It would seem that most businesses these days have a blog on their website and it is becoming a key skill for office workers to have. It makes sense, blogs are an effective way to get messages, content and news out to customers. It is a great way of marketing the products and services to potential clients and of course it is a brilliant way to communicate with the wider world and helps build trust in what the business does. So, if your organisation doesn’t have a blog, the first thing to ask is… Why? If your biz is late to blogging or they aren’t really using their blog effectively this is certainly a conversation you could have with your Executive and a project you might want to take on. Or (I know Assistants this has happened to) your Executive realises the blog sucks and asks you to sort it out, this is the blog post for you, here are my five top tips on how to start a blog for your business. So, you’ve been asked to start a blog for your business… Where do you start?
1. Decide on the look and feel of the blog
I’m working on the assumption that your organisation has the technology in place for you to start a blog. For example, if your organisation’s website is built on WordPress then you will already have the ability to start blogging. If you are not sure, the first thing to do is get in touch with your IT department and ask them to help you with the design phase. This is a really important part of the process because you want to launch the blog looking the best it can. If you are truly on your own with setting up a blog, there are lots of great websites and courses that will help you design a blog. I would start with ProBlogger, who were my go to website when I started Practically Perfect PA.
2. What are your objectives?
With any project that you work on, you should ask yourself, what are the objectives here? With a blog the objectives are usually the thing that help drive the content and the overall tone of the blog. For example, if your business is considered an authority in your industry you might want the blog to help cement that point of view. If your organisation is disrupting the industry, you might want the blog to be a bit more social and different from other blogs in that space. Remember that blogs help drive traffic to your business’s website so the more specific the content the more targeted the audience who view your posts will be.
3. Do your research
Have a look at what the other business’s within your industry are doing with their blog pages. How can you make sure your blog stands out from the crowd and what can you do that is different? Take the time to do your market research and understand what is working for other organisations and actually what you think you can add to your blog that is better than anything else out there – it might be specific content that is missing or videos perhaps. Blogs are incredibly mainstream now so it is worth looking at what you can do differently.
4. Make the content relevant to your audience
The main aim of a blog is to increase your SEO (search engine optimization) which then brings more traffic to your website. So, to make sure you are bringing the right people to your website you have content that they want to read. Okay, now there is a whole load of magic that surrounds SEO, which I’m not going to write about in this blog, but what I would say is that along with making your content relevant you should know the key words that your potential clients are using to find your site. The best place to start is with Google Keyword Planner, a useful and free tool that gives you a list of the keywords used in your industry and for your website. Once you have a good idea of what your audience need from your blog you can plan the content accordingly and make it relevant and useful for them.
I would also recommend that you don’t make your content to sales focused. Most people read blogs to be informed and to learn so don’t go hard on the sales. Make your blog personal, give the readers a behind the scenes look at what you do and be authentic.
5. Be consistent
And this is my number one tip and the one piece of advice I give everyone that wants to start a blog. You have to be consistent. Post content regularly, have a schedule and stick to it. Unless you have a constant stream of information coming from the blog you will find it difficult to build a strong following. Now this is a big undertaking so you will need to enlist a team of writers for your blog. You can of course hire writers and many organisations do this, but I would suggest you start with your colleagues. Ask around, if you have a good team of people that can help you create content you will find it much easier to have a consistent flow of messages going out to your audience. If you do have a team of writers you might want to also think about having some guidelines on what you want from each post, refer back to your objectives.