Having a blog is also good for your business. If you are like me, a consultant (and agency owner) then blogging is a way to demonstrate your knowledge and abilities. As an entrepreneur, it can help you to grow your audience. For product-based businesses it’s a way to show the human side of your business, demonstrate your goods and show some behind the scenes of how it all works.
You’d think with blogging being so mainstream it would be easy enough to start one. Well, yes it is. But every day I see questions within business groups from people asking how they start one. So here are my tips on how to get started and I even made you a pretty infographic to go with it, for you to Pin and share.
CHOOSE A NICHE
I also have a lifestyle blog that has pretty much anything none business that comes into my head on it. I ended up with that because 11 years ago I started my blogging life as a Mummy Blogger, but then my child grew up and it wasn’t relevant anymore. But I liked some of the things I used to talk about on there and needed a new home to blog that wasn’t just about business. Some ask why I have two blogs and not just put all the subjects into one. The main reason is that from a business perspective it’s not overly professional to have a business blog within posts about my life, love life or rants about things that annoy me. Granted I know that a lot of my audiences cross over. But to combine the two would confuse many people and the search engines.
CHOOSE A PLATFORM
I started out on Blogger, which is part of Google. It was pretty much the main one back then. I wouldn’t use it now. There are others such as Squarespace, Wix and the free version of WordPress. Personally, I wouldn’t use any of them. There are restrictions on them all and you will run into problems eventually.
A self-hosted WordPress site also gives you far more functionality and creativity when it comes to designing your site. But I’ll come to that when we talk about branding.
PICK A NAME
If you’re planning on growing your blog into some form of business then also check on Companies House to make sure there isn’t already a business registered with that name. You may not be in a position of going through the formal process of registering a business right now, but if it’s in the plan, be prepared.
If you’re like me and your actual name is shared by lots of other people then you might want to use a variation of your own name or nickname. There are several Sam/Samantha Martin’s who are writers, a couple of musicians, a fake news story about Shark Tank, a few other business people and me. Marriage isn’t on the cards so I had to come up with a variation that differentiated me from all the others. We ended up with Socially Sam. I may not always be known as that. We’ll see.
CREATE YOUR BRANDING
Branding also includes your writing style. I always write in a very conversational tone, like I’m having a chat with a friend. Others write in a more formal, structured way. This can vary by how you’ve been trained. A traditional journalist will write in a very different style to a hobby blogger. Likewise, the post structure will be very different.
Your branding should be a clear representation of you. Pick colours that you like, not what you think your audience will find pleasing to their eye. If you have a logo then build your brand into that. Just make sure that everything you put out into the big wide blogging world is your brand. You want to be able to catch someone’s eye whilst they are quickly scrolling through their newsfeed. If they know your brand they’ll be able to spot you.
CREATE A SCHEDULE
JUST START YOUR BLOG
With all the prep work it’s hard to forget that you actually need to put a blog out. Many get huge nerves worrying what other people are going to think. Try not to think too much about that. This is your thing, not theirs. But just get that first post out and then move on to the next one. It may well be outside of your comfort zone (watch my video on that here) but once you take those first few steps you’ll be on your way to blogging brilliance in no time at all.