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Starting a blog can be intimidating. But in today’s content heavy, digital driven world, it is essential for growing a business. Twenty-three years ago blogs didn’t even exist. Today there are hundreds of millions of blogs around the world.

So, why is everyone getting on the content bandwagon?

The simple answer is, it creates business. A company blog helps to build an audience, gain recognition and build credibility. The demand for readily available information is high. If a customer or prospect isn’t getting the information they need quickly, they will move on to another site where they can find it.

Maintaining a company blog also can help you get published by trade publications…ultimately getting your information out in front of a whole new set of readers. Think of it as modern-day PR. This can likewise lead to speaking engagements. It doesn’t only boost your online business, but can impact your offline business, too.

In short: Grow your audience, grow your business. Here are some steps to get started.

 

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Choose a Platform
There is a large number of free blogging platforms to choose from. Look for one that is easy to set up, allows for a reasonable amount of customization and is user friendly. WordPress, Tumblr and Blogger are all popular options to further vet. With these platforms, you can have a website up and running in seconds. However, setting it up may be the easy part, the real cost comes from your time commitment to design, write and maintain the company blog.

The 12 Best Free Blogging Platforms

 

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Brand Your Blog

Start brainstorming a name, theme and design that aligns with your brand. Make sure your name is not only catchy and memorable, but relates to your topic. You only have a few seconds to make an impression with first-time readers, so make it a good one.

Your brand is more than just a name, logo and color palette. It’s a look, a tone…and most importantly, an experience. A savvy custom design will stand out from the crowd. Find a credible agency with design experience to bring your brand to life.

17 of the Best Examples of a Beautiful Blog Design


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Get to Writing

Think clearly about your goal. What is the desired next action you want the reader to take? Now stay focused. Find your niche and speak specifically to your target audience. Every blog should also have a CTA at the end. And think about other types of content besides an article; maybe it’s a video, an infographic, a whitepaper. People are attracted to things and places they get value from, so make sure to provide your audience with value. It will keep them coming back for more.

Most importantly, have a passion for your topic. Have fun with it. Foster a community that you yourself would want to be a part of and engage your readers.

How to Build Trust with Your Content

 

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Measure and Optimize

If you are blogging for business instead of writing about your cat, travel or fashion addiction, you need to identify some measurable goals. What Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will deem your blog successful? Is it the number of subscribers, comments, form submissions or something else?

These insights indicate what is working and what is not. You cannot form a strategy and move your efforts forward unless you are analyzing the performance. Without this phase it’s a lonely, quiet world out there. Hello? Is anyone reading?

 

Most Importantly, Learn from Others

One of the best ways to stay relevant, whether professionally or personally, is to read…a lot. Today’s readers (including you!) are faced with endless options and tools to stay up-to-date on the latest trends, stats and tactics. When starting a blog, you need to prepare yourself to be a lifelong student. Follow, subscribe, engage–learn from others.

16 Top Marketing Blogs and Publications You Need to Be Following

Keep in mind, this article only explores the basics of starting a blog. The next step is to get strategic. Start a content marketing plan and work with a trusted team to discuss the best way to push your information out and promote your business. Follow our blog by subscribing to Simantics.

Now go start something awesome.