Should your business start a blog?

Can we talk about blogs for a moment?

Okay, first of all: some perspective.  A blog is not as critical to your business as, say, a logo, or a website.  You can run a business or have a nonprofit without having a blog.  Just like you can manage a business and not use advertising, or signage.

Benefits of blogging for your business or nonprofit

But blogs help. Blogs are terrific for your SEO, because all that text is searchable and all those pages link back to you.  Posting timely, helpful and interesting blog posts that people read helps you build an audience of potential clients or supporters.  They keep coming back because you’re offering value to them.

Another important benefit of creating a blog for your company is that, perhaps more than any other tactic, blogs establish you as a subject matter expert.  So, as you demonstrate again and again that you know your stuff, blogs can help you achieve that incredible marketing attribute of trust among your clients, potential clients, supporters, and even the media.

An additional benefit of blogs is that they are share-able.  It’s very easy to share blog content with a friend, through email, Twitter, Facebook, or bookmarking sites.  So your readers help expand your audience for you.

Do you have an audience for your company blog?

There are few conditions that need to be in place for blogs to work well as a marketing tactic.  The most important reason to start a blog is because you believe the people you really want to reach will find value in reading online articles about topics related to your company and industry. A minimum requirement is they have to enjoy reading about that topic.

For blogs to make sense for your business or organization, your existing and potential clients/supporters must have the time and ability to access the Internet.  This is not quite a universal tendency.  Your customers or supporters just may not happen to be online article-readers.

Still, for most companies and nonprofits, there are enough CEOs, journalists, and influencers who read online articles that will make it worth your while to create a branded blog for your company.

Of course, at Fletcher Prince, we are wildly enthusiastic about blogs and what they can accomplish.  I’ve been blogging since 2006 and I have several blogs myself.   This is the 605th blog post I’ve written for Fletcher Prince.  I’ve created blogs for clients and I’ve taught people how blog and manage blogs.  But if you think your target audiences won’t read and value your blog, then consider other marketing approaches, such as advertising, or video.

The ingredients of a successful blog

Let’s say that you believe there is an audience for your blog, and you are potentially interested in creating a blog, or making over your existing blog.  What else do you need to take into consideration?

Well, blogs work when the writing works.  People who are passionate about their topic make good writers.  So if you have someone in your organization who loves to write, may already be blogging, and is passionate about your company, you have a tremendous resource on your hands.

However, that resource may require some tending to reach its full potential.  Plenty of bloggers start well, but stop blogging on a regular basis.  An organized blogger is just as important as a creative one.

How can you sustain the blog effort over time?  You approach it like any other long-term marketing strategy.   It would be helpful, for example, to start with a plan that outlines your goals, topics, audiences, timelines, team, and promotional tactics.   You may find that an editorial calendar organizes your efforts.  What you will discover is that blogging is a commitment of time, talent, and resources.  It has to pay off for it to be worth it, and those benefits may be long-term, rather than immediate.  So some faith and patience is also required.

Fletcher Prince can help your company blog get off to a great start

At Fletcher Prince, we can’t create the passion in those writers for you.  People either love to write or they don’t.  But we can coach them, help them get organized, teach them how to write for online audiences, help develop a blog plan and an editorial calendar, design and launch the blog, and show you how to track and measure results.

Talk to us if you’d like us to help you launch a blog, makeover your existing blog, or coach your team to become expert bloggers.

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About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince (www.FletcherPrince.com). Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on September 13, 2012, in Blogging Tips and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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