Want to start a blog to promote my service - Any tips?

Discussion in 'Website Development & Design' started by simplyjo, Jun 5, 2009.

  1. simplyjo

    simplyjo
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    Hi All,

    I want to start a blog to promote my content writing service. I need some help on what all to add to it.

    I understand I need to add samples of previous work and a resume kind of post with work experience - However, for it to gain PR and become popular, it would need constand content/posts - I doubt that can be added as it has to look like a landing page.

    So, do I just add one post will all details and make a landing page ? If not, what else can I include ?

    Pls help,
    Jo
     
  2. Fergal

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    Jo, a blog by its nature, generally has regular constant updates. If you will not be adding regular content why not simply build a static website with the relevant landing pages, and don't include a blog?

    If you don want to include a blog, there is nothing to stop you from also having landing pages. For example the home page of the very successful http://www.seobook.com/ is a landing page promoting their SEO training program and it links to their blog with regular SEO related posts at http://www.seobook.com/blog. Could that kind of approach work for you?

    You might find the blogging related links in our Useful Online Business Resources of some help. The link to "12 Tips on How to Write your First Blog Post" has some very useful ideas to give you inspiration for writing your first posts.
     
  3. Nazreen

    Nazreen
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    Yes, I agree that a blog should have regular updates. Otherwise, it will just gather dust and be forgotten. It will also not gain any PR.

    As they say, content is what's needed in order to have a successful blog. Since you're promoting your content writing services, then I don't think that your blog will look like a landing page. You just have to put these as samples of your services.
     
  4. simplyjo

    simplyjo
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    Thanks all - However, I am very familiar with blogging but never tried building my own site. I tried godaddy.com once to buy a .info domain name but got super confused and simply logged out - Websites are just not my thing :( I have tried creating landing pages on blogs for my affiliate sites. Blogs like - http://fapturboexposed.blogspot.com - Ofcourse it is 0 PR blog as I have no updates on it - But just to give everyone an idea of what I have to offer? Can I create a similar one for my services too - If I use it in my signatures and post in forums etc - Will it help in getting me more business ?
     
  5. Fergal

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    You could certainly do that Jo, Having a reference point a link to click to view your services should help with your sales.

    From other posts you've made I see that your business has growing to a good monthly revenue. Have you considered contracting someone to design a site for you? It wouldn't have to cost you too much and it would look much more professional than a blog.
     
  6. simplyjo

    simplyjo
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    Sounds good - Though I would need domain name, hosting and then someone to create a site ---- Lot of work it seems. Can anyone here help me with that ?

     
  7. Fergal

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    The first thing you could do is register a domain name with one of the large domain companies such as http://www.godaddy.com or http://www.namecheap.com/.

    I would recommend that you own and control your own domain name. If you get your domain name through your hosting company and you are not happy with their service you may not find it that easy to change hosts. If you get it from your web-designer and then decide to use a different designer you may find that your original designer is not so quick to give you control of your domain.

    For hosting you can either go to a hosting company in your local area or go to one of the major international companies such as http://www.hostgator.com/ (where you can get hosting from about $5 per month) or www.1and1.com.

    For your website design, have a look at competitors' sites or other related sites and make a list of the ones you like. Then write up a description of what you want from your site. Then advertise your requirements in our Member Ads and at some of the freelance and webmaster forums listed in our Online Business Resources.

    Another much easier approach (although probably slightly more expensive) would be to register a domain name and then contact your local web designers and find someone who has done work in the past that you like and that you trust and feel you can work with. Then let that designer handle your website development and hosting.

    Please let us know your thoughts and we'll be glad to provide you with further assistance.
     
  8. pendelton

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    I would suggest avoiding 1and1 unless it is you last resort. I ordered hosting once from them, did not like their service in the least, and requested the 30 money back guarantee, not only did they not refund, they turned me over the the credit agencies for non payment. I am still sending letters to get this resolved and had to file a chargeback on my credit card to show my distaste for them.

    For shared hosting hostgator.com is the better of any service I have had.

    As far as blogs go there are dozens of free blog sites that can be used, but, in order for them to gain PR and be of use for back link any of them will need updates.

    If you go with a paid domain look at using word press, which has hundreds of free themes, plus all the free plugins needed for full on site SEO. Then you are reduced to finding someone to change the graphics for you only, no coding, so you will have less to pay. Although, you may not need any design work done if you like the theme enough.

    For $9.95 for the hosting and a domain for, up to, $10.00, you can start a nice site using word press, and, within an hour be making progress on content. This is using hostgator.com.

    Good luck.
     
  9. Kay

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    Buy your own domain definitely, don't be tempted to go with a hosted blog. Aside from the fact they can pull the rug from under you anytime they want, a lot of advertisers you'll find don't want to use any .blogspot/xanga/wordpress etc hosted ones. While you might not be thinking you need to consider advertising or advertisers at the moment, it's best to keep your options open just in case.

    Wordpress is the way to go imho. It's very flexible and with it being open source, is free. It's also far easier and cheaper to change the look of it when you feel it needs a facelift by simply changing the template than having to employ a designer all over again to do so.

    If you look at the three links in my sig, you can see how varied templates can be. All three of those sites are based on WordPress and each looks very different to the other. That's a very small example but you get the general idea.

    As has been mentioned, the plug-ins make it easy to improve upon the basics. You can also add RSS feeds to WordPress. Check out the Wordpress Extend section for ideas on what's available in both plugins and themes. There are thousands of other sites outwith this official WordPress one that offer both.

    http://wordpress.org/extend/

    For hosting, I'd recommend you look at A Small Orange. We've used them in the past and found them good and helpful. You can ask any questions you have on their forum in the Pre-Sales section about anything you're not sure about before you sign up.

