business blogging

9 Steps To Creating A Business Blog

Most of us want to drive more traffic to your business website with blog posts that contain quality content.  However, there are a few details to know before starting on your blog, helping you do it correctly and stay legal.

You want to establish authority and expertise in your niche Market.  Here are a few different ways to blog.

Blogs can be curated

Read information elsewhere and put it into your own words. Otherwise copying or plagiarising is illegal without formal written consent. (Cite your sources. See no. 5)

Requesting Permission: It is common courtesy and polite to request permission via email for using any material not your own. Do so by telling them that you like their post, why you want to use it and seek permission to do. Provide a hyperlink to the said page so that they don’t have to search for it. Mention that you will cite the original author and link back to the web page/site on your post. Subject heading on emails should be, “Permission Request” to help you keep track of them.

Blogs can be written completely by you!

Write a blog in your own words. But when using quotes from paragraphs in website pages or books we must provide the sources and list them below.

Note: Quoting from books may require seeking the publisher’s permission in writing to avoid legal action. As above shoot them an email. Inform them of the book, the author, page name and number. Also post the information using inverted commas so that they can quickly get an idea of what you want from them.

Using Guest Bloggers

Connecting with influencers and asking them to blog on your site adds value to your business and to theirs.  Ask them to add a link on their site.  Reach out and ask them to write a guest post for your website.

Here’s how to do it

  1. Identify the influencers you’d like to invite to write.
  2. Write a an invitation or pitch email to send to them.
  3. Follow up on your email

In the next few steps you will learn how to gather & organise your content.

1. What is the blog going to be about? – Pick subjects relevant to your business.

a. Here you can decide what your blog is going to be about.
b. Decide on a topic and begin to do your research for gathering information keeping a record of where you source that information from and who wrote it.

2. What do you want to say about it?

a. Here is where you map out your blog using the steps below. Write down what you are going to say about it and then write a leading paragraph to entice others to read on. Make it captivating so that they are compelled to read your blog. Now is the time to get creative!

3. Back up with evidence

a. Does your information need backing up with scientific or other evidence? If you are talking about a specialised area it’s a good idea to back up the information you provide to lend some weight to the subject you’ve chosen.
b. If not using scientific evidence, you might want to consider using quotes and snippets from books or articles you’ve found online.

4. What does the evidence mean to your chosen topic?

a. Here you can open up about the evidence and elaborate on your information using the chosen evidence.

5. Closing statement or paragraph and signing off

a. Use a closing paragraph to end your. We can also end it by summarising the above information which shouldn’t be too long.
b. Write your name and credentials if any and below provide a list of your resources citing author by adding their name, the name of their site with a hyperlink and page title or if you quote from a book list the name of the author, book title and publisher. If you have several resources make sure you list them all.
Signing off as the original blog author with name, and credentials are optional.

E.g.
Karen Smith
Cred. Dip.Couns, Grad.Dip.Couns.
List your sources.

E.g.

Sources

Peter Piper – The Mad Rush To Nowhere – ‘Hurry Up You’ Magazine
(Please note: this link only takes you back to Google. com as it is used for an example only using a ‘made up’ author, blog name and site. Any actual names are purely co-incidental.)

6. Proof Read your Blog – Print it out and read it again correcting errors in grammar and spelling using a highlighter or pen of different colour than the ink.

7. NOW you can name your blog – Why leave the naming for last? The best names often come to us after we have written the blog. Quite often we start off with one idea but then the writing heads in another direction.

8. Copy the blog onto your site. Do the formatting of your page, add title to the title bar at the top. Add a featured image. Add to category or create some if needed and add some tags. The SEO information is important particularly the snippet information and your featured image. I find one particularly useful plugin for bloggers is Yoast SEO Plugin for WordPress.

9. Find free images for commercial use Use only images that suit your post. Here is a list I’ve compiled: https://www.actwebsites.com.au/find-free-photos-commercial-use/

Best Practices

  • Keep blogs and images relevant to the type of business you’re in.
  • To keep your readers from becoming overwhelmed or bored with lengthy posts, keep them between 500 to 1000 words in length.  Too little information is also not recommended.
  • Use high resolution images but not too many making sure the size of the images aren’t too big causing them to load slowly.  Some businesses depend on the use of many quality images making them a exemption to this rule. E.g. Photographers.  Hyperlink images and use Alternative or Alt. text.
  • Use Videos (Preferably your own as most will have copyrights.)
  • Use external hyplerlinks and internal hyperlinks.
  • Post your blog link on your social media page and market it.  Facebook boosting gets great results.  Target your demographics. Age group, sex, location, etc.

Read my other post about blogging with information on how to get started from scratch, titled, “Want to start blogging but don’t know how?

Sandra Ciminelli
ACT Websites – Web Designer

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