8 Questions to Answer Before you Start a Blog

A blog can be a powerful marketing tool for your business. If you don’t have a blog for your business, there are many benefits to starting one.

A blog can:

  • establish you as an expert or authority on a subject
  • lead your prospective clients to your website
  • allow you to engage with your readers
  • improve your SEO, by using key words and publishing frequent posts

A successful blog is a result of careful planning and decision making. Many blogs launch with the best intensions, but aren’t effective because the owner lacks direction or runs out of steam.

Take a few minutes to reflect on the type of blog you’d like to have, and plan for its success. Consider the answers to the following eight questions:

  1. What is the purpose of my blog? A blog should have a reason for being, even if it is just a place for you to rant about your opinions or beliefs. Knowing and defining the goal and purpose of your blog will attract a like-minded following, and improve your chances that your blog will be a success. The best blogs begin with a purpose the writer is passionate about.
  2. Who is my target audience? Define the type of reader who would be interested in what you are writing about. Small business owners with human resource problems? Young professionals looking for financial advice? Stay at home moms trying to stay sane? Think of who you are trying to reach, and keep that person in mind when you create your blog.
  3. What platform will I use? There are lots of platforms available for the non-tech-savvy blogger. Blogger and WordPress are two popular choices. Do a little research, read about the possibilities available, and select the option that will work best for you.
  4. How will I promote my blog? Once you have begun your blog, you’ll need to let the world know it is out there. You can provide links to your blog on your social media accounts, add share buttons to your posts, and include a subscription button so your readers will receive an email when you post an article to your blog.
  5. Do I want to enable comments? Most blogging platforms have a comment option you can enable or disable. There are differing opinions about having comments on your blog, and whether or not you should respond to them. But many bloggers find the comments are a great way to engage with their target audience, answer questions and develop a more personal rapport.
  6. Will my blog be part of my existing website? If you already have a website for your business, a blog can be a page of it. This is a great way to bring your readers in to your website, where hopefully conversion occurs. A blog can also stand on its own as a separate site, and just be for your blog.
  7. How frequently can I commit to blogging? It’s no secret that blogging takes commitment. It’s easy to get behind as other tasks sometimes take priority. There should be some type of consistency to your blog publishing. So take in to account what your audience needs and expects, what your competition is doing, and what you can realistically commit to.
  8. How will my blog be different? There are millions of blogs out there that will be competing with you for readership. What makes your blog different from all the others? What will make your blog stand out? Perhaps it is your approach, your experience or the type of information you will offer. Really think about what makes you or your business unique, and play to those strengths in your blog.

A blog is an effective addition to your marketing plan, and allows you to become a resource for your audience. Not just a resource about you and your company, but about industry insights and answers to the problems or questions your audience may be having.

It will be well worth your time to plan your blog before you begin. Answer the eight questions, define its direction, and watch it grow into one of your most successful and measurable marketing tools.

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