Why you should blog & how to set up on Squarespace
Blogging is one of the best ways to build your brand. It helps show you are an expert in your field, helps build stronger connections with your audience.
If you have an Etsy shop, if you are in direct sales, if you are a life coach, if you help people with their taxes, if you sell cookies from a hole in the wall bakery. YOU NEED A BLOG.
Blogging benefits everyone!
CONNECT WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS ON A DEEPER LEVEL.
Blogging let's your customers see into your life and your business in a way completely different from social media. When you write about your background and story, your readers and customers are able to make a strong personal connection with you. People are notoriously nosy, we love a good background story. When people relate to you they will keep coming back for more.
ADD VALUE TO YOUR PRODUCTS AND SERVICES WITH YOUR EXPERTISE.
By sharing helpful tips and insider information about your products and services you are adding value to your work. Your customers will know they can come to you to find great information about your niche. They will also come to know you for the awesome tips you share, along with the high quality of your product or service. Think: I love the recipes from this website, that must mean I will also love her cookbook for $20.
CROSS PROMOTE YOUR WEBSITE AND BLOG ON SOCIAL MEDIA.
We all know by now that people are tired of being sold to on social media, but you can still use social media to get people to your website....with your blog! (You knew that was coming, right?) A new blog post is a fresh way to get people to click over. If you have "5 tips for getting your kid to read more," Mom is going to click over to read that article, and then she sees that you also offer books for kids who hate to read under $10. You've hooked her! And she gets lost in your web(site) of book goodness.
INCREASE TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE WITH YOUR BLOG.
This one goes hand and hand with the last reason. Blogs are a really great way to get more views on your website. You will be able to promote your website on all the social media; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest. Pinterest is huge for bloggers. And the big one, blogging also increases your SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Google LOVES fresh new content on your website. They also love lots of keywords, and if you think about it, the more you write the more keywords you will have. All of this in turn will lead to more people coming to your website to check it out, and lead to those people buying from you and becoming lifelong customers. We will go into this more in a few days.
BLOGGING IS REALLY FUN.
I'm pretty sure those four reason alone are enough to convince you to want to start blogging for your business. But if not, then the last thing you need to know is, blogging is really fun. I've had several different blogs over the last 10 years, and I've loved them all! It takes some time to find your rhythm, find your voice, and increase your readership but it's totally worth it.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: 5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Blogging And Its Value For Your Brand
You don't have to be a tech-goddess to have a beautiful and professional website. I also believe that you shouldn't have to be a slave to your web designer or developer to manage your website. There is a happy medium. And it starts in the wonderful land of Squarespace.
Squarespace is a website hosting platform and its awesome for small business owners like you and me. It's affordable, easy to use, and it looks beautiful. It's the platform I use for this site! And it's also the place I design websites for my clients, and they love it. See examples here.
In my 10+ years of blogging and owning various websites, I have tried pretty much every platform out there including Wordpress, which tends to be the most common for small business owners and bloggers. There are many great things about Wordpress, but ultimately I decided it wasn't the right place for my website and blog.
With Squarespace, you don't have to worry about hosting, site security, plug-ins, tech support, reliability, or additional fees. It really makes blogging and running a website worry-free. I've actually written a blog post about this that goes into detail about why I love Squarespace, and you will too!
So now that we've really gotten into why Squarespace is the way to go, let's get it set up.
1| Head over to Squarespace.com and click get "Get Started" in the top right corner.
2| Pick a template.
This seems more overwhelming than it should be. First of all, no matter which template you pick it's going to look great! Second, Squarespace offers a free 14 day-trial, if you end up wanting to trying a different theme, go for it! Also, you can change it later, if it really doesn't suit you or your needs.
That being said, I do have some recommendations! Click on the name of each template and it will take you to the full description, complete with examples.
- Five. This is the theme I'm currently using, it's great for bloggers because it has the standard sidebar that you tend to find on most blogs.
- Montauk. Very modern and simple yet beautiful design, includes the sidebar.
- Pacific. This is my favorite theme, but it does not offer a sidebar so be sure to consider that when you are deciding.
- Hayden. Another favorite of mine, it's very versatile and professional. And yes it has a sidebar on the blog page.
Go ahead and scroll through them all, check out the full description and scroll to the bottom where they highlight websites that are actually using that theme. You will be surprised at the variety of businesses using each template.
3| Sign up.
After you've picked your template, you will be prompted to create an account or sign in and answer a few questions on what you intend to do with you new website.
4| Design it.
This is the best part! This is what the backend of your website will look like now. The links on the left are how you get around. The PAGES tab takes you to the navigation of your pages. The DESIGN tab is where you will customize the appearance of your site. Play around with these! I promise you won't break it, but in order to get familiar with it, you need to try things out.
One of the best things about Squarespace is that they also offer a comprehensive guide of tutorials and videos to help you get started if you want to DIY your website! Click right here to get all the info you need about customizing your site.
If doing it yourself, isn't your thing...give me a shout! I'd love to help you out! I've also created this workbook to help you plan out your site before you start designing or hire a designer.
5| Connect your domain and launch!
(You can wait a few days or until your trial is up to do this.)
After you've designed your site and got a few posts up (we will talk about this tomorrow) you need to connect your domain and launch your new baby! Connecting your domain couldn't be any easier.
If you decide to pay for an annual plan on Squarespace, you will get free domain. If you want to pay month-to-month, simply purchase your domain from GoDaddy when you are ready. You can also connect a domain you already have, even if you currently have a website, it will re-direct all on its own once you connect your Squarespace account. Here's the video tutorial on connecting your third-party domain. So. Easy.
Be sure to do a big launch on your social media when your new blog is up running! You should be proud and show this baby off!