reading time: 7 minutes

If you’ve been tasked with creating a business blog, you might be feeling a little out of your element. Maybe you can navigate your way around WordPress or Blogger, but the prospect of creating and maintaining a blog makes you feel something like this…

Not to fear! You are about to embark on an awesome journey, and we have put together an all inclusive survival guide to help you succeed.

Before the launch

  1. Define your purpose
    Ask yourself this: “Why am I starting this blog?” Is it to tell the story of your budding business? To find a voice and establish credibility in your industry? Or maybe to use as a tool for communicating with customers? Whatever your purpose, define it—quickly.
  2. Pick a platform
    Choosing the right blogging platform is essential for letting your content shine. Everyone has a personal preference that works best, and there is no one-size-fits-all. The important thing is to do your research before you fully commit to one. Our vote? is the way to go. Although there is a slight learning curve, you will not regret your decision once it’s up and running.
  3. Choose your domain
    Purchasing your own domain is crucial for building credibility online. Depending on your platform, there are a few different ways to go about this. You can register a new domain on the hosting website. Or, you can map an existing domain to your blog. These can be purchased on sites like GoDaddy, Hover, or DreamHost. If you’re trying to add the blog to a company’s existing website, there are plenty of resources out there to help you make it happen.
  4. Get some help
    On to the fun part: designing your blog. The look and feel of your blog should be consistent with your brand elements – so if you’re not a designer, get help. This is not the time to cut corners. Things like CSS, JavaScript, graphics, and other backend elements are better left to a professional. If you are feeling pretty confident in your own skills, identify a few resources to help you along the way.
  5. Get to know your readers
    Before you start any writing, you have to know your audience. Seriously, everything about them. What do they like? What do they dislike? What are their fears? What are their dreams? What fills them with passion? How much time can they commit to reading blogs a day? What does a day in their life look like? Consider setting aside some time to interview people that fit your target audience to gain insight — then create personas for each of them.
  6. Create content categories
    Now that you know WHO you’re writing for, you can begin to imagine WHAT you will write about. Create content categories to direct your efforts. Save yourself some time by doing some keyword research before naming your categories. You can do this for free using Google’s Keyword Planner. Not only will you have a handle on the organization of topics, you will also make your content more search engine friendly.
  7. Create an editorial calendar
    Make organizing your post ideas a breeze by keeping an up-to-date editorial calendar. HubSpot offers a free template to help you get started. It’s also easy to create your own using Excel. Use the calendar to help you keep authors, topics, keywords, and deadlines on track. If you have a blogging team, the calendar will be essential for staying on the same page with assignments. Before you begin promoting your blog, have at least eight posts published.
  8. Define your calls-to-action
    Write down a few business objectives and specific ways the blog can help you reach them. Of course you want people to READ your blog—but what action would you like them to take from there? If you are looking for brand engagement, encourage readers to leave a comment, or ask that readers connect with your brand on social media. If you’re looking to generate leads, place your most valuable content on your sidebar with a CTA that catches the eyes of your readers. Add a CTA at the end of the blog that leads to a landing page. Entice them in the content to want more.
  9.  Make it pretty
    Stick to a consistent format. Keep your blog classy with eye catching images, g0od formatting, and lots of white space. If it’s too busy, people will bounce. When it comes to content length, there’s some debate. Short posts can be great for packing a punch and keeping the reader focused on your CTA. Long posts are great for SEO purposes and the sharability factor. In fact, posts with over 1,500 words will rack up 68.1% more tweets and 22.6% more Facebook likes. But the bottom line is this: Say what you have to say. If it’s great content that tells it all in 400 words, then great! If it’s 1500, then it’s also great. Don’t get hung up on length. Just write something worth reading.

After the launch

  1.  Get social
    Making sure that your posts are easy to share is one of the most critical elements for blogging superstardom. On the backend this means including things like a RSS feed, a “subscribe” plug in, enabled comments, and social sharing buttons on every post. Be sure to respond to comments quickly and thoughtfully. Share the love and comment on other blogs in your industry to promote new relationships. Be sure to cross promote your blog content on all of your social media pages.
  2. Set goals, track, measure 
    Set specific goals to achieve with your business blog. Some examples might be achieving X number of email subscribers each month, increasing traffic by X percent, or posting X number of posts per week. Use your best judgment and set goals that are achievable. Track your results using Google Analytics and other social media monitoring tools.
  3. Find your voice
    How do you want to come across to your readers? Reflect the uniqueness of your business by finding and maintaining a consistent writing style. Are your team members sarcastic, nerdy, honest, funny, or inspiring? Show it! Unless you are literally a rocket scientists, stay away from the  big, fancy lingo and stay approachable. Ditch the buzz words and write with one person in mind – your customer.
  4. Optimize your posts
    While we 100% believe that great content speaks for itself, it doesn’t hurt to make your blog search engine friendly. Do your keyword research and be sure to include the phrase in your title, near the beginning of your post, and in the image description. Link to content that adds value for your readers while also giving you an SEO boost. And finally, be sure to include a solid meta description as it is potentially the first thing a reader will see before clicking.
  5. Don’t be a flake
    The more often you post, the more credible your blog will be. Blogs that are updated daily get five times more traffic than those that post weekly or less. For some of us, daily posting is a tall order. That’s okay! Just commit to a schedule and stick to it. The easiest way to build an online community is by creating a safe space of commitment and consistency.

Keeping up with a business blog is hard work. Remember that building a great blog is a lot like running a marathon. Slow and steady will get you where you want to be, so don’t rush and never give up! Know your readers, stay true to your brand, and watch as your quality leads soar to new heights.

We’ve done enough talking. Now it’s your turn! If you’ve been given the task of starting a business blog, how do you plan to make it happen? Have any questions for us? We’d love to help!