Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Things to Work Upon before Starting Online Business Blog

An Online business blog is different from a traditional blog created by an individual. A Business blog needs to have a goal in terms of conversion, targeted traffic, where as for a normal blog traffic is what matters the most.
Anyhow, we have been talking a lot about business aspect of Blogging and extending the series, today I’m going to share some tips for businesses that are coming up with their blog to promote their product or service. 

Blogging is not an easy job and like every other business your blog needs to have a business plan. Before anyone start a blog, he should be clear about many things like what niche he is getting into, blog design, branding, content development, monetization plans, promotion plans and investment he is going to make.
From my experience, whenever I have to start a new blog/service or project, I usually put down everything in a notepad, this also work as a checklist for my new project and I make sure to not to miss anything from the things that I have decided. In this post, I’m not getting into detail about keyword research and SEO, which is also a crucial part of any blog, but I will be covering other important aspects. You may bookmark this post for future reference.
Starting Online Business Blog? We are here to help

An online blog marketing and branding needed to be done with the same caution as your offline business. Reputation management is one of the critical element of your online Website and to make sure, your blog is getting a positive reaction, you should have a perfect blog from day one. So let’s get started with the list. I have also added relevant links, which will help you to understand the sub-topics in detail.
Domain name
Domain name is very crucial, and it is one of the greatest factors that determines success and failure of your blog. Too long domain name is bad, as people will find it hard to remember. .com domains are easy to remember, so even if you planning to start with a .org/.info domain, grab .com domain and redirect it to .org.
For Businesses, I would suggest incorporating blog in the sub directory of your Website, which will help you to get more traffic to the main site via Blog.
So if your business brand name is Pipers and you have a Website with the name, you can install a blog at And if this is going to be your first step in an online word, you can consider installing WordPress at the main domain only.
There are two important factors you should think before getting a domain name, domain for SEO or branding. As name Bloggeria has no advantage over SEO but its good for branding.
This is the most common problem face by a newbie blogger, when they start a new blog they write on all the topics, either be it health, networking, love, travel but they forget about the importance of niche blog. Niche blog helps you to get the authority soon, and you will rank well in the search engine. Think of a niche on which you can write at least 100 topics without thinking much. A simple way to find the niche is use mind-mapping.
Google and readers both love a website with maximum uptime. Website down time is a major factor for losing search engine ranking. So make sure whatever hosting you choose, it should keep up the promise. 
Blogging platform
This is another crucial factor, some people are fond of the blogger, some are fond of WordPress, Drupal and so on. I have already covered few topics on the discussion between BlogSpot and WordPress, you should consider reading it, this will help you to decide which blogging platform you should select.

My personal choice would be WordPress because I’m using it and have seen the SEO and usability advantage of WordPress. WordPress is easy to get started with.
Theme and design
A Unique theme is must for any blog. But there are other factors that you need to look for while selecting a theme for your blog. If it’s WordPress, you should particularly look for ease of customization, support, SEO and design. Many people prefer spending on designing once they start making some money with their blog & this is one bug mistake. Your blog is going to be your brand and by giving one unique theme and look, you helping your readers to recognize you by your design. So when you start a new blog make sure you work on Theme design or hire someone who can give a custom look to your blog.
Logo and Banners
Logo and Banners should be the first choice from first day of your blog. I have seen many blogs that keep changing their blog logo with time. This hampers your blog branding; people start recognizing you with your logo. Remember your starting days of school, how easy it is to remember apple by its picture rather than its name. The Same thing is with blog logo. Make sure you use the same logo in your blog email, twitter, facebook fan page and community icons, this way people will start recognizing your blog by its logo.
Content is King
Content is king and it’s true. A blog is determined by its quality, before starting a blog, nail down few pillar articles. A pillar article is unique, and it’s your creation. Such articles, are what which gives you recognition. Along with writing pillar articles, you need the best way to make it reachable to people. The easiest way is the comment on other blogs, add sensible comments, and expect them to comment back. Excessive commenting on the same niche is what you need to do in beginning.
SEO is queen
We all know Content is the king, and if its true than SEO is the queen. Make your article formatted for your readers and for search engine both. Many people say that by writing great content you can drive huge traffic but most of time such traffic will  be referral traffic. Real traffic is long lasting traffic and that comes from search engine. By optimizing your blog for search engine, you making sure, your blog will keep getting traffic from search engine. SEO is an on-going process and for this, you need to work on your keyword optimization, keyword research and make sure your site is SEO friendly. This means, you need to take care of simple parameters like H1, H2, H3 tag, no index, nofollow. robots.txt, sitemap and so on. Apart from that you need to work on generating backlinks for your blog. 
This is not all, there are many other things which needed to be considered, but for now if you have figure out this thing, you are ready to start a blog. Blogging is based on self experience, but instead of learning from your own mistakes, it’s better to learn from others mistakes. Read lots of posts on blogging and you will have an idea, where are you heading to.



Blogger or Wordpress: Which is better & why?

As a newbie blogger, the most confusing state is to decide which Blogging platform to choose. Though, most suggested platforms are BlogSpot, WordPress, Tumblr. Now, when we talk about creating a blog from the professional front, WordPress is a rock-solid choice. There are many things which you can do with a Self-hosted WordPress blog, which you can’t do on a BlogSpot blog.
BlogSpot and WordPress both offers free blogging platform which is a good way to start your blogging career, though certainly not the best. If you have been blogging on any of these free blogging platforms, read this article to know what are the limitations of using free blogging platform over self-hosted WordPress blog.

