With the likes of WordPress, It’s understandably easy to guess why most of us jump feet first and start building a blog without really knowing much about blogging…
Do I Really Need a Blog or Website?
It’s perhaps easiest to think of a blog as the dynamic section of your business website where updates and announcements are added on an ongoing basis. If you are blogging as a hobby, then by all means…
…But, the thing is, with there being so many blogs already, what can your blog offer that makes it worthwhile?
What do you expect from a blog?
Well, more and more businesses are embracing the idea of using a blog as a way of reaching out to both existing and potential customers. A ‘managed’ WordPress.com site makes this extremely easy for almost anyone with internet access.
For artist; designers, photographers, musicians and the likes, a blog may be used to showcase your work or create a closer rapport with your clients and followers.
You may also feel you need an online ‘space’ or forum for discussion, sharing ideas or helping others solve their problems. It sort of acts like a supplement to whatever it is you offer.
Blogging – where things may seem fuzzy.
In the early days, a blog was considered to be a personal take on a subject, normally the day-to-day experience from the writers perspective.
A further definition may go something like this; A blog is an online journal, normally arranged in chronological order…
A website, on the other hand, was, and, still is considered as a type of online brochure, shop front or informational guide. Which actually encompasses what a blog may be considered to be by many people that actually blog today.
How I break it down is to think of your overall business website or ‘blog’ as consisting of 2 parts;
1. Your Posts as; the continual or dynamic section of your website used for publishing updates.
2. Your Pages as; the static and normally evergreen section of your overall website. You may even include pages that break the standard layout of the WordPress theme you are using, with landing pages for marketing your products and services.
On this occasion, a ‘self-hosted’ option using WordPress makes this extremely easy with the aid of plugins and themes available, plus you have the flexibility to freely explore different frameworks, third-party integrations and much more.
Here are 3 top hosting providers for getting started with a self-hosted WordPress website. They all provide a simple 1-click installation solution to make things real simple.
So, do you need a blogging strategy
Remember we’re talking about blogging for business, so if you are serious about supporting your business with a blog, then it goes without saying that you will want to be perceived by your audience as a trustworthy source.
And how do you do that? By starting out in the right manner.
This may require some careful thinking… write about what you know or consider hiring writers to help produce content?
Also, if applicable, where will you source your imagery or graphics? Will you hire a freelance designer? Or, will you set up and design your website yourself?
And how about advertising and marketing, how will you go about performing the necessary tasks involved. Plus, you may need to reply to comments and other feedback from your visitors.
On top of all that, you will also need to deal with security. You are aware that WordPress is constantly being updated for security reasons as well as enhancements? And so are WordPress plugins and themes…
Ignoring updates can result in security breaches and malware being injected into the pages of your blog without you even knowing. Which is why you may need someone to keep an eye open for you.
Blogging, overall, isn’t really that simple. At least not as simple as it to today in setting up a blog. There are so many other factors surrounding the maintenance and management of a blog to consider.
Okay, so what are the fastest methods of monetizing your blog?
If you have absolutely no idea at this point how to do that, it’s probably because you do not have a product of your own. Although not entirely necessary, you should give some consideration for producing your own product for generating income.
Otherwise in the meanwhile, signing up for a Google Adsense account or becoming an affiliate with networks such as Share-a-Sale or Affiliate Window may be the simplest method to start with. [ see how to monetise ]
These networks consist of a number of brands or merchants that provide banner ads and other creatives or linked messages for placing on your website. You will also be provided with a unique affiliate link ‘id’ in order to keep track of when your visitors click your link before making a purchase.
Of course, there are other means of monetizing your website. However, for now, the above method is perhaps the most straight forward for beginners.
The link below will take you to a video that discusses some of the things you should know before building a website or blog.