If you are a business owner, there is little doubt that you have thought about starting a blog. Blogs can help you attract website traffic, convert visitors into leads & build your reputation as an expert in your field. What is not to like videobuilder?
Yet blogging requires a significant investment, and if you do not have your house in order it could be a magnificent waste of time.
1. Does Your Website Clearly State the Purpose of Your Business?
Now, please do not roll your eyes and dismiss this question. Take a moment to be objective & look at your website from the perspective of a first time visitor.
If the purpose of your business is not obvious, do not bother blogging until it is.
Your website should communicate the following:
- Why you exist – Every business has a story, a reason for being. You offer a product / service because you think it would enhance the lives of those who use it. Your home page, services / products page & your about page must convey why you exist in the most clear & concise way possible.
- What you offer– Have you ever arrived at a website & struggled to determine what they sell? Avoid this at all costs. If your visitors cannot figure it out in seconds, they will lose interest. You address a specific need, desire / problem – spell it out using the simplest words possible.
- Who you serve– Many businesses are reluctant to “limit” themselves, but you cannot be everything to everyone. Defining your target audiences will help you craft your messaging to attract the right customers, avoid wasting time on the wrong ones.
Determine who your target audience is & design your website to appeal to them. Use language & examples that will be meaningful to your ideal customer, and images that will strike an emotional chord. When you magnetize the right visitor, you want them to feel like you “get” them. This will help you build trust & credibility that they’ll remember.
For instance, check out the home page for CoSchedule.
CoSchedule knows that marketers use calendars to manage their content & projects, and they offer a solution that brings all those calendars into one place so marketers could stay organized. They make this crystal clear with the primary statement on home page – “#1 Marketing Calendar for Everything You Need Organized.” CoSchedule communicates why they exist, what they offer & who they serve right from their home page – before visitors make a single click.
If you cannot articulate the purpose of your business, stop everything & figure it out. Blogging won’t solve your problems. It might be a welcome distraction, but in the end your problems will still be there & you may only make them worse.
Work to gain internal alignment on your messaging & make sure it is clear on your website before moving on to your blog.
2. Are Your Communication Channels Set Up to Increase Your Blog?
How will your target audience consume & interact with your blog posts? Will they read from their desktop / a mobile device? If inspired, how & where will they share your articles?
Before you hit publish, review your website, blog page & social channels to make sure you have taken care of every detail.
Here’re a few things to check for:
- A mobile & desktop-friendly website to accommodate ‘on-the-go’ readers
- A blog page that encourages engagement & sharing
- Blog posts with SEO-friendly elements
- Active & complete social media profiles
- A properly configured website analytics tool
Writing an insightful, quality blog post is just the first step. Publishing it an environment that supports your readers & using every tool at your disposal to promote it’s how you make it shine.
3. Do You Have A Designated Blog Owner?
If you are just starting a blog it’s likely that you are relying on contributors who do not consider blogging their priority. This is not unusual, and is a perfectly reasonable way to start.
Someone needs to be responsible for the following tasks:
- Establishing an editorial calendar & holding contributors accountable
- Providing editorial increase. Everyone needs a second set of eyes to review writing – everyone
- Formatting, loading & publishing each post on time
- Promoting every blog post
- Checking all communication channels for issues & responding to any interactions
- Tracking & reporting results
If you only publish once / twice a month, there might be someone on your team who is willing to assume tasks. If you want to publish more frequently, or are ready to be more plan with your blogging, consider hiring someone with the important skills.
Business blogging is rewarding & it can be beneficial for your company, but starting a blog on a whim isn’t likely to deliver the best results. You could attract some attention, but if your business is not ready, it can end up hurting your reputation in the long run.
Take the time to think through those questions first so you can make the most of this necessary investment.