Do you want to drive more traffic to your website?
Do you want to create more brand awareness, engage and entertain your web visitors while building your authority and make your website a go-to destination for customers?
Then your website needs a business blog.
A company blog can help you drive 5 times more web traffic to your website than when you do not have one.
As customers touch point with your business along the sales journey, a company blog can help you turn their attention to your products or services.
This is why it is advisable to setup a blog for your website during or after launch.
The only challenge is how do you get started? What are some of the common factors you should consider and how exactly should you setup a wordpress blog for your website.
This short guide will help you overcome some of these challenges and set you on the right path to blogging success
Okay, let’s get started with our wordpress tutorial.
Why should you pick WordPress as your blogging platform?
There are lot of content management system (CMS) you can use. You might even decide to build your own custom content management system but if you are still wondering why wodpress is the best third-party cms for your blog, then you might want to consider the following:
- It is completely free
- It is open source
- There is a huge community where you can get support if you ever need one
- If you consider the fact that more than 74million website out there run on wordpress, then you know you are not on the ship alone.
Despite all this advantage, there are lot of disadvantages to using wordpress. Because of its popularity, it is subjected to attacks by hackers. It is therefore important that you take extra care to secure your wordpress- based blog or website. Here are a few things you should do:
- Pick a good host.
- Update all plugins regularly
- Update wordpress to the latest version always
- Don’t use the default admin username.
- Make sure your password is strong enough.
- Backup regularly
- If possible, avoid using free theme that has no after-sales support.
Now that we have laid the foundation, let us move on to the important things you need to do to get your wordpress blog up and running in no time.
How to setup your blog using WordPress:
Setting up your wordpress blog should be as easy as ABC. First you need to decide if your whole website want to run on the CMS or you want to run only your blog with wordpress. Once you have made up your mind, download the wordpress software and install it. There is a simple step by step tutorial for getting this done on the wordpress website itself.
Choosing a wordpress theme:
This is one of the most serious aspects of running your wordpress blog where you might need to slow down. You need to choose a theme that reflects how you want to position your blog. Since your blog is an extension of your website, it is important to take care when choosing a blog theme. One thing I always look for here is a theme that is easy to customise.
Since most premium theme are not free, it is advisable that you take time to explore your prospective theme before you purchase it. Check around to read reviews and make sure that you can get support should you need one.
Once you have picked a theme and install it, you are ready to go. You might want to try out the free theme in the wordpress library to get a feel of how wordpress works before going for a full premium theme.
NB: There are quite a lot of places where you can get a wordpress theme but templatemoster has a lot of premium and free themes. You can check them out.
What wordpress plugins should you have on your blog?
Once you have your blog setup and running, you will find out that there is still a lot of customization to carry out.
This task might come in form of customization that needs to be implemented to give you the look and feel that your audience want. Apart from that, there are technical customization that need to be implemented.
One of this customization is the kind of plugins you need to make your blog fully functional. Depending on the kind of theme you have you might need to install some plugins.
While it is advisable to install only the plugins you need, there are some common and important plugins to have.
Your list will depend on your need but I bet you will agree with me that you need some if not all of the following plugins
- SEO Plugins- As great as wordpress is, you still need to make it SEO friendly.
- Backup Plugin: Backing up your website regularly is good but what if you want to automate this process. So get a good backup plugin, you never know when it will be needed.
- Social Share plugin: You want people to share your content when they find it interesting. Install a social share plugin can help you achieve it. Try and install a share plugin that works well with your theme.
- Security plugin: WordPress remains one of the most targeted CMS by hackers and this is partially due to the fact that it is one of the most popular. While you might increase the security of your wordpress theme by using strong password etc, it is also advisable that you install a wordpress security plugin. Any added layer of security is always welcome.
Advanced Tips for making your blog a success.
Now that you have your wordpress blog up and running, the next thing you need to do is to drive traffic to it and use it as a marketing machine to grow your business. There are lots of thing you can do but here are a few tips you should begin with.
The first thing you must do is to make your blog search engine friendly. Implementing technical SEO practices alone can increase the discoverability of your blog by more than 50%.
Once you have optimized your blog, the second thing you need to start doing is creating content that your readers need. Your blog is a place to educate your customers about your products, inform them, answer their concerns and also entertain them, all in the hope that you build enough brand trust for them to buy from you.
Your blog is not a place to sell your services directly. Your blog is an inbound marketing channel and should be treated as such. If you need pages for marketing your services directly, consider creating good landing pages for that. Your blog is therefore not a place to rant about how great your product or services are.
Thirdly, update your blog regularly. Nothing gets customers annoyed than a dead blog. In order to build readership, you need to update your blog on a regular basis. Pick a schedule that works for you and stick with it. You might want to create a content marketing calendar to help you with this. No matter the schedule you pick, once a month or once a week, make sure it is something that works for you.
Always remember that your blog is a strategic investment. Treat it as such.
Having a blog is a prerequisite to establishing your brand’s presence online. How you are able to achieve this will depend on how committed you are and the strategies you are implementing.
Whatever you don’t do, remember to setup a blog for your website today.
Do you have a business blog? How effective has it? Share your thoughts with us in the comment.