If your business doesn’t have a blog, you are burning your opportunity to attract future customers, not to mention, leaving your current customers unfulfilled! And your site’s probably not ranking too well in search engines either! Here are some ideas to make the concept less overwhelming.
If you haven’t thought about starting a blog, maybe now is the time. When I first started, I had so many questions and there were so many options I felt overwhelmed. Let’s keep this simple and uncomplicated. These are just my recommendations based on my experience and a pretty basic level of technological savvy. I had to self-teach myself a lot but it has been worth every minute I’ve invested.
To Blog Yourself
You may be thinking you don’t have the stamina, ideas, or even desire to start a blog by yourself. Don’t rule out blogging just yet. Ask yourself these questions before you decide one way or another:
- Can I commit to writing once a week (or at least once a month)?
- What area of expertise do I want to showcase?
- Who is my audience (who would benefit from reading what I have to say)
Yes, there are many other things to consider and you can check out sites for more on getting started and improving your blogging: ProBlogger
These are particularly good resources:
The Best Way To Start A Blog in 2019 from ProBlogger
How To Start a Blog – Beginner’s Guide for 2019 from Blogging Basics 101
How To Start A Blog from Neil Patel
68 Ways to Make Your Blog Work for You from Danny Brown
Choosing Your Weapon (I mean platform)
- WordPress.com (free)
- WordPress.org (you have to pay to host it on a server)
- Typepad (free)
- Blogger (free)
WordPress is the more popular of the platforms for blogging. I have found it has the newest and greatest bells and whistles (themes, plugins and widgets).The others all have their own following and pros and cons.
I would suggest you ask around and pick a platform that someone you know is using. This will make it so much easier for you to get your questions asked and help for your problems.
A Lighter Load
Often referred to as a microblogging sites, this allows you to write posts and share photos etc.
Nope, Not Ready to Jump off That Bridge (yet)
Perhaps this is sounding like too much of a commitment. Fine, start commenting on blogs in your industry. You will be able to contribute to the conversation and begin building relationships, learning and acquiring digital terrain.
So where do you find good blogs to comment on?
One of the best ways to expand awareness of who you are and what you write about is to comment on other blogs. Here are some things to keep in mind when leaving comments:
- Be professional at all times
- Check grammar, punctuation, spelling before submitting comments
- Join in on the conversation by reading the other comments and contributing, adding, politely disagreeing or supporting
- Add value to the post by adding your thoughts on the topic/issue
- Be sure to keep it relevant to your areas of expertise
- Be generous and gracious and polite
- Use your real name/the name by which you want to be found by
Log in/Sign in
Commenting on blogs usually requires that you sign in. The choices you have vary depending on the blog. You want to use the same login/profile consistently. You can also sign in with other accounts such as your Facebook, Twitter or Google. Discus is another popular sign in tool bloggers use.
Then other times you can use your name, email and URL/website.
Maybe you don’t feel ready to commit to hosting your own blog. If you find a blog you like, you might be able to become a guest blogger. Many times blogs are looking for people to contribute. See if there is a “guest blogging policy” on their site and follow those instructions. Reach out and introduce yourself but it might be a good idea to interact on the blog via comments first to build name recognition. If you go this route, you should have samples of your work and be a strong writer or a new angle.
Being A Good Social Citizen
Here are some parting thoughts and I am sorry this is longer than I intended it to be.
- Watch and listen.
- See what others are doing
- Experiment with new ideas
- Have fun
- Build a community
- Make your blog interactive, ask for comments, feedback, ideas, other solutions
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.