Getting Started With Blogging: 16 Resources to Boost Your Blog

social media how toAre you a business owner or professional with something to say?

Do you want to be considered an expert in your field?

Whether you are a marketing pro, business owner or professional, a blog could significantly boost your career or business.

In this article you’ll find all of the tips and resources you’ll need for getting started with blogging.

#1: Create Your Blog

There are a variety of blogging platforms; however, the only real option for a business blogger is WordPress. You want something that looks and feels professional, because your blog should be a reflection of your brand, mission and business. And these days, some business owners even opt out of a traditional website altogether in favor of a company blog.

If you haven’t already done so, you’ll want to register a domain and decide on hosting for your blog. Those who already have a company website may just need to add a blog. WordPress is easy to use and the site will basically walk you through the process. Sign up, choose your theme and you’re ready to go.

How to Choose a Domain Name: Although it’s likely you’ll use your name or the name of your company as your domain, there are other options. This post from Amy Lynn Andrews offers no-nonsense tips for naming your blog.

amy lynn andrews article

AmyLynnAdrews.com shows you how to pick your web address.

How to Set Up a Hosted WordPress Site: Mashable tackles WordPress.org versus WordPress.com in this informative article by Matt Petronzio. The article also covers registering a domain, hosting and downloading software and extras like themes and plugins.

matt petronzio article about wordpress blogs

Install WordPress with this Mashable.com walkthrough.

Using Templates to Build a WordPress Site: Nathan Segal shows you how to search for, install and activate the right themes in this article on HTMLGoodies.

nathan segal article

HTMLGoodies.com shows you how to install your WordPress theme.

#2: Design Your Blog

A blog should be a reflection of your personality, company culture and expertise. Before you start designing your blog, look around at other blogs. Check out blogs you like, blogs you dislike and competitors’ blogs, and then make a list of what you like and don’t like about them. Keep this list in mind as you create your own blog.

Here are some additional blog design resources:

11 Essential Pages to Have on a WordPress Blog: Over on ThemeFuse, Karol K suggests static pages your blog should have so you can give readers and potential customers additional information about you and your company. About, Contact, Services, Subscribe and Resources are just a few of the essentials.

karol k article

Use this ThemeFuse article to make sure your WordPress site has all the right pages.

Anatomy of the Perfect Blog: On The Secret is in the Sauce (aka The SITS Girls), Francesca Banducci maps out “the perfect blog.” This resource highlights design and other important elements to consider such as the header, colors, fonts, footer, social media buttons and newsletter signup.

francesca banducci article

TheSitsGirls.com shows you the elements you should include in your WordPress site.

Best WordPress Plugins: 54 Experts Share Amazing Plugins to Inspire You: WordPress plugins are custom features that allow you to get the most from your blog. Functionality ranges from improving SEO and social sharing to installing forms and galleries. On RazorSocial, Ian Cleary asked top social media professionals for their favorite WordPress plugins, so you have the best resources from people who use them regularly.

ian cleary article

Find 54 WordPress plugins on RazorSocial.com.

#3: Plan Your Content

The first decision you have to make is what and how often you’re going to post. Be sure to come up with something realistic. If you can reasonably blog once or twice a week, start by scheduling a weekly blog post. It may not sound like a lot, but it’s better not to overwhelm yourself. You also want to serve up a well-balanced diet of content.

4 Steps to an Awesome Content Calendar (and 6 Things You Need on It): James Scherer recommends you start by brainstorming ideas and creating a content calendar. Check out these suggestions on PostPlanner. If you know in advance what and when you’re posting, it’ll make the blogging process a lot less stressful.

james scherer article

PostPlanner.com shows you how to make a content calendar.

Using Categories and Tags Effectively on Your Blog: To make your blog content easier to find, you must categorize your content and then add tags, which function as keywords. It’s helpful to define your categories and tags before you start writing, so you’re consistent right off the bat. This ProBlogger article by Michael Martin has everything you need to know.

13 Ideas to Inspire Your Blog Content: If you want excellent blog posts, you have to start with good content. Ideas come from everywhere—you just need to know where to look. Denise Wakeman has wonderful suggestions for generating ideas, which include setting up Google alerts, seeing what others in your niche blog about and asking your community.

#4: Write Your Articles

When you go through the process of launching a blog, it’s easy to forget why you decided to blog in the first place. A friendly reminder: You want to write so you can share your expertise with your audience and hopefully pick up some new clients in the process.

But how do you get your content to rise above the noise?

Blogging Best Practices: The Ideal Length for the Perfect Blog Post: Shelley Pringle answers this frequently asked question with her post on the Business 2 Community blog.

shelley pringle article

Business2Community.com help you figure out how long your posts should be.

26 Tips for Writing Great Blog Posts: Debbie Hemley shares the A-Zs of creating outstanding content for your blog. This excellent reference covers everything from the anatomy of a blog post to tips for getting into the writing zone.

