If you are considering starting a blog for your business, make sure to put in the thought it requires. I don’t believe it should be a question of if you want to start a blog (I tell you why you should here), but what will the goals of the blog be? In order to get the most from your blog, it is important to know what you are starting with and what you are working toward. Below are four questions I think are important to ask yourself when launching your business blog.
1.) Do you want to make money through blogging?
You are obviously hoping to make money from your blog, but there are essentially two ways to run a blog. The first is to make money based on your content, which will hopefully draw visitors and advertising revenue. A lot of interior design blogs make money from their blog in addition to working on actual design work. Their blog allows them to have a two prong approach to revenue. When thinking about this, you should also take into account how having advertisers on your blog will seem to your customers. Will they assume you sold out? Will they start to question your integrity if you review a product you really like, but they assume you were paid to do so? If you decide your goal is to make money directly via your blog, you are going to have to put in a lot of time and effort to build up your reader list, and it could take months if not years to make real money.
The second way to run a blog is to use it to promote your business, increase your website SEO, and add to your overall web presence. It does not include advertisements and you will not make any money directly from the blog. However, if people come across your blog, perhaps because you now have better SEO, and like what they see, they may hire you/buy your products.
How you set up your blog will be based on if you want to make money via the blog or not. If you are in it simply to promote your business, then you don’t need to worry about ad space and ad revenue. If you want to make money from your blog, then you’re going to need to be set up with the ability to do that, and it should be built into the design of your blog.
2.) What is your content?
You’re going to want to have a mission statement in mind with every post you write. There are so many possible categories to write about depending on your business. If you are a lawyer, you could post about law in the news, tips for clients, how your area of law affects people’s personal lives etc. It may be a good idea to come up with a few categories in the beginning and rotate them. If you post twice a week, come up with six categories in order to assure you do not post about the same thing too often. Additionally, having categories will help jog your mind when coming up with post topics. Needing your post to fit in a category may make it easier to corral your thoughts and get your fingers to the keyboard.
3.) What do you offer?
In other words, why are people going to come to your blog day after day and week after week? What are you providing them? This is related to content, but an important question to be able to answer. Perhaps the answer is to be an all encompassing view on your business. Back to the lawyer example, you want to cover all of law, if that is even possible. Or else you could decide to be very niche, but readers should have a general idea of what they are going to find when they go to your blog.
4.) How are you getting people to your blog?
There are so many ways to promote your blog. You could be a guest blogger, leave comments on other blogs, send email blasts etc. If you have decided to make money through your blog, this will be a lot more important. If you decided not to, then this is not as big a deal and you can assume those who go to your website for your actual business may just happen to check out the blog.
Different ways to promote your blog is a pretty heft topic, and one I will tackle later in the week.
Is this list of four not enough? Here’s a list of ten to consider also.
What do you think? Can you answer all those questions or do you need to sit down and really think about your answers?