As with almost everything else in business, a well thought out plan is necessary when starting a blog. Many online businesses think that all they have to do is write a few cute stories, add it to your site, hit “publish” and voila – instant following and instant increase in sales. Wrong. Blogs can be a wonderful extension of your business and should be thought of as just that- part of your business. Here are some of the major things to think about when starting a blog:
What is my goal?
First and foremost: have a plan. Know who your audience is and what the purpose of your blog is. Are you trying to showcase your company as thought leaders, educating your customers, building SEO, building your branding, providing customer service and event promo? Make sure to have a goal and know how you are going to track the results from your blog. Do your research.
How often are you going to blog?
Mistake number one that bloggers make: Neglection. As you may guess, the best consistency is at least once a week. Remain committed. Don’t give anyone the opportunity to lose interest. The more active your blog is the more interesting it can be. Also an active blog, done the right way will do wonders for your search rankings. However, blogging once a week may be a bit too much to ask of one person. This leads to the next topic….
Who is going to write the blog? One person or more? Which is better?
There isn’t always the correct person to write a blog. Some companies charge the marketing department to write the blog. However, I find that this narrows the range of topics. If you have people in different departments of your company help with the topics and possibly the content, you get several different perspectives which can create interest and draw on several different audiences.
What is the correct content and voice for your blog?
A good way to find out what is the “correct content” is to check out other blogs in your industry, ESPECIALLY your competitor’s blogs. What are they writing about and what is actually relevant and interesting to you? If you are interested in it, most likely interesting to others.
Finding the right balance between making your blog personal, yet professional can sometimes be a bit challenging. You want your blog to have a personal side in order to build interest and a connection with your audience, yet you need to provide relavant content and be viewed a source of information. It is a fine line.