5 Questions to Ask Before Starting a Company Blog
Have you been considering the idea of starting a company blog? Blogging can demonstrate your expertise and make your company seem more “alive.” But if you start writing without a plan, you might miss the mark entirely. These questions will help you to start on the right track.
1. Why do you want to start a blog?
This is probably the most important question of them all. How will blogging help you to accomplish your goals? Are you wanting to connect with your audience? Are you angling to build search engine-friendly content? Do you want to educate your customers? Do you plan to demonstrate your expertise and knowledge?
2. What are you going to write about?
Keeping in mind why you’re writing. Decide what you’re going to write about and how it will help you to reach your goals. Choose categories and topics that make sense and stick to them. Stay on topic, and write articles your audience cares about. There’s no point in having a blog if your audience isn’t going to read it.
Here are some ideas for kinds of articles you can write:
- Lists (Look at this article for example!)
- Industry predictions
- Point-of-view pieces
- Case studies
No matter what type of article you choose, remember to keep it brief. Your audience has short attention spans and limited time. Endeavor to keep your articles 500-700 words or under.
3. Who’s going to write?
There’s nothing wrong with being the only writer, though having multiple people writing, can make a big difference. If you have employees, recruit them to write about topics they’re knowledgeable about. Set up a plan for how often they’ll write and what topics they’ll write about to establish a steady stream of content.
If you don’t have employees and don’t want to write yourself, you can hire a ghostwriter. Use services like freelancer.com to hire writers to assign posts for your blog to. Keep in mind this will be an added expense for your blog.
4. How often are you going to post?
If you plan on starting a blog, you need to have a long-term plan. If you visit a company’s blog, and they haven’t posted in months, it makes you wonder if the company is still around, doesn’t it? Set yourself a plan for how often you want to publish articles and stick to it to maintain readership and activity.
If you won’t or can’t write at least one blog post a month and don’t want to recruit your employees or hire a writer, don’t bother starting a blog.
5. What platform do you want to use?
You should choose your blogging platform depending on what you want it to do for your business. If you want a full-fledged blogging platform with CMS capabilities and a slew of plug-ins at your disposal, WordPress is a great choice. We’ll get to other recommendations in a minute.
Another important question is where you want to keep your blog, meaning you must decide if you want your blog on your own domain (self-hosted) or posted using an online service (hosted). A hosted service will have a domain like yourbusiness.wordpress.com. A self-hosted platform will look something like www.yourbusiness.com/blog. The upside to these hosted platforms is how easy they are to set up. The downside is having a blog that looks and functions differently than your main website, which can be jarring to readers and visitors. WordPress comes in both flavors.
Here are some other platforms you could use:
- Blogger (hosted)
- Typepad (hosted, paid)
- Expression Engine (self-hosted, paid)
- Movable Type (self-hosted, free and paid options)
- tumblr (hosted, micro-blogging platform)
- WordPress.org (self-hosted)
- WordPress.com (hosted)
Are you already blogging? Share your experiences with these platforms and others in the comments below!
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