setting a time frame for the offer.)
In essence, what you will be doing is getting visitors to subscribe to your newsletter or offering them something that will make them give you their email address willingly.
Examples of email subscription box (es) are shown below:
You can get their email leads using subscription form and there are two ways to do that:
- You use the free version of email leads collection, perfect tool is Google feedburner, https://feedburner.google.com/
- Using other services, usually paid version; You can use
Either way, you will be given a code, you will have to put the code at the meta-tag of your blog. However, some of them have plugins, all you need to do is to install and activate the plugins.
From my experience, I recommend the paid versions, because you will be able to get those leads easily.
If you need help, just reach out to me.
Get your business blog on Social media
This should not be a surprise to you, because the entire world is already saturated with social media i.e. the likes of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest etc.
You will need to open social media accounts with the name of your blog / site on the following:
- Facebook : https://www.facebook.com
- Twitter : https://twitter.com/
- Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/
- Pinterest : https://www.pinterest.com/
- Google+: https://plus.google.com/
Depending on the nature and type of your business, I recommend you open account with Facebook, Instagram and twitter. These three are the most vibrant, active and you are sure to get your target audience from them.
- Use and upload quality pictures to use as your background and profile pictures; it is advisable you use pictures of your business niche, your tools and/or services
- Do not spam the network and sites; try as much as possible to be vibrant and active on them
- You can spend money to get followers/likes on Facebook; you are also given the option for Instagram also because Facebook owns Instagram.
- Follow and make friends with people of like minds
- You can also follow influencers (people with thousands, millions of fans/followers/likes); contact these influencers and let them help you to spread news about your business and social media accounts.
- Do not use automated tools to share your blog posts on these social media accounts; make sacrifice at the initial stage to share these posts manually on them.
- Remember to always share your posts at peak times (peak periods is usually 5am-9am, and 7pm-10.30pm).
I recommend you read the following resource material:
- How to use retargeting tools in Facebook: read it here
Relative Blog and site Networking
The world of blogging and the internet is not a stand-alone concept, you are expected to network and get intertwine with others.
How will people get to know about you and your business blog if you are all alone?
You need to relate with fellow bloggers and network with them.
The following guidelines will be of help:
- Be active by commenting; Go to other blogs, drop meaningful comments (first, read their blog posts) and use your name as the anchor text back to your blog. To know relative blogs, you can use Google search to look for blogs. Go to google.com, and on the search box, type: business blogs, list: business blogs etc.
- Join Groups, circles and boards: This is a powerful weapon to use. In Facebook, we have groups, in Google+, we have circles/communities and on Pinterest, we have boards.
These places are like community, join them and introduce yourself to the owner/admin and start sharing your blog posts on them.
Believe me, it works like charm; you will be surprised at the level of engagement and interaction you are going to get.
The guidelines on how to start a blog for your business is adequately explained in this tutorial. This is serious work if your aim is to become successful. if you need help, do not hesitate to contact me. Thanks