This episode will introduce you to the two ways you can host your blog. We'll walk you through Content Management Systems and the incredibly dynamic blogging platform, Medium.
Well Well well! We’re finally at the last chapter in this series on blogging for business. We’ve come a pretty long way. From understanding how businesses work and how marketing works to learning how to strategize and write some pretty great blogs.
Technically, you could take what you’ve learnt and get started right away, but we wanted to leave you with a few last things to wrap it all up.
Primarily, the platform you’re going to run your blog on.
Understanding search keywords and titles and blog types are great. But at the end of the day, you aren't writing on a piece of paper. You’re writing online which means you need to know how to actually write and post online. That's what we are going to look at now.
There are 2 ways you can blog - you can either build your blog on your very own website, which would mean you have a blog page and something called a CMS or a content management system that lets you write and post on your website.
Or you can use a blogging platform like Medium.
Let’s start with the first route - blogging directly on your website using a CMS.
Let's take a look at this website:
It's a website by a UX designer Ashley who has a bunch of stuff for people looking to learn user experience design.
Now the blog is on her own website, she doesn’t redirect you elsewhere. So how does this work? Well it depends on what her website is built on.
There are several different tools used to build a website like WordPress, Wix or Webflow. Each of them have a slightly different system, but the common factor is that on the back end of each of these websites, there’s a section called CMS where posts are created.
And the process of creating a new post is quite straightforward. You normally have something as simple as - 'New blog post'
Where all you have to do is put in the title, URL, a summary of the blog, the content of the blog, and upload an image and you’re done.
That's it. You literally just have to put in all your stuff into this format and it will get posted on the website's blog section.
New-age tools like WebFlow have been built exactly for this purpose: so you can create and upload blogs seamlessly without writing a single line of code. We’ve even done an entire course on Webflow and how you can use it to build websites and blog sites.
Do I feel bad for shamelessly selling our other courses?
Would I do it again?
100%. My annual trip to Thailand isn’t gonna pay for itself, is it?
Another important thing to note is that when you work with a client, they could have an entire team that handles the development side of things.
If that’s the case, tell them what you’re looking to achieve and they may be able to help you set it up. Be nice and say please.
Moving on to the second option which is to use a blogging platform like Medium.
Medium, like any blogging platform, is a site that hosts thousands of different blogs.
It's basically social media for blogs. Very much like Instagram where people post images and videos, Medium is where people go to well, post and read blogs.
And the primary reason to host on a blogging platform is the same reason you’re on Instagram - it’s where the audience is. Businesses blog on Medium because it already has traffic coming to the site.
If you host your blog on your own website, it could be amazing and convenient but it risks low viewership unless you already have a good deal of traffic coming to your website.
Medium of course is nowhere near Instagram or Linkedin in terms of usage, but the numbers are still quite high. Their monthly visits are close to 200 million with 84 million unique visitors.
Now the question you might ask is, who are these people? Will I find my audience there? Will they like me?
Great question. Medium's readership does skew towards certain domains like Tech, Design, marketing, Life Learning, Business, Entrepreneurship, startups, culture, politics etc.
So if you have a business that falls in one of these categories or is at least connected to it, you’re definitely positioned better to perform well. But like any social media platform, Medium has a wide array of people coming to the site and it benefits most kinds of businesses.
Another great reason as to why Medium is great for blogging is because it is stupid simple to set up.
There is literally nothing complicated to fiddle with. So if you’re working with a business that doesn't have a blog template on its website or needs to just go live with the blog quickly, Medium is your best bet.
And lucky for you, today we’re going to quickly touch upon building your blog on Medium.
In order to build a blog on medium, you need to first create an account. So, head over and sign up.
Now you can start a blog right away. Simply click on your profile on the right side and hit ‘write a story’.
You are taken here-
You then copy your title and content into their relevant spots like this.
To add an image, just hit that ‘+’ sign on the left :
And upload your image. There you go!
Now you can just hit Publish on the top right
And it will take you to this page
This is basically what Medium will show its audience when they come across your blog. You can change the preview text on your left. On the right, you can add relevant tags.
Think of these like categories, or keywords that people might associate with your blog. The example I’ve given here is on marketing, so I'll add the tags, Marketing, Startup, Agency, Performance and Data.
And there you go! You've published your first post. Wasn’t that a piece of cake.
Now that’s how you go about blogging as an individual but that’s not what this course is about.
What you need is for a company account on Medium.
Take Vice for example:
This is Vice's page on Medium. If you go through the blogs, you will see that articles here have been written by a variety of different authors, which is exactly what you want from your business blog. It's not about any particular person, but about the brand.
Dedicated blog pages on Medium are called Publications. If you want to build a company page, you need a company publication.
Click on your profile and then on publications
Then tap New Publication, and you’ll be taken to a new publication page.
Here, they’ll ask you for a bunch of details like the name of the brand, the tagline, description, Avatar, logo, and a cover image. You also get to put in your brand's social media URLs. Towards the end of the page, you can add other writers as well.
Once you’ve finished that, you’re taken to the next page where you get to put down the layout of your page. You can decide what you want the top section to look like where you can put in the name of your Publication and how you want your posts to show up.
You can mix up the layouts between Grid, stream, list etc.
Basically, this will help you put your page together. Once you are done, go ahead and hit create.
You will be taken to an empty page, like this -
Don’t worry, it’s only empty because you don't have any posts yet. Now, at the top right of your screen, you should be able to see your brand's publication.
Just click on that, hit write a story and you know the drill.
Building a business blog on Medium is literally as simple as that.