Businesses have many options to communicate with their customers these days, and hosting can play an important role. There is direct mail, email newsletters, and even Twitter. One of the most effective methods to communicate with both current and future customers is a blog for your business.
With a blog you can announce new products and services, update customers on company news, and create a stronger personality for your business brand. Even if you have very little experience with technology and the Internet, you can create a business blog in just 4 easy steps.
Step 1 – Planning Your Blog – Before you get started, you’ll need to think about what you would include in your blog. Here are a few ideas for you. If you have physical locations for your business – then you may want to include directions and maps as part of your site. If you are frequently updating your products and services, can have a section for that. Do you have visually interesting products, or want to feature photos of your employees? Create a photo gallery section. The options are only limited by your imagination. Don’t worry if you don’t have a complete idea of your site before you start, you can always create new site features once your blog has launched.
Step 2 – Selecting a Great Name – In order for your customers to find your blog on the Internet, they will need to type in your domain name. This is effectively the name of your site. It is best to pick a name that is short (if possible) and memorable. That way, people don’t have to look it up every time they want to visit. The greatest challenge in selecting a great domain name is that many of the shortest and most memorable names are already taken. So how do you know what names are available? You check with a domain name registrar in their search box to find out. To find one just search Google under: domain names. In the past I have used GoDaddy for .coms, or you can search here for .co.uk domains. Just keep typing in names or variations of names into the search box until you find one that you like. Then follow the process to register the domain name. Prices are usually around $10 U.S. per year.
Step 3 – Set up a Hosting Account for Your Blog – Now that you have a name that you like, you will need to have a website hosting account to actually hold the contents of your blog for everyone to see. This is your web hosting account. Since we are making this process as easy as possible, I suggest that you find a web host that is compatible with WordPress. WordPress is a pre-packaged blogging software that makes running and managing your blog very easy. This shouldn’t be a problem as there are many hosts that are compatible with WordPress. To help you find a quality host you can also compare web hosting prices at FindMyHost.com. Simply sign up for the very lowest cost hosting account that will run WordPress. If you look around you will find hosts that will install WordPress for you. Costs for the hosting are less than $10 U.S. per month.
Step 4 – Creating the Content for Your Blog – Here is the fun part! Remember that planning that you did in Step1? Now we’ll take those ideas and make them into web pages for all your friends and family to view. This is the reason that we selected WordPress as our blogging platform – it’s very easy to use. Almost as easy as typing an email. There are also a couple of really good tutorials no using WordPress. If you take a look at these you can see how easy it really is. Also, there are many extra programs and add-ons written for the WordPress platform that allow you to do very elaborate things with little extra effort.
That’s it! You are on your way to having a fantastic resource for all your customers and sales prospects. One other tip – although it is difficult to keep updating your blog consistently, if you make the effort to do so your customers will notice. Good luck creating your own business blog!