Are you bursting with valuable content that you just can’t wait to share?
Are you keen to run a regularly updated blog so that you can engage a community of followers?
Are you unsure how you can build your online visibility whether this be for your personal or company brand?
If you answered YES to any of the questions above then it is time you considered blogging. Blogging is a great way in which you can become an expert in your field and share valuable content in order to engage and build a community. Before you start blogging you will have to put a lot of thought into the type of things you are going to blog about. Usually this will mean finding your niche topic….choose a topic that you are interested in and a topic that you know you will be able to write plenty about. There is no point in blogging about something that you do not understand, readers will pick up on the lack of confidence in your blogging voice, they will lose faith in what you have to say and ultimately they will go elsewhere for the information that they need.
When you are confident that you are going to be able to provide frequent valuable content to your blog feed the next fundamental step in your blogging process is choosing where / how you are going to display your blog. There are many sites out there that will allow you to set up a blog feed for free. For an independent start up blog this is great! I have found that WordPress is a great programme that you can utilise to satisfy your blogging needs.
Having already decided the topic in which you are going to blog about you will need to set up your WordPress account. you can set up a free WordPress account here.
Once you have signed up and registered for your WordPress blog you will need to consider these factors:
Creating a URL
Your URL will allow your readers to find your blog feed. When choosing your URL it is crucial that is related to the topic that you will be blogging about. This will immediately make your blog appear more professional. WordPress will allow you to type in your suggested blog URL which it will then check to see if it is still available. You might have to adapt your desired URL if someone has beaten you to it. However, if you are prepared to pay there are ways round buying the URL that you want.
Choosing a theme
This is also an important aspect to consider when setting up your blog. You will want your blog to be eye catching whilst also representing your brand’s image. WordPress has a selection of free themes that you are able to choose from. Again if you are prepared to pay for additional themes WordPress also has a selection of premium themes that you are able to buy.
Here a selection of free themes WordPress has to offer….
You are not far off from publishing your first post, however don’t jump the gun and make sure you spend some time ensuring you have set up your account exactly how you want it to appear. This might involve inputting the title or giving your blog a name. This text will be the first thing that your readers will see when they visit your blog feed. This title does not have to be the same as your URL however when inputting your title it is important that you keep in mind the relevance of the title in reference to the topics that you are going to be blogging about.
Depending on what theme you have chosen for your blog post you might be given the option to edit the back ground or experiment slightly with the blog layout. This feature is not available for all blog themes, therefore you should keep this in mind when choosing your blogs theme particularly if you are not 100% happy with the theme / layout that you have opted for.
If WordPress basics aren’t enough for you WordPress will give you the option of adding extra widgets that will ultimately enhance the functionality of your blog. WordPress has a variety of widgets (add on’s) for you to choose from, however for those of you who are more technically savvy you will be able to find widgets on the internet that you will be able to integrate. For those of you that aren’t, do not worry WordPress has plenty of widgets for you to choose from varying from Email subscription, Categories and Tags etc.
Top tip – The categories widget is great for informing your readers exactly what your blog entry is going to be about. This can be extremely useful in engaging those extra readers particularly if they can see with ease that your blog entry is going to be of value to them.
When this is all done you are ready to go! Insert your blog entry and publish that post. Don’t forget to preview your blog entry first to check that everything looks great! Oh, and advertise your blog across your social media channels to increase its visibility… you wouldn’t want all your hard work going to waste!
** For those of you with your own websites you might be interested in getting your blog to run simultaneously alongside your website. Therefore, you might want to enrol the help of some techies i.e. developers who will be able to integrate your blog feed into your web design. If you are a client of ours and would like to integrate your blog feed into your website please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to help you. If this is something that you likely to consider in the future the sooner you have this set up the better, in order to reduce the risk of your content being disrupted or lost when it comes down to exchanging your free independent blog feed into your website**