Blogging has gained popularity in recent years and remains one of the “it” marketing vehicles for companies large and small. I’ve had numerous clients and prospective clients approach me with hesitation about starting a company blog – they don’t have the time, they don’t know what to say, they have concerns about giving customers a public forum to sound off.
While a recent study by Social Media Examiner that reported 68 percent of small businesses use blog posts as part of their social-media strategy, blogging is still a relatively new concept in the grand scheme of marketing. It’s normal for companies, especially small businesses with limited resources, to feel reluctant about taking the plunge.
If you’re thinking about starting a company blog, it’s important to ask yourself a few questions before you create your new URL and start clicking away on the keyboard!
Can You Commit to Blogging for at Least 2-3 Hours Per Week?
Be honest with yourself about whether you – or someone else in your company – can spare several hours each week to write. If you and your staff have full plates, you might consider hiring a professional writer to support your efforts online. Unless you have someone committed to posting, promoting your blog and engaging with other bloggers, you’ll end up with a stagnant, out-of-date blog, which leaves a poor impression on your readers, clients and customers.
Do You Have a Realistic Goal?
Are you blogging because you think that having a blog will help increase awareness of your brand, engage new and existing clients or customers, or increase traffic to your website? Or are you blogging because your friends are telling you that you should? Blogging will not increase your sales overnight, but it will help position your company as an authority in your industry and generate buzz about your brand. If you aren’t sure why you want to start a blog, you should reevaluate your commitment.
Are You Ready to Use Social Media?
Though it might seem like everyone and their grandmother has a Twitter and Instagram account, plenty of companies have yet to dive into social networking. Blogs are most successful when we integrate them into other platforms – such as Facebook and Twitter – to reach a variety of audiences and networks. Before you start your blog, consider which social networks make the most sense for you to join. If you don’t have the time to manage them, a PR firm or social media marketing agency can help you achieve a cohesive presence across all of your online properties.
Thoughts on new and traditional media, current events, life in Chicago and the occasional small Chihuahua photo.