In a previous post entitled “Is a Blog Useful for a Local Business?”
I talked about why local businesses should be using blogs and ways that they can use them effectively. Having written that post I figured I needed to tackle some of the questions that business owners need to ask themselves if they’re considering using a blog as a part of their online strategy. I’ve seen plenty of extremely effective blogs that are well written and very informative but I’ve also seen a lot of good intentions. There are already more than enough blogs on the Internet that have that first post that says ”hello world”and never went any further.
Before you start your blog, ask yourself these 3 questions.
1. Do you have the time?
This is an extremely important question because it’s the most common reason a blog fails. To determine whether you’ll have the time, ask yourself how many posts you want to create each month? For most blogs 2 to 3 posts per week is a really good number which over the course of a month would mean 8 to 12 posts need to be written. But nothing is set in stone. Your number might be one a week, which over the course of a month will give you four new posts. Another factor to consider is how long will your post be? A good length is between 400 and 500 words. Most people can write a post of that length in about an hour. So if your goal is to write four posts per month you’ll need to set aside four hours each month for writing.
2. What to say?
If you’re going to write a blog you need to know what to say. I’ve seen plenty of blogs that lose direction. I’ll give you an example. We have a client who is an interior designer. About three years ago she created a blog for her business. Her blog is actually quite popular. Each month she receives about 10,000 visitors. But her blog had lost direction. What started out as an interior design blog had morphed into a lifestyle blog. The lifestyle aspect of the blog has helped to drive more traffic to the website but it’s not helping her land new interior design clients. The lifestyle aspect of the blog came about because she had run out of things to say about interior design. Since she has come on as a client of ours we’ve gotten her back on track and writing about interior design. If you’re thinking about writing a blog make sure you know what you want to say. If you don’t have a good topic to talk about that pertains to your business than a blog might not be right for you.
3. Are you willing to let your audience speak?
This question is an important one because blogs have comment sections. So you need to ask yourself are you willing to let your audience post comments? Now not every blog has to have an open comment section. I’ve mentioned before how a blog can be used to post something as simple as tips and advice for the readers to take advantage of. But that type of blog is more like having an article section on your website. A true blog will have an open comment section and allow readers to put in their two cents. Remember the nice thing about most content management systems such as WordPress that are often used for blogs is that comments can be set for manual approval. So if you get an inappropriate comment you don’t have to approve it.
There are of course a number of questions that you should really be asking yourself if you are thinking of writing a company blog. These are just three of the more important questions that you need to answer. Personally I think the pros of a blog outweigh the cons but the most important factor is still going to be time, if you don’t have the time don’t start a blog.
If you are thinking that a blog might be right for your company but are not sure about how to set one up you can call our office at 615-890-3600 or email us. There is a right way to set up a company blog and a wrong way and we can make sure you’re on the right path.