Blogging for Business Takes Discipline, Patience & Imagination
If you’re thinking about blogging for business, what are your expectations? For your workflow? For your audience? For your content and business brand? Hadn’t thought about it? Well there’s no time like the present.
Add Blogging to Your Regular Business Workflow
Blogging frequency is the first issue. If you want your website to reap the SEO (search engine optimization) benefits of regularly updated content then you need to update your blog at least 1/week—and more frequently is better still. Your posts will also do more for your website SEO if you keep to a consistent publishing schedule, so factor regularly scheduled posts into your workflow.
Ideally you’ll identify your target audiences and useful topics in your content strategy, but those pesky posts won’t write themselves. So now you have to figure out how to incorporate blog post production into your schedule. When thinking about your workflow, ask yourself:
- How much time does it take for you (or other in-house bloggers) to write a quality 300+ word post?
- Do you need to readjust work priorities in order to free up that time?
- Will you repost content from other sources as part of your strategy?
- Do you want to out-source your business blogging (hire a ghost blogger)?
- How many people in your company can contribute blog posts?
- After blog posts are written, will they need to be edited? If so, include editing time in the appropriate person’s regular workflow.
Your Blogging Expectations & Audience Responses
When you first start blogging you may feel like you’re talking to yourself. It often takes 3-6 months for a new business blog to accumulate decent traffic so you’ll need to be committed for some length of time. You’ll also need to let potentially interested people know that your blog exists:
- put the url in your email signature
- add the blog to your business cards
- if you have a newsletter or mailing list send out a notice
- mention that you’re blogging on social networks and share your blog posts too if it’s appropriate, and so on.
Don’t expect a flood of comments right off the bat. After all, how often you comment on blog posts that you read? You are reading other people’s blog posts, right? In general, unless a new blogger is well-known or focusing on a controversial topic, it’s unlikely that a post will generate lots of comments. What if you’re one of those folks and people begin commenting immediately? You have to respond to at least some, if not all, comments if you want to engage in a conversation. And then you’ll have to factor response time into someone’s workflow.
Coming up with something to say on a consistent basis can feel just as challenging as actually putting a post together. In addition to having a content strategy to guide your efforts, it’s also very helpful to keep a running tally of blog post ideas and add to it regularly.
If you prepare for those inevitable moments when inspiration seems a million miles away, you’ll move past your own internal resistance more easily. I also stay on the lookout for lists of blog post ideas shared by others in my various fields.
Finally, I make sure to keep my audience in mind.
- What will help them out?
- What can I explain once in a blog post and then share with multiple clients?
- What’s missing from our Web Content Resources for Small Business?
- What challenges emerge from my day-to-day work?
- How can I make life easier for my clients and wider blog audience?