Our series on business blogging has been going very well. It is exciting to expose business owners to new opportunities in their business. We know there are tons of them. However, once you have started to venture down this path of forming your own business blog, you must consider a few things. We have a list of 10 things you must consider when starting your business blog to discuss with you today.
If you haven’t taken a moment to read the other articles in this series, please take a moment to do so now. We have covered What is Blogging, the 6 Characteristics of Business Blogging, the 9 Reasons Your Business Should Be Blogging Now, and the 9 Benefits of Business Blogging You Must Know. Take a moment to view those articles if you haven’t just yet. If you have read them, then let’s continue on our journey into the wonderful world of business blogging.
10 Things To Consider When Starting a Business Blog
Since you have reached this article in the Business Blogging Series, I think it is safe to say you are on board with the business blogging concept and are looking for some practical steps to get started. This is an excellent decision and one you will not regret. There are 10 things you should consider at this point and we are going to discuss each one below.
What are your Business Blogging Goals? – No matter what endeavor you seek to get involved with, you must have clearly defined goals. This will help you determine if you are on the path to be successful or not. Business blogging is no different. You must set goals and benchmarks to compare your work.
You may want to increase the traffic to your website, convert more sales, generate more leads, or provide an outlet for a specific amount of information for your market. The decision is yours, but we believe it is imperative to set a few business blogging goals to keep yourself on track and pace.
Who is Your Target Audience for the Business Blog? – Before you get started, you must clearly define your target market. This will help you craft the right information to blog about on a consistent basis. If your target market for your blog is your internal staff, then the content and tone will be different from targeting your existing and potential customer base. Targeting the media and local politicians also be different. This decision isn’t a tough one, but one that should be considered before starting.
Identify the results you seek while business blogging? – Building a little bit on the goals, go ahead and identify the exact results you see from this business blogging effort. If you are targeting the media outlets, then something to consider would be the number of articles written about your business and interviews received. Be specific here when considering your goals and objectives of the blog.
What blogging platform will you use? – This is a serious decision to make. There are several blogging services and platforms available for you to choose from. You could use Blogger.com, TypePad.com, Blog.com, some internal blogging system on your computer, or even WordPress.com.
My recommendation would be WordPress.com. I have been using this service since 2007 and I can tell you it is the best decision of my life. We will go into more detail on the benefits of using a WordPress for your blogging and website needs as well.
Should you self-host your blog or use another service? – This is a critical question you must answer for yourself. It speaks to if you should leave your blog on a third party server or start and create your own server to host your blog. The difference is if you use a third party website such as TypePad, then your blog URL will look like this: YourBlogName.TypePad.com.
This is a much more professional and branded solution for your business blogging efforts. If you ask me, there is no reason you should consider anything else. This is the only way to go. If you need help setting up your own self-hosted website, please don’t hesitate to contact us. This is what we do for a living for our clients. Allow us to help you.
What should you call your business blog? – A name is everything in business, but I don’t think you should over think it here. It could simply be Company Name Blog or you could get creative if you like.
How should your business blog look and feel? – The aesthetics of a business blog is important just like every other aspect of your business. You should take some time to make sure you design the blog to fit the style, image and brand of your business. I believe the blog should keep the same basic colors of your main website and brand identity. In addition, it should feature your logo as well. The business blog is an extension of your business and should feel like it to the client.
How will you integrate your business blog into your marketing efforts? – This is the crux of the matter as your blog is an extension of your marketing efforts. However, please don’t expect to build a blog and the people will come running to it. Your blog should be well integrated into your marketing campaigns. You should discuss and link to the blog on your main website page. You should mention the blog in your social media marketing efforts. Your company email signatures, letter head, even marketing materials should identify the blog and lead people to it. Your blog must become an extension of your business, not something totally separated.
How often to blog and who will do it? – This is the million dollar question. I believe content is great and even better when it is regularly served up to your target market. Therefore, you should start off blogging at least once per week. If that is too much, then aim for twice a month. Either way, whatever you decide it needs to be consistent from that point moving forward. Don’t get into being inconsistent on your blog. If the platform you chose is worth it’s weight in salt, then there should be a scheduling feature where you can writer blogs ahead of time and set them to go live on the website on specific dates at specific times.
Deciding who will do the blogging is something to consider for sure. In most companies, the owner will do the blogging because there just are not that many people available in the business. However, if you have choices, I would say put the blogging responsibilities on the marketing department. They should have the best grasp of the company as a whole and be able to integrate the blogging efforts into your overall marketing and social media efforts.
At times, companies decide to outsource their blogging efforts to third party writers for content. This is something to consider as writers come very inexpensively these days depending on the subject and quality, but you have to make sure you are monitoring these efforts as well. Personally, I believe the writing and blogging should be handled in-house as the goal is to build a relationship with your audience, not produce cold, robotic material for them to ignore.
How will you handle comments on the blog? – Blog comments are great because it means your audience is interested enough in your writing and topics to engage with you. Therefore, you don’t want to leave a person that has taken the time to comment on your blog hanging with no response. You will need to set someone up to handle these efforts.
Ideally, the person doing the blogging should handle the comments as well. You could have an intern monitor comments, answer any general ones that they can, and forward the more important or pressing comments to the author or a superior. This way things get done and the important comments get the attention and answers the need.
Yes, there is a lot to consider when you start down the road of business blogging. However, I think you will find it very rewarding, interesting, and powerful in your business. Don’t expect a flood of people when you first open your blog. You have to build up the credibility and following as time moves forward. Don’t wait to get started blogging because of this. Start now and start to build that community one person at a time.