There are a lot of factors to consider before you start blogging for your business, and surprisingly the first question is NOT WordPress or Twitter. This is the first post in a series we’ll be doing as a companion to our WordPress classes, but the ideas apply to any blogging platform.

So, you’ve decided to start blogging eh? Well, that’s good, we like blogs, but what’s your motivation?

1. Why do we want a blog for our business?
There are lots of reasons other people blog, but forget about them for the moment. Why do YOU want to blog? “Because the competition has one” is not a sufficient answer for the long haul. Just because they have a blog doesn’t mean it’s bringing them business. Here are a few possible ideas:

  • Improve your search engine optimization
  • Post industry related information
  • Establish myself as a expert in my field
  • Communicate with the users of my product
  • Provide a platform to discuss issues related to my industry

2. What type of blog do we want to have?
Blogs come in all shapes and sizes. What suits you and the way you work best?

  • Collaborative (team or guest posters)
  • Video blogging
  • Micro-blogging (short frequent posts focused on a few topics)
  • How-to
  • Company updates

3. Who is the blog for?

  • Industry experts
  • Customers
  • Potential customers
  • Press/bloggers
  • Potential investors
  • Yourself

4. Do you know what the informational needs of your readers are?
A little market research, either formal or informal can go a long way. Do your homework.

5. Who else is blogging in this space?
Do some searches on Google for similar topics and see who else is out there. Do you have a different voice or position? Know who the players are and be prepared to comment on their blogs, cross link and otherwise share the love.

6. How much time do you have?
Be ready and willing to commit a fair amount of time to blogging, especially in the beginning. Blogging regularly can make a huge difference in readership as well as how easy it is for you to blog.

7. Who’s going to do it? The CEO, the marketing or PR department? Engineers or customer support? An intern?
Decide who is going to write the blog and make sure they are well aware of their responsibilities and have the skills.

8. What kind of support is necessary?

  • Technical support to install
  • Copy editor
  • Legal approval process
  • Editorial calendar

9. Is it sustainable?
It is better to not blog at all if you’re not going to keep it up. Visiting a corporate web site and seeing the last blog post a year ago shows you don’t really care.

10. When you look back on your blog in a year, how will it have impacted your business?
Far be it from me to say blogging isn’t a game changer for many companies, but you need to have clearly defined goals and a plan of attack before you start thinking about blogging platforms. If all of this is too involved hire a social media coach to help create a strategy and decide what tools will work best for your situation.

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