How to set up your personal blog
To help you get started, you can choose design templates that save you a lot of legwork. Carefully tailored templates that match your personal and business goals can save time and increase your engagement.
1. Choose the right template
The template you choose should make it easy to define the purpose of your blog. For example, if you want to write a blog to compliment your restaurant, you can choose a template with a tablecloth to relate to your prospective diners.
Once you decide on the layout, it will be easier to prepare content in the right format. For example, if you want to have lots of featured stories and images, consider a magazine-style layout.
2. Develop your brand’s personal blog site
Your personal blog should reflect your voice and opinions. However, it should also tie into your branding. When you customize your personal blog site, it makes it easier to present a unique perspective.
Look for personal blog examples published by your competitors on social media or elsewhere online. Although you don't want to copy other businesses verbatim, it's helpful to see what they talk about.
Important elements that can help you develop a strong personal brand include the following:
- Logo: Whether you create your own logo or hire someone to do it for you, you'll need an image that resonates with users and builds trust in prospective clients. Feature your logo in your social media channels, web pages, and online assets, as well as your blog, to strengthen your online presence.
- Header: The header lies “above the fold” of each web page, including your blog. Since readers see it first, you should include strategic information there, such as key terms that will reassure readers they are in the right place. You can also include a call-to-action button, navigation menus, logos, and contact information.
- Website color scheme: Choose a color scheme that matches your branding and sets the right mood for your blog. There is much information regarding color theory and how viewers react to particular colors. For example, red, yellow, and blue are primary colors that immediately attract attention. If you want a bold, daring approach, choose bright colors such as orange and sunny yellow. For a more subtle background, neutral colors such as beige set the appropriate tone.
- Mobile design: A responsive web page gives users the flexibility to view content on the device of their choice. So, it's important to test your blog to make sure it looks just as good on a phone or tablet as it does on a laptop.
3. Choose a hosting site and come up with a domain name
In order to make your personal blog probably, you'll need a hosting site. Choose a provider with a proven track record and 99%+ uptime to ensure that your customers can reach you any time day or night. You'll also want to choose a provider with effective security monitoring to keep user data safe and to prevent hackers from tampering with your web page.
Once you have an affordable, reliable host site, you'll have to choose a domain name. Effective domains reflect the style and content of the page. Here are a few tips to help you choose the domain name:
- Be unique. If you own a small business that designs and sells baby clothes, consider using the words “baby” and “clothes” in the domain name. Assuming it's available, you could choose Petesbabyclothes.com, for example.
- Keep it simple. Make the name of your blog page simple so that it's easy to remember and share.
- Use your name. Nothing is more personal than your name (or your brand name). So come consider using your name in the domain.
- Is it available? Your host plan provider can typically provide free tools that allow you to search for potential domain names.
4. Create a content calendar
A marketing calendar that includes a schedule of new blog posts can help you stay current and keep customers returning to your website. You can also use analytics to track how your blog performs. This will enable you to tweak your content to appeal to your target audience.
A blogging schedule should include the best days and times to post new content. When you implement a content calendar, you can focus on gaining new subscribers and increasing organic traffic to your personal blog sites.
5. Build an email list
Most people use email to check in with coworkers, friends, and colleagues. You may even use it to correspond with your significant other. Use your email to create distribution lists to let your users know when new blogs appear. By collecting email addresses, you can draw people in with blog content. However, remember that along with offering a subscription option, your emails should include an opt-out function.
Strong CTA buttons provide clear instructions such as “Subscribe Today.” You can use emails to offer additional information and content, such as a downloadable bonus blog. In addition, it's helpful to segment the email distribution list by location, demographics and other categories that will help you improve your click-through rates.
6. Optimize your content for SEO
All bloggers want to share their work with a larger audience. That's particularly true if you have a personal blog attached to your business website. It's important to keep search engine optimization, or SEO, top of mind. To do this, use web analytics to identify key terms you currently don't rank well for. Then, you can build content around these key terms that your users will find valuable.