Starting a company blog is now easier than ever. Anyone can publish a blog post with a free profile and a few words. However, because blogs are so easy to create, they can also pose several problems. In their excitement to get started, many companies often overlook important factors. If you’re thinking about starting a blog or redesigning your current one, here are a few things to consider to ensure the success of your content.
1. Choose the Right Platform
All blogging platforms are not created equal. There will likely be one platform that works better for your company than others. Some of the most popular include WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr, but there are a lot of variables to consider when deciding the best platform for your company such as:
- Storage capacity
- Available themes
- Level of customization
- Backup capabilities
- Encryption and security features
- SEO friendliness
Consider each of these options (and possibly even more) before choosing a blogging platform. It will be very difficult to switch to a different one once you have it up and running.
2. Set Up a Publishing Cadence
Though you’ll want to allow some flexibility in your schedule, you’ll still want to have a general idea of how often and what days you’ll post on your blog. Too many companies begin with the intention to post consistently, and then slowly taper off, blogging fewer times per month, and often quitting the whole thing altogether.
Part of building an audience is being consistent, and delivering your thought leadership to a regular cadence helps manage their expectations of your brand. Creating a schedule at the onset (and holding your bloggers accountable to it) will help you to avoid that problem, even if you end up changing that cadence as time goes on.
Even though you might not realize it, blogs are a prime target for hackers. In fact, in 2012 more than 170,000 blogs were hacked from WordPress alone, and that number is only rising. Many companies and individuals don’t recognize how easy it is for hackers to break into a blogging platform and then move on to the rest of the website where sensitive files and information are stored. Think about security for your business and your blog in order to safeguard against hackers that could potentially shut you down.
4. Have a Plan for Marketing
Know from the beginning how you plan to integrate your blog into your marketing efforts. Will it be an integral part of your email marketing? Will it only be used on social media? Will you attempt to guest post on more prominent websites? Your blog should work to enhance your marketing efforts, particularly in the content strategy area. Use the knowledge of how your blog will be utilized to shape the content you produce.
5. Include Social Metrics
Many small companies include social metrics in their blog as an afterthought, rather than as a strategic measure. Include sharing buttons on every page of your blog to make it easy for consumers to share your content.
Also, make a plan to post your content often on your social media profiles; it should be an integral part of your blogging strategy. There isn’t much point in having a blog if nobody knows it’s there, and one of the best ways to raise awareness of both your brand and your blog is to promote the content on social media.
6. Treat Every Blog Post as a Product
When you strategize the creation of a product, you consider several variables, including what problem the product will solve, whether or not the consumer will use it, whether or not a customer would pay for it, and whether or not it needs continued iteration. Strategizing your blog posts should follow a similar pattern. This is an excellent way to determine whether or not your post will provide utility to readers and successfully bring attention to your blog.
As you continue to research and prepare for the launch of your blog, you’ll likely find there are several things you didn’t think about before beginning this journey. By giving these points careful consideration, you’ll be grateful that you took the time to prepare before creating a blog and hitting the publish button for the first time.