As the head of your company, you’re ideally positioned to lead an informal debate on the current issues that face small business owners and entrepreneurs in your market. So why not pen your thoughts with a CEO blog or company blog that’s visible to your customers, clients, and others who might become inspired by your entrepreneurial wisdom?
Blogs are gaining more and more traction in the business world. Experts believe the trend will continue, and that companies should at least monitor blogs to gain knowledge about what’s being said about their products and services. And if you have the time and inclination to launch your own blog, the result could be increased business visibility, excited audiences, and added revenue.
Following are 10 things to consider before launching your own company blog.
- Determine what you have to offer. You have learned plenty of lessons along the way, some of them the hard way. You could use your blog to shed light on the complexities of running a small business, which can add to your credibility and create added exposure for your company.
- Decide if your blog will be a marketing tool. Blogs are both far-reaching and cheap to produce and maintain. And while they might not be a substitute for traditional marketing materials like press releases and direct mail, they do provide an additional avenue that can be well worth your investment. Be sure to check out Should I Be Using a Blog for Marketing Purposes? for more information.
- Define your editorial vision. There’s a lot of work to do before you launch your blog. First, shape the editorial policy. How often will you publish? What will be the tone of your messages? What kind of content will you include? What will your blog look like?
- Consider the content. Some content ideas for your blog might include industry trends, hot topic news, interviews with other industry leaders, your position on industry issues, industry innovations or innovations in your company, book and article reviews, cases studies, shared experiences and lessons learned, and links and downloads to related subjects that might be important to your readers.
- Share your thought leadership. If you want to be a leader, you need to get others to buy into your ideas. That means writing about the sound tactics you’ve used to position, promote, and reinforce your credibility within your company and, more importantly, within your marketplace. Everyone loves to get valuable information for free, and if you’re willing and able to provide it, that can only mean good exposure for you and your business.
- Be a credible source. Remember that as soon as you put something in writing, it lives forever. So be careful about what you write and make sure you’ve done your homework before your write it. If you want to stray from your own personal experiences and opinions, consider devoting a section of your blog to breaking industry news, vital facts, key findings, and some behind-the-scenes information.
- Decide who will be the writer. Will you be your blog’s sole writer, or can your team and staff also make contributions? If a team is producing your blog, you may want to consider holding weekly editorial meetings to brainstorm ideas and give out writing assignments.
- Choose your partnerships wisely. Once you’ve designed the blog, you’ll want to consider which outside sources you want to share links with. Doing so is a great way to create cross traffic, and to ultimately increase traffic to your blog. Consider who your customers are and what other blogs they might be interested in.
- Learn how to engage your readers. Your blog’s success will depend on the number of readers you have, and increasing their numbers is a matter of motivating them to come back time and again. Make sure your blog is structured in a logical way on your site. You may want to provide access via links to recent topics, highlights, sub-topics, and monthly archives. A little humor never hurts either.
- Know what matters to your readers. This kind of blog is all about sharing what you know, including your experiences and knowledge, with a wider audience. Do this, and do it well, and they’ll come back to read your future good ideas. Also read 16 Ways to Drive Traffic to Your Business Blog for some good advice.
For a good overview of the technical issues involved in getting started with blogging, including how to choose the best software platform, be sure to read How to Choose the Right Blogging Software.