In my previous post, I shared an article called, “Why Small Business Owners Need a Blog.” One of our readers followed up with a question. It said, “Okay, so, I already have a website. Who or what can help me insert a blog into my website?”
Before I get into a few of the blog software/program alternatives, I want to address where to get help setting up and customizing your blog (because, you’re going to need it). If you can afford it, hire someone local. But, be certain they are familiar with the program/software I recommend below (WordPress). Before I found local help, I used freelance services such as www.elance.com and www.guru.com. Just be sure the person you hire as a freelancer is located in the country you’re in. Even more important (and this is a deal breaker for me), you want to make sure this is a person who will allow you to speak with them on the phone (and not just offer communication via email). Trust me on this one. There is nothing that takes up more time than emailing someone back and forth on an issue that could be cleared up in a two-minute phone call. Just remember to be courteous and brief with anyone who offers you phone support. This will keep the door open for you to speak with them in the future.
There are also blog redesigners/freelancers that you can find through some of the paid themes/template providers out there. Including, www.woothemes.com (this website/blog was built from a WooTheme template and I used them to help me customize it), www.studiopress.com (I’ve used one of their folks and had a good experience), and www.perfectory.com (I’ve bought themes from them, but not used their customization services).
If you can’t find anyone to help you get your blog setup, let me know. I have a relationship with a group out of California that have always been helpful to me and I’ve recommended to other small business owners. Just email me through my contact page and I’ll forward you their information.
Adding a blog to your website is not for the newbie. Even though your blogging software may be free, adding the files to your website and customizing your blog so it compliments your current site is a job for a professional. Unless you’re geeky or a pro, I would never recommend you try to do it yourself. It just takes up too much time, has too many headaches, and probably won’t end up being professional enough for business use.
Let’s take a look at some of the alternatives for what blogging platform/software to use, based on the platform/software/program your website is built on:
- If your website was created old-school with HTML, or with a basic WYSIWYG (“What You See is What You Get”) program, such as Dreamweaver, FrontPage, or Microsoft Expression Web, you have several options to choose from: The two best would be the paid TypePad product (advantage is they offer support) or the free and more popular “WordPress” alternative. Not only is WordPress free, but you can even get a free theme/template from WordPress. WordPress is my recommendation.
- If your website was made with a higher-end program, such as Joomla or Drupal, there are blog “plug-ins/add-ons” already built into the program. Hopefully the person that helped create your site could help you install your blog. If not, see my recommendations for finding freelance help at the beginning of this post.
- Finally, there are a variety of “do-it-yourself” web building programs out there from places like www.godaddy.com, www.web.com, and www.intuit.com (formally Homestead). Because I don’t recommend these type of do-it-yourself programs (because there’s just not enough flexibility for growth), I am not sure if they offer blogging software. You’ll want to check with them and see.
There is also the alternative of Google’s Blogger software program. Even though they make it super-simple to create a blog, you cannot include a Blogger blog into your current website. In other words, you want your blog to be located at: yourwebsite.com/blog and not on a completely separate domain (such as yourwebsite.com and yourblog.com). The main reason is that if your blog is outside your website’s file structure/domain name/URL, you won’t receive all the huge benefits of improving your site’s SEO (search engine optimization).
As I mentioned in my original article; “Businesses that blog get 55% more website visitors than those that do not have a blog.” So, if you don’t yet have a blog built into your website, I’m glad you want to get started. I hope this article helps you see how to get rolling in the right direction. If you have a follow-up question or comment, be sure to click the link or add it below.