Now we need to work out the right place for your blog. Your own site or some- one else's? Wordpress or Squarespace? Tumblr, LinkedIn or Medium? What about guest blogs? Does Instagram count as a blog? The good news is, you don’t have to decide on just one place. All of these op- tions have great things to offer, and by choosing a few options, you’ll be able to build your audience, and make the most of every blog post. I do firmly believe that successful blogging begins at home: that is, on your own website. Wherever else you might share your posts, do think about cre- ating a blog of your own. Blogging on your own website Every business needs some place on the internet that explains what you sell and how people can buy it. Without a website, you’re relying on passing traffic for customers. Some people choose to just have a Google Business page or a Facebook page, but that’s a little risky. You have little control on what the page looks like or what information you can put there. Even if you’re happy with what’s there today, you don’t know what will be there tomorrow. Your entire web presence is at the mercy of their product manager’s latest whim. The lack of control over the appearance of the page is also maybe a bigger issue than you think. It’s hard to look sophisticated or hip when you have to work with Google’s kiddie colour palette. And it’s so easy and cheap now to pop up a simple website, that just having a Facebook page now looks a bit amateurish. By all means, have Google and Facebook pages, if they are helpful to marketing your business. But I do recommend you have a site of your own, under your own domain name. For example emilyobyrne.com, not
emilyobyrne.wordpress.com. Websites don't need to be expensive or difficult to create. And if you have a site, you might as well stick a blog on it. If you already have a website or an account on an online commerce platform, you may have a blog already. Website on Wix or Squarespace? You have a blog. Shopify store? You have a blog. Teachable school? You have a blog. Check the site specific help to find out what you need to do to enable blogging features and get started. If you don’t have a website yet, here are some options to look at, all of which will allow you to have a blog as well as a few information pages. All in one website builders These services include a wide range of templates to help you get a stylish look without needing a designer to help you. They also have a content manager to set up posts and other pages, without needing to write any code if you don't want to. Web hosting is included in the package, and some even let you buy your domain name and your Google Apps through the same service. Take advantage of free trials to see which one works for you. Some of the tools offer free accounts, but these don't generally allow your own domain name. There will be other limitations too. Paid accounts aren't expensive - they start from around 10USD a month. Here are some good options to start with: Squarespace has good e-commerce features as well as blogs, galleries and landing pages. There’s a huge range of templates, which you can customise through a settings page to get an individual look. It’s what I use for my own site. Wix has similar features to Squarespace. It has slightly different packages on offer, and might work out cheaper depending on which features you need. Wordpress.com is a hugely popular tool which started just for blogging but now offers a lot more. There's a massive choice of 3rd party plugins, to tailor your site exactly to your needs. Don’t worry about being stuck with a Wordpress domain name - you can link your own domain to a Wordpress blog.