Among all the ways a business can connect with its audience, a blog is one of the most effective and authentic. Unlike advertisements, it intends to offer people information that can help them improve their lives or solve problems instead of pushing products. For the business, a blog is a platform they can fully own and control as opposed to social media platforms, where they have to conform to the rules and regulations of another company.
However, starting a blog for a business is a feat that takes time and effort. It is like opening another business wing, which means your branding, execution, and the final product should all be on point. Here are five basics you should get right if you are planning to start your business blog.
Your business blog is different from other blogs because it is not just a hobby. It is a marketing tool to sell more products and grow your brand. There are several free blogging platforms out there that may work for amateur bloggers. But when it comes to your business blog, you need a platform that gives you complete control over your content and design.
Such platforms often have a subscription cost, but in return, you can:
WordPress is one of the world's most widely used website platforms because it checks all the above boxes. However, maximising WordPress’ full capabilities needs an expert hand. If you’re going the DIY route, Crazy Domains Website Builder’s intuitive interface and beginner-friendly tools is a great option for you.
Another platform worth considering, especially if you are a lifestyle-centric brand such as fashion or travel, is Squarespace, as it is meant to support high-quality visual content.
You don’t want a domain name like companyname.bloggingplatform.com, which looks like it belongs to a college student rather than a company.
Your blog’s domain name is as essential as your brand name and your business’ official domain name. You need a blog domain name that:
Consider using the same domain name as your official website with a different domain extension. For instance, let’s say that you are in the business of making apps for small businesses, and your business domain name is appy.tech. Your blog that publishes content about the technical aspects of running a small business can have a domain name like appy.space, or appy.online—short, simple, and memorable domain names consistent with your overall online branding.
There are several free hosting platforms available to bloggers, and if you don’t intend to monetize your blog, they might work for you. However, a business blog is intended to earn revenue for your business, so a self-hosting platform is your best bet. Free platforms also tend to be unreliable and restrictive. They may shut down without notice, and you risk losing all your files.
Selecting the right web hosting plan is one of the most crucial decisions for your blog. You must consider the following:
Your analytics data is a key driver of your blog’s content. For example, if the data shows that certain products aren’t receiving enough traffic, you can boost awareness by publishing a how-to article, benefits write-up, or a tutorial.
There is an easy way to track your blog site’s performance, for free. Google Analytics is the most popular tool to track a website’s success metrics. It will help you answer some of the most important questions about your business blog, such as:
All these parameters will help complete your content plan and how to package your blog and promote it. Install Google Analytics as soon as you publish your first blog post to ensure that each step is carefully calculated and brings you closer to your goals.
Email marketing remains one of the most powerful marketing tools in the hands of a business for the following reasons:
To set up your email marketing, you need two things:
You need a professional email address, such as [email protected], or [email protected], if you want your subscribers to take you seriously. When researching your blogging platform, see if they offer a free branded email address or an email hosting service.
You need an email marketing tool that does more than just send all your subscribers an alert whenever there is a new post on your blog. Steer clear of free platforms. Invest in one that allows you to send personalized mass emails to subscribers, create or use your own email templates, perform A/B testing, and, most importantly, create segments of subscribers based on their activity.
A successful blog is like a well-oiled machine. It constitutes several cohesive parts to yield the best results. Your content is the hero. The domain name is your brand name. Your platform and web host are the infrastructures. The analytics tool is your accountant. And your email marketing is a significant part of your marketing machine. Keep these essentials in mind and you’re off to a successful start with your business blog.
Rebecca Scott is a Sr. Content Marketing Specialist at Radix Web Services. A marketing enthusiast, she describes her role as one part creative explorer and one part strategic alchemist. Her contributions feature in publications related to social media and online marketing.