On this page
- Outline what you want your blog to achieve
- Choose the best blogging platform for your business
- Plan the content in advance to engage your audience
Use a blog to boost business
Writing regular, well-crafted blog posts to communicate with your customers can potentially position your business as an expert in your industry. You could use your blog to engage existing and new customers. Blog posts are also great for linking to existing content on your website - allowing older, relevant content to 'bubble up' to the surface for your visitors.
The best blogs:
- focus on one topic at a time
- are limited to one page
- contain new information that's useful for the reader
- are written in an engaging and conversational style
- are updated regularly.
These steps will help you ensure you're setting up your blog so that it meets the needs of your business with the minimum stress.
Setting up your business blog
1. What will your blog do for your business?
Even the best blogs can't do everything. Before you proceed, be sure about what you want your blog to achieve for your business. Your marketing plan is a good place to start. For example, if you want your customers to engage with and share your blog posts, have social media sharing buttons and a comments box.
2. Blog as website, or blog on website?
You may decide that including a blog on your existing website - as a menu item or navigation tab - is a great way to attract visitors or encourage visitor engagement. If you're a solo business owner providing a specialist service perhaps a stand alone blog is all you need.
3. Free or hosted?
Common blogging platforms offering free sites include WordPress , Blogger or Tumblr. They all have different features. As they're free, consider setting up a test blog on each of the free platforms, using dummy content. This will help you discover which will be best for your business. You can also host your blog on your website, as it allows greater control.
4. Decide on your web address
If you are using free blogging software, your default address will include the name of the platform, e.g. yourbusiness.wordpress.com. Some blogging platforms (e.g. WordPress) offer domain names for a small fee, or you can purchase one from a registry. Consider registering a domain name and using that to link to your blog. Read more about choosing and registering a domain name.
All common blogging platforms have templates available for free or very low cost so you can choose the look and colour scheme of your blog. It's also important to think about your navigation. This means having an About page and choosing what topics, tagging or date range people can browse by. If you are hosting your blog with a hosting provider or on your own servers, you can also customise your template.
One of the things that makes blogs different from websites is the ability for your readers to comment. You'll need to think about whether you want to look at comments before they go live and be prepared to respond. You should also have a spam plugin in place to filter out spam comments. These are readily available on all blogging platforms and may require you to pay a small fee.
Managing your blog for success
A blog can be an excellent opportunity to bring the 'personality' of your business to the attention of your customers. Think about what you're trying to achieve and ensure the design and content align with your goals. It is also important to blog regularly, so plan the content and the frequency of your blog posts in advance so that you're able to maintain the flow of posts even in busy times. Read more about writing a content marketing plan.
Case Study: Building a business blog
'The traffic was amazing - I would have been crazy not to add the website'Melanie Stapleton, Cecilia Fox
Read more about Building a business blog