Thinking of starting a business blog? Consider this …

Posted by The Blog Coach 13 March, 2007 -

Push here to start a successful Business BlogIt doesn’t matter whether you are a small business, an independent entrepreneur or a large corporate organisation, when you are looking at starting a Business Blog, there are going to be some key elements that you need to look at if you want to give it the best possible chance for success.

While the specific requirements will vary according to the goals and expectations, you should be able to answer the following questions from the start:

a) What do you want to do with your Business Blog?
It’s really important that you have a clear idea from the start of what you want to do with your Business Blog – this will help it to have the focus that will benefit it with both readers and search engines alike. The more focused it is, the more successful it is likely to be.

b) Who is your target audience for your Business Blog?
Avoid trying to make it “all things to all people” – it’s just not possible. It’s all about focus again and so decide on who your target audience is and then write the blog for them with content they’ll be interested in and a style that they will warm to.

c) What results are you looking to achieve?
It’s all well and good for me to say that you should be considering these elements if you want your blog to be a success, but just what is “a successful blog” for you? What goals do you have for your Business Blog and just as importantly, how are you going to measure them? You will need to show results for the time and effort involved – therefore, from the start, make sure you know what results you are looking for, what criteria you want to work with and how you wish to measure them.

d) How will it integrate with your other marketing activities?
Blogging is an excellent marketing tool. However, it is not a magic wand to cure all marketing ills, so take time and effort to use as well as possible with your other marketing, business development and customer service activities. (Check Marketing and Promoting your Business Blog.

e) What Blogging software to choose?
There are a number of options available, each with their own plus points and negatives – what you need to do is decide which is most appropriate according to the control, customisation or future-proofing you require. Probably the best advice I can give is to choose one which will grow and develop with you as well as fitting with your current business and technical requirements. Free hosted software (such as Blogger) will seldom do this or give you sufficient control, so look at Wordpress (full version) or Typepad as good starter points. [My own preference is for Wordpress.]

f) What to call your Business Blog?
Rule of Thumb: choose something which you are still going to feel comfortable with in a year’s time. Either let it reflect your company and branding, or make sure it contains your keywords … or preferably both. You might like to check some additional ideas on choosing a Business Blog name here.

g) Host it on your website or on a different domain
As a general rule, if it sits comfortably alongside your website and complements the information on it, then integrate it into your website. That will be good for your company both from a branding and a Search Engine point of view. If, on the other hand, you are looking to present an objective view on your industry or want to create a separate identity then a separate domain name would be more appropriate.

h) What domain name or subdirectory name to use?
Try to use something descriptive – if you are using a separate domain, then choose a domain name which either reflects the branding you wish to achieve or contains your main keyword (or preferably both!). If it is a subdirectory then describe the purpose it will be serving such as “Information Centre” for example. Please, please, please … only use “blog” as a name as a last resort!!

i) Look and Feel of the Blog
If you are using it as part of your website, then integrate the look and feel with the rest of the site. There is absolutely no need for your visitors to know that they are on a blog – and of course they really won’t care! Remember it’s the benefits that blogs offer that is important, not the technology. If it is on a separate domain, then design your Business Blog with the image you want to portray but don’t use the default template that comes with your blog software. Default template = zero differentiation!

With all of these elements in place then you are starting off on the right track and should have the foundations in place to create a successful Business Blog. By doing so, you will find that it will save you a lot of time and inconvenience in the future and will make the blog that much more effective in achieving your business goals.



Related posts:

  1. Finding a Domain name for your Blog
  2. Starting to write your Business Blog
  3. Choosing a name for your Blog

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Article Categories: Blog Marketing Tips, Business Blogging, Corporate Blogging, Setting up your Blog
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Comments
March 15, 2007

I wish more people would take notice of A) and C) :) So many blogs seem to be aimlessly wandering without knowing who or what they are for. Some fantastic content is out there but about so many unfocused topics with no clear idea of what purpose it serves. Great stuff Mark :)

Posted by Chris Garrett -
March 19, 2007

Thanks for the comment, Chris. I think that partly comes about when people are told that they should have a blog, see lots of business blogs out there which are proving successful and so decide to start one, just to keep up with the Joneses! Personally, I believe they need to look at it from the perspective of “What are my business objectives” and “How can a Business Blog help me to achieve them”.

Posted by The Blog Coach -
April 3, 2007

Excellent advice. I have bookmarked this site and will be visiting again as I develop my blog.

Posted by Brenda -
April 13, 2007

Hi! Great blog!

I don’t have a business blog, but its a lifestyle blog where I share all the info and knowledge that I have about computers, the Internet, gadgets and other things which come across the daily life.

I would be glad if you could visit my blog and help me with your expert opinion to attract and retain loyal readers.

Posted by Aziz -
May 18, 2008

I made a good living working in various franchises, but writing articles about it now provides a very good income… without the hard work!

I can totally recommend business blogging to anyone.

Posted by Franchise Mom -
December 25, 2008

Excellent advices! Thanks a lot!
Your blog is really worth of being bookmarked. I will use your advices as I develop my bisiness site. I think these advices can be used not only for creating a site but also in our daily life. Before doing something firstly it’s very important to understand what we want to achieve by that.
Good luck!

Posted by John - Classifieds -
July 16, 2009

Definately some great points made here. Blogging is a free and great way to advertise your business unless the person is just blogging for the sake of it. If the comment/business is related to the topic of the blog then it is good. But for those who just market their business without though is just stupid, careless and not to mention annoying!

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