If you think blogging is going to help your business, you’re right!
A blog is the perfect medium to tell a story, your story, and this helps your exposure more than almost anything else you can think of short of full-blown advertising. Brand marketing experts focus on the story more than the product or service, because stories effectively fix the brand identity in the mind of consumers.
As a small business entrepreneur and mom, you know how important it is to get people to listen to what you have to say. Some studies believe that companies that have a dynamic blog on their website convert 67% more sales than those with no blogs. That’s a pretty big number, and you should want in!
However, blogging for a business is different from blogging for personal use. While both should be distinctive, you have to consider other factors for a commercial blog that may not be so important for a personal blog.
To avoid wasting your time and energy, here are 6 ‘THINKS’ you should do before starting a blog for your business.
1. Think platform
The first thing you need to consider is your platform. You want your commercial blog to be flooded with comments and posts, because that means it is popular. However, there are many platforms available for different types of users.
For non-techie bloggers, you want something that you can figure out on your own because you will probably be doing your own posts. Even if you hire a company to design and maintain your website for you, you should want to have complete control over it.
In addition, you want your blog to be searchable, so it is important that your platform has the necessary plugins and features to help you spread the word. The most popular blog choices are WordPress and Blogger. WordPress is ridiculously easy to use and customize, and Blogger is Google’s own. Other options are Tumblr, SquareSpace, and Wix. Check them out and see which one might be right for you.
2. Think persona
You need to decide on the personality of your blog. This sets the tone for the type of readers and followers you attract.
The persona you choose should reflect the type of product or service you offer, never mind that it is not precisely a reflection of you, personally. This is a major difference between a personal and commercial blog. You have to consider your target market when deciding on the “personality” of your commercial blog.
You can be as conservative or wild as you like in your personal blog, and even shift in mid-stream if that is your mood. With a commercial blog, however, you need to be more consistent, and most importantly, appropriate.
3. Think time
A commercial blog takes time and effort. It is not something that you should start on a whim and then abandon it for weeks or months at a time because you don’t feel like putting in the resources.
You have to make sure that you can commit to a regular schedule for posting new blogs, and replying to comments, inquiries, and complaints. An inactive blog says a lot about your commitment. If your readers see that your last post was a few months ago, they will question the reliability of your business.
If you have a million things to do, you can outsource some work like editing to save time. If you are not willing to put in the time consistently, starting a blog may not be a good idea. On the other hand, if you commit just an hour a day doing blog duties, you can look forward to great returns.
4. Think long-term
Keep in mind that your blog will be one of millions, so don’t expect quick results unless you happen to post something that goes viral. Don’t expect huge readership numbers to begin. Just as with most good things, it takes time to nurture and grow.
Enjoy your blog and make connections with readers to help increase your exposure. It may take some time, but if you are consistent and patient, it will happen.
5. Think social
Before you start your blog, think about the social networks you can use to promote your site. These sites can be the feeder for your blog readers and participants, but you need to establish yourself as a regular member to create your network.
You can’t just pop in and say: Hey, visit my blog at [email protected] First you need to establish your reputation. Your blog will only be effective if you already have a good online presence.
Side note: You can learn more about creating a great social media presence in Get Social: A Definitive Guide To Social Media For Small Businesses.]
6. Think content
Write it and they will come? Well, yes, and no. Writing relevant, organic content is a good way to be searchable, but there is more to writing content than that. There are several reasons why a blog will fail, and mostly it has to do with the quality of your content.
Make sure that you understand everything you can about writing blog content before you even begin creating one. Blogs, after all, are about great content and what you have to say. Make sure you’re offering value and a unique viewpoint if you want a devoted audience of readers.
Starting a blog is definitely a good idea for any mompreneur, no matter what industry you’re in.
If you go through these six thinks before you take the plunge, you should do very well. Happy blogging!