Learning how to blog is a great way to either promote a home business or earn money as a business of its own. Blogs can be used to get the attention of search engines and drive traffic and interest toward your business Website or they can act entirely as the online presence for your business on their own.
A blog is relatively easy and inexpensive to start and maintain, with time probably being the most required resource. If blogging is handled correctly, the payoff for time, effort and whatever expense is deemed necessary, should be a fair amount of targeted traffic and should generate a good return on your blogging investment.
How to Blog as Your Website
If you don’t already have a home business website, you can use a blog to create your online business presence. Of course, you probably already realize that you don’t need a blog if you have a website. Likewise, you don't need a website to have a blog. Here are just a few of the many advantages of learning how to blog and then using a blog as your online business presence in place of a website:
- You can use a free blog hosting platform so your blogging efforts costs you nothing but some time and a little effort.
- Blog hosting platforms can be an easy way to manage your blog content without needing to know anything about HTML, uploading files, etc.
- Search engines love blogs, so in general, it’s likely your blogging will get noticed in search engines well before content on a new website would get noticed. Learning how to blog can definitely give you a leg up when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO)
- Learning how to blog allows you to interact with your customers and prospective customers in ways you can't interact through a website (unless you spend additional money to have this type of feature built into your website).
- Some blog hosting providers, such as Google’s Blogger, even offer mobile blogging capability so you can post your content directly from your cell phone, SmartPhone or PDA. They also offer plenty of help that makes it easier while you learn how to blog.
- Blog platforms offer built-in editing capability that makes it easy to format your content without knowing HTML. However, if you know HTML, you can use that to your advantage while blogging.
- Blog templates make it easy to learn how to blog and allow you to set up your blog layout in a matter of minutes. If you are so inclined, you can further customize your blog's layout to reflect your home business branding and color schemes.
- Blogs are part of social media that can take advantage of viral marketing techniques, which can dramatically increase traffic to your blog in a short amount of time.
- Blogs are really content management systems – they manage posting, displaying and organizing your blog content that makes it easy to stay organized around selected keyword phrases, which you can use for labeling your blog posts. When a visitor clicks a label, all posts that use that label are made available for your visitors to find what they are looking for quickly.
- Some blogging platforms allow you to host ads within your layout, providing the opportunity to make money off of your blog from programs like Google AdSense without paying any domain name or hosting fees. You can also post affiliate marketing ads to help monetize your blog.
- Blogs allow visitors to register for blog feeds that will allow them to receive your new content in a feed reader – a utility that allows visitors to read your blog posts outside of a Web browser. The blog user community and the number of blog feed subscribers is continuing to grow rapidly.
How to Blog to Complement Your Website
If you already have a website, learning how to blog can be an effective way for you to complement your site, helping to drive traffic and providing a means for customers and prospects to connect with you and your home business.
You can run the blog separately on the blog host’s servers with an address such as myblog.blogspot.com, you can host your blog on a separate domain that you’ve registered, such as myhomebusinessblog.com, or you can incorporate your blog into your existing website, with an address such as blog.myhomebusiness.com or www.myhomebusiness.com/blog.
The two most popular blog hosting providers are Google’s Blooger (www.blogger.com and WordPress (www.wordpress.org. Both allow you to configure your blog just about any way you want. Blogger now allows you to create an alias for your URL so you can have the URL blog.myhomebusiness.com, for example, still use Blogger and all of your posts will go to that address. You need to perform some tasks on your Web server though to get this to work properly. All of the "link juice" from incoming links will still go to Blogger, however.
Another option, once you've learned how to blog, is to install blogging software, like WordPress directly on your Website's server. Today, even very low cost web hosting companies provide a wizard you can use to install all of the necessary files to host a WordPress blog with a few button clicks. The benefit would be that any incoming links to your blog will be giving some link authority to your website because the links now point to your site's domain and not a third-party server.
If you use a blog in conjunction with your home business website, you’ll want to be sure to create keyword rich links between your blog and your website and vice versa. Both help give search engines a clue as to what the targeted page is about.
No matter how you set it up or which blogging service you use, learning how to blog and take advantage of everything that blogging has to offer can be a very effective, easy-to-use and inexpensive part of your home business marketing mix that can result in increased revenues for you. Additionally, learning how to blog can provide a means to start a home business because a blog can server as a home business all on its own.