There are many stages every small business should go through before launching their blog.
There’s the typical ones that everyone knows about and spend time on — researching your audience, writing the content, and spreading it like crazy over the web and on social media.
But then there’s the lesser know ones, the ones that don’t seem as important and thus get little attention, which are in fact pivotal to the success and long-term impact of your blog.
Rather than beat to death the obvious ones, we’re going to explore three all too often overlooked steps that are crucial if you want to that lasts.
1. Set Your Blog’s Goals
Lot’s of businesses don’t have a clue how to build a business blog. They throw one up, publish a few articles, and then quickly lose interest due to a lack of patience and knowledge which is necessary to get something out of it. Therefore, the first and most crucial part in building a blog is understanding exactly why you’re doing it and setting clear goals.
It doesn’t have to be a ten-page document that takes you two weeks to finish. The best place to start is simply by asking yourself , what you want to get out of it, and what you want your audience or customers to get from it.
From here, you can give some direction to what could easily be infrequent rambling and establish a handful of core business goals for your blog.
You could base them on achieving certain metrics, hitting a certain rank or level of visibility among competitors, or generating interest from certain people or organisations. The key is to make them SMART — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound — and thus inspiring enough to keep your blogging efforts motivated.
2. Find Your Blog’s Purpose
No matter how well you stick to your goals and how much high-quality content you publish, if it has no particular angle and doesn’t serve a specific purpose, then your blog will most likely fall on deaf ears.
Your blog’s goals and purpose are two different things because, whereas goals are brand-orientated, purpose is reader-orientated. It’s all about the “why” behind and the “what” that makes yours so different to others.
The purpose of most businesses blogs are to increase exposure of the business and products or services. But it may also be to establish yourself as an authority in your niche, improve your search engine rankings, and/or generate a story around your brand.
3. Discover Your Blog’s Niche
If you’re a business that sells industrial flooring for TV studios, you may be tempted to write long and jargon-rich articles on industrial flooring. But even though this is your business’s niche, it doesn’t mean your audience wants to read about it. Thus, when you build a business blog, its target may be a whole different niche.
For instance, sticking with the example above, the business may recognise their audience works in the TV and media industry and that they may also be interested in building renovation and business development. There is three areas the company could explore to find suitable blog topics and content ideas that might actually be interesting to their audience.
One way businesses find ideas for blog niches is by creating user personas. User personas condense your audience’s demographics, needs, behaviours, and wants into generalised character profiles. Such profiles make it much easier to get an idea of the lives of your customers and find a quality niche and gap your blog can fill.