If you’re a business and you’re thinking about setting up a blog that’s a really smart move.
Why? Simply because websites that create more content get better rankings than the ones who don’t. In fact, we’ve got the evidence to back this up.
In June 2016 we studied over 540 UK B2B (Business to Business) businesses to find out what are the characteristics of the top businesses. We found out that the top websites with a top 3 ranking in Google had over double the number of pages that average websites had. You can find an executive summary of our findings here.
The reason that’s important is that a blog is a great way to create that extra content. Even better, setting up a blog is free and extremely quick.
What’s The Best Blogging Tool?
We would definitely recommend WordPress. In fact you can either use WordPress as a standalone blog section on your website or you can use it as a fully fledged Content Management System (CMS) and build your entire website using WordPress.
In fact WordPress powers almost 25% of all websites on the internet today so you won’t be making a wrong choice with WordPress. The reason it’s so popular is that (apart from being free) it has loads of great features. There are tons of great templates (WordPress Themes) and loads of programs called Plugins that will add extra functionality to your site.
It also performs really well in SEO terms because there are some great SEO plugins that help you get the most out of your website and blog and build a following online and get more traffic.
How Easy Is It To Set Up A Blog?
Setting up a WordPress Blog is very easy. If you consider yourself as a novice, non-technical user believe me you can set up a WordPress Blog.
If you want to use it as a complete website then you would install it in the root directory. Otherwise you can set up a sub domain called ‘blog’ and then the URL for your website would appear as http://blog.YOURDOMAIN.com
Once it’s set up you get a basic looking blog. If you want something a bit nicer looking you can use a ready made template – these are called WordPress Themes. There are loads to choose from – some are paid and some are free. Again, installing a WordPress Theme is really easy.
This can all be done on our Shared Hosting Plans that have a MySQL Database so you’d need to go for the Starter Plan.
What Do I Blog About?
OK, so you’ve got your blog set up, now you need to start creating content. As we mentioned earlier, websites that create more content get more traffic so you need a plan to create that all important content on an ongoing basis.
Let’s keep things simple. Your blog exists to educate your audience. It’s not for selling – your main pages do a great job of that (I call them your money pages).
So in your mind you need to first make that distinction. Your ‘Money Pages’ are for selling. Your Blog is for educating.
Once you’ve got that settled in your mind you need to focus on your audience. You need to think who is it that you are writing for and why. Try to come up with one or two sentences that encapsulates what it is your blog will offer them. Keep it basic, something like this:
“My Audience needs to make a decision about SUBJECT X. My blog will provide expert insight about INSERT SUBJECT to help them make an informed decision”.
Of course that’s just a template – feel free to use it or change it for your needs. The point is to have something you can focus on when you are creating content.
Now that you have that you can start to focus on creating content. How often should you create content? As often as you feel comfortable doing it. Let’s face it, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you can do one piece per week, great. If you can do three, perfect.
But just try to be consistent and make it a natural part of your routine. It’s like an ongoing conversation with your audience.
Are There Blogging Content Formats I Can Use?
Absolutely. Why reinvent the wheel? Just use Content Formats that are proven to work.
Here are some blogging ideas for you:
- Definitive Guides – Long form content on a specific point i.e. Definitive Guide to Choosing A Diamond
- List Based Content i.e. 10 best X, 15 Examples of Y
- Expert Round Up – Contact a few experts and ask for their answers to one or two focused questions
- Infographics – Identify one argument and support it with ten to twelve supporting facts or statistics
- Buyer’s Guide e.g.: VPS Buyer’s Guide
- Local Guides
- What’s On Guides
Setting up a blog is a wise move on your part. Websites with more content get better rankings and a blog allows you to do that.
WordPress is the blogging tool of choice these days. WordPress is free with any of our hosting plans that have MySQL Databases (Starter Plan and up).
WordPress can be installed with one click using Softaculous.
When you create a blog think about your Audience and identify the main message of your blog. Use tried and tested Content Formats rather than reinventing the work.
We hope you have found this guide useful on the costs of setting up a website.
Thanks for reading and leave your questions below to keep the conversation going.