Starting a blog is a great way to reach out to your clients and prospects, and the folks at Ext. Marketing Inc. are asked all the time for tips on the appropriate first steps for getting started.
We tell people that starting a blog can be broken down into the following three steps:
1. Choose your web hosting domain and platform
Most people know about GoDaddy, but there are many different online companies that sell urls and provide web hosting. With a little research, you can find one that fits your blogging needs and your budget.
You should also decide what blogging platform best suits your needs. Many people choose WordPress because it’s user friendly and cost effective.
Tip: Ask around. One of your coworkers or friends may have already started a blog. See if they’re happy with their blogging platform and find out how much it’s costing them.
2. Build an editorial calendar
Once you have your url and platform set up, you should create an editorial calendar that outlines the theme(s) of your blog, the topics you want to cover in your articles and the frequency with which you plan to post your articles.
This exercise will help you avoid those last-minute rushes for blog content. It will also ensure you post articles in regular intervals. People tend to follow blogs more closely when they have an idea about when new content is going to be posted.
Regularly posting new content keeps your site fresh and your readers interested, as well as increasing the chances that your blog will pop up in relevant Google searches.
Tip: Go back to your past presentations, white papers, etc. as sources of content – or inspiration – when putting together your editorial calendar.
3. Choose your team
You’ll want to discuss your blog with as many people as possible in your office (unless you’re a lone wolf). Creating content for your blog is easier when there are others contributing to it as well.
Don’t worry if some of your contributors are new to writing. Just have someone with writing/editing experience review all articles for grammar and to provide valuable feedback before they are posted.
Tip: Get outside help. Speak to your centres of influence to see if anyone is interested in providing occasional articles. They get to raise their profile and you can actually build stronger relationships through this type of content sharing.
Please remember that blogs don’t usually result in an immediate uptick in sales and it takes a while to build a following. Your best approach is to ensure everything you write is informative, timely and actionable.