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Learn how to create a Wordpress blog for your small business.

Creating a Small Business WordPress Blog

Stay updated on the topic of creating a small business WordPress blog in this section of StartUpaSmallBiz.com .

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Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

Your Small Business Website: Planning Tips

The purpose of a small business website is to increase sales, leads and exposure to your brand. It’s also a way to inform prospective buyers and clients about your products and services so that they can make an educated buying decision. But your website has to be planned and executed correctly in order to be effective. Here are some tips for planning and developing your website.

Picking the Right Domain Name

The first detail to consider when you’re planning to create a small business website is the domain name you will choose. This is not a small matter — this is the name that people will come to recognize you by over time. Here are a few tips for picking the right domain name:

  • Use your company name for the domain name (i.e. HomeDepot.com or Forbes.com) if this website will be used mainly to establish and build your brand.
  • Use a name that describes what you do (FlowersandVeggies.com) if your main goal is to increase web traffic from search engines.
  • Do keyword research to find out what your target audience is searching for online when they want what you sell, then try to incorporate that word or phrase into your domain name.
  • Keep your domain name as short and catchy as possible so that it’s easy to remember.
  • Use simple, everyday terms in your domain name; words that an 8th grader would understand.
  • Stick with a dot com or dot net domain name whenever possible (maybe dot biz); most people trust clicking to a “com” or “net” address over the others.

Will Your Website Be Information-Rich or Action-Oriented?

Some business websites are designed to educate the consumer and provide extensive guidance or advice on a subject while others are meant to inspire quick action (a sale or a sign up). Decide which method best fits what you’re trying to sell because it will have an effect on how you build the site (the approach to designing and planning your site is also called “website architecture”).

Choosing a Design Platform

Once you know the general style and focus for your website, the next step is to decide which tool or program you will use to create it. Here are a few of the most popular methods:

–          HTML text editor. This is the most basic yet time-consuming way to create a website. You would use Notepad or a similar text editor program to manually type in HTML, PHP, JavaScript and other code to develop the website. Heavy website coding skills and knowledge are needed.

–          Web-based multiple page website builder. A number of online website building services give you web-based tools that you can use from your browser to put a multiple page site together using drag and drop features.

–          Web-based one-page website builder. This is a fairly new way to create a small business website. It is a web-based tool that also has “drag and drop” and “type and save” functionality, but it creates a dynamic and responsive one-pager site. All this means is that the entire website, including specific sections, is on one scrollable page that’s mobile-friendly. This is best for a modern, action-oriented website.

–         Standalone Software. There are standalone web design software programs that you can use to build a basic multi-page or mobile-friendly website. You should be at least moderately familiar with HTML and web design.

–          WordPress.org (or WordPress.com). If you’re planning to create an information-rich small business website with plenty of content (namely blog posts) posted over time, a WordPress site may be your best bet. It allows you to set up your site design using a free or paid WordPress template, then post blog updates whenever you want. You can also add new pages to your site that have the same design with just a few clicks. With WordPress.org you host the files on your own server (maintaining total control; flexibility) and with WordPress.com they are hosted by WordPress (limited control and options).

If you are not familiar with how to use these tools to create a website and would rather focus your time on other matters, hire someone who does. A designer will also be able to provide more guidance on what tool is best for creating your small business website.

Your Content Plan

Once your small business website is up and running you will quickly realize that you need content — a whole lot of it — on a regular basis. The more high quality, search engine optimized content you post to your website (namely the blog), the higher its chance of being picked up by search engines. One statistic shows that companies who blog get 55% more web traffic. So if there’s an investment you definitely want to make in your website, it should be in writing content yourself or buying content from skilled writers.

Planning your small business website will take some time, but that’s okay — it’s best to take your time to ensure that it’s right. Once your site is finally up and running you can focus your attention on other details, like how to funnel more traffic to your site using social media, ads and promotions.

 

Louise Gaillard is a professional writer, marketing consultant and the author of Easy Twitter Marketing Tips for Business Success.





Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

Create a Nice Small Business Website in 1 Hour for $18

???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????There really isn’t any excuse not to have a professional-looking small business website thanks to WordPress. Even if you do not sell things online, it’s good to have a website for your business. Here is a simple process for creating a small biz site in under one hour (assuming you’re familiar with internet basics) for $18.

– Visit WordPress.com and sign up for a new account using your business name.

– When you’re signed in, choose the option to purchase a domain for $18 (price as of the date of this initial posting).

– Select the option to activate the newly purchased domain name for your new WordPress site.

– Click the “Appearance” button on the dashboard and then “Themes.” Choose the drop down option to view all FREE themes.

– Activate the theme that you like best and select the option to customize it to your liking (options are limited for free themes).

– Click the “Pages” button to add pages to your site (About, Contact, Squeeze/Sales page)

– Update the “Widgets” (also located under the “Appearance” menu) with links to the pages advertising your offerings or service.

– Start posting blogs related to the theme of your new business to draw traffic to your site.

BOOM you’re done.

Of course the process will take more than one hour when you count up the time you’ll spend updating, posting to and tweaking your new small business website on WordPress, but there’s no reason why it should take you more than an hour to get it started. No excuses!

Now keep in mind, if you want more options and freedom to do what you want with your new small business website, will have to establish it with the software at WordPress.org. This is the official WordPress software that you host and manage on your own hosting account. That requires you to get a web hosting plan that supports WordPress installations. Don’t worry, you don’t have to understand every single detail just yet — you’ll get the hang of all this as time goes on.

