Blogging Without A Business 3 - The Practical Stuff

September 10, 2008


This is part of a series of articles on setting up a business blog, before you actually have a business. You can check out part 1 here:The Power Of Blogging For Business Without A Business. And part 2 here: Blogging Without A Business - The Fringe Benefits.

1) The first thing you will need for your blog is a domain name - eg. http://www.cathlawson.com
Many hosting companies will provide a free domain name.

2) Next, you need someone to host your blog - this will be your parking space on the Internet.
Check out the following popular hosting services:
Bluehost
EventureBiz
Hostgator

You can host your blog for free on Blogger instead, but if you intend to start a business later on, I highly recommend getting your own domain and host. It’s cheap and it looks far more professional.

3) If you would like a professionally designed blog, check out Men With Pens (they designed this
blog). And if you don’t want to fork out for a professional design yet, there’s hundreds of
free wordpress themes available.

4) Once you’re all set up, there’s heaps of widgets, plugins and blogging stuff you need to know.
And Barbara at Blogging Without A Blog and Lorelle on Wordpress have heaps of wonderful
blogging resources for you to explore.

5) Blogging isn’t easy - it’s a total different way of writing than what you see in other media. I
struggled to get it right for a long time. To avoid making some of the mistakes I made, I
recommend reading: The Secret To Writing A Successful And Outstanding Blog by Liz Strauss. And it’s also worth subscribing to her excellent blog: Successful Blog.
If you already have a blog, what other practical advice would you give to anyone who is looking to start one? If you’re considering starting a blog yourself, do you have any questions?




Related Reading

The Power of Blogging For Business Without A Business
What Is A Blog And Will It Feed You Or Eat You?
47 Brilliant Blog Marketing Resources

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Comments

13 Responses to “Blogging Without A Business 3 - The Practical Stuff”

  1. Vered - MomGrind on September 10th, 2008 4:03 am

    I would add problogger.net to the blogs that provide great advice on the technical side of blogging.

    Vered - MomGrind’s last blog post..You Read Women’s Magazines? I’ll Give You Ten Reasons To Stop

  2. cathlawson on September 10th, 2008 4:06 am

    Hi Vered - Thanks. I forgot about Problogger and it was reading his blog that first got me into blogging.

  3. Al at 7P on September 10th, 2008 4:35 am

    Hi Cath,

    If the blog is a business, then networking is certainly important. I’d recommend finding a few of the leading blogs in their respective niche to follow and to actively engage in the community and making contact with like-minded bloggers. To identify the niche blogs, a site like Alltop.com might be a good resource.

    Al at 7P’s last blog post..What’s More Important: Who You Are or What You Do?

  4. Barbara Swafford on September 10th, 2008 6:36 am

    Hi Catherine,

    Thank you for the mention.

    I also think someone who is planning on having a business blog needs to consider if they will write the blog themselves or hire someone to write for them (a freelancer). A lot of business blogs don’t post/publish articles as often as we do, so the time issue may not come into play.

    Another issue that needs to be addressed is how would negative comments be addressed. If a business is selling a product or service, it’s inevitable they will have a disgruntled customer.

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..Digging Close To Home

  5. cathlawson on September 10th, 2008 11:26 am

    Hi Barbara - You’re welcome. That’s a good point. Many of them would be better off getting a freelancer who knows blogging, seo etc.

    They would need to have a negative comments policy definitely & hopefully that wouldn’t mean deleting those from genuine customers. At the same time they’d need a way to work out which ones were fake - eg from ex staff or competitors.

  6. Sunil Pathak on September 10th, 2008 11:50 am

    Hello Catherine

    Business blogging is the most difficult form of blogging. you need to do a lot of research. pre-launch preparation.

    i think programs like Chris Garrett’s Authority Blogger and Yaro Starak’s Blog Mastermind can be really helpful

    Sunil Pathak’s last blog post..How To Make You Reader Fall In Love With Your Blog

  7. cathlawson on September 10th, 2008 12:04 pm

    Hi Sunil - You’re right. It’s not quite as straightforward as it seems. And there’s lots of things to consider.

    I haven’t used either of those programs but I’ve heard good things about them.

  8. Monika Mundell on September 10th, 2008 1:18 pm

    Hi Cath,

    It looks like you are on a roll. I’ve missed a lot of your awesome posts while being sick and now I need to spend some time playing catch up.

    This series is great as it will help many newcomers to dust the cobwebs.

    Monika Mundell’s last blog post..Cash Flow - Are You Aware Of Business Costs?

  9. Lance on September 10th, 2008 1:24 pm

    For me it was a matter of just starting - I kept putting it off, thinking everything had to be perfect. The truth is, we learn as we go, no matter how prepared we are ahead of time. So, my advice for someone thinking about blogging: do some initial prep work (like reviewing what you and others have mentioned - they’re great tips), but then just jump in and get started.

    Lance’s last blog post..Lost In This Great Big World

  10. cathlawson on September 10th, 2008 3:06 pm

    Thanks Monika - glad you’re recovering from flu. There’s one about interviews on here and I included your She-Power interview.

    Hi Lance - We definitely learn as we go don’t we. Some of my old practise posts are appalling - I’ve been trying to rewrite some of them.

  11. cathlawson on September 10th, 2008 7:22 pm

    Hi Rita - I did not figure on it taking up so much time either.

    I knew you were really lost when you first started because I’d been there. You know - I didn’t even have an RSS feed for months because I didn’t understand what they were. I was lucky that Barbara was one of my first commenters and I learned a lot of the technical stuff from her.

    Your writing was good from the start though. Mine sucked big time. I’m still going through early posts and totally rewriting them.

  12. cathlawson on September 10th, 2008 8:42 pm

    Hi Rita - I know it’s time consuming. But I’m just worried that other folk will read them.

  13. John Hoff - eVentureBiz on September 11th, 2008 3:37 pm

    Hello Cath and thank you so much for the mention.

    Our hosting website definitely has a different feel than other hosting sites. Just trying to be different and not “corporate”. Too many hosting sites look like they are spit out of a production line.

    The idea is to use me as the “band leader”, so to speak.

    You hit on something in your post I’d like to expand on. Newbies often (if not most) times think they need to go with a free hosting account first before they spend “big money” on a web hosting account (big money being less than $100/year).

    If it’s just a personal website or blog, that might be ok, but if you’re even considering starting a business which you have any kind of interest in, go for the paid hosting.

    Here’s an article I wrote about 8 Drawbacks to Free Web Hosting everyone should consider.

    Something I’ve seen so many times is when someone grows their blog to a point where they now need paid hosting but quickly realize
    a) what a pain it’s going to be to switch everything over
    b) all the back links (people linking to them) which link to your website and contribute to your search engine rankings will now ALL be lost.

    You now have a new domain starting all over again which you need to build. All to save less than $100.

    Not worth it.

    I frequent Yahoo Answers and to show you what I’m talking about, just type in “web hosting” in the search box. 90% of what you’ll see are people asking for “free web hosting” and the ones that always make me laugh are the ones that say, “I’m trying to start a new business. Which FREE web hosting account and company do you suggest?”

    John Hoff - eVentureBiz’s last blog post..How To Split Business Income Between Partners

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