Getting started with Business Blogging

Even though many “experts” call blogging a thing of the past, it’s popularity and unfazed growth show that blogging is, and will continue to be, a major part of the internet for years to come. eMarketer estimates that 43% of US companies will be blogging by 2012, up from one third today. While personal blogging has leveled off over the years, if not seen a slight decline, business blogging is continuing to grow. Marketers should take note, and think about what a corporate blog can do for you.

That’s not to say that every business should start a blog just for the sake of doing so. As with any decision, it must have a business case for putting the resources into such an initiative. So what can a blog do for you?

  1. For service based companies, a blog can demonstrate knowledge, expertise and thought leadership in your industry, raising your credibility with clients and prospects.
  2. For consumer oriented companies, a blog is a classic way to engage your users and receive valuable feedback. It’s not a replacement for social media monitoring, but can be effective in pushing out information and hearing what your customers have to say about it.
  3. Blogs allow you to publish content, content gets indexed by search engines. The more quality content you have, the bigger reach you have potential for in your search engine optimization efforts. Any blogging strategy should go along hand-in-hand with your SEO strategy.

Though blogging has it’s benefits, it’s important not to jump into it too quickly. You need a strategy! Depending on which study you choose to believe, up to 80% of blogs are abandoned within one month of creation. Your blog strategy should include:

  1. Purpose – What are you hoping to achieve with your blog?
  2. Sustainability – Being overly ambitious will kill a blog before it starts. Make sure you set reasonable expectations for frequency of posts, and then stick to the schedule after launching.
  3. Agility – How easily can you shift gears with your blog if you see the need in the future?

Some companies choose to have one unified voice on their blogs, where all posts are posted as ‘The Company.’ Others choose the more casual approach where individuals are invited to post on the business blog. You’ll need to make the decision on which approach aligns with your companies standards and voice.

Hopefully you now see the need for a blogging strategy above just a blog. This is where your agency, consultant, or trusted friend can help you get set up. Beyond the strategy though, there’s still the question of how to get started with a blogging platform. More most companies, you need look no further than WordPress. WordPress comes in two flavors, the totally open source blogging platform at WordPress.org, and the hosted implementation at WordPress.com.

WordPress.com provides extreme simplicity in getting your blog up and running. If you don’t mind showing ads on your blog, you can even get it hosted for free. If you’d prefer not to have ads, a small monthly fee gives you a professional blog at your own domain. Within a few clicks, you’ll be up and running.

WordPress.org, while slightly more complicated to get setup, affords you more flexibility in design and functionality. You have full control over every aspect of the website, and if you know how to program you can make changes to the codebase for even more flexibility.

Whichever way you choose to go, and it will likely be dictated by cost vs. requirements, you can have a fully functioning blog up and running relatively quickly. If you have stricter design or functionality requirements, and have a small budget for blog customizations, go with a consultant or agency to get you set up with your own blog. If you only need a presence, some place to post, and don’t care much about extra features or design, you’ll be fine with the hosted solution.

You must be logged in to post a comment.