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You’ve read all about the benefits of business blogging and decided it’s the right choice for you. So what next?
In this three-part guide to business blogging for dummies, you’ll find out how to get your blog off the ground, how to write a great business blog and how to share your blog with the world to build a loyal following and convert leads.
To start you off, here are the key questions you need to ask yourself when making a business blog part of your content marketing strategy.
Why are you writing a business blog?
Like any other undertaking, the ultimate purpose of your blog will be to boost your business. Focussing on the specific aims you want your business blog to achieve will help you achieve success.
Your blog might be an introduction to your business, a content marketing tool, an information resource for your customers, a hub of thought leadership, or all of the above.
Think about what you want your readers to do, not what you want to do. Don’t focus on driving traffic to your website, increasing subscriptions or making sales, but on creating engaging content that will encourage your readers to share, to subscribe and (eventually) to make a purchase.
Who are you writing for?
Your blog is a conversation between you and your readers, so first you need to know who they are.
Carry out research into your target audience and develop a suitable tone of voice to make sure the content you create and the language you use are the right match for those demographics.
What will you write about?
Your blog should cover topics that your target audience is interested in and answers their questions, even before they have them.
You can find out what people are currently searching for using tools such as Google Keyword Planner or by analysing your own site’s search history.
By focussing on a small range of topics that you are an expert in, you can work on establishing yourself as an authority in your industry.
What blogging platform will you use?
The most important practical decision to make when getting started with a business blog is choosing where your blog will live.
If you don’t host your own website, the best free platform to use is WordPress. It’s easy to use, it offers everything a small business needs and it’s easy to customise to match your brand and the rest of your site.
In fact, almost a quarter of all websites make use of WordPress services in some form according to W3Techs.
What will your blog be called?
If you don’t give enough thought to your blog’s title at the onset, you’ll probably regret it later. Simply using your brand name is fine, as long as the title gives readers an idea what to expect.
If you are hosting the blog on your own website, the URL should be straightforward: yourname.com.au/blog or blog.yourname.com.
If your blog will be an independent entity, it’s important that you register your own domain name rather than using the free URL provided by your hosting platform. Not only does a default domain name look unprofessional, but you also won’t have as much control or access to support in the event that something goes wrong.
Who will write your blog?
You don’t have to write all your blog content yourself, unless you prefer it that way. Your business blog can have a single author or multiple writers, who can all write anonymously under your brand or use their own identities to keep your content varied and personal.
If you don’t have the resources to write your own blog in-house, you can hire a professional blogging service to keep your blog updated with fresh content on a regular basis. As you become more established, you can invite other bloggers in your industry to write guest posts in exchange for exposure.
What type of content will you create?
Blogs don’t have to be all about words. If you want to discuss a topic that would be more suitable as a slideshow, video or podcast, these can also be published to your blog.
How often will you publish?
Starting a business blog is one thing – keeping it going is another.
The more often you can update your business blog, the more you will be rewarded. However, as a small business you may not have the resources to update your blog every day, not to mention the risks of burnout and running out of fresh topics.
Now that you’ve got your business blog up and running, next time we’ll look at how to write your first blog post.