Business blogging can be a daunting task. First-timers can get scared off and end up missing out on a great business opportunity. How should you even get started? What should you blog about? How much time will you need? What if it isn’t good? Will anyone really follow it? Even if you are currently blogging for your business you may be asking yourself some of these questions. What you need to ensure that your business blogging efforts will pay off (and your sanity will not be compromised in the process) is a blogging check-list to adhere to. The following five point check-list can get you going and help keep you going:
Find out what your audience wants and give it to them- it’s that easy. If you take the time to understand your audience and put them before your own agenda they will appreciate your efforts and reward you for making them feel like real people instead of numbers. Use the customers you already have by talking with them or having them complete surveys (often right after they have made a purchase or right after they have received the product is the best time). Do focus groups and market research if you have the time and money. The more in your audience’s heads you can get the better the return will be on your blogging.
You don’t have to have a flashy business blog or world-class writing to have a good blog that people will follow. As long as you are committed to providing factual, relevant information and advice your blog will be a success.
You don’t need to blog everyday- in fact, you probably shouldn’t. Set aside a set amount of time each week to research and blog. Don’t let it consume you, but don’t forget about it either.
Submitting to industry related blog feeds will help you think of what you will want to blog about and keep you at the forefront of your industry’s news. Tools like iGoogle will house all of your feeds in one place for easy browsing. This is a good way to collect information/stories/press releases/etc. quickly without actually doing any work. Anyone in a time crunch can appreciate this writer’s block cure!
Use your blog to sustain your blog and your business. Try to get your blog readers to sign-up for your live feed and emails. By letting them give you their information, you are collecting the most accurate contact information for your current customers and potential customers for free. We don’t need to tell you how important this information is to your business!
Once your blog is active get out there and promote it. Integrate your blog into your marketing strategy and overall business plan. Get creative too; add it to business cards, promote it at trade shows, include it on packing slips- whatever makes sense for your business. Like the new hip bar down the street, make sure your blog is the place for consumers to be!
-Kate Pierce eCommerce Specialist