No, I’m not talking about whether to use WordPress or Squarespace (or some other website builder). I’m not talking about website templates or widgets either. What I am talking about are the three factors that you need to consider before you think about any of the above.
There’s a whole host of pertinent reasons to run a business blog. I even wrote about that, twice, in 7 reasons to have a business blog and More reasons to have a business blog. Understanding how running a regularly updated blog can help your business is a great place to start. The next step is to figure out:
- the purpose of your business blog
- the audience for your business blog
- what you want to happen as a result of your business blog
These three factors apply whether you write your own blog posts or hire a copywriter like me to write them for you.
Purpose – what do you want your blog to do for your business?
There may well be multiple answers to this question but try to limit it to three. These might be:
- to build a following
- to demonstrate your expertise
- to develop the know, like, trust factor
- to answer customer questions and solve their problems
- to give customers a reason to keep visiting your website and social media
- to sell your goods and services
- to encourage people to sign up to your mailing list
- to build support for an ongoing campaign
For instance, the purpose of my blog is to (1) demonstrate my expertise as a writer so that copywriting clients can get a taste of the type of blog posts I could write for them. My blog also serves the purpose of (2) building a following of authors and (3) encouraging them to sign up to my newsletter about social media advice.
Audience – who does your business blog talk to?
Who do you want to read your blog posts? Are you speaking to:
- customers – current and prospective
- other businesses
- professionals within a particular industry
- a specific demographic, such as mums of toddlers or retired people
You might have a split audience, like I do. I write one blog post a month for businesses and freelancers, and a second blog post for authors needing social media advice.
Once you know who you are writing for, you’ll be aware of the tone of voice and vocabulary to use in your blog posts and the topics/questions/problems to talk about.
Result – what do you want readers to do after they read your blog posts?
This isn’t the same as the purpose of your blog, but there is a definite link. Your purpose is an overall view. The results of your blog posts filter down from that.
For instance, you may want to build a following on social media and increase subscribers to your mailing list. The result is the increase in subscribers and followers. Do you want to hit the 1,0000 subscriber mark or grow your Twitter social media following by 50%? Over what period of time do you want that to happen? Three months? One year?
If you want to increase traffic to your website, what does that mean for you? Do you mean traffic to specific pages, clicks, a change in bounce rates, unique visitors, traffic from a specific country, or some other factor?
While you may not discover what results your business blog has had until several months after you have started posting, it is important that you decide what results you want to see first. Set your goals, decide on a time-frame, and find a way to measure your results, whether that is by analytics, sales, or the number of social media followers.
Why should you decide on all of this before you begin to write? Knowing the purpose, audience, and results you want will pinpoint:
- what topics to blog about
- how to speak to your audience (tone of voice)
- the type of CTAs (call to action) to include
- how to measure results
- how to respond to those results
- how often to post
- where to share your blog posts
and probably much more too.
With those three factors and all of the above in hand, you will be perfectly equipped to build your blogging strategy and plan. Why is that a good thing? Well, that’s a completely different blog post – one that I’ll be writing in July.
Oh, and if you’ve got all of that – purpose, audience, results – sorted and you want me to write your blog posts for you, send me an email today.
Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels