The Internet quite literally places the world at your fingertips. Unfortunately, with all of the possibilities available, it can quickly go from exciting to overwhelming.
Last month, we talked about why a blog is absolutely essential to your marketing plan. I challenged you to select traditional blogging, the ever-growing video blogging medium or a combination of the two. Now that you know which form you want to use on your blog, it is time to tackle the seemingly daunting task of selecting and implementing your blog.
ALL BLOGS ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL
Let me kick this off by saying all blogs are not created equal.
At the most basic level, there are two types of blogs: Third party and self-hosted.
Third-party blogs are hosted by a blog engine — for example, Blogger. So, your blog’s URL would be www.yourblogname.blogger.com. It’s very tempting to create a blog on one of these sites because they are very simple to set up. You do not have to have a domain, hosting or anything other than an email address. The problem with a blog like this, apart from the strange URL appearing unprofessional, is the fact that your content is only serving to boost the search engine rankings of the blog engine. You are blogging on their domain, so you are building their rankings. We want your content to be working hard for you, not for some third party!
Remember: Apart from building raving fans, a blog is crucial in building your search-engine rankings because nowadays it really is more about making yourself find-able.
This brings us to the self-hosted option. This is the type of blog you need. What self-hosted means is that your blog lives on your existing website. The URL will likely look something like www.yourwebsite.com/blog. Aside from appearing more professional, this is also significantly easier to remember for your clients and prospects.
ESSENTIALS FOR BLOGGING
The most essential pieces you need in your blogging technology are a simple editor and fields for search engine optimization (SEO), which include keywords, meta tags, title tags, etc. There is no end to the bells and whistles you can find on many blogging platforms, but these two things are enough to get you up and running while allowing you to leverage your content to drive your marketing goals. My personal favorite and recommendation for you is WordPress.org. WordPress is a very flexible blogging platform that, with a little practice, will do everything you need and more for blogging and boosting your SEO.
On your website, ask your developer to add a simple “blog” link to the navigation so it is easy for your website visitors to find. When you’re first starting out in blogging and building your audience, do not try to get clever with what you call your blog on your website. For example, we’ve all seen where businesses will call their blog link “Ramblings” or something of the like. Aside from possibly having a negative connotation, your visitors will not know what that is. If you end up creating an avid fan base and you’ve named your blog something your people would recognize, then you can considering changing it in the navigation. For now, keep it simple; clear beats clever every time.
PROGRESS, NOT PERFECTION
The world of blogging and online marketing is vast. For now, I want you to focus on creating a space where you can showcase you and your team’s expertise and personality. If you do not know anything about SEO, that is fine. You can learn as you go or delegate it to your team. If you are not sure about what to write about, do not worry; we’re going to cover that next month. If you hit a roadblock with your blog, ask for help. I want to see you making progress and letting go of perfection.
This month is all about getting that blog on your site. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does need to exist.
I just want you to do this one thing: Ask your web developer to implement a blog on your website. Insist that it is self-hosted and allows for search engine optimization. Also, ask for a blog link to be added to your navigation.
Next month, I’m going to teach you how to make sure your blog is consistent, interesting and effective. We’re talking about how to create what I call your “catcher’s mitt” through editorial calendars, brainstorming and implementation.Stephanie Gordon is the founder and CEO of Psych’d Marketing, a boutique marketing firm based in Gainesville, Florida. She holds degrees in both psychology and business from the University of Florida and leverages this knowledge to create results for her clients. Psych’d offers full service, concierge marketing solutions for small to medium sized businesses who want more ideal clients but do not have the time, how-to knowledge or desire to market themselves. Stephanie prides herself on connecting phenomenal businesses with the people who truly need them. www.PsychdMarketing.com