Once you’ve decided to set up a small business blog you may be tempted to jump in and begin spilling all your thoughts out into the Internet world for all to read and marvel at. Don’t do it!
Before you write even one word, answer the following questions:
Why are You Blogging?
To establish yourself as an expert? Attract traffic? Make sales? Share your opinions? Choose one or at most two primary goals to keep in mind, and write each and every post (article) with those goals at the forefront.
How Often are You Willing to Blog?
Not just next week, but next month and next year…it’s common to start out a small business blog with a bang, declaring to everyone that you’re intent on blogging every day for the rest of your natural-born life. You’re all revved up to take the blogging world by storm, and you do it – for a month. Then you start getting distracted by other things. Your posts start dwindling, from every day, to five days a week, to three days a week, until you’re struggling to update once or twice a week. No good! Pick a schedule you can stick with for the long haul. If you’re able to post more than that, “bank” some posts for the future so you have some in the can for when time is tight or you want to take a vacation.
Who is Your Audience?
Are you writing to consumers, prospects, potential partners, other professionals? Each audience will require a different “spin” on your approach. While you can have more than one group reading your small business blog, know who your primary reader is, and direct your posts at him or her.
What do You Want to Write About?
Even within a very slender niche, the possibilities for topics abound. If you write about fitness and weight loss, you could write about news, personal challenges, debunk myths, expert advice, products, or a combination of all of above. If you write about personal finances, you could do budget makeovers, review books, give tax tips, provide personal finance humor, or warn people about scams. Figure out your unique spin based on your business’s unique selling proposition and your blog goals.
So how did you do answering these questions? Setting up proper expectations is crucial to your success. If you need some time to think about it, take the time. The more time and thought invested in the beginning is less stress and frustration later.
If you would like a little more guidance in setting up your small business blog goals, we’ve have an entire series (with workbook) to help you put together a Simple Business Plan. And of course, you can send me an email if you have any questions.