As a business owner, you may not be convinced that starting a blog is the best use of your resources. You don’t know if you have the time, you are concerned about the return, and you might not even know where to start. Yet you’re considering a blog because, despite your reservations, you hear more and more from your peers that a blog has benefits. You hear that a blog can bring you new business.
We’re here to tell you that, YES, a blog does take time…but it WILL help build your business online. A blog will bring you more visitors from search engines, help you develop a relationship with a potential client who finds your site, and prove to all visitors that you are a trusted resource and one they should hire or buy from.
Unlike the other posts in this series of blog posts about how to build your business online without spending a dime, today’s post talks about both a FREE blogging option and a PAID blogging option for your business.
First, what is a blog?
Unlike your main website pages that don’t change that often (home, about, etc.), a blog is frequently updated and organized chronologically instead of by subject. It is more conversational in nature and articles are generally written in the first-person. While a blog is an indirect sales tool, you don’t use it to sell directly. Instead, you use it to showcase your expertise and prove your value.
What does a business blog about?
A business blogs about any and all topics that its customers care about—from how-to advice to opinions on industry news to product reviews and beyond. This is a place to share your knowledge and help potential clients solve problems that relate to your field.
What is WordPress?
WordPress is an open source content management system (CMS). In other words, WordPress is free software that anyone can use to create a blog and organize all the content for the blog.
You’re looking at a WordPress blog right now.
Not all WordPress blogs look the same. There are different themes that dictate how a site is laid out and designed. Some themes are free, but not all.
The Free Versus Self-Hosted Version of WordPress
You can go to www.WordPress.com right now and create your own blog for FREE. It’s so easy that you can even post your first article within the hour. However, the free WordPress blogs have limited design functionality and have a URL that looks something like this: freeblog.wordpress.com.
You’ll notice that “WordPress” is part of the domain name. That’s because the blog belongs to WordPress—not you.
Enter self-hosted WordPress blogs.
You can create an easy-to-update blog using WordPress without giving that content to the WordPress domain. In other words, you can buy your own domain name and hosting and keep your content branded with your company.
Owning your domain is beneficial because you will own that content for all of time (there is some concern that WordPress.com might own all the content on their site, even though they do not actively claim that content), and you won’t be beholden to WordPress.com terms and conditions. You can do what you like with your own self-hosted blog (as long as it’s legal of course), you have more options for appearance and customizations, and you have almost unlimited possibilities when you manage your own WordPress site.
If you use WordPress.com, you’re really limiting yourself for the future. Blogging and WordPress are huge topics. We’ve barely even scratched the surface (but we will go deeper in future posts). If you don’t have the time to learn and implement a blog for your business, contact Synerge-Marketing (link to home page). We’d be happy to help you set up a blog and a marketing strategy that meets your goals.