It’s official. You are a small business owner who is beginning to master the power of a blog. Never view blogging as a chore. View it as the most incredible opportunity you’ve been given to stay in constant communication with your customers, vendors, influencers and friends.
- Name your blog and register its domain name (web address).
- Choose a blog platform.
- Choose a web host.
- Connect your domain name to your blog.
- Design your blog.
- Publish your first post.
- Promote that post and publish your second post, etc.
Start spreading the news
Your blog is the central hub of your customer communications efforts. But social media and email are necessary to helping you alert your customers and friends whenever you post something new. Make sure to spread the word about your first post.
- Share engaging links on your favorite social media networks.
- Email an announcement to your growing list of newsletter subscribers.
- If the topic of your blog is local, make sure to promote your new blog on both your online and offline advertising.
- Add announcement messages to the signature of your email.
The importance of an editorial calendar: Keeping your blog up-to-date and relevant
A blog can be overwhelming if seen as a chore. One way to keep your blog fresh—and to keep from having the blogging equivalent of writer’s block—is to plan ahead.
- If your business has a natural flow of operation, then blogging should fit into that flow.
- If you are a retailer, then new product trends, merchandise or special promotions are a natural framework for a blogging calendar.
- All types of businesses, industries, regions and localities have special dates throughout the year. They can be national holidays, like New Year’s Day, or annual celebrations, like Mother’s Day. Your blog should include those events.
Prepare a blogging calendar that helps you plan in advance what topics you’d like to cover and when. Much like an editorial calendar, a blogging calendar can help you spread out topics of importance to your customers throughout the year.
It’s also a good idea to write a few posts in advance that you can keep stored for a rainy day. These posts can come in handy if you find yourself lacking content.
Another benefit of blogging:
Search engine optimization
A blog should be focused on establishing and maintaining long-term relationships with your customers and prospects. You want to do everything you can to make sure such people find your blog, but finding your blog is not the goal. Building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships is the goal.
That said, if you are going to invest your time in a blogging strategy, you’ll want as many people to read, hear and see it as possible. One way to do that is through search engine optimization (SEO). Here are some pieces of advice to get you up to speed on SEO:
- Review this overview of 7 Simple Steps for Blog SEO.
- Research keywords related to your business using Google’s keyword planning tool.
- Add meta tags for each post using a WordPress plugin like WordPress SEO by Yoast.
Advice | Always have a few “evergreen” posts for crunch times.
No matter how prolific a blogger you are, there will always be times when other duties keep you from sharing helpful advice. However, it’s important to be consistent in sharing posts. Have evergreen posts—posts that are relevant no matter the time of year or topic—that can be used when those crunch times occur.
You’re on your way
You’ve now started your blog. Let it take you on a journey that draws you closer to the customers you serve. Post by post, you’ll learn more about your customers—and yourself.
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The contents of this guide were developed and sponsored by GoDaddy.
It may include opinions other than those of SmallBusiness.com