Just when you thought you've done enough to market your website, now you have to start a blog? It's not as bad as it sounds. We promise.
What is a blog?
A blog is a regular update by either the website owner or a person assigned to provide announcements. It’s often for business use but can also act as a personal chronicle.
In addition to updates, it can also provide information that never expires or entertains people. An additional definition of a blog is that of a “public journal” or a place to tell your branded story.
Why should you be creating a blog on your website?
Without website visitors, your website won’t do you much good. So how do you get them there?
One way is by having a blog and posting on it often enough for them to take an interest in it. This works hand in hand with adding topics based on keywords your target audience would search for.
Best platforms for your blog
You're not obligated to limit yourself to what we call the list of best platforms for your blog. These suggestions came to mind because of the features they could provide you.
For instance, the best blogging platforms have a website builder and landing pages built into them. They also provide a balance between user friendliness for beginners learning how to blog for the first time.
You perhaps never thought of Mailchimp as a place to add your blog. After all, it’s supposed to be just an email marketing company, right? No, it’s more than that.
You can add your blog to your site, send your e-newsletter recipients new posts via email from an RSS feed, and send your blog posts to social media.
It’s possible to host a custom domain on Mailchimp, where you can add your blog easily to an existing website. In addition, you have the chance to connect your favorite analytics tools to your blog and your website.
What's more, the Mailchimp platform allows you to customize your blog and site. You can also match your blog with your email templates and your own logos and branding.
Wordpress offers you user-hosted plugins and website themes for just about every industry category. You can integrate newsletter providers, such as Mailchimp into it. When creating a blog on Wordpress, you can add it to any navigation (website page menu) you want.
You also can put your blog in any order you want – first, middle or last page. It doesn’t matter. By the way, you can host a subdomain blog at Wordpress.com, or you can host your own Wordpress website via Wordpress.org, which is the paid version and offers more plugin tools than the free one.
Wix has risen in popularity since 2006. It offers a user-friendly, drag-and-drop design format. You can host video and audio on it, and it’s one place where you can store your collection of podcast replays. People also use this platform for e-commerce.
Medium supports writers, creators and publishers. However, anyone can create a space on this blogging platform.
You also can have readers subscribe to you. In addition, this platform allows video embedding through approved services. What's more, people who become a member can listen to AI audio versions of your content.
Squarspace offers its own hosting, and they have a website builder. It provides local small business services too. It's designed to help you improve your local SEO listing, so people can find you.
This platform also has landing pages and email marketing features. You can schedule messages through it, too. They also help you measure the performance of your websites, emails and blogs.
Steps for adding a blog to your website
This covers an overview of what the typical steps for adding a blog will be. Keep in mind that the order of these steps may differ, depending on the blogging platform you use.
1. Install the blog software
The easiest way to do this is to use the available “one-click install” feature typically offered by most hosting companies. Otherwise, you will have to place the folders yourself into the websites directory. Mailchimp, Wordpress, and most other hosting and CRM providers have their platforms set up where installation happens without you having to enter your website directory yourself.
It usually takes no more than a few minutes to activate the blog software onto your domain. If you already have an existing website on your domain, you can add your blog to a subdomain (ex: mydomain.com/blog). Otherwise, you can import posts from your website via RSS feed into another site or blog.
2. Choose a template
If you're starting from scratch and you don't have a website yet, you can choose a brand new template. Once you have chosen it, you'll need to activate it. This will also require that you add the website or blog title and tagline (slogan).
3. Add your site title and tagline
Your website title would be either your business name, your domain name or both. Along with that, you will need to think of a catchy one-line slogan normally referred to as a "tagline." It's usually best to add at least one related keyword to your tagline, but it's not absolutely necessary. It should be catchy and inspiring enough to make people want to scroll down the page though.
4. Upload your logo
If you don't have a logo, you can add a photo for now. Otherwise, you may want to inquire about hiring a professional designer to make one for you—or use our Creative Assistant. You also have the option of choosing logo templates that allow you to have a design for your business completed within minutes. If you can, make sure it's in SVG format, so that it responds to the website dimensions according to whatever screen your viewer is on.
5. Add your blog to your website menu
Depending on the service you use, your blog may already end up on your website menu by default. If not, you will need to edit your navigation menu and choose the spot on that menu where you'd like to add your blog. It doesn't have to be on the end page. You can place it wherever you want on your website menu.
6. Set a blog home page
Your blog home page can be a list of recent posts or a special page that you created for it. It's also possible to have to be on the same page as your website home page. However, it may help to have a different page than your website, so that readers know they're on your blog and not the main website page.
7. Create your first post or landing page
For now, if you want, you can just title the first post "test post" if you don't know what to say just then. This will publish a sample page, and it will show you what your blog would look like when you publish live. Keep in mind that posts and pages are different things though. A page is what usually shows up on the main website menu, such as "Home," "About Us," or "Contact Us."
A post, when you publish it, ends up on the page you chose as your blog home page. That's where people can find your most recent published entries.
8. Connect your social accounts
After you start your blog, you'll want to let as many people know about it as possible. You can use plugins that allow you to connect your social accounts. It's also possible to list your blog's RSS feed in an email campaign. This will automatically send your recent posts to your email subscribers at time and date intervals of your choosing.
9. Schedule future posts
You can keep your blog going even if you don't always have time to post. Schedule future blog posts within the blog itself or via a social media scheduling service. It's not necessary to schedule them every single day because that will leave room in case you have some spontaneous thoughts or updates you want to share. However, post-scheduling makes you appear active on social media sites.
Incorporate email marketing into your blogging strategy
Part of the reason for using a blog platform that also has landing pages is to send email subscribers to them. In this case, you will want to have some of your email messages contain content that your blog doesn't have on it. Then, you can place a call to action from that to a landing page where you will sell a product or service.
Find out more information about starting a blog and how to incorporate your email marketing campaign into your blogging strategy.