Blogging is the newest buzzword in online marketing & PR. But with so many internet marketers leaping on the blogging camp, not everyone are giving a thought to whether blogs are really up their alley, or making the effort to consider the most beneficial means of going about it. In case you are planning to start a business blog, take a look at these questions prior to taking the final plunge.
1. Do you actually need a blog?
Writing as well as maintaining your web blog requires a certain amount of determination, as well as passion (or perhaps a liking) for stringing words into a sensible sentence. If you do not love writing a lot, you can always create an audio or video blog. However, is your business objectives really need to start a blog? Or could some strategies of website marketing - like SEO, ezine advertising or newsletter publishing work just as efficiently, or even better?
2. Whom do you wish to reach with your blog?
The first step to reach your audience is knowing where they go to search for data regarding your products. If your audience mostly comprises of individuals who live in your city or use items that they search for in the newspapers, offline marketing might be more suited to your business.
If however, your target audience is associated to one or more of these sections, a blog is perhaps just the thing to boost your business.
Does your prospected audience certainly use the internet? If they don't, then launching a blog (or any web activity, for instance) will just turn into a huge waste of time and effort.
Does your target audience read blogs? Or do they prefer to get their information in their inbox? If the latter is true, then an e-mail publication could be a better option than a blog.
Search engine users
A blog is a wonderful method to increase your SEO rankings and get listed for a number of your target keywords. If you know that your particular audience utilizes search engines to seek information, a blog will boost your chances of grabbing their interest.
Social media users
A blog is an incredible solution to supply a focal point to your community. Regular content revisions through social media networks will assist in order to present something valueable to your community users.
3. What do you intend to achieve using your blog?
There are a lot of things that a blog is able to do for your small business. Blogs can help you.
- Improve your presence and search engine rankings
- Brand yourself, your goods, your services, your business
- Create a community and network with those who have similar interests
- Expand your reach to those outside your current sphere of influence - Establish your credibility as a specialist or thought-leader in your field
- Place a human face on your business
- Reach out to prospective customers as well as stakeholders
Deciding exactly what you want to achieve using your blog will allow you to get focused, in order that you can spend your time and effort in activities that help, not hinder your business objectives.
4. How much time are you able to give to your blog?
Serious business bloggers not only give time writing their own blogs, but also spend a great deal of time reading up on the latest news and browsing other blogs within their field for further information. When you are attuned to put in the energy and time needed to do that kind of research, your blog will function as a fine branding tool for your business. Otherwise, it is best to either employ someone to do the research or seriously rethink your option to start out a blog.
5. What blogging platform will serve your needs best?
Deciding your business blogging platform is an important step that you should get only after becoming familiar with the basic features and advantages of each selection. The reason it's so vital is simply because it is often almost impossible to migrate a longtime blog to a new platform when you have started it.
Moving your blog can lead to you losing your data, search engine listings and readers, so don't consider this decision lightly. Determine which platform will best meet your marketing objectives, time constraints and personal inclinations prior to you making your first post.
In case you are running out of time, and wish to take more time writing, then a hosted solution like Blogger, Blogware, Squarespace or Typepad might provide your purpose better. This will also prove a better alternative if you want to begin immediately, are newbies to the internet, or are unfamiliar with scripts or code.
If, on the other hand, you're a control freak (like i am) and don't mind allocating some time and effort to customize your blog, then a server-installed software, like Wordpress, b2Evolution or Movable Type might be just right for you. If you don't want to install the scripts yourself, opt for a hosting solution with Fantastico, which comes together with a one-click install of a variety of blogging software.
6. How would you intend to advertise your blog?
Why is it good to know this prior to starting your blog? Mainly because it will help you decide where best to invest your time and effort if you need to build traffic to your blog. You'll find out more about the methods to promote your blog when you subscribe to the email course below.
Some of these tasks can actually be outsourced, while others you would have to do yourself. Decide what you want to take on and check for service providers to handle the other functions so you can start building traffic to your blog at the soonest time.
7. How can you assess the success of your blog?
To check how successful your blog is in boosting your profile or profits you will need to assess your blog traffic and track sales or leads that have come through it. Planning this aspect in advance will help you consider more informed decisions about your blogging metrics, choice of blogging platform and degree of customization you require on your blog.
Recognize that blogging is not for all. It is merely another type of communication. Don't get so hung up on technology that you end up ignoring more applicable ways of communicating your message. Some things may be easier to communicate in person, inside a conference room, or even through the traditional telephone.
However if you asked yourself all the questions above and decided that blogging meets your entire objectives, then a blog may be just what the doctor ordered for your business.