How to Make WordPress Work for Your Small Business
WordPress is one of the most popular Content Management Systems (CMS) in the world, and it’s constantly growing in popularity. It’s easy to setup, and it has a large community that helps with everything from basic website setup to advanced functionality and customization.
When someone likes what they see in your demo website and decides to make a purchase, you’ll earn a small commission from that sale. But, beyond that, you won’t make any money from WordPress itself.
That’s because WordPress doesn’t really generate income for its creators. Instead, it relies on advertising, affiliate marketing, and a variety of other methods to fund its operations.
If you’re looking to make money with WordPress or if you just want to learn more about the platform, continue reading.
The Anatomy of a WordPress Website
No matter what kind of blog or website you have, you need to have a standard way of structuring content. That’s where WP templates and themes come in.
WordPress is built on a five-step structure which generally follows this pattern:
Step one: Blog post
This is where you’ll begin. When a visitor lands on your blog or website, they’ll see this first.
This post will introduce the subject matter and lead into the next step.
Step two: Excerpt from blog post
This is called an “excerpt” in WordPress lingo. It’s a small snippet of text that’s shown to users if they’re viewing the blog post on a mobile device. Excerpts should be no more than three or four sentences long.
An excerpt is typically used to briefly introduce the subject matter of a blog post. It’s meant to be concise and easy to understand. If a user is interested in what they’ve seen so far, they’ll likely continue into the next step.
Step three: Related posts
At this point, the user will have landed on your blog or website, and they’ll either scroll down or click a link to learn more. The content they’re viewing may be related to something they saw in the past, or it may be related to something they’re about to read.
Either way, a blog post with related content is a great way to attract new readers and engage with current ones. If a reader finds value in something they read, they’ll likely share it with their friends.
Step four: Social media
If a user clicks a social media icon (such as a Twitter icon) within a blog post, they’ll be directed to a social media platform where they can engage with the author of the content. Twitter, for example, allows users to engage with articles and other content via “tweets”. If an author decides to respond to a tweet, the content will appear in a user’s feed.
You can use this feature to engage with your readers and promote your blog or website. If you’re looking to grow your readership and find new contributors, this is a great way to do it.
Step five: Final step
This is the conclusion of a blog post. It can be a numbered list of tips, a how-to guide on a certain subject, or something as simple as “Read more about X”.
This is the final step because it leads the user back to where they started. If a user follows this path, it means they found value in what they read, and it’s now your job to keep them engaged. You can use other steps of the blog post (such as the preceding four) to do this.
WordPress itself doesn’t really have a concept of a “lead”, but you can use the preceding steps to establish one. For example, you could write something like this at the end of your blog post:
“After you read this article, you’ll know everything you need to know about X. Don’t forget about Y and Z, the most important things you should know about.”
When a user reaches this point in your post, they know exactly what they’re getting into. It might not seem obvious at first, but establishing a clear path between the various steps in your content will lead to a much smoother user experience. This is especially important if your content is a little complex. Breaking it into smaller, more manageable chunks will help keep things easily digestible.
The Five Steps to a Successful WordPress Blog
No matter which step you choose (step one, two, or five), the most important thing to do to make WordPress work for your small business is to establish a clear path from the first step to the fifth.
Here’s a quick overview of what you need to do:
Step one: Set the stage for the blog post
This means establishing the purpose of the blog post and preparing the reader for what’s to come. You can write a short blurb that introduces the topic of the post. If you have more than three or four sentences, you can use the preceding steps to establish a lead, too.
Remember: Your goal is to make WordPress work for your blog or website, not the other way around. So don’t worry about making a profit off your blog or website. You’re not in this for the money.
Step two: Choose a platform
You need to choose a platform (or blogging tool) that’s easy to use and accessible for beginners. Don’t worry about advanced features or what other people are saying about a certain platform. Instead, pick something that suits your needs. If you want to start a food blog, look into food blogging platforms like Blogger or Food Tumblr. If you’re looking to create an art blog, go with something like WordPress or Blogspot as a platform.
You can also use a tool like Canva to easily create and customize a blog or website for free. They have a variety of easy-to-use templates that you can choose from, or you can write your own HTML template.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you need to pick something that suits your needs. Not someone else’s. Especially when it comes to choosing a blogging platform, it’s all about what works best for you. And don’t worry about what other people are saying about a certain platform either. You’re in control of what appears on your blog or website, so you need to confidently make your choice.
Step three: Choose a theme
As mentioned above, you have a variety of options when it comes to the structure and functionality of your blog or website. But none of that matters if you don’t have a beautiful design. You can find the perfect WordPress theme for your needs, from a free download to a premium purchase.
When choosing a theme for your blog, make sure that it’s responsive (i.e., it looks good on any device). You can find many themes that are fully equipped with the functionality you need, or you can download a simple theme and customize it to your needs.
Keep in mind that not all free themes are created equal. Some themes are made for specific types of blogs and may not work well for yours. Make sure you review the reviews before making a decision.
Step four: Set up your blog or website
This step depends on what kind of blog or website you have. For a traditional blog, all you need is a WordPress account and a Google account (if you’d like to use Google to find your blog’s content).
You can quickly and easily set up a WordPress account (you don’t need a Google account to do this). Afterward, you’ll have to input your blog’s details into the dashboard. This includes things like the blog’s name, description, and categories.
You can use the information you provided in your description to write a short blurb that will be used as your blog’s “about” section. One of the benefits of the WordPress platform is that it easily allows for basic and advanced SEO (search engine optimization). You don’t need to be a technical whiz to achieve good results.
Step five: Customize your blog or website
You can use this last step to fully customize the functionality and design of your blog. It’s a great place to add your own CSS (Cascading Style Sheet) styles and HTML5 (HyperText Markup Language) templates.