Maybe it’s your resolution for 2017, or you’ve simply decided it’s time.

You’ve looked at all the myriad benefits and finally see the ROI through the effort.

I’m talking about starting a blog, of course. Publishing a blog is an incredibly effective way to attract more attention to your business, establish your expertise, and boost your SEO.

You’re already convinced, so let’s dive into the ‘how.’ It’s one thing to see that ROI among the trees, but you’ll need a clear and capable strategy to hack yourself a path through the weeds. We’ll cover off:

Let’s get to it.

Platforms, Domain Names, and Hosting

Once you commit to starting a new blog, your first decision is which blogging platform you’ll use to create the blog and publish new posts. The options are limitless, but three of the best are Wordpress, Blogger, and Tumblr.


Now that you’ve found a home for your blog, you’ll choose an address for that home. Choosing a domain name isn’t complicated — the best option is to use your business name (e.g. If the .com isn’t available, consider other suffixes like .co, .us, or .biz.

You can purchase your chosen domain through GoDaddy, Google Domains, or most blogging platforms and hosting services.


Blogging platforms like Wordpress and Blogger offer free blog hosting on their website, but we don’t recommend it. While you will have to pay to host your own blog, the cost is negligible ($5-10 per month) and allows you to use your own domain name and truly own your site.

For hosting needs, you can turn to services like iPage, Bluehost (Wordpress’s recommend option), or HostGator. All have an easy, one-click integration with Wordpress.

Designing Your Blog

When you’re ready to design your blog, keep two things in mind:

On your chosen blogging platform, scan through the free themes and layouts available and choose your favorite. A ready-made template does a lot of the work for you, often including optimizing for mobile with responsive design.

For some, choosing a theme may be all the designing you need to do. If you’re customizing beyond that template, keep these design principles in mind:

grasshopper blog

In addition to following web design best practices, keep branding in mind. If you already have a website for your small business, your blog should share similar design — make it clear that your website and blog are representing the same business.

Targeting Your Audience & Planning Content

The audience your blog should seek is your customers and people like them. Since you own a functioning small business, you should have a lot of information about your target audience already.

You want to know demographic information about your audience and where on the web they hang out (Is it Facebook? Reddit? Snapchat?). This background info determines the format your blog will take (video, long-form articles, infographics, etc.) and the channels in which you’ll promote it.

If you’re marketing your business effectively, you also understand their pain points. That’s where you’ll draw content ideas from. What challenges face your audience? How can you help them overcome those challenges? What aspects of your expertise can make their lives easier? This is the information you’ll share.

To get more content ideas, check out what similar blogs are talking about, dig into search trends around your niche, and ask for feedback from your existing audience.

Once you have the topics brainstormed, create a simple calendar of when you’ll post about what — this makes it easier to stay on track and publish new content consistently.

Finding Writers

You’re a busy entrepreneur, so you’re probably wondering:

The good news? Outsourcing the actual writing to a freelancer kills both those birds with minimal effort from you. Once you find a great writer to pen your blog’s content, you can sit back and feel confident that your blog will have high quality posts that are compelling, well-researched, and optimizing for search.

upwork freelance writers

To get started, find a bunch of freelancer options. Do a little headhunting on sites like Contently and Upwork — check out the writers behind your favorite blogs, too. Once you have a running list, take a look at their previous work, seek out references from their other clients, and set up a quick meeting or phone call. You want a great writer, but you also want someone who’s reliable and pleasant to work with, too.

Blog Away

If your 2017 resolution is to start a blog for your small business, you have all you need to make this a resolution you actually keep. Creating a new blog takes a little elbow grease up front, but once it’s up and running, you’ll see big gains for your small biz. Don’t take my word for it — go find those returns for yourself!

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