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Once you have a website created, one of the most common questions I get asked is how do I start a blog or how do I add content to my website?
The best way for any small business to keep their customers up to date or provide them with more information is to create a blog. This also has the added benefit of making your website more Google-friendly and boosting your SEO. In addition, a Blog can be used to drive traffic to your website, which will hopefully turn into paying customers.
If you have a WordPress website, then adding a Blog to it is easy.
Why bother creating a Blog?
When you search on Google, the Google search engine looks across every post and page on every website for the matching words that the user has entered in their search. The same principle applies to all search engines.
These searched for words are known as the ‘KEYWORD’. A keyword can consist of multiple words.
The more pages and posts on your website with matching keywords, the more chances Google will have to find you.
Also, Google doesn’t like static websites. If you never update your website, Google will think it is no longer active. This means Google excludes you in preference to other websites that have been updated more recently.
Blog posts allow you to target more keywords and update your website regularly without impacting your main web pages.
What is the difference between Pages and Posts?
A Page and a Post are both ways of creating content on your website. These days, content is king on a website, so these are the two main areas to look at to boost your Google ranking.
A Page is usually a static piece of content, i.e. you create it once, point a menu to it and rarely update it. These are used for your Home Page, About Page, Contact page, privacy stuff, etc.
You can also create ‘Landing’ pages optimised for a specific topic. This means you could have a landing page for each of the services you offer or locations you cover (or some other variation). Then, when users search for this particular topic and find your landing page, they get all relevant info about the subject they searched for in one hit, without any other distractions.
Landing pages are also used a lot for offers to be active for a specific period of time. They can then be removed when the offer finishes.
Posts are content that is displayed via a Blog page. The Blog page simply shows all your blog posts.
You could think of the Blog page as a journal. The physical Blog page never changes, but as you write your journal entries (blog posts), then the content of your journal changes. The Blog page is considered static, but the blog post content is dynamic.
A blog post is the easiest type of content to add, and not worry about how people will navigate to it on your website. In addition, a blog post usually has a less formatted layout, so creating them is also easier.
What type of blog posts should I create?
Your blog should be related to topics your audience would be interested in that reflect your business.
For example, suppose you are a florist. In that case, you may want to cover topics detailing the flowers in season for each month or bouquet inspiration by season, colour, style. Or even how to make your flowers last longer, to name just a few.
Start thinking of your business from your customer’s point of view and think about the type of things that would be helpful and informative to them.
Maybe check out some of your competitors to see what they have done and what seems popular to their customers. I’m not saying copy it as you want it to reflect your own business style, but it might help give you some inspiration.
How to start a blog in 5 easy steps on your WordPress website:
- Create a blog page to display your blog posts
- Define the appearance of your blog page and post layouts
- Decide what general topics you are going to write about and create them as high-level categories
- Write your first post, checking to make sure it is SEO friendly
- Publish your post and share it with your audience.
Create a blog page to display your blog posts.
Before you write any blog posts, you need to first create your blog and make it available on your website.
If you have a WordPress website, this is as easy as creating a new page on your website and linking this in your navigational menu.
The page will then be defined as the Post Page in your website settings.
If you are unsure how to do this, get your web designer to set it up for you.
Define the appearance of your blog page and post layouts.
Once you have your blog page created, you will want to customise its appearance to be consistent with your main website. How you do this will depend on what tools, themes or plugins have been used to build the pages on your website.
You will also need to define the appearance of a single post page. Again this should be consistent with your main website.
You only need to define the appearance of the blog page and single post once. After that, all future blog posts will automatically be displayed in the specified format.
Again, if you are unsure how to do this, get your web designer to set this up for you.
Decide what topics you will write about and create them as high-level categories.
Before writing your first blog post, decide what general topics your blog will cover. This can, of course, be added to overtime. Still, it is helpful to define these general topics or categories upfront to group different types of your blog posts together.
Create your categories in the Categories section of your WordPress dashboard.
Write your first post, checking to make sure it is SEO friendly.
Once you have your blog set up, the only thing missing is the content. This content will attract your audience and build up your traffic.
I’ve covered creating a blog post here – how to write your first blog post. This also covers adding images or other media elements to liven up your post. This post will show you how to optimise your images for your website.
Each blog post should be made as SEO friendly as possible to enable you to increase your traffic. I have created a more detailed blog post on SEO – How to make SEO friendly blog posts.
Publish your post and share it with your audience.
Once you have written your blog post and checked it for SEO, give it a final proofread to catch any grammatical or spelling mistakes.
If you are happy everything is ready, hit the publish button.
There you have it you have learnt how to start a blog!
You can schedule the post to automatically publish sometime in the future or past. Obviously, if you choose a date in the past, it effectively publishes it immediately, but it is timestamped with the date you enter. This is useful if you want your posts to appear in a specific order.
Creating a Blog is such a useful marketing tool for your business. It doesn’t need to take up too much of your time as you can create as many, or as few, blog posts as you like. But every article you make is another piece of content that you can share on social media to show your expertise and build your audience.
Hubspot provide a much more in depth post on How to Write a Blog Post if you want to look into it further
If you want more information on how to start a blog and add it to your website, check out how we can help or get in touch, and we can work with you to create it for you.