Create exposure and increase business revenue. That’s the main reason you need to start a blog for small business.
There are lots of platforms to promote your small business but for me, using a blog is one of the best ever methods to achieve sales.
I tell you why.
Because peoples who visit your business blog normally came from search engines. Google, Yahoo, Bing, you name it.
They type the inquiry or question on the search engine. Next, the search engine suggests the related answer for them.
The customer then goes to the article or review in a blog. Read through the articles and found a solution that can solve their issue. End up, they purchase something on that blog recommendation or sell.
This type of customer is very targeted traffic. They have a problem, they need a solution, and make a purchase. Easy to convert to a sale.
The only thing to achieve this sales funnel by using a website or a blog.
Let’s say you are using Facebook, people don’t search for a solution on Facebook. It’s the nature of media social, for fun and entertainment.
Even if you’re using Facebook Ads, the solution you provide not 100% targeted to the ‘hungry solution’ customers. The ads might go to the target customers but after they scroll the Facebook wall.
I’m not against Facebook. It has own ‘game’ to attract potential customers but for me in terms of conversion rate, the blog wins miles ahead.
If you solely depend on social media, there are limitations and restrictions on the terms and conditions you have to obey.
You can get more likes and followers but once you abuse (intended or not), your account and thousand of fans on it will be gone.
A blog is a great marketing platform. You can use other marketing platforms to tell peoples about your business.
But did you know that there are other things very special about having a business blog?
It’s your own property.
With that, you can:
- Create a relationship with potential customers and make friends
- Get more exposure. The sky is the limit.
- Collect more subscriber and more visitor
Clearly, you know why successful businesses have their own business blog. Business needs customers that come from those targeted traffics. So you also need those kinds of tools, a business blog.
Next, how to start a blog for small business?
This is a very comprehensive and in-depth step-by-step in 2020 for you to create a blog.
Take your time to learn. A blog is like a business. It’s a marathon not 100 meters sprints. Along the journey, you will learn more and more to create a successful business blog.
Let’s find out!
Note: This step-by-step contains affiliate links to products that I recommend. If you purchase something from this page, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you.
Step 1: Define Business Goal
Actually, it’s easy to start a business blog. The one thing that really matters and important to success is passion.
As for me, the business goal only divides into two:
1. Mission – Your core business. It’s what your company does, who your customers or how your business works.
2. Vision – A long-term goal. Your business hope and dreams. In most cases, you want to be the number one, top priority, or authority in the market. It’s the ultimate goal of the business.
Step 2: Choose a Reliable Web Hosting
To start a blog for small business, you need web hosting and domain name.
- Web hosting – to host your web, blog, data, articles, images, videos, etc.
- Domain Name – the address of your blog.
The web hosting I recommend is SiteGround since it’s very reliable, faster, cost-effective, feature-rich, and secured.
To register Web Hosting, please follow the steps below:
1. Go to SiteGround.com
2. Navigate to Hosting, click WEB HOSTING
2. There are three (3) plans available. For a new business that only has one blog or website, you may choose StartUp plan.
If you decided to have more than one blog, it’s good to choose for GrowBig or GoGeek which can host unlimited websites/blogs.
Click on GET PLAN to continue for the domain name registration.
For the StartUp plan, the promotion cost for a month is $3.95 but normally I subscript for one (1) year. A month is too short to determine the efficiency of the blog.
For 1st year, you will enjoy the promotional cost at $5.95/month or $71.40/year.
On the next billing cycle, it goes back to the regular price which is $11.95/month or $143.40/year.
By using SiteGround, you already save $72 for the first year. For a small business, it’s lots of savings.
Step 3: Register a Domain Name
1. Select Register a New Domain.
2. Enter your desired domain name for the blog. Make it short and easy to remember. Prefer to have the domain name the same with your business name. Then click PROCEED.
3. It’s recommended to get a .com domain name because more popular, worldwide, and authoritative. When someone asks for your blog name, it’s easy to describe the .com name rather than other extensions.
SiteGround also listed popular domain name extension with .com at the top of the list.
4. On SiteGround, domain name registration costs you $15.95. This is the one (1) year subscription. By the end of the expiry (12 months), you have to renew at the same cost.
5. If you click proceed and the domain name you have chosen is not available, try using another domain name. This is because the domain name already purchases by someone else.
6. Upon success choose the domain name, it will bring to another registration page as below. Fill up your personal information and payment details.
7. On the Purchase information, here the tips to choose for Data Center location. There are a few locations available but try to choose nearest to your customer’s location.
The nearer the location the faster your blog to be accessed by your customers.
8. On Extra Services, I recommend choosing Domain Privacy to protect your personal information been available on the public. This is to reduce your information been used by spammer or scammer by sending unwanted emails later.
9. After the information is completed, you will see the total cost you need to pay. You are recommended to read the Terms and Service. Once agreed, tick on it.
