Believe it or not, a lot of small businesses struggle creating a business blog. A business blog should be all about your customers and what your customers want, but it's tempting to throw in a few promotional hints or stray from your focus. In other words, it's important to have a plan for your business blog before you even begin writing and promoting. There are quite a few questions you need to ask yourself:
- Who is my target audience, and what do they want to read?
- Am I going to allow guest bloggers on the blog?
- How often should I post to the blog?
- How can I track its success? What will I consider success?
Having a plan will ensure that you're headed in the right direction. There will certainly be a little bit of trial and error, but as with anything, you'll waste less time if you have a clear vision of your goals and your audience's expectations.
Steps to Planning for a Business Blog
Below explains the steps you can take to help make sure your new business blog is successful. The list is broken down into basic considerations as well as some management strategies:
Basic Business Blog Considerations
- Have the Right Readers. Part of starting a great blog means knowing who your audience is and attracting the audience you want. You want those who are looking for what you sell or offer, and you're typically going to find these people through Google. In other words, SEO is very important. Utilize keyword research to determine what a lot of people are searching for on Google. You can learn more about keyword research this past article.
- Catchy Title. A blog is all about capturing a reader's attention. While it might sound obvious, you really need to put a lot of thought into your title. Titles like "top 5" and "how to" are typically very popular when it comes to a blog.
- Easy Communication. You also want to make sure that reader's can go a step further after reading one of your articles. Consider including a "related articles" section at the bottom of your article or including an opt-in offer that readers can fill out if they want to contact you about more information.
Management and Specific Business Blog Strategies
- Guest Bloggers. Many have differing opinions about whether or not you should allow guest bloggers on your website; especially at the start. In most cases allowing a guest blogger is OK once in a while; however at the start you should be very picky. Read content thoroughly and don't post anything that might be questionable in terms of opinion, style, or tone. It's also helpful if you're featuring a well-known author (it's just not overly easy right away!). Generally you should try to produce most of your content in-house at the start so that readers can see you really know your stuff. When you do allow the occasional guest blogger, read this article to get a feel for how to do it right.
- Article Frequency. Once per day is ideal, but three times per week should be just fine as you begin to start your business blog. Remember, the more content you have the easier it will be to promote that blog; not to mention the more chances you have to really ramp up your SEO (blogs are an excellent way to improve the SEO of your website).
It's important to remember that business blogs are some of the most common, so you want to stand out from the crowd. Keep the above tips in mind, but don't be afraid to get a little bit creative with your approach.
Do you have a successful business blog? What went into your planning, and what advices do you have for others trying to do the same?