A lot of small business owners and infopreneurs are getting the message that they need to blog. That’s a good thing for someone like me. I coach my clients to use a blog effectively.
The first decision you need to make is why you want to blog. Because a speaker at an event convinced me it’s the way of the future, or everyone else seems to have one, or I read it will shoot my website to the top of the Google search engine rankings are not reasons to blog. They may be reasons to investigate whether a blog is the right vehicle for you.
You have to ask yourself what you want to accomplish with a blog. It can help with your Google ranking, but simply recycling your newsletter for the past two years is probably not going to accomplish the result you want. For one thing, the information may not be relevant any more, or your target market may have changed; or the content of the newsletters may not be relevant to online readers.
What message do you want to convey to your readers? A blog is a marketing tool, it’s part of your brand, so consistency is important. The look of your blog should complement your website (if you have one). The current advice is that your blog and your website should not look identical. That confuses the readers.
Do you have the time to blog? You should blog at least three times a week. If you’re writing-impaired like I am, it takes time to write (and spellcheck) a blog post. What am I going to write about? Often I have a great idea for a blog post, that’s on-topic and fits with my current content and I sit with the title and that’s all .. get up, get a glass of water, a cookie, check Twitter, check my e-mail .. I’ve wasted an hour I could have used following up with potential clients. Save the post, unpublished and move on. If you’re having bloggers block .. make those follow up calls and come back to your blog.
If you have the resources, you may want ot hire someone to write your blog posts. You can hire someone at ifreelance to write ten or twenty blog posts, for those times you are too busy, or have bloggers block.
Should it be a page on your website? My question to you is .. do you even need a website? Several one-stop-shopping products are beginning to emerge based on a hosted WordPress platform. My advice is to hold off a major redesign of a static website if you’re an infopreneur. One of these products may be more suited to your business model.
Bottom line, having your web designer add an extra page to your website titled "Blog" and adding a hosted Word Press blog with the default theme then recycling old newsletters without a plan is a waste of time.
What planning did you do before you started publishing your blog? How long did it take you to find the purpose or message for your blog? Do you still have a traditional website?