10. Finally, click PAY NOW to make the payment, and you have now completed the purchase of the domain and hosting.
Upon successful purchase the Web Hosting and Domain Name, you will receive email from SiteGround that contain three (3) important tools:
- SiteGround User Area
The user area is the portal area where you can edit your personal information, view your subscription (domain or hosting), request for technical support, view billing information, and upgrade current subscription (to the higher package). In short, it’s your single dashboard to manage your account with them.
The cPanel is the hosting control panel loaded with useful features and tools. In the cPanel, you will find the features and specifications on the StartUp package such as disk size, email account, add-on domain hosted, and more.
- SSL certificate
Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is a security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and the browser.
On SiteGround they provide it for free and the installation is very easy. You can use cPanel to install the SSL certificate.
With the SSL, your customer’s data are protected. For example, if you’re running an eCommerce on the blog, during the transactions, the credit card information and customer personal information are encrypted from being misused by the hackers.
A blog with an SSL certificate is represented by ‘https’ or Secure at the beginning of the URL.
Step 4: Install Blog using WordPress
1. Launch cPanel by log in to SiteGround User Area at Account Area -> My Account – Go to cPanel -> Proceed. You may use the cPanel URL provided by SiteGround.
2. On cPanel, find for WordPress Tools (or Softaculous) then click WordPress Installer.
3. On the WordPress dashboard, click on Install.
4. On Software Setup, fill up the information needed.
Choose Protocol: http://
Choose Domain: your domain name.
In Directory: Leave blank if you install the blog on the main directory. If you want to install the blog in the specific directory, you may define the directory name on the field.
If you are using SiteGround, it provides free SSL (https) but what I do at the first stage is install using HTTP.
Once completed the installation on HTTP, you can use Let’s Encrypt (provided in cPanel) to configure the https.
The SiteGround customer service is happy to assist you if you don’t know how to set up the SSL. Just contact them.
5. On the Site Setting, fill up your blog information such as site name and site description. I left untick on Enable Multisite (WPMU). For your information, you can still edit this information on your blog dashboard later.
6. On the Admin Account, fill up with the admin username, admin password, and admin email.
For security reasons, you should choose a strong password and always remember the username and password. It’s advisable if you can set the password with scoring up to 100/100.
7. On the Choose Language, I choose English since this blog in English. Even the blog in other languages, for me, I prefer to choose English because most of the plugins, business themes, and the setting is easy to configure in English.
8. I leave blank on Select Plugins and Choose Theme because I want to configure it later.
9. On Advanced Options, you can edit the database name, prefix, and backup location. I leave as-is. The cPanel is automatically assigned the detail to your blog.
10. Click Install and you are now completed to start a blog for small business.
Step 5: Log in to the Blog Dashboard
1. Go to http://yourdomain/wp-login.php. This is the login page for the WordPress blog.
2. Use the username and password you provide during the installation process.
3. Now you are at the WordPress dashboard. The general info (left side) as below:
- Post – to create, edit and publish your blog post
- Pages – to create, edit and publish your pages
- Appearance – to install and configure your desired theme
- Plugins – to install and configure new and existing plugins
- Setting – to configure the way your blog should be represented
- Users – to create the new user for blog administrative and many more features you can discover. Just take your time to learn it.
Step 6: General Blog Setting
1. Let’s continue with the General blog setting. No matter what plugins or themes you are using in the future, the setting remains as-is.
It is vital to configure the comprehensive setting for your blog because it benefits the search engine optimization (SEO) and traffics.
2. Click to Settings. Under the Settings, there are six (6) subsections.
3. Click General. On the Site Title, use your blog name. On the tagline, choose what is your objective of the blog that benefits your visitors.
For BlogInfra.com, I want to share about blogging, then I can use “Start a Blog for Small Business” or “Start Successful Business Blog”.
Then for other configurations, you may define accordingly.
4. Click on Writing Settings. The default post category I choose Blogging. You can create your own Categories in the Posts section (Posts -> Categories).
The post via email I left as-is. The important part of this section is Update Services. Ensure you define with reputable Update Services.
How does Update Services work?
After you published a new blog post, WordPress automatically notify (via ping service) to this Update Services. With that, Update Services will get notified about your new post. The search engine also will quickly index your post.
By default, WordPress is using http://rpc.pingomatic.com/ but you can use additional to spread out the indexing process. Thanks to ShoutMeLoud for the useful listing.
You may copy and paste the Update Services below and add them to your blog. Separate multiple service URLs with line breaks.
Since every time you publish a new post, it will send the ping to all services concurrently, the search engine might detect your new post as a ping spammer. It will affect the search engine results.
To avoid that, you can use free plugins called WordPress Ping Optimizer. With that, you set the limit ping on each service within a certain period of time, for example, every 15 minutes.
5. On Reading, your homepage should be your latest post. If you want your homepage is dedicated to a static page, you also can define individually.
You can define how many posts to show on the homepage. For me, I stick with 10 posts.
The important part of this section is to ensure Search Engine Visibility is unticked.
If you tick the Search Engine Visibility, the search engine will not index your blog.
Then what’re the benefits of having a business blog if you don’t want the search engine to know about it?
