If you don’t have a blog for your business yet, the idea of setting one up can be quite daunting. Where do you start? What do you need to consider? Can you get it wrong? Here’s my 10 Step Guide to help you start a blog for your business. You don’t need much technical knowledge, all you need is the will to start. Oh, and enjoying writing does help of course.
Step 1 – Have a website with blogging functionality
If you already have a WordPress website, you’re in the perfect position. WordPress is a blogging platform that has been expanded over the years to become the basis for many business websites. It is easy to use and has lots of functionality (the ability to add useful plugins) to make your blog work well for your business. Speak to your web designer if you don’t have an active blog page yet, they can activate it with a couple of clicks and you can start a blog for your business straight away!
If your website is on one of the DIY platforms, such as Squarespace or Wix, these should also have blogging functionality which is quite easy to activate. Look for a relevant tutorial.
Finally, if your website was specially designed and coded for your business, you’ll definitely need to get in touch with your web developer to add blogging functionality for you.
Step 2 – Brainstorm blogging ideas
Try and come up with at least 30 to 50 ideas. When you first start a blog you will have lots of ideas, so this should be fairly easy. Make sure the topics are helpful, informative and not “salesy”. Nobody wants to read a sales pitch on a blog.
If you’re not too sure what to write about, ask some of your clients what they would like to see on your blog. Look at the questions that you were asked by potential clients before they signed up with you. This will get you started.
Step 3 – Decide how often you’re going to blog
This will, of course, be dependent on how many ideas you come up with and how much time you have. My recommendation is to blog monthly as an absolute minimum. Ideally, you’ll be blogging once a week. This will give you much better SEO benefits (Google looks favourably on more regular updates to your websites).
Step 4 – Create an editorial calendar
This is simply a table with the topics you plan to write about and publishing dates next to them to indicate when. I have created a downloadable template for you that you can download by clicking on the image below. It contains enough space for weekly topics for 3 months (or a whole year’s worth of monthly blog posts) and, importantly, it also has tick boxes, so that you can track where you have shared your blog posts.
It is a good idea to be organised from the outset when you start a blog so you don’t get into bad habits.
Step 5 – Assign writing dates to each blogging idea
Now write your blog topics into your editorial calendar. This way you’ll know ahead of time what you are planning to write about and when. This is a great strategy to keep writer’s block at bay, helping you to get into the mindset of writing regularly, rather than of staring at a blank page!
Step 6 – Mark your blogging dates in your diary
Creating regular appointments in your diary will help you stick to the writing habit. My blogging day is Thursday so I keep my Thursday afternoon clear of appointments – it’s my writing time for my blog, come what may. Maybe you already have a day allocated for marketing or admin. Add your blog writing to that too.
Step 7 – Write your blog post
Do your research, write your post, proof read it and create a catchy headline. Some people prefer to split these steps over a couple of days; find out what works best for you. You might even want to batch-write several articles in one go.
I recommend writing your articles in Word first, where editing is a lot easier than on any blogging platform. This way, should your internet connection go down, you don’t lose your work while you’re in the middle of writing. It also enables you to save your work to your computer.
Step 8 – Publish your blog post on the assigned date
You can publish your blog on the day you write it, or you can schedule your posts in advance. Make sure you stick to your preassigned dates. This helps you to keep to a consistent schedule and educates your audience to come back regularly for more content.
If you use the scheduling function, you can even publish while you’re on holiday. Simply write your posts in advance, and your blogging schedule stays on track.
Step 9 – Share on social media
Once your article is published, start sending traffic to it by sharing it on social media. Use an interesting snippet of the text to entice people to click through to your article.
Make sure you have social media sharing buttons installed so that it’s easy for others to share your blog post to social media.
Step 10 – Find ways to capture your increased traffic with lead magnets
Think about different ways you can capture your increased traffic. Which lead magnets could you offer that would entice readers to join your mailing list? Just make sure that whatever you do, it’s GDPR compliant.
Over to you
That’s it. If you follow these 10 Steps, you will have your business blog up and running in no time.
If you need help implementing these steps, or would like some more in-depth training before you start a blog for your business, I provide 1-2-1 training as well as an online blogging course, that will take you step-by-step through all the steps of writing successful blog posts.
Please get in touch by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information.