If you are thinking about adding a business blog to your corporate website, there are several things to consider before you ever set fingers to the keyboard to write your first post.
Make sure a blog will meet your business goals.
Just because you can blog doesn’t mean you should. While many industries can benefit from publishing regular content to a blog or other site, there are some that may not actually see a good return on their investment in business blogging. Ask yourself the following questions to help you determine whether you are headed in the right direction in setting up a corporate blog:
What specific business goals will your blog meet?
Is there money in your marketing budget set aside for monthly hosting fees, site templates or coding, writers, and other blog-related marketing costs?
How many weekly hours can be allotted to the creation, upload, illustration, tagging, and publishing of your posts?
What type of content will you publish?
How often will you publish?
Who will be writing your content?
Is there a team set up to handle comments and regular blog maintenance and updates?
How will you drive traffic to your blog?
Create a marketing plan.
Even before you make decisions about content or hire a writer, you should know how you are going to get people to read your blog! There’s no point in creating something that no one will ever know about, particularly if you are doing this to ultimately produce revenue. Your marketing strategy will most likely include a good mix of tactics, from posting links to relevant social media sites to contests and email list building.
Decide on your content direction.
Any blog that is promoting a particular brand, product or service will have a single vertical in which they should publish. Blogs selling motorcycles publish content connected to motorcycles, not content about running marathons or handling marketing decisions. Your content format can be fairly wide — you might post articles, podcasts, video files, slideshows, photos and so on — but your content itself should have a tight focus on your specific product or service.
And of course, all of your potential corporate blog content should meet two specific baselines:
It must be valuable to your target market, and
It should meet your business goals.
Determine your publishing schedule.
It is always best to publish blog content on a regular — rather than an irregular — basis. This builds trust as well as visitor loyalty. You don’t have to keep an intense publishing schedule (quality always trumps quantity), but once a week is a good baseline. Once you establish a weekly publishing routine, you can gradually work your way up in frequency and do some testing to see what kind of publishing frequency brings the best results for you.
Set up your support team.
You may need to open a hosting account, have a site design made and coded, or simply have a person or team assigned to the running of your corporate blog. Make sure they know your business goals, target market, general content parameters, and procedure for publishing (i.e., how drafts, revisions, and scheduling should be handled). Once your support person or team has administrative permissions within the blog website they’ll be off and running.
But what about SEO?
You may have all the greatest and most valuable blog content in the world, but unless it is optimized for search, you won’t see the results you want. Make sure your writers have a solid list of keywords you want to rank for, and are familiar with basic SEO practices.