Fact: WordPress is one of the bext things that ever happened to content marketing. Of its many benefits, the idea that it has helped thousands of companies over the past few years to get in the game – affordably and through an intuitive user interface is…significant.
The best thing about WordPress is the way it enables just about everyone to create a blog, regardless of web development experience. There are essentially two ways one can set up a blog: externally (yourblog.wordpress.org), or as part an existing website (yoursite.com/blog). Both are free, however each has its upsides and downsides, which I will address briefly here.
The external website option (yourblog.wordpress.com) is the best option for a small business owner who does not have a developer at their expense, and therefore, has to set up the blog themselves. WordPress has a great interface that is simple, easy to use, and doesn’t leave you guessing. The best part about this option is the fact that your blog is automatically set up for you; once you create your account and enter some basic information about your blog and company into the interface, you can immediately start blogging. The downside to this method is the fact that the blog is not hosted on your own site, and consequently will be of no assistance in your search engine optimization efforts.
The blog as part of your own website option is a good choice for a small business owner who has access to help from an individual who at least has a basic understanding of web development. The business owner will need this individual to set up the blog initially and to integrate in into the existing website. But once that step is finished, the business owner will be able to blog on their own. If the business owner runs into any issues, WordPress has myriads of pages of documentation that address almost every potential problem. On the off chance a particular issue does not have documentation, the business owner can simply post their question in the WordPress support forums.
Regarding creating your own custom theme: this is no easy task, and is virtually impossible without a developer. I myself, being a developer, actually struggled with this the first few times I tried it. I finally found the following resource, which has a video that walked me through it step by step.
Even with this resource, an individual without development experience will have extreme difficultly understanding it, and probably will not meet with success. On the upside, WordPress offers thousands of free, customizable themes to choose from. Customizing an existing theme is much easier than creating one from scratch, and for this, one with only a basic knowledge of development can succeed.
Setting up title and meta tags is extremely easy, regardless of development knowledge. All you do is click on the “add new” plugin in your WordPress interface, do a search for “SEO” and a plugin can automatically be installed that will integrate meta information that you specify into each individual post. Some good plugins for this purpose are SEO Ultimate and All in One SEO Pack, with All in One SEO Pack being my personal favorite, because it’s all-inclusive with title, description, keywords, and more.
In conclusion, it is possible for a small business owner to blog on their own; however, depending on how advanced and customized one is desiring the blog to be, there comes a point where intervention from a developer is necessary. On the upside, adding customizations to a WordPress blog, including modifying a theme to have the same look as one’s own site, will only take a developer about a day or two to complete, therefore being lighter on your wallet than you may think.
Marisa Brayman is the Director of Web and Marketing at an embroidered patches company called Stadri Emblems. Besides blogging about custom promotional products, she also enjoys blogging about marketing, SEO, and design.