Are you interested in starting your own blog?
If you are, there are a couple of things that you will need to consider.
Do you want to set up your blog as a user host platform or on a developer hosted platform? A lot of people tend to choose developer hosted platforms, since all they require is a set up of an account and no installation is required from the part of the user. If you decide to go for a user host platform, you will need to install your blog, which in many cases gives you freedom to change the blog’s style more easily and faster. Another important factor that user host platform blogging software provides is the implementation of SEO in the template of the site; usually developer host sites have a restriction when it comes to making the site template.
A question that might help you decide which blog platform to choose is: do you currently host a site? If you do, you can place blogging software in your current hosting server, meaning you will use a user host platform. This will allow you to keep all of your web content in the same location, which allows the indexing of your site and blog to be to the same domain and not two separate domains, allowing a better SEO implementation toward your main site.
If you decide to place your blog in the same hosting server, you should do a little research if you don’t already know about the type of server that you are using. Is it a Windows server or Linux? If it’s a Windows server you can use Engine.net, DotNetNuke or Subtext if using .Net. If you currently use PHP on the server you have a lot more options to choose from. If you are using a Linux based server, you need to check what has been installed on your server. Do you have PHP, Ruby on Rails, Java, or other languages or platforms installed in the hosting server? After having that information you can begin looking for the right blogging software for your blog.
If you do not currently host a site, you might decide to use a developer hosted platform, such as Blogger, wordpress (developer hosted version), or typepad. If you would like to use a user hosted platform, a lot of blog sites offer different hosting services.
Another question that you need to have in mind is: Are you going to add widgets to your blog? If you are, you will need to conduct research on what kind of widgets you would like to add. Depending on the blogging software that you choose, the widgets will either be free or you will need to pay a fee for them. In the case of free open source software blogs, the widgets are usually free and there are more available. It is a good idea to keep in mind that there are widgets available for SEO implementation and these widgets should be a priority when creating a blog.
After gathering all the information needed and doing research on the widgets you would like, you can make the decision of which blogging software or sites is best for setting up your blog and customize it.
If your website is missing a blog, you are not taking advantage of valuable opportunities like branding, achieving additional organic results, an increase in site visitors and the list goes on.
I often hear from clients that they just do not have the time to maintain a blog. At the risk of sounding impolite, this is simply not a good excuse. There is always time to write a blog post, especially being that it can be on any topic which is relevant to your business or industry. Let’s face it; you know your business better than anyone! Here are some questions I commonly get asked when the subject of blogs is brought up in conversation:
How Often Should I Update My Blog? It is recommended to update your blog at least once at week with original content. This is basically how it works: Search Engines love new and fresh content. The more updates your blog has, the more often the engines will come back to crawl it. The more often the engines crawl your blog, the more organic results you will potentially garner. It’s as simple as that.
In addition, updating your blog frequently will ensure that your visitors/readers have fresh content to read and also makes your blog (and your site) appear to be more credible.
How long should my blog post(s) be? This answer is somewhat debatable. Some experts will say anywhere from 250 to 500 words. We typically suggest approximately 250 words. You want the blog to be short, sweet and to the point.
Does it matter if my blog is onsite or offsite? It does; especially from an SEO perspective. It is preferred that the blog be placed within your domain to achieve the best results possible.
What type of blog software is recommended? There are several blog software options available depending on your specific site setup. We typically recommend Word Press and utilize this solution on our own blog.
Implementing a Blog is a fairly simple and fast way to start generating new and relevant content to your website. Happy Blogging!