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How to Customise Your Blog

Starting up a blog is probably one of the smartest ways a Virtual Assistant can invest their time and effort. It’s the first thing most people will see of your business, so there’s absolutely no margin for error. Trying to make it too extravagant or complex is largely futile. Right now, you don’t really require a computer expert to get the job done for you, because everything you need is readily accessible, much of it available at no charge.

The one point that I would recommend, if this is going to be your primary internet presence as a Virtual Assistant, then you should have your own Hosting Package and a domain name that’s the same as your business name, or as close to it as you can get it. The steps you need to follow when developing your blog are:

First of all, before you begin, here is a big warning: Keep your site classy and uncluttered, simplicity is everything! Ensure that the site is easy for your users to get around, so that they can quickly find what they’re looking for. Whilst in technological terms it may be state of the art, your blog still needs to appear stylish.

1. The first thing to do is to pursue some keyword research around the topics you are going to talk about on your blog. From this you can identify the most optimised names for the blog. From this project you can find out some of the most beneficial titles for the blog.

2. Your next step is to research the blog platform that you are going to use. There are a great number of choices available, offered by providers such as WordPress.org – the Moveable Type for the self hosted option, or the likes of WordPress.com, Typepad, Blogger, Blogspot or Blogsmith for hosted platforms. The things you really need to make sure that you do are:

* Use a platform that is widely support by a very active community.

* Plan for the future and try and estimate how your blog may develop, and ensure that the option you select will develop with you.

3. Once you have chosen the platform, sign up using one of the optimised names that you chose for the blog, or install the site onto your own domain.

4. Select the template that you want to utilise, and ensure that:

* It ‘s appropriate to your topic.

* You fully customise it with headers, pictures, buttons and so on to make your blog stand out.

* The end result suits your style and brand.

5. Once you have completed this see what else you are able to add to your site, i.e. available widgets and plug-ins.

6. When you’re pleased with the overall style, you should add some new posts to get an idea of how the blog will look once users begin to utilise it. Once you’ve done this, make any tweaks necessary to improve the appearance and layout.

7. When you are happy with the overall look you can then publish your blog.

Maintaining your blog can be a bit of a challenge as you really need to post at least once a week, two or three quality posts would be better. You need to be providing something that visitors will want to come back for – and encourage these users to sign up to your feed.

Remember that this is an online business blog and you’re displaying your corporate image, so keep the discussions agreeable, as you want to put forth your individuality while still remaining completely professional. Don’t intermingle business with pleasure on your site, and as you don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable, try to stay away from any sort of controversial subjects.


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