Business bloggers face a few different challenges than other bloggers. Business blogs often have specific objectives – the blog is usually a marketing or community building tool – and the blog, once public, becomes a public display of life for a company.
Business blogs must be:
- Exceptionally well-written
- Extensions of a brand
Additionally, business blogs should have a desired return on investment and some way to measure it. Blogs will require an investment of time and money, and every business investment should bring something back into the business. That could be brand awareness, or subscriptions, or traffic, but this is something that needs to be talked through before the launch.
How to Prepare for a Business Blog
The presentation below walks through 8 things every business blogger should do before kicking off a blog. Resisting the temptation to jump in feet first will pay off in the long run. Planning is everything.
If you don’t have time to view the presentation, here is a summary of the 8 steps.
1. Figure Out Why You’re Blogging
- Ask yourself: What are we trying to achieve, and how will we know when we’ve achieved it? Both of those questions are a critical part of blog planning.
2. Figure Out Who Your Target Reader Is
- Who are you hoping will read the blog? What are their online habits? What types of information do they need or care about? What will get them talking?
3. Determine Your Blog Marketing Strategy
- How do you plan on reaching your target audience in order to bring your blog to them? The key to remember is that digital conversations are already happening. Your goal is to either join in, or start one of your own, but either way, a solid marketing strategy is paramount to success. The marketing plan will incorporate all of these tasks.
4. Assign Ownership
- Who will write the content? Who will manage the community? Who will promote it?
5. Create an Editorial Calendar
- What will you publish and when you publish it? An editorial calendar is comprised of frequency as well as the actual post topics and outlines.
6. Set Up Promotional Tools
- A blog cannot be an island. It must have some roads people can use to get in and out (sharing). So you’ll need to set up your social media channels and social bookmarking, and hook up your blog to existing networks like LinkedIn and Facebook.
7. Create a Takeaway
- Create a carrot that will give people a reason to subscribe to your blog. RSS traffic can be the most reliable, steady traffic you will ever have, so long as you treat your subscribers like gold.
8. Meet with Design & Development Teams
- A business blog should be professionally designed and developed. Once you have all of the above in place, you should meet with experienced team or teams who will help you get the right user experience for your blog.
Your turn: Which part of preparation is the most essential? Can any of this be left out? Is there anything missing?
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