Type “how to start a business blog” into Google and you’ll get over a billion hits within milliseconds. Clearly there’s a lot of advice out there on exactly what it takes to launch a successful blog for your business. Saying the process can be overwhelming is an understatement — with so much information to sift through, the temptation to slink away and put the task off for another six months can be strong.
But here’s the most valuable piece of advice you’ll ever find on blog success: The best way to start a business blog is to actually start one. No getting stuck in a cycle of endless planning. No letting your research pile up, unused. And definitely no putting it off for six more months.
Getting a blog off the ground is half the battle. And when you look at the big picture, it is possible to do so in just five steps.
1. Decide who you are blogging for — That’s right, who. Who you are blogging for is more important than what you blog about, because your subject matter should be determined by the target audience you have in mind. Ask yourself how old your target market is, what their online browsing habits look like, and what kind of information they are looking for. If you are not sure, ask your business’s most loyal customers these questions to get a better idea of their habits and preferences. Once you know who you are blogging for, you can decide which topics would best suit those readers.
2. Determine logistics — Choose a blogging platform to distribute your information. Look for a provider that can supply you with a template that can be integrated into an existing website and match its aesthetics. It should also be easy to use and understand, even if you are not an expert on HTML. WordPress and SquareSpace are both popular platform options that are user-friendly. Also take this time to decide how your content will be distributed to build your readership and bring in new prospective customers. Would they like to receive information through email on a regular basis, or are they more receptive to Facebook posts, tweets, or Pinterest?
3. Create an editorial calendar — An editorial calendar is simply a schedule for creating content, from writing to publication. This will determine how frequently you post and what subjects you will write about at a given time. For a more structured approach, determine “beats,” or particular niche subjects, issues, or sectors to write about on a regular basis. For example, a business interested in forming a more personal relationship with its customers could schedule a monthly employee spotlight as one of its beats.
4. Ask for feedback — Starting a blog will be a learning process, but your willingness to adapt to feedback will determine if it is a failure or success in the long run. Once you have a few blog posts up, ask coworkers, or even family and friends, for feedback. More importantly, ask your target audience what they are most interested in reading about and focus on creating the content they enjoy most. Also make sure your blog is accessible, has great readability, and adapts for mobile and tablet browsing.
5. Whatever happens … be sure you keep blogging! — All the hard work you put into starting up and writing your first few blogs will be for nothing if you give up on it early on. Consistency is the biggest key to blog success! Decide ahead of time how’ll ensure that your blog is updated with quality content regularly. Will several employees have the duty integrated into their roles? Will you hire someone specifically to head off your blog efforts? Or will you find a reliable business to outsource the job to? No matter what you choose, be sure that your blog continues to roll out content regularly.
Starting a business blog can be scary, but that shouldn’t keep you from having and maintaining one. Get your blog rolling and see what works best — in no time it will be second nature. Good luck and happy blogging!