16 Top Tips From Blogging Experts for Beginners: Blogging may seem daunting, but there’s nothing to be concerned about. Check out Belle Beth Cooper‘s comprehensive list of tips from experts on the Buffer App site. They offer sensible advice and a reality check.

belle beth cooper article

Explore 16 blogging tips on BufferApp.com.

#5: Avoid Blogging Pitfalls

It takes time to develop a business blogging audience. Here are some other things you should watch out for so you don’t get discouraged from the get-go.

Why Bloggers Fail: On Social Triggers, Derek Halpern says that too much content, poor promotion and lack of specifics can cause a blog to fail. So how does a blogger beat the odds? For starters, they set realistic expectations and don’t give up.

5 Reasons Why Blogging Is Not Working for Your Business: Strategy is the key to successful blogging. On ProBlogger, Jawad Kahn explains why blogs need to have a clear objective and target market, among other things, in order to succeed. He says, “Blogging is much more about long-term planning than short-term gains.”

jawad kahn article

Discover what’s holding your blog back on ProBlogger.com.

#6: Promote Your Posts

Once you start blogging, be sure to promote your posts on social networks, share them in your newsletter and comment on the posts of others to drive traffic back to your posts.

50 Ways to Promote and Market Your Blog Posts: In addition to social networks, videos and ads, Samuel Pustea addresses other possibilities for getting the most out of your blog promo in this article on JeffBullas.com. Other things to take into account are timing, guest blogging, share buttons and more.

samuel pustea article

Find out how to best promote your blog content on JeffBullas.com.

32 Experts Share Their Top Blog Post Promotion Tips: On Kikolani, Kristi Hines asked 32 social media professionals for their favorite promo tips. Favorites in this article include connecting with influencers, participating in link parties within your niche and sharing your content on relevant LinkedIn groups.

Over to You

A blog is a great way to showcase your areas of expertise online, but it requires commitment. It may take a while to see the results you’re looking for. Use these tips to give your blog a strong foundation.

What do you think? Do you have a blog for your business? What do you blog about? How often do you blog? Share your blogging tips in the comments.

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About the Author, Debra Eckerling

Debra Eckerling is an editor at Social Media Examiner. The creator of Write On Online, a website and community for writers, Debra helps individuals define, plan and achieve their goals. Other posts by »




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  • http://livefromsansebastian.com June

    Great article! Thanks for the advices – very useful!

  • David Prochaska

    Great post! There’s lots of great golden nuggets in there. I really liked the 54 WordPress Plugins used by the experts. I really need to incorporate the Editorial Calender into my blog, and I’ve also head good things about Opt-In monster. Anyways, loved the post. #bookmarked

  • http://www.nolongerunemployed.com/ Matt Schmidt

    Nice tips. I especially like the inclusion of avoiding blogging pitfalls. Too many may give up early out of frustration and not understand it takes time to become a success.

  • Chris

    While there is some interesting ideas here, you lost me after I read #4 suggesting the most read blogs contain over 2400 words and then in # 5 said people only read 60% of a blog so keep it short. My first thought was that I prefer to read shorter blogs and started writing mine with a 1000 word average goal. After several months I reduced it to 750 words and found my views and readership spiked. So #4 & 5 and my own experience are contradictory.

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Thank you so much! Glad it was useful.

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Thanks, David. Glad you liked it! An editorial calendar is so important for keeping you on track. Good luck!

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Totally agree, Matt. People tend to think that if they don’t get instant success, it’s not worth it. It’s totally worth the long haul! Good luck with your blogging! And thanks for the comment.

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Thanks for your comment, Chris! Successful blogging, like many things, comes from trial and error. Am glad you found a good word count. Have the battle … and half the fun … comes from figuring out what works. Good luck with your blog.

  • http://entrebond.com Blake Schreckhise

    I think I need to get me a blog calendar together, make things go a little more smoothly!

  • http://entrebond.com Blake Schreckhise

    I like really short blogs as well. Although I have yet to figure out what works best for me I like around 500 word posts.

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Good luck, Blake. Let me know how it goes!

  • http://letsgrowdigital.com Danny Rosenberg

    Yes, this statistic surprised me as well–particularly since I’m rewarded with good SEO after publishing only 300 words. I wonder if people are really reading blogs with over 2400 words…

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Blake, I think around 500 is the minimum (back in the days when I wrote for print, that was roughly column length), though I do know people who blog with fewer words than that. You want to have quality, consistent content. That’s key!

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Good for you, Danny! I think length also depends on type of blog, content strategy, mission, etc. If you are doing case studies/detailed analysis, you’re going to need more words.

  • http://entrebond.com Blake Schreckhise

    Will do!

  • http://entrebond.com Blake Schreckhise

    Yes I think it all trial and error like you said

  • http://www.cagetiger.com/ Cagetiger

    Lots of good information and Links to even more – Thanks great for a beginner Blogger

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Thanks for your comment. Happy blogging!