6. On Discussion, it mostly focuses on how you handle comments by the visitors. To avoid spam or bad comment, you should tick on “Comment must be manually approved”.
When you received a comment, you can do filtering before decided to approve it or not.
7. The Media is how you measure the size of the image based on type. For example the size of the thumbnail, medium, and large image.
8. On Permalinks is to structure the post and page link. For SEO friendly, it’s good to have post name on the link.
With the post name and the target keyword on it, the potential for your blog to be rank by the search engine is much higher rather than post number (Plain).
Use post name on Custom Structure permalinks instead of numeric.
Step 7: Installing Blog Themes
1. Click Appearance -> Themes -> Add New
2. Search theme on the text box, for example, you run a travel agency, then you can type ‘travel’ on the box. WordPress will suggest related blog theme for travel.
3. Apart from search, you also can get more specific themes appearance by click on Feature Filter. Select for multiple options available and click Apply Filter.
4. WordPress will suggest related themes based on your requirements.
5. Click on Preview to view the themes
6. Click Install to download and install
7. Click Activate to use the theme.
The themes you found most free t use with basic features. If you want to have comprehensive features, you need to purchase the paid theme.
For a small business, you have to show professionalism on the blog by using the paid version.
The best place to look for stunning business WordPress themes at ThemeForest. Take your time to survey and read the reviews.
Step 8: Create and Publish a New Blog Post
1. Click on Posts – Add New
2. Fill up the post details such as title and body content. Other features as below.
Start a blog for small business by telling about your business. One the very first post, announce your company business.
Along the way, create another new blog post again and again. Always remember the objective of starting a business blog is to provide high quality and valuable content to your customers.
3. On the Post sidebar, you can add and edit the options as below:
4. A good feature on the WordPress blog is the save draft. Whenever you type or create content, please ensure to save draft periodically.
It’s to back up your post from being missing due to unnecessary incidents.
Refer to the below screenshot, you can retrieve the older version that been saved earlier. It saves your time if you need a previous blog post version.
Can you imagine, writing 3,000 words without saving it. It’s a nightmare!
5. On top of the blog post, there is a Screen Option that you can show or hide the boxes.
Step 9: Create and Publish a New Page
1. Go to Pages – Add New
2. Fill up the information for page title and content.
Step 10: Installing The Best Plugins
Start a blog without plugins seems awkward. The plugins are used to accelerate and smooth your business blog performance by integrating the function into the main blog.
For WordPress, there are more than fifty-six thousand plugins that categorize in various functions to suit your blog.
To a better blog, the plugins should not focus only on interfaces such as layout and theme.
The great WordPress plugins for a new business blog should extremely focus to increase blog traffic and able to provide info that customer needs.
That’s the main objective to start a blog for small businesses in the first place.
Then, what are the WordPress plugins for the new business blog that you should use? I’ve shared some of it that I’m currently using on the blog.
So far, the plugins help me a lot and I believe it should provide the same to you.
Let’s find out.
Best Plugins for WordPress Business Blog
1. Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP)
This plugin to display Google Analytics visitors report. You can see the daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly visitors base on user sessions, page views, and more.
The one you need is Google Account to authenticate with this plugin.
It’s a must-have plugin for you to analyze your blog performance for continuous improvement.
2. AddToAny Share Buttons
It’s a great plugin that lets you visitors easily sharing your posts. Visitors can share with their social media account like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and more.
The more peoples share, the more peoples recognize your business.
Make sure to share a valuable thing. Credit image thebudguru.com
3. Yoast SEO
Most of the expert says you need to write for your customers, not for Google. But for me, in order for your customer to know what you are posting, you need helps from search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bings) to bring those customers.
So, it’s actually you write for the search engine. Here the Yoast SEO comes into the picture. It assists you in writing based on Seach Engine Optimization (SEO) technique.
4. Classic Editor
The latest version of WordPress is using block editor and for me, it’s a little bit complicated for post writing. I prefer the old-style of layout which is the Classic Editor.
By default, any new installation of WordPress is built-in with Block Editor. You need to install the Classic Editor to use the older version.
My suggestion, try for both and choose the editor that suits you.
5. Contact Form 7
You can create any type of form you want like contact forms. Instead of providing an email address on the Contact Us page, you only need a form to handle the request. Publish email address on pages will invite spammer to you inbox.
6. Easy Table of Contents
It’s good to have a table of content, especially for the long blog post. This is for ease of visitors to view the outline of your content and jump to the specific subject if needed.
How to Installed Plugins
1. At the blog Dashboard, click on Plugins
2. Click Add New
3. On search bar, search by Keyword, for example Share Post
4. The results will show the related plugins
5. For the tips, look for the rating and active installation. You can read the details, rating, and compatibility with your WordPress version by click on More Details.
6. If you satisfy with the review, click Install Now.
7. Click Activate to start using the plugins.
That’s it the way on how to start a blog for small business. The small business looks amazing on the internet if you have a website and blog.
Take your time to explore the WordPress blog dashboard. The more you explore, the more you can gain knowledge.Increase Exposure, Start You Business Blog Today!