“I want to start a blog as a way of growing my business presence online, but I’m not sure where to begin. Can you point me in the right direction.”
This is a common question among modern business owners, many of who have heard about the attributes of blogging and are ready to launch one of their own. So in this brief tutorial, I’ll explain how to start a business blog without wasting a lot of time on the research and setup process. In fact, this guide will show you how to get up and running in just a couple of days.
Technical notes: This lesson will focus on the self-hosting model of blogging. In other words, it will show you how to set up a web hosting account for your blog (as opposed to hosting it with WordPress, Blogger, etc.). This is the best type of setup for a business / company blog.
Step 1 – Get a Domain Name
This will be your web address. If you already have a company website online, you could simply add your blog onto the main site. In this hosting scenario, your blog would become an extension of your existing website, and all of the supporting files would be published into a sub-folder or sub-directory.
If you don’t have a website domain already, you can register one for about $10 per year through a domain registrar (a company that specializes in registering website domain names). GoDaddy, Register.com and Network Solutions are three examples.
Step 2 – Get Web Hosting
Once more, if you already have a website and will be adding your blog as an extension of that site, you can skip this step. Web hosting simply refers to the servers (big computers) that will host all of your blog files. You can expect to pay between $7 and $10 per month for web hosting.
Many of the same companies who offer domain registration services can host a business blog / website as well. My advice is to use one of the big names listed under Step #1 so that you can enjoy reliable service with minimal downtime.
Step 3 – Choose Blog Program
Some bloggers will argue until their blue in the face about which blog program is superior, and why. In my opinion, blog programs all do the same thing … they publish your content onto the web, quickly and easily, and in an organized manner.
I recommend using either Blogger or WordPress. If your blog is going to be fairly simple, you might choose Blogger. If you think you might be “tweaking” the blog code to achieve certain effects (not necessary, by the way), you might prefer the WordPress platform.
Step 4 – Install Blog Program
Now you have a registered domain name, a website hosting plan, and a blogging program all picked out. The next step is the installation process. Here you will install the blog onto your hosting account. If you chose Blogger, this process will be simply. You just log into your Blogger account and tell it where to publish the blog (onto your domain). If you chose WordPress, you will actually install the program directly onto your web domain / hosting account. It’s a simple process, but you might want to get help from somebody who has done it.
Step 5 – Take a Test Spin
Now you are ready to start blogging away. But before you do, it’s a good idea to make a few test posts. A “post” is new information published to the blog, like an article. You can make some test posts to learn how your chosen program works. Experiment with hyperlinks, formatting the text, adding images, etc. You can always delete your practice posts when you’re done.
Step 6 – Start Blogging
Congratulations. You’ve tackled the technical side of things and you are now ready to start writing and publishing information online. Once you have a blog up and running, and you’re comfortable with how to use it, you can move on to “loftier” topics, such as increasing your traffic and growing your web presence.