Expect to pay about $10 per month for a hosting plan (here’s one for $6.99 per month). Most web hosts have a one-click installation and easy instructions for how to update your site. In most cases you’ll update your WordPress website from http://www.mywebsite.com/wp-admin (where “mywebsite.com” is replaced by your actual domain name). The management process is very similar to how you would update it using WordPress.com . If you want a more attractive theme than the ones offered for free, you can find a nice one that can be customized to your needs here.

So there you go. Jump in and get started so that you can finally put a classy website address on your business cards.



Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

Small Business Blogging Tips: Getting People to Read Your Blog Posts

The average blog reader isn’t going to read your whole post unless they’re hooked from the start. If you don’t grab their attention right away, they’re going to hit the ‘back’ button on their browser and forget that they ever even visited your blog. There are several things that you can do to draw the reader in and compel them to not only read your entire small business blog post, but also to take a look at your products, services and offerings.

readingThe Title Is Crucial
Coming up with a great title for your small business blog post is incredibly important because it’s what first inspires the reader to click on your site in the first place. It should encompass what your post is all about in an inspiring way. For example, if you run a boutique and you’re writing a post about the latest fashions, don’t give your post a generic title like “The Latest Fashions for Spring.” The average browser is going to assume your post is as common and everyday as your title. Instead, try something like “2014 Fashions that Will Make Him Do a Double Take” or something else to inspire action. That’s the type of title that gets clicks.

Have an Opinion and Stick to It
It’s important to have a solid point that you want to make in each blog post. Keep coming back to that point and have strong proof to back it up. To grab maximum attention it helps to be a bit controversial and ruffle some feathers, but be true to yourself and your business. Don’t be bold or contrary just for shock value, but it’s important to get your reader feeling strongly about your post, even if she disagrees. If the reader is moved to respond or leave a comment, you’ve hooked her in and she may bookmark your site for future visits.

People Do Judge Books by Their Covers
While your content is absolutely the most important part of your small business blog, the cosmetic stuff matters too. If you use a generic, boring theme, the reader might judge your blog before he even reads a word that you’ve written. You might want to invest in a paid WordPress blog template that was created by a professional designer and either learn how to integrate it with your website or hire someone who does. It’s a small investment that can make a big difference in how people interact with your blog.

Other ways to make your blog look more interesting:

– Use expressive pictures or art in each post that are related to the content (make sure the photos are public domain or royalty-free and you have the rights).
– Use larger call out quotes to draw attention to important points in the text.
– Add widgets to the side of the content with links to your other interesting blog posts to encourage visitors to stay around awhile.
– Add widgets showing your recent activity and comments on social media.

Above all, to get people to actually read your small business blog, you must develop your own unique voice. Just focus on blogging about the things that you know and care about—your passion and personality will do all of the “hard” work for you.

 

 

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Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.

Blogging Tips: Generating Ideas for Your Small Business Blog

Blogging can be fun and it gives you the freedom to decide how you will communicate with your website visitors. However it can be difficult to choose topics to blog about that will not only pique the interest of your visitors but also draw in new traffic to your small business site. Explore these tips for how to choose topics for your small business blog and you may find that you’ll soon be flooded with new ideas.

Breaking News
If your small business blog deals with issues that may come up in the mainstream news, stay up-to-date with breaking news stories that relate to your company’s products and stories. Providing your unique perspective on even seemingly insignificant stories may draw lots of traffic from interested readers. Monitor the major news sites for breaking news daily, or set up a Google alert that brings you all of the latest stories in your industry. The sooner you post about the breaking news on your blog, the better your chances of seeing your blog post ranked highly on search engines for related keywords.

Twitter Trends
Another invaluable resource for learning about topics to blog about is Twitter. Twitter posts the top 10 trending topics at the moment (what everyone is tweeting about) and you may also find that some of the people that you follow are posting about new trends and interesting stories. If you want your popularity as a blogger to grow, you may want to just stay logged into your Twitter account 24 hours a day.

Take Cues from Your Comments
Sometimes your blog visitors will give you great tips on issues to blog about when they post their comments. Blog visitors often have a strong knowledge of your topic and can provide you with some insights. So read your comments regularly and write down new ideas. Also, ask specific questions at the end of your blog posts to open up the floor to your readers and generate more potential topic ideas.


Check Your Search Stats
After managing your blog for some time you might start to notice trends in your search statistics. For instance, if your small business blog is about home décor, you might find a lot of searches for a specific style of decorating. After you blog for a while, you might find that a lot of visitors who come to your site are looking for answers to specific questions. Generate new blog posts that directly answer their questions to keep that visitor traffic flowing in.

Keep in mind that while it can be tempting to follow the lead of trends in the news and social media, it is important to stay on track with your small business blog’s main purpose. For instance, if your core business is selling pet supplies, don’t get sidetracked with entertainment news (unless it has a specific relation to pets). Be consistent, posting at least 3-5 quality posts per week, and soon enough you’ll have a thriving blog with regular visitors who are very interested in what you have to say AND what you’re selling.



Starting up a small business, even if it's just on the side, is no longer an option -- it's a necessity. Why? Because everyone needs an additional source of income in our new economy. Click here to sign up for educational and motivational posts to keep you on track.