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7 Questions To Ask Yourself BEFORE Starting A Business Blog
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7 Questions To Ask Yourself BEFORE Starting A Business Blog
Copyright © 2005 Priya Shah
Blogging is the latest buzzword in online marketing and PR.
But with so many marketers jumping on the blogging bandwagon, few
people are giving a thought to whether blogs are really up their alley,
or taking the time to consider the best ways of going about it.
If you are planning to start a business blog, ask yourself these
questions before you take the final plunge.
1. Do you really need
Writing and maintaining a blog takes a certain degree of commitment, as
well as a passion (or at least a liking) for stringing words into a
decent sentence. If you don't enjoy writing that much, you could always
create an audio or video blog.
But would your business objectives really be served by starting a blog?
Or could other methods of online marketing - like SEO, ezine
advertising or newsletter publishing work just as well, if not better?
2. Whom do you want
to reach with your blog?
The first step to reaching your audience is understanding where they go
to find information about your products.
If your audience largely consists of people who live in your town or
use products that they search for in the newspapers, offline
advertising might be more suited to your purpose.
If however, your target audience belongs to one or more of these
segments, a blog might be just the thing to boost your business.
- Internet users
Does your target audience really use the internet? If not, then
starting a blog (or any online activity, for that matter) will just be
a huge waste of time and effort.
- Blog readers
Does your target audience read blogs? Or do they prefer to get their
information in their inbox? If the latter is true, then an email
newsletter might be a better option than a blog.
- Search engine users
A blog is an excellent way to boost your search engine rankings and get
listed for a lot of your target keywords. If you know that your
audience uses search engines to find information, a blog will increase
your chances of getting their attention.
3. What do you want
to achieve with your blog?
There are a lot of things that a blog can do for your business. Blogs
can help you -
- Increase your visibility and Search engine rankings
- Brand yourself, your products, your services, your company
- Build a community and network with people who have similar
- Expand your reach to those outside your current sphere of influence
- Establish your credibility as an expert or thought-leader in your
- Put a human face on your business
- Reach out to potential customers and stakeholders
Deciding exactly what you want to achieve with your blog can help you
get focused, so that you can spend your time and effort in activities
that help, not hinder your business objectives.
4. How much time can
you spend on your blog?
Serious business bloggers not only spend time writing their own blogs,
but also spend a great deal of time reading up on current events and
browsing other blogs in their field for information.
If you are prepared to put in the time and effort required to do that
sort of research, your blog will serve as a good branding tool for your
If not, you should either hire someone to do the research or seriously
rethink your decision to start a blog.
5. What blogging
platform will serve your needs best?
Deciding your blogging platform is an important step that you should
take only after becoming familiar with the features and benefits of
The reason it is so crucial is because it can be extremely difficult to
migrate an established blog to a new platform once you have started it.
Moving your blog can result in you losing your data, search engine
listings and readers, so don't take this decision lightly.
Decide which platform will best meet your marketing objectives, time
constraints and personal preferences before you make your first post.
According to T.L. Pakii Pierce who writes at "How
to Blog for Fun & Profits!", if you are short of
time, and want to spend more time writing, then a hosted solution like
Blogger, Blogware, Squarespace or Typepad might serve your purpose
This might also prove a better option if you want to get started as
soon as possible, are new to the internet, or are unfamiliar with
scripts or code.
If, on the other hand, you're a control freak (like me) and don't mind
spending some time and effort to customize your blog, then a
server-installed software, like Wordpress, b2Evolution or Movable Type
might be just right for you.
If you don't want to install the scripts yourself, choose a hosting
solution with Fantastico, which comes with a one-click install of a
number of blogging software.
6. How do you plan to
promote your blog?
Why is it good to know this before you start your blog? Because it will
help you decide where best to invest your time and effort when you need
to build traffic to your blog.
You'll learn more about the methods to promote your blog when you
subscribe to the email course below. Some of these tasks can be
outsourced, while others you would have to do yourself.
Decide what you want to take on and look out for service providers to
handle the other functions so you can start building traffic to your
blog as soon as possible.
7. How will you
assess the success of your blog?
To determine how successful your blog is in boosting your profile or
profits you will have to measure your blog traffic and track sales or
leads that have come through it.
Planning this in advance will help you take more informed decisions
about your blogging metrics, choice of blogging platform and degree of
customization you require on your blog.
Understand that blogging is not for everyone. It's just another form of
Don't get so hung up on the technology that you end up ignoring more
appropriate ways of communicating your message.
Some things may be easier to communicate face to face, in a conference
room, or even through the good old telephone.
But if you asked yourself all the questions above and decided that
blogging meets all your objectives, then a blog may be just what the
doctor ordered for your business.
About the Author:
Priya Shah is a former journalist who writes on business
blogging and publishes an internet
marketing newsletter. Subscribe to her free
eCourse on Blogging for Marketers.
********** Additional References **********
241Leads.com's Lead Doubler™ - build your lists.
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ClickBank Vendor SuperTips - answers questions about ClickBank.
33 Days to Online Profits - step-by-step roadmap to an internet business.
Mike Chen's BizAutomator - task automator: "answer emails, design web pages, write programs, post on forums".
The Money Browser - direct to desktop stream of money making information.
Best wishes for your online success!
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