When you start to put a Business Blog together, there is one aspect which is often overlooked in the excitement (yes, excitement!) of creating your new blog. This is the planning phase – a critical element which you need to spend time on before diving in and writing your first post.
In this planning phase, you should identify what you are looking to achieve with your blog and who you are writing for. The result of this will allow you to be much more focused in the content of your posts and help you to align them much more closely with the requirements of those who will be reading them.
You should therefore make sure that you have the answer to three key questions:
1. What is the Blog looking to achieve?
You need to able to clearly identify why you want to start the Business Blog. Are you looking to use it as the focal point for a network of contacts for your company, or perhaps to position yourself as an expert in your field or promote a particular service / product using ‘educational marketing’ as part of a soft sell approach. You might be looking to use it as the development area for a new product and in the process create a group of evangelists for it, or perhaps it will have an internal communications focus, either for the company as a whole or specific teams within it. All of these are perfect goals for your blog (or blogs), but you will need to identify and focus on the one that you want to achieve in order to make it really successful.
2. Who is the Blog aimed at?
You need to decide who is the target audience for your Business Blog, just as you do with your products or services, and consequently who you are writing for. This will dictate the content of your posts and also the way in which you write them – two elements which will influence how you are perceived by your readers. You might be looking to demonstrate your in depth knowledge of your niche to prospective partners, create an interactive relationship with clients or motivate internal staff. Each will require a different approach to both what you write and how you present it.
3. What results are you looking for?
You should also be clear as to what results you want to achieve with the Business Blog. While a blog is certainly not a direct sales tool, there are nevertheless many ways in which you can measure its direct effectiveness. These might include number of visitors, subscribers to your RSS feed, sign ups to a newsletter, contacts initiated or clients achieved through a contact form on your Blog etc. By identifying the results you want, you will be able to measure how successful you have been and make changes accordingly.
By spending time on this part of the set up of your Business Blog, you will reap the rewards later. You will ensure that the blog maintains its focus in terms of its content and, as a consequence, provide your readers with what they are looking for and you with a successful blog for your business.
“Emarketing” Mark White is an emarketing consultant and business blogging specialist working primarily with companies in the UK. For information, advice or a free email course on successful Business Blogging for marketing and business development, visit Better Business Blogging. Stand out from the Crowd and Develop your Reputation Online.
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