5 questions to ask yourself before starting a company blog [feedly]05 Aug 2013
Well, easier in terms of being very accessible and quick to set up. But starting the company blog itself is really the easiest part. It is continually creating fresh, relevant content, getting support from colleagues and ensuring your blog reaches your desired audience that is more of a challenge.
Before you undertake the task of business blogging, it is important to make sure you and your team are aware of what you're letting yourself in for. So consider the answers to these 5 important questions, to get the most from your company blog and make sure you're are up to the challenge.
1. Who will be blogging?
Will you be the sole contributor to your company blog? Or will you get others involved? Collaborative blogging is the easiest way to create fresh, interesting posts on a regular basis, but this does require getting your colleagues on board at a very early stage.
When starting a company blog, it is important that everybody knows from the offset what will be required of them. Will everybody contribute ideas, which you will then turn into blog posts? Or will the burden of writing be shared? How much will each individual contribute? Will you outsource to content writers if you don't have time? Or consider getting a guest blogger to post?
(You can read our post about how to make the most from you team when blogging here).
2. Who is your reader?
Identifying your target audience is essential. Who do you want to reach with your blog?
Of course, your business will be probably already have some idea of its target customers (or it should), but starting a company blog requires you to take this even further. You need to think not just about your current audience who may consider buying or using your company's products or services, but anyone who could read your blog and gain value from it – and become a potential customer in the future.
Consider everything your target audience might be interested in reading about. What are their pain points? What might they need help with? Aim to help, guide, inform, educate and entertainment them.
3. What will you blog about?
Starting a company blog is a great way to showcase your industry expertise, and establish your business as the go-to people for whatever it is you do. But as with all content marketing, your company blog can't be all about you. What are the general needs and interests of your audience outside your immediate products and services? What areas will your blog cover?
As well as this, the fact that there are so many blogs out there fighting for attention means it is good for your blog to have a unique subject matter or specific style. Will your blog have a niche? Why should people read your blog over your competitors? What kind of writing style and tone will you use? How will your brand's core values be displayed through your blog?
4. Which blogging platform will you choose?
This depends somewhat on your own experience. Many blogging platforms such as WordPress and Blogger offer a great variety of plugins and customization options, but require a significant amount of specialist knowledge. Others such as Tumblr or Passle are much easier to use, and allow you to get set up quickly. Which blogging platform is right for your business, based on your own needs and experience?
(You can read our post about some of the lesser known blogging platforms you might consider here.)
5. How much time will you set aside for blogging?
One of the main reasons company blogs fail is because of a lack of commitment. Business blogging is hard, and in order to have a sustainable blog that is updated frequently, you will need to put in a significant amount of time per week. The most important question to ask yourself: are you prepared to put in the time and effort to make it work?
Before starting a company blog, you'll need to decide how many hours a week you will set aside to blogging – researching for ideas, writing and editing posts, responding to comments and promoting your blog. Unless you are committed, your company blog will quickly end up stagnant and outdated, leaving a poor impression on both current and potential clients and customers.
Of course, this list is by no means definitive. But it hopefully should give you some idea of the things you need to think about before starting a company blog, in order to give you the best chance of success.