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Thanks for your comment, Bibi. Glad it was helpful. Best of luck with your blog!

  • Iyer

    Pretty useful Debra! Thank you!

  • http://www.stylishwalks.com/ Nikky StylishWalks

    Great post ! Loved reading this. Will definitely implement this for promotion of my blog. I’ve been reading a lot about keeping the content long.

    Well Debra, Do you’ve any suggestion based on your personal experience and what is the average content length one needs to think of ? as one cannot write an article of 2000+ odd words always i feel

  • http://www.blogsdaddy.com/ Gagan Masoun

    wow, wow and wow

    Its really very interesting article.

  • http://www.waynejohn.com/ Wayne John

    I’m bookmarking this post and will refer to it frequently. So much good stuff in here. I’ve been blogging for over 5 years, with a year and half off, and it’s amazing how much there is to know and do about it. Thank you for putting it all together like this, perfect!

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Thanks for your comment!

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Thanks! Hope you found it helpful!

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Thanks, Nikky! My posts generally range between 500 – 1,500 words. Again, a lot of length depends on what you are posting (subject and type), frequency, etc. Longer articles, like this one, can be broken up with bolded headers, which makes them easier to read. Q&As are also good if you want to write longer posts (just bold the questions to separate the content). Good luck. And please keep me posted!

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Thanks for your comment, Wayne. Glad you found it helpful. Happy blogging!

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Let me know how it goes!

  • Ian Campbell

    Great article and really well written, sort of a perfect example of how to curate content properly. My business and blog is a B2B set up, offering web design and marketing. Do these tips apply to this type of blog as well or are there better ways to do B2B?

  • http://StacieWalker.com/ Stacie Walker

    Fantastic blogging tips for the seasoned or newbie content creator.

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Ian, I think the blogging basics apply to all businesses, whether b2c or b2b. It’s all about expressing your expertise, sharing you pov, and making yourself the go-to person in your industry for your current and potential clients. Good luck!

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Thanks, Stacie! Appreciate your comment!

  • http://www.mysitegothacked.com.au Michael Colman

    Thanks for the article. I have just started out my blog in the last month promoting security for WP sites. Is a very niche topic. The hardest thing is promoting the blog posts and getting “good” traffic to the site that engage.

    Looking forward to reading the promotional articles you have recommended.

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Thanks for your comment, Michael! Good luck with the blog. Please keep me posted!

  • http://flysights.com Andrew G

    This is an amazing article. Priceless resources and tips that I will use for my blog. Thanks guys!!

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    You are welcome, Andrew! Glad it was helpful. Happy Blogging!

  • http://www.writingmydestiny.com/ Jawad Khan

    A very comprehensive post Debra!

    Thanks for including me as well :)

    Cheers

  • SMISS

    Thanks for article, useful tips!

  • burgeongrow

    I am considering to start a blog. I had no idea where to start or what to blog about! But this really helped me alot! Thanx

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    You are welcome! Thanks for the comment!

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Thanks! Glad you found them helpful!

  • http://GuidedGoals.com Debra Eckerling

    Am so happy to hear that. Thanks for you comment. Let me know how it goes. Happy Blogging!

  • Jacqueline O. Moleski

    Why promote WordPress over Blogger? I have three blogs – one on Live Journal, a Tumblr, and one on Blogger. Blogger was, by far, the easiest to set-up and it’s the easiest to use. The drag-and-drop design studio, and WYSIWYG editing page for writing posts mean you don’t need to know HTML, XML, or CSS to get started. It’s also free and you can turn off ads.
    Second, WHY the business focus? Don’t you think it’s possible to write a blog about a hobby or personal interest? What about writing for fun or the sheer joy of it?
    Finally, and most importantly, I think many peopl, especially young people, and retirees start a blog about a hobby for fun – but they have some idea in their head of turning their hobby into a profession or at least a second job for pay. An example would be an amateur photographer who creates a website in the hopes of becoming a professional, or at least selling prints of her or his work.

  • Renee Nugent

    Thanks for highlighting the importance of choosing a domain name. There’s a really interesting situation at the moment here in Australia over blog domain names, what started as a public announcement has resulted in a outcry from the blogging community over ‘domain parking’, was wondering if you could perhaps write a blog explaining this a little further, as it’s something I’d never heard of 12 months ago. Anyway, here’s an article on what’s happening, it’s pretty unbelievable to watch unfold

    http://eftm.com.au/2014/06/mummy-bloggers-at-war-over-domain-name-tactics-15658

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Hi Jacqueline, all of the content published on Social Media Examiner is for marketing professionals… in the business world. There are other sites for blogging for other purposes.

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Thanks for sharing, Renee, and for the suggestion. This isn’t really aligned with our main focus of showing marketing professionals how to use social media.

  • http://tech4more.com/ sudhir shukla

    really awesome article, till i found for starting a blog..covers all important things..

  • David

    Thank you!









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