By Essie Bester
Blogging, especially in combination with social media, is a powerful way of promoting your business online. And it is not as difficult as you may have imagined.
It is easy and fast to set up a blog and to introduce the first information about your business. All you have to do is to maintain your blog through regular updating of the content while you make sure that you use relevant key words in every update. In this way you make your webpage more visible for people who key in key words related to your product or service via search engines such as Google.
Reasons for a business blog
- You target potential clients in the industry in which you work by discussing the general services you provide and the individual challenges of your target audience.
- You increase your webpage traffic by guiding new visitors to your products and services, online shop or contact pages by means of new content links in your blog.
- You promote yourself as an industry expert by demonstrating your expertise in a particular discipline by sharing high-quality relevant information.
- You develop a community that shares interests and learn a lot about your audience through an active comments area on your blog where you can make comments and react.
- You create valuable person-to-person connections by giving your blog individuality and making it easier for your readers to approach you. Avoid a boring business blog. Be humorous now and then.
Consider the following before starting:
Blog about your business or matters relevant to your industry. Do not publish company news and corporate rhetoric only. Be interesting. Aim at adding value to the online conversation.
- Blog platforms
Beginners can concentrate on platforms such as WordPress and Tumblr, which are very user-friendly and basically set up everything for you.
- Appearance and feeling of your blog
WordPress has different themes to choose from. Some look more professional while others are more colourful.
The first article is the most difficult one. Think of an idea for your blog post and just write it – keep it to between 500 and 1 500 words.
- Catch the public interest
Keep your writing professional and search-engine optimised by using the correct keywords. Share your blog via social-media platforms. Remember – the more regularly you update the contents of your business webpage, the better the chances that the name of your business pops up in people’s searches.
The most successful bloggers post something from Monday to Friday.
Make sure that your blogsite has a version that is compatible with smartphones and tablets.
Make sure that the information in your blog is correct. Lay down rules so that commentary remain socially acceptable.
Read newspapers and see what people are talking about on social media. At https://www.socialbakers.com/ you can learn more about social marketing information.
Make sure of your language and editing.
Best business blogs to follow in SA
Fin24, How We Made It in Africa, Cobus Van Vuuren, Nation Builder, Wealth Creator, Elzette Fourie, Fox and Owl Media, Nichemarket.
This is how to start:
Setting up your own blog
The most popular blog software is WordPress.org (also known as self-hosted WordPress), for which ample manuals are available. WordPress.org is free of charge, you can install plug-in software, adapt your blog design, and earn money from your blog without any limitation (as opposed to WordPress.com).
Time Magazine Blogs, CNN Business Blogs, Ebay Blog, TechCrunch, Forbes Blogs, Wall Street Journal Blogs are examples of high-profile not-so-basic webpages driven by WordPress.
With WordPress.org, which offers you a free blog platform, the only costs involved when starting a blog is the money you pay for a webpage host (the place where you store your blog content) and the name of the domain (preferably it must be the name of your blog).
The basic plan of Bluehost, a third-party webpage host that offers you a free domain name, costs you a minimal monthly amount and you know immediately if the domain name you chose is available. Cheaper options are not recommended if you want a professional appearance. However, if you prefer a free blog, you will find an installation manual at https://af.eyewated.com/tutoriaal-hoe-om-n-gratis-blog-op-blogger-com-te-begin/.
Buy your domain and webpage host package (both can be downloaded from your chosen webpage host’s website. With Bluehost, which is recommended by WordPress for new bloggers, the process is as follows:
- Open Bluehost in a new window in your web browser.
- Click on the Start Now button.
- On the next screen choose the plan you need (basic and plus are the most popular ones).
- Enter the domain name of your website.
- Add your account information and package information. This screen shows optional extras that you can purchase later.
- You will now receive an email with details on how to log in on your web host’s control panel (cPanel). This is where you install WordPress.
- After registration many webpage hosts (e.g. Bluehost) will automatically create a WordPress website for you. Simply log into your Bluehost account and click on the WordPress log-in button.
- However, if you want to install WordPress yourself, the following manual will be of help: https://wordpress.org/support/article/how-to-install-wordpress/
Choose your WordPress theme
- Now adjust the appearance and feeling of your blog.
- Change the theme by visiting your WordPress dashboard and clicking on Appearance Themes.
- Now click on the Add New button.
- You can now choose from more than 7 400 WordPress themes that are available.
- Click on the Preview button to see what the design will look like on your website.
- Move your computer mouse until the arrow points to your chosen theme – the install button will now appear. Click on it and wait for the theme to be installed. An activate button you need to click for your theme to be activated will now appear.
- Customise your theme by clicking on the Customize button under the appearance button.
You can now create your first blog posting by clicking on the Postings – Add new menu in the WordPress control panel.
Blogging: It’s Not as Difficult as You Think https://newappsagency.com/