So you want to start a blog?
It’s a popular thing to do these days. There are lots of people who start a blog. Not so many of them actually finish a blog. So, before you get started, I have one question: You do realize that a blog requires writing, don’t you?
And that question begs another question; Do you have anything interesting to say?
Most people do not have anything interesting to say…or think, for that matter. Those people should read blogs, not write blogs. But for those of you who have your heart set, let’s talk about the five steps to start a blog for your business.
Step 4: Define Your Goals
Before we just begin writing, let’s define the purpose of our blog. Some likely candidates are:
· To add value for customers and readers
· To establish credibility and authority in your industry
· To increase traffic to your website
· Maybe you just have stuff to say
· To make money
To make money is a valid reason to start a blog, but you’d better get real serious. It’s tough to generate enough traffic to actually make money blogging. It can be done, but it takes significant work.
Blogging is a key factor in the new marketing order called ‘Inbound Marketing’, and it’s a great way to create content for your audience.
If you have stuff to say, and it’s more personal then business, perhaps you should start a personal blog. Frankly, the steps are the same, it’s just a different focus.
Step 2: Define Your Voice
Defining your voice isn’t difficult, but it is important that you be consistent. Whether you speak (write) from a business or personal perspective, an advocate or authority perspective, define your role and be consistent.
Step 3: Identify Your Target Audience
You’re going to spend significant time writing this blog. Who are you writing to?
Defining your target audience can be tricky and we often find that creating personas helps. If you’ve created a persona for your target customer, think of that persona as you write. Write to them about their interests and passions and you’ll be way ahead of the game.
In some cases you may be writing to prospective customers. Or perhaps it’s a growth segment for your business. Trends in your industry may dictate that you start doing business in a different way. Writing about the trends and changes can signal to customers that your business is forward looking and can be trusted.
Step 4: Consider Your Location
No, I don’t mean New York or L.A.
On what platform will you host your blog?
WordPress is the giant in the business these days. Blogger (owned by Google) is a good choice and quite simple to create and manage. Will you blog be a part of your business URL or will you create a specific URL for your blog?
We recommend using WordPress for your business website and using the same URL to host your blog. If you are writing for personal enjoyment or even to make money as an individual, then you might want to get a URL associated with your name or other interesting title.
Don’t out clever yourself. Use your keyword tools and find good words for your title, or use your name. Creating a cool sounding title may be interesting to you, but others might not get it.
Step 5: Remember Your Brand
Whether you’re blogging as a part of your business or you’re creating a personal site, keep your writing and writing style within that brand. If your readers don’t know what to expect from day to day, post to post, they will likely lose interest or just never start being interested in the first place.
Remembering you brand is one of those things that goes without saying. And if there’s anything I’ve learned in this life, it’s that things that go without saying, should always be said!
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