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Start a Blog For Your Business

Make sure you examine your business goals before jumping on the blogging bandwagon.

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This story appears in the May 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

attract search engines, display your startup's personality and encourage customer participation--a form of marketing that startups crave and money alone can't buy.

Blogging Platforms

Free hosted platforms
Blogger
LiveJournal
Vox
These enable you to launch a blog in minutes, but limit your ability to customize it and host it in your own environment.

Premium hosted platforms
WordPress.com offers free and premium hosted solutions. Premium service is more customizable and allows your blog a unique domain name.
TypePad offers a free 14-day trial and simplifies setup, maintenance and customization.

Stand-alone platforms
WordPress.org provides free downloads of its platform along with instructions, templates and plug-ins, and user support.
Movable Type features a downloadable development platform as well as plug-ins and documentation.

But before you jump on the business blogging bandwagon, get familiar with the basics and choose a blogging solution that's right for you and your startup's goals.

Every blog needs a hosting environment and a content management platform. The hosting environment is the server connected to the internet that stores all your blog's files, code and content. The content management platform is the software used to post content, customize and organize its appearance and more.

Deciding whether to host a blog within your own hosting environment or link to an externally hosted blog depends on which blogging platform you feel is best for your company. Posting content to your blog is easy, but setting up and maintaining it can be a challenge, so choose a platform that's best suited to your startup's budget and technical expertise.

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