1. Computing

10 Questions about Starting a Business Blog Answered

Learn How to Start a Business Blog Successfully

By

I'm often asked several common questions about starting a business blog. This article is intended to provide some answers and links to additional resources, so you can start a business blog for your company successfully.

1. Why should I start a business blog?

Many business owners wonder why they need a blog if they already have a Web site. The truth of the matter is simple -- blogs are very different from static Web sites. Rather than simply talking at online visitors, blogs talk with visitors. Blogs help to create a relationship with consumers, which in turn leads to word-of-mouth marketing and customer loyalty.

The articles listed below provide more information to help you decide if a business blog is right for your company:

2. What blogging application should a business blog use? Wordpress or Blogger?

The blogging application choice for a business blog depends on your ultimate goals for the blog. Using the self-hosted Wordpress.org blogging application gives you the most flexibility and functionality. If you're prepared to learn the technology and manage hosting your blog through a third party, then my recommendation would be Wordpress.org. However, if you want to use a blogging application that offers some flexibility and a decent amount of functionality without having to be concerned with hosting, then Blogger is a fine choice.

Read more in these articles:

3. What is the difference between Wordpress.com and Wordpress.org?

Wordpress.com is the blogging application offered by Automattic that offers bloggers free hosting. As a result, functionality and features are limited, and your blog's domain name will include a ".wordpress.com" extension. Wordpress.org is also free, however, you have to pay for hosting through a third party. Wordpress.org offers far more features and functions, particularly through Wordpress plug-ins, than Wordpress.com.

Read more in the articles below:

4. Are there any advantages to hosted vs. self-hosted (through a third party)?

Yes. While blogs hosted by the blog application provider, such as Wordpress.com or Blogger.com, provide the benefit of being free to use, you'll be limited in terms of functionality and features. If you host your blog through a third-party, particularly when you use Wordpress.org as your blogging application, the amount of features and functionality available to you is significantly greater.

Read more in these articles:

5. Should comments be allowed?

Yes. What makes a blog a blog is the comment feature that allows them to be conversational and true parts of the social Web. Otherwise, it's a one-way conversation, which is not much different from a traditional Web site. Blogs should allow comments.

More information is included in these articles:

6. Is it okay to moderate comments?

Until your blog is popular enough that it receives a huge number of comments each day, moderation does not take much time on the blogger's part but is very helpful in terms of eliminating spam, which can hurt the user experience. No one wants to read a blog filled with spam comments. The vast majority of blog readers are familiar with the comment moderation process and are not deterred from commenting on a blog that uses moderation. If you use Wordpress, I do recommend the Subscribe to Comments plug-in, so readers can keep up on the ongoing conversations that they're part of if they choose.

Read more in these articles

7. What should I write about on my business blog?

The key to writing a successful blog is to be personable, speak in your own voice, and make sure your posts are not completely self-promotional. In other words, don't just republish company news and corporate rhetoric. Instead, be engaging, interesting and strive to add value to the online conversation.

Read the articles below to learn more about business blog content:

8. Are there any rules to business blogging such as content, ethics, etc.?

There are unwritten rules of the blogosphere that all bloggers should follow to be a welcome member. Additionally, there are copyright laws that bloggers must be aware of and adhere to. The following articles will give you a better understanding of the rules and ethics of the blogosphere and online publishing:

9. Are there any security issues that I should be aware of?

Exercise sound judgment in terms of who you grant login access to your blogging account. Each blogging application provides different user levels such as Administrator (full control), Author (can write and publish blog posts), and so on. Review the user level privileges and only grant access privileges that meet your users' needs.

If you're using Wordpress.org, be sure to perform recommended upgrades, and always choose a reliable host if you're self-hosting your business blog.

Finally, keep your password private and change it periodically as you would with your other online logins.

For more information about online security, visit the About.com Internet and Network Security Guide Site.

10. Is there anything else I should know about starting a business blog?

Dive in and get started! Check out these articles for more tips and suggestions to enhance your business blog:

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.