As I mentioned above BlogSpot is a good blogging platform to start your blogging career, but for long run a self hosted blog is what you should select. Though in this post I will highlight why self-hosted, WordPress blog is better than free BlogSpot blog and also from free blogs.
If you are familiar with WordPress dashboard and looking forward to moving to WordPress, you should have a look at my previous post on 

WordPress vs. BlogSpot Blogging Platform

I’m aware of benefits of downside of BlogSpot, and here I’m not going to talk any benefits, as WordPress offer all those feature which BlogSpot offers.

Control over your blog:
This is one of the major reason I support self-hosted blog. Blogspot is owned by Google, and there are chances that they can delete your Blogspot account without giving you any warning. Even if you use the custom domain feature (Using your domain name ), chances are high that if spammers use feature Flag as spam and report your blog as spam. Google might remove your blog. This is something very common and by doing a quick search on Google, you will realize many bloggers faced this problem while using BlogSpot.
Winner: Self hosted blog
Search engine optimization:
Doesn’t matter where your blog is hosted, traffic is the first and last thing any blogger will look for. Search engine optimization in simple words means Optimizing your blog for search engines and getting traffic from search engine”. Comparing WordPress and BlogSpot, WordPress offers more options to optimize your blog for search engine where as in BlogSpot you are limited to certain settings.

Plugins and support:
WordPress is blessed with features like plugin and a strong community to get support. When I was on BlogSpot, I spent lots of time editing my theme to show related posts and adding such features. WordPress makes your life easy using simple plugins for everything you need. By using plugins, you can achieve anything, and if not, you can take help of WordPress support forum to get custom code and extend the capabilities of your blog.
This can be considered as human tendency or perception, that most of the people doesn’t see BlogSpot with a great eye. One of the simple reason is its free, and mass number of people are using it for Blackhat SEO, spamming and for affiliate landing pages. When talking about self-hosted blog, people thing that the person has paid for the service, and he is serious about his blog.
Theme and templates:
BlogSpot offers many templates but due to the commercial nature of WordPress, you will find unlimited free and Premium WordPress themes. Moreover, since you have FTP access, you can alter the complete look and feel of your WordPress theme.
AdSense is the life line for any blogger who is looking forward to making money from his blog. Initially BlogSpot used to be the best way to get your AdSense account approved, but later on it’s becoming tough to get your Adsense account with BlogSpot. With WordPress and your domain email address, getting your blog approved is very easy. Another advantage of self-hosted blog.
Reselling your blog:
Google strictly doesn’t allow reselling of BlogSpot blogs, but the case is different here with the self-hosted blog. You can always resell your self-hosted blog.
Social media websites:
Those who are active in social media and bookmarking sites like Delicious, Stumble upon and reddit. I’m sure you are aware of the fact none of them love BlogSpot blogs. Though if you use the custom domain, that will work. Also, many networks for bloggers like Buysellads doesn’t accept BlogSpot bloggers. There is nothing wrong with it, but the point here is WordPress is more recognized in global standard.
Also, WordPress keep updating and releasing a new version, which comes with some added features and functionality, whereas, on BlogSpot, there are very few updates which happen over the time.  Now, one of the downsides of using WordPress is it’s costly. Unlike BlogSpot, which is free, you will be sending money on WordPress Web hosts and at times on your themes. Though, it worth each and every penny you invest here, as with time WordPress will help you to make more from your blog.
To read next:

                     Things to work upon before starting an Online Business Blog

                     Why Blog Design is Important?

                     Best Wordpress Guide for Beginners

Why Blog Design is Important ?

Blog design matters a lot to keep your post interactive and let your readers stick to your blog. One thing which I want to share as a reader but not as a blogger is, I hate scrolling . Specially when I have to scroll a lot.
I have seen many blogs using full post as post structure on the front page and maximum bloggers use post excerpts on the front page. For all those who are new to word post excerpts , Post excerpts are small snippet from your main post and generally display 4-5 lines in the front page, or category/tags page.
When I started blogging I used to show full post and few disadvantages which I faced with this method are :
Cons of Full posts on Homepage
Page load time : If I show 8 posts on front page, it increases the page load time and hence more load time means less reader friendly
Landing page : To counter the first point, I decreased the number of posts to 4 and it created problem in terms of , less number of posts on my homepage and my homepage is landing page for me. And thus bounce rate increased.
More Scrolling : Even in 4 or 8 posts on homepage, readers has to scroll a lot to go to bottom of the page and this again is not user friendly.
Later on I moved to post excerpts and some of the clear advantages which I saw after using post excerpts are
Benefits of Post Excerpts
More posts on front page : I have almost 8 posts on front page and when a readers land on my blog (especially on homepage) he can quickly click on any posts title which he finds interesting.
Less scrolling :  Since lost of posts are covered on the front page and with a little scroll readers can quickly navigate 8 posts. Again this increased the number of post views and decreased the bounce rate.
SEO advantage : As My category/tag and homepage have only the excerpt and only posts have complete post. It avoided any chance of post duplication issue. For this reasons I highly recommend Post excerpts.

To read next:

                       Things to work upon before starting an Online Business Blog

                       Blogger vs Wordpress: Which is better & Why?

                       Best Wordpress Guide for Beginners