Start a Blog in 3 Easy Steps!

Stephen Rosenberg - Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Congratulations! You’ve just learned your first lesson about blogging: make titles catchy, accessible, and numbered. Chances are this post title had you thinking, “Ah, see, I knew it wasn’t that hard to start a blog!” Fortunately, if it were that easy to run a successful blog, we’d have no competitive advantage to offer you.

Though like with anything there are exceptions, overall there are a number of “rules of thumb” that together form an important component of what is known as your blog strategy. It’s absolutely true that blogs drive business, but magic bullets to get you there? We can direct you to a number of snake-oil salesmen, if you’d like, but we’d prefer you read on.

Step 1: Understand the point - What is a blog?

A blog is a routinely-updated portion of your website that serves as the voice of your business. A voice is inherently part of a personality, an important element to engaging and interacting with your audience. A blog is not a megaphone nor a press release racket; it is your brand, alive. Successful blogs are the foundation of bringing human relationships--and faces--to the forefront of your business development.

Step 2: Admit to yourself that you need it - Why blog?

Think about the reputation of your business- wouldn’t you agree it is based in large part on your credibility as a business person? People trust your brand because they trust your expert ability to deliver your product or service reliably, professionally, and efficiently. Your brand is a promise, and you deliver every time. Why check your reputation at the door when literally millions of people are begging Google to tell them who’s most qualified to take their money? Competitors are everywhere, but you’ve got the reputation necessary to help them choose you if you can articulate your credibility. A blog helps people find and connect with you. When they do find you, a blog plays an out-sized in potential customers deciding if you are credible and worthy of Easier said than done; successful blogs require a sophisticated blog strategy.

Step 3: Plan - What will my blog strategy be?

Like so many New Year’s Resolutions, most blogs fail because they are hard work and likely don’t provide an immediate return on investment. Indeed, starting and abandoning a blog could be worse for your business than having never started to begin with. Who wants to do business with a company that projects an inability to finish what they started? On the other hand, a disciplined blog with a tight focus intended to project thought leadership, engage the audience, and get you found on the web is an asset very much worth having. Before you launch a blog, it’s important to decide on your voice (who is writing, in what style?), your topic area (what are you writing about?), your production schedule (what schedule will you keep so you don’t run out of content?), your search strategy (How do you search optimize your hard work so people find it?), and your distribution strategy (How will you promote your blog?).

 

While clearly not intended as a comprehensive battle plan for launching your blog, following these three steps can help make sure you’re at least looking before you leap into the world of blogging.