Friday, October 31, 2014

Is a Blog Good for Business?

Like so many questions, the answer to this one is: "Well, that depends." A blog can be a boon to business or it can be a money and time-sucking bust. So how to know if a blog will be good for your business? Start by answering the following questions:Do I have the time and money to invest in a blog? A blog is a long-term marketing proposition. If you or an employee likes to write - or you have the resources to hire a blog writer - that's great: Put a check in the "yes" column. Plan to post once or twice a week for at least 3 months before evaluating the project's success. Make time each week to chime in on other blogs and to market your blog on social media. It takes time to build blog-love.Do I have resources to create and host my blog? While blogging doesn't have to be expensive, you'll need to choose a host and set up your site, which definitely takes time and often takes financial resources. If you are able to host your blog on your company website, that's ideal. If not, Google "best blogging platforms" and start researching. Word Press, Blogger, TypePad, SquareSpace, and Tumblr are popular blogging platforms.What will my blog look like? The most popular blogs are visually appealing, easy to read, and include interesting visuals. If you're not great with graphics, be prepared to hire a designer to design your blog and create a visual or two... or three. If you have the visuals under control, put another check in the "yes" column.

What will I blog about? My best advice is to speak to your customers. Answer questions you hear most frequently, post product and service reviews, talk about what's new and exciting in your field, provide helpful how-tos... you get the idea. If blog post titles are firing in your mind, that's a good sign and another check in the "yes" column.Am I patient? Blogging is like a marathon; slow and steady wins the race. Yes? No? Be honest when you can answer this question. Blogging is lots of things, but it's not a magic bullet.Am I social? There are many ways to get visitors to your blog, but posting on social media sites is one of the best. If you're social - or if you have a solid plan to get readers - you're on the right track.These are the primary considerations before deciding whether or not a blog is for you. If you've answered yes to most of the questions above and believe you have what it takes to start and build a blog, give yourself a pat on the back. There's no doubt about it: A well written, visually appealing blog has the power to shoot your business to the top of the search results.

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