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The question of whether you should have a blog or a website isn’t one that comes up quite often. After all, the majority of businesses have them both and for a good reason. Both of them increase your online presence, boost your digital footprint and, overall, benefit your digital marketing effort. However, let’s pretend for a second that you had a budget to do just one of these two right – what would you choose? Well, here is a couple of things you need to know.
What is a blog?
The big difference, however, lies in the fact that blogs are regularly updated with new content that’s displayed in chronological order. Also, it’s more dynamic and updated on a regular basis. In other words, it’s the best way for you to communicate with your wider audience. So, how do you start a business blog?
1. Pick a blog name
The first thing you need to do when coming up with a blog is to pick a name. Make sure to do your research in order to avoid infringing on someone’s copyright or cybersquatting. Also, the name of the blog should be descriptive and self-explanatory. One more tip, read the name out loud or ask someone else to do this for you, in order to avoid choosing an unintentionally inappropriate domain name. You can never be too careful with these things, seeing as how one such mistake can mark your brand for good.
2. Get your blog online
One of the critical steps in this process is getting your blog actually online. A lot of people postpone making their blog go live until they’re 100 sure that it’s ready. The thing is that you’ll never be completely happy with the way things are. It’s just human nature. You’ll keep improving your blog for as long as it’s up there, so, don’t postpone the inevitable.
3. Customize it
The next step you need to take here is giving your blog its visual identity. We’re, of course, talking about the customization of the blog in question. The simplest way to do so is to sign in the platform that you use for managing your content, go to the menu/settings and pick a theme. Other than this, you can edit your blog in whatever manner you feel like.
4. Write and publish your first post
In time, your blog will be filled with the content of all sorts. However, publishing your first post is not an easy step to make. On average, it takes a seasoned blogger about 3 hours and 57 minutes to produce a post; however, for your first post, you should take as much time as you feel you need. There’s really no rush. Keep in mind that you might want to generate some internal links, later on, which is why you should focus on quality.
5. Promote it
Promoting your blog is fairly easy, provided that you know where your target demographics are, at the moment. Different groups prefer different social media platforms. If you plan to post on places like Reddit, you need to figure out which subreddits are most frequently visited by your audience. This will increase the likelihood of your content (and, therefore, your blog, going viral).
6. Making money
Regardless of your primary source of income, the truth is that you can make money from your blog, as well. How? Well, through ads, of course, while there are some who sell their products directly through their blog. This extra source of passive income can be used in order to help you out with the cash flow. An extra dollar here and there can make a difference and as your blog grows, so does your profit.
What is a business website?
Regardless of what your marketing plans are, you need a business website. Why? Well, because if you plan to increase your audience, you need to have a starting point for them to access your brand online. They need a place where they can inquire about your business, hear out your offer and get acquainted with the type of service that you provide. Here’s how you make an efficient business website.
1. Chose the right host
The first thing you need to do is find the right website host. What you need is someone with a sterling reputation, great customer support and a decent offer on their hands. What you should aim for is about 99.99 percent of uptime and a decent value-per-cost. Overall, finding such a host, in this day and age, shouldn’t be particularly hard.
2. Pick domain name
When it comes to picking a domain name, this is something that we’ve already discussed in the section about starting a blog. Once you have the name in mind, look for a platform that offers certified domain name registration. This way, you can legally claim the site.
3. Build and design it
People who first hear about your business are likely to look it up online. What they see upon clicking on the link will affect the first impression that they get of your business. This is why a lot of businesses, completely justifiably, pay for professional website designs. Keep in mind that the placement of the logo, the color of the background and even the layout of the content make all the difference.
4. Upload your content
When it comes to website content, it can include various formats like text, images, sounds, videos and animation. Ideally, your website would contain as many different content forms as possible. Sure, doing so is a costly affair, however, you don’t really have to pull it off right away. As we’ve already discussed in the blogging section, you need to start with the basics. This means that using just text and images for your website’s day one is more than acceptable.
5. Website maintenance
The last thing you need to keep in mind is the importance of proper website maintenance. This will determine its functionality, which is something that your audience will use in order to make estimates about the efficiency of your business. This is one of the most important things regarding your website and, as such, deserves your full and undivided attention.
At the end of the day, it’s more than obvious that it’s the most efficient when your blog and your website can work together towards the same goal. Due to the fact that both of these projects can be quite low-cost (especially starting a DIY blog), there’s really no reason for you to be forced to choose.