KFNX Blog: 10 Tips for a New Business to Start a Blog:

1. Decide the purpose of the blog.

Do this before going out and registering a domain name or anything else. Is the blog going to serve as a journal for starting the business? Is it a search marketing tool? Is it to be used to demonstrate thought leadership and create credibility? Will it be a communication tool for customers? Will it also serve as the main company web site? Is the purpose some or all of the above?

2. Pick a URL.

If the purpose of the blog is to support company brand and audience, then the URL should be part of the company web site. Ideally, the blog hosting situation allows for a sub directory such as companysite.com/blog.   If the purpose of the blog is independent of the primary company brand, or messaging, then a dedicated domain name based on your purpose will work better

3. Pick blog software.

In most cases, WordPress is the way to go. An inexpensive Linux platform hosting account that supports PHP and mySQL can be secured for $10-$20 per month. However, should the blog get really popular, expect to upgrade to support increased demand. It’s entirely worth it.

The blog software will need to be installed on the server that will host it and the database will also need to be set up. This is fairly straightforward, but in all honesty, it’s best to have someone that knows what they’re doing help

WordPress software is open source, ie free, so if you are code/technically savvy and you have the time to figure it out, it’s certainly doable. There is no one “right way” to setup a blog. There are literally hundreds of ways to accomplish this.

4. Customize the blog.

After installation of the core blog software, there are a number of customization tasks.

First, the blog design should be modified to match your branding. If you don’t hire a consultant to do this, there are many free templates that can then be customized, but many of them require a link to the author at the bottom.

The second set of customization tasks involves plug-ins to improve the adminstration, front end functionality and the SEO friendliness of the blog. Redirection

  • HeadSpace2
  • Google XML sitemaps
  • Gravity forms
  • All In One SEO
  • PostPost
  • ACE WP Plug
  • ComLuv
  • Disqus
  • Members only
  • Cookies for comments
  • Section widget
  • Page order
  • Related posts
  • FeedSmith FeedBurner Plugin
  • Sociable
  • Askimet or WP-SpamFree
  • Post Teaser

5. Create a content plan.

In concert with the purpose of the blog, it’s important to generate a basic editorial guideline for creating content. The easiest way to manage this is by creating categories for the kinds of content you plan on posting.

Before you create those categories, it’s a good idea to do some keyword research as the categories will become excellent repositories of related content. Why not make it even easier for search engines to understand and rank them?

Common keyword research tools include: Google’s Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest. Paid keyword tools include WordStream.comWordTracker and KeywordDiscovery.com

Once you identify which keyword phrases best represent the content you’ll be publishing, use them to name your content categories. Each time you make a blog post, that entry will be associated with one or more categories, creating a very search engine friendly repository of content.

6. Pick your blogging team.

In the case of most small businesses, the blogging team is a team of one. That’s fine, just be sure to document what’s working and what’s not so when the time comes, you can get your blogging team mate up to speed quickly.

7. Make it easy to share.

Blogging in a vaccum is inevitable blogging death. It’s essential that you solicit comments in your posts, respond to comments quickly, create and enforce a commenting policy. Being responsive is an essential part of attracting subscribers.

Don’t covet the comments either. Visit other blogs in your industry and write useful comments. Those bloggers may notice you and it can become something more, like an invite for a guest post, collaboration or simply a new online friend.

Make it easy for readers of your blog to save and share your content with sharing buttons or widgets. It pays to create accounts on the more popular services and develop social networks there.

8. Get your blog out to  social media.

RSS feeds come with blogs and it’s worth taking the time to make sure the RSS feed is readily available and obvious for people to subscribe. Set up social profiles on sites such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn as appropriate and automate the sharing of links from your blog posts to those services. In other words, you could use a service like TwitterFeed to publish your latest blog post to Twitter and Facebook automatically.

Be sure to publish your blog URL everywhere you publish your web site address.

9. Make static.

If you’re using the blog as a CMS for a small business web site, then make your static web pages such as those for About our Company, Product/Service pages, Contact Forms, etc. The blog can be customized to have a home page like any other web site as well. That way, visitors arriving on your site can see what they expect from a company selling products/services. At the same time, blogging creates a rich and frequent source of useful content that’s syndicated via RSS, promoted automatically to relevant social channels and leaves the door open for interaction via comments.

10. Measure. Test

It’s important that you set goals for the blog, a plan to execute tactics and most of all, measure progress. Most web site measurement is focused on web analytics and metrics specific to different types of marketing such as with email, SEO or PPC. Standard web analytics software such as Google Analytics will address the vast majority of your needs.

I would also recommend social media monitoring and analytics. Monitoring can be as simple as the RSS feed from search.twitter.com combined with the RSS feed from the results of a search on Google’s blog search. You could also use services like socialmention.com or more robust social media monitoring tools such as Techrigy SM2, ScoutLabs or Radian6.

Social monitoring tools will help you understand what your customers are saying about you on the social web as well as uncover new interaction opportiunities with influentials.

As web analytics and social media monitoring tools become increasingly intertwined, you’ll be able to identify many other key metrics for the effect of your social participation on bottom line business goals.

I hope you found this Blog on Blogging useful please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help and happy blogging.






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