How to Start a Blog for Your Business That Actually Makes Money

How to Start a Blog for Your Business That Actually Makes Money




So you’ve decided that starting a blog is the best way to market your business moving forward. When we first started HighSpark and our blog on presenting and design, we quickly realized that it was not as easy as most make it seem. Over a few years, we’ve managed to grow our email list to about 11,000 people by being deliberate with how we run our blog.

If you’re new to the publishing space and want to get started on the right foot, here are some easy steps to ensure you build your blog properly from the beginning.

1. Identify why you’re starting the blog.

The ‘why’ I’m referring to here is tied more closely to your business goals. If you’re looking to get immediate sales through a blog from the get-go, look elsewhere. Blogging and content marketing, in general, is a long-term commitment. It can be powerful, but only if you commit to it consistently.

Be clear on which of these you’re starting a blog to do:

a) Build credibility as a subject matter expert

b) Engage with your audience to drive traffic

c) Boost your search profile on engines like Google

d) Garner sales for your company

e) Monetize viewership from ads or sponsors

f) Build a list

g) All of the above

What you decide on will affect the content you put out and how you decide to run it. For B2B companies, their blog typically sits at the top of their marketing funnel to drive qualified traffic to their website and build credibility for their company and offerings. It’s hardly ever a ‘build a blog and make money’ scenario.

Writing a blog without an intentional bottom line can be disastrous in the long term because of the time invested without a return. In our case, our blog is an avenue to build expert authority for our brand, collect information of prospects and boost our search profile on Google. We have managed the content we publish as such.

2. Select your niche.

Before you even register your domain name or host your blog, it’s critical to know exactly who you’re serving. Typically, your niche will be tied closely to your business and expertise. For our company, we write mainly to executives who want to develop better presentations in a different way. This profile has shaped the kind of content we create and how we reach out to our clients.

The type of audience you want and what you’d like them to do will affect the language you use, and these metrics help you as the webmaster to craft content that resonates with them.

An easy way to do this for your blog is to ask yourself these questions:




  • What are the hopes and dreams of my readers?

  • How can I help them achieve those dreams with content?

  • Does the content I put out help to build my blog’s brand as trustworthy to these readers?

  • What is the follow-up action I’d like them to take after reading my blog?

3. Decide on your domain name and hosting provider.

Selecting a domain name

Getting bogged down by this decision is the worst, but it’s not something to take lightly. Here are some tips:

  • Try to have a short domain name. Shorter URLs are easier to remember and type.

  • Use words that are easy to spell. This makes sharing your posts much easier.

  • Choose a name that implies the niche of your blog. This way, your readers can immediately guess what your blog is about, even if they’ve never heard of it before.

  • Don’t box yourself too much into one niche. If your domain name is too specific, this can stop you from expanding your niche later on.

Selecting a host

If you’re just starting out, there is no hard-and-fast rule or recommendation for picking a web host. Generally, there are some affordable options that work great for new blog owners, and more specialized and optimized options for blogs with more traffic.

Here are some key things to note:

  • If you intend to host your website on the WordPress CMS, ensure that your web host has a cPanel dashboard that lets you install WordPress in a single click.

  • Test the host’s support staff to ensure you can get help when you need it. There will be instances when you need technical help, so try speaking to the support staff to gauge responsiveness and competency before signing up.

  • Hosting that is cheap upfront tends to have more expensive renewal rates, so ensure that you keep tabs on how much you’re paying.

  • Try to get web hosts that also provide a free domain upfront when you first sign up so that you can save some money.

5. Set up a theme for your website.

WordPress offers thousands of free theme options by default that allow you to customize the visual design of your blog. For our website, we use the Divi theme from Elegant Themes – a drag-and-drop builder that allows non-programmers like us to make design changes really easily.

Starting a blog can potentially boost your business by helping you reach out to more potential customers and build authority. Don’t let the inertia of starting stop you – it’s a lot easier to get started than you think. Good luck!

 






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