First thing first, Blogging has change in so many ways. From what was once a hobbyist approach to talking about their cat on a free, personal blog has long evolved into a mainstream source for global news and information. With the growth a blogging, the face of blogging have multiplied too. Whether you’re looking simply talk about your small business on your blog to complete product interaction for fortune brands, blogging can scale to meet your requirements and empower businesses to accomplish great things.
Every business blogger should start with these five initial business bogging tips.
1. Understand what your short and long-term business blogging goals might look like and why you’re looking to start a blog.
Like any business startup, having a plan is essential as well as identifying what success for you, and your blog, will look like. Maybe your goal is to simply share your creative content on your own website vs. giving it to other website so they can profit from your work. Maybe you’re looking to reach a niche trade market that’s significantly under served by mainstream media. Either way, creating a blog should be a fairly well thought out process. Don’t over think it but have a understanding of what success looks like and how you plan to achieve it.
2. Decide how much time you’re willing to devote to achieve your blogging goals?
Maybe you’re an independent consultant and you think blogging can be a great way to make new connections and share your expertise. Or you’re a busy store owner who wishes to blog to generate new sales leads for their business. Either way, you can kind of see who probably has too much time to blog and who might not have enough time to blog. This is where having a plan, and expectations, of what your blog is going to achieve for you comes in handy. Finding the happy medium for managing your blog is essential as you don’t want to spend the money starting your blog if you’re not going to sustain your blogging schedule. On the flip side, you don’t want to over blog with too much time. There is a thing as saying too much.
3. With an understanding of your goals, assess how much are you willing to spend on your blog startup.
As I started to mention in number two, having an idea of how much you’re actually able to blog will be key in managing blog startup costs. You might have lofty expectation to create sort of a magazine style blogsite but in reality, you don’t really have the time to manage more than a note or two. Therefore, while I almost always shun free blogging services, if you’re not going to take your blogging plan serious don’t waste your money setting it up. There’s many costs associated with blogging. Initial design, management and build as well as monthly costs such as hosting, security scanners and other professional services like SEO and publicity. If you’re budget is slim, there’s still options but most blog are like any other business startup. Some seed capital is almost always required.
4. Start to learn the lingo of blogging and writing.
If you’re an experienced journalist or publisher, blogging might come as second nature to you. For most, you probably don’t consider yourself a professional writer or web developer. Take some time reading other blogs, newspapers and magazines to obtain a better understanding of how the publishing world ticks. You may think this is not required but keep in mind, your readers are fond of traditional publishing as this is how they’ve become accustomed to consuming content. For your first blog venture, recreating the publishing wheel is probably not a sound idea.
Above, I’ve outlined some tips for getting started with blogging but like any first-time venture it’s best to learn by doing. If you’re completely new to the blogging and online publishing world, I do recommend going at it with a free blogging service like WordPress.com or Blogger.com. Even if it’s just for some research. This way you can quickly start to understand the breadth of your goals and what it’s going to take to achieve your blogging success.
– Scott Winterroth is a Chicago-based blog startup consultant and is the publisher of several independent blog networks. He is currently writing his forthcoming book, “The Blog Business Plan“.