Thinking of starting a business blog? Consider this …
It 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.
- Finding a Domain name for your Blog
- Starting to write your Business Blog
- Choosing a name for your Blog
|Article Categories:||Blog Marketing Tips, Business Blogging, Corporate Blogging, Setting up your Blog|