Want to set up a blog for your small business? If you are looking for a way to stay in touch with potential customers and current clients, consider starting a blog. Business blogging is a good tool for you to connect with people within the same industry and build relationships with prospects and customers in your target market.

A blog allows you to post regular content that show off your ability. Articles, pictures and videos are some forms of posts to help visitors current with what is going on with you and your business. To attract your target audience, make sure the posts have stories, updated content and other stuff that they want to get regularly.

Business Blog Versus Personal Blog

You may already know about personal blogs with random posts about personal incidents and thoughts. Most people build personal blogs to express themselves and to keep in touch with family and friends as well as those who have previous connections with them.

Compared to personal blogs, business blogs may have similar content updates and personal stories but the purpose is different. In addition to connecting with current customers you may also want to take care of those interested in your business. You don’t want to blatantly show off your stuff but start your conversations with content that softly promotes it instead.

For that reason, to set up a blog for business you will need a good plan. You don’t want to post randomly because you care about what post your readers want to get and when they want to receive it. In fact, your blog will only help your business if it focuses on meeting their needs.

Where to Set Up a Blog

If you blog for a hobby or other personal reasons you can set up a blog using a free blog host or platform like Blogger.com or WordPress.com. These free blogging services offer free blog software, hosted in their servers with various themes and plug-ins, to users. Most free blog sites will walk you through the process so your blog can be up and running in no time.

However, free blog sites are not the right place for starting a business blog. There are many reasons to avoid free blog sites for business blogging. Some of them are no unique domain name, limited choices of templates and less control over content presentation.

You will want to build your blog in a business-friendly, blog platform installed in your own domain name. A blogging platform is software that allows you to publish entries or posts in a blog format, where the most recent posts appear first. And the blog software that I recommend you use is self-hosted WordPress. You can find the reasons of my recommendation here.

The term self-hosted means you have to host the WordPress blog software in your own web host. This term exists because there are two options for working with WordPress. First, you can host your WordPress blog at WordPress.com. However, you can also install the open source software from WordPress.org on your own web host.
You will need to host the self-hosted WordPress blog software at an affordable small business web host. And the web host that I recommend you to use is Bluehost. Why Bluehost? First, Bluehost is the featured and recommended web host by WordPress.org. Second, I have personally hosted my main websites at Bluehost since 2008 and with no complaint at all.

4 Easy Steps to Set Up a Blog with Bluehost

1. Preparation – You will need a credit card and a domain name to get started. If you haven’t got a domain name it’s easy just click the Select link to sign up with the standard plan here.

2. Get a domain name for Free – Because you set up a blog for business make sure you stick with the .com option. Now, type in a name to check whether they are available for you to register. If the name that you want is not available you’ll be given several options to choose from.

3. Set up account and choose a package – Once you pick the domain name that you want you will have to set up an account with Bluehost and choose a package. After you fill in the Account Information go to the Package Information. There are many options to choose from the dropdown menu. The standard account plans have 3 options: 36 month for $4.95/mo, 24 month for $5.95/mo and 6.95/mo for 12 mo.

All you need to do is choose a plan and check off all other offers. Make sure to finish your account sign up process. And every time you’re directed to an up-sale page that offer you extra stuff simply skip it and go the next step.

4. Get free installation service from me – If you sign up your hosting plan with the Bluehost link above (my affiliate link) I will install your WordPress blog on Bluehost. I’ll also install necessary plugins like WordPress SEO, Akismet, W3 Total cache and WordPress.com stats for you so you can start blogging right away.

Host your blog with Bluehost!

To get that free service do this. Make sure you sign up with the link above. After you’ve signed up with Bluehost just send me your login info via this form and I’ll email you back within 24 hours with the login info for your new WordPress blog. Don’t worry, you can change the login info at any time (I’ll show you how to do it if you need help) and I’ll destroy your email once you’re satisfied with installation.

Create a Plan for Your Content and Start Writing

Managed to set up a blog that you want? Good. Now you’re ready to start blogging. But decide what will be the topic and coverage of your blog first. If you sell golf equipment you may want to set up a blog that provides golf swing tips. You can create posts that talk about how to swing a golf club, how to choose a golf driver and so on. Also, write about your own game in a way to tell and entertain your readers.

Check how many hour per week you will want to commit for your new blog. Also, schedule how often you will post new content to your blog. Do you want to put a new post daily, twice a week or weekly? Make sure you stick with your publishing plan because regular, quality posting is what readers and search engines expect from you.

The easiest way to find first things to write about is to start with list of questions that your target audience might want to know about your topic. Another good idea for content is writing interesting stories about yourself and/or your business. Or you may want to learn how to create customer centric content here.

Promote Your Blog

A blog without readers is useless. If you’re just starting out ask your professional friends to check your new blog. Ask their opinions about the blog and how to improve it. And while you’re doing that make sure you optimize your posts for readers and search engines. Make sure you write your post’s keyword, title and description with Yoast WordPress SEO.

Own social media account like Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus or even a professional network like Linkedin? Don’t forget to promote your new post on your account. Also, visit other blogs in the same industry and make conversations with the owners and other readers so they know what you have to offer them and your unique expertise as well.

Overall, no matter what your business goal is simply set up a blog. You can set up a blog to interact with existing customers or to build relationships with new prospects. But make sure to consistently post quality content that your target audience want to get and use. This way you will develop a strong personal brand and followers with your conversations.

What to Do Next?

Once you set up a blog learn how to optimize it for readers and search engines here. If you want to know how to create customer centric content click here.