    If you get your domain and hosting set up and decide to have WordPress installed, holler at me once it's done and I'll help you find your feet on using the admin panel. It's easy once you get the basics and I can talk you through stuff on IM. :)
     
    #9 Kay, Jun 8, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2009
  10. Fergal

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    Jo, you got some great suggestions there. Just to add, if you get hosting with Fantastico installed you will be able to install a Wordpress blog and lots of other helpful scripts with just a few clicks in your hosting control panel.
     
  11. TimeRider

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    Hostgator is one of the best Hosting Service Providers. Not only services but they also provide quick and helpful support too. They also give you discount if you have discount coupons.
     
  12. shyflower

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    I have hosted with 1 and 1 since they opened hosting to the public and have never had a problem. I have 5 domains on my account with them. Hosting costs me a little under $10.00 a month for all five of them and domain registration is included in that expense.

    I have also heard bad publicity about GoDaddy, but I have a client who hosts with them and they have been nothing but courteous and helpful when help was needed. They also use the Fantastico WordPress upload which really kicks! In fact, that's one improvement I hope that 1 and 1 makes in the future.

    Although I have no experience with them, from what I have read from their clients, I believe that HostGator is also a good choice for a web host. WordPress also has a list of web hosts that are compatible.
     
  13. Fergal

    Fergal
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    I've quite a few domains registered with GoDaddy. Their user-interface and domain control areas are pretty user-unfriendly and their continual efforts at up-selling become annoying after some time.

    However, I have found them to be very reliable over the years and their domain registration prices are great value, especially if you find a working GoDaddy coupon code. The ones listed at http://www.retailmenot.com/view/godaddy.com have been working for me recently.
     
  14. nirose

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    ya coupon codes decrease the value of the cost per domain but heard that godaddy offers privacy for a cost whereas name and namecheap offers them for free for a year and is really cheap afterwards.
     
  15. simplyjo

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    Jeez - I get too confused whenever I even think of buying domains and hosting html etc.. I've made a simple sample blog - With just one post of info of our services and how to reach us - Ya all think this is ok ? - http://bestcontentwritingservice.blogspot.com/ - do lemme know how it looks - what can i add/ where can i promote..etc.. ? Thx a ton !
     
  16. Fergal

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    The site looks quite basic to be honest, but it does give a good overview of the services you provide. If you have a budget for promoting your services it would probably pay to hire a web-designer to create a small site to promote your services. It would look much more professional than a hosted blog.

    Good luck with it, I hope your business continues to grow.
     
  17. DollarMirrordotcomGuy

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    Very simple and straight to the point homepage simplyjo however, I have a feeling that customers will more likely to hire you if you will add a little color and design to your site. Your website is a mirror of your products or services so I have to agree with Fergal that it would probably pay to hire a web designer to create a simple but professionally-styled website to promote your services effectively.

    I also have a comment with your picture, if you want to convert your visitors into customers, you really have to exert a little effort on the images you post on your site. I would suggest you take a good whole-body pic of yourself standing in plain white background (or whatever color you want for your background) and maybe place it in the left or right corner of the page leveling the height of the text or paragraph content. That should add a touch of sophistication and style to your page and would attract more customers especially if you wear something formal. In other words, you become the model for your site and you also help your customers remember you.

    In addition, although it looks nice to have a single landing page with all the information written on it, as a web designer myself, I strongly suggest that you avoid it that way. A single landing page looks unprofessional especially to those who are in the web development field and many customers might easily mistaken your site to be just another scam page rather than a genuine writing services.

    I suggest you add at least three pages and show the links on the home page. Page one may contain your portfolio, page two may contain say links or logos of your past clients and page three should contain your about and contact page. Also your business will look more professional if you have an @yourowndomain.com e-mail i.e. [email protected].

    I'm not sure what type of website you prefer but if you are not that meticulous and would settle into an HTML site, I create, design and maintain HTML websites for just $50. Package includes maximum of five pages, basic web design and simple customized graphics and logo.
     
    #17 DollarMirrordotcomGuy, Jun 18, 2009
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2009
  18. Fergal

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    Jo, I notice that you have a link to your ezine articles on that page. Would it be possible for you to also add some client testimonials and / or links to articles on client sites that you have written? Allowing visitors to see that you have happy clients and that you have done good work in the past would give them the confidence that you can provide good quality work for them.
     
  19. shyflower

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    Years ago, I started with a free site at Homestead. When I went to self-hosting, my business increased substantially. When you are trying to conduct business at a free host, you are looking for customers that are willing to make an investment in their business, but showing them that you are unwilling to make a small investment in yours. If you want to build a reputation as a professional instead of a hobbyist, you really need to make that small investment.

    On looking at your site, I see several elements that will hinder your business advancement. If you can't afford a designer or want to design your own site, the first thing I would suggest is that you look at several tutorials on what makes good design. Oddly enough, a good place to start is Vincent Flanders site "Web Pages that Suck". Although the site is very enjoyable, if you want to learn good design, start at his pages, "Checklist of Bad Web Design" and Biggest Mistakes in Web Design.

    Another thing I find is that your prices are incredibly low. Although they may net you a lot of business, consider whether it will be the kind of business you want? When I started nine years ago, I started at prices such as $5.00 for 500 words. I actually did it to build a portfolio of sold work. However, if I had to do it over, I would do if differently. It's a long swim up from the bottom of the pond. I know now that I can do a whole lot less work for a whole lot more money and more, I have more time to devote to delivering real quality and service in the projects that I do accept.

    When you work for bottom feeders, you find that they often expect the moon for a song. They also often treat providers like employees instead of with the mutual B to B respect due them.
     
  20. juicemane

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    I would post tips and advice in the blog where people can learn from
    that way, it increases your credibility
     

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