Sure. There are many great reasons to blog.
Blogging can showcase a more personal side of your business. It’s also a useful tool for building your company’s credibility and improving your website’s search engine rankings. But there are hazardous conditions that may squelch your good intentions. Blogging is not for every small business.
Before you jump in, here are some important things to consider.
You’ll encounter hurdles, caution signs and stumbling blocks you’ll need to manage along the way. If you can meet these challenges, then you can forge ahead without second guessing yourself.
But if these hazardous conditions confirm your doubts, then it may be time to put the thought to rest.
First things first: ask yourself two questions.
1) Do You believe in blogging?
If you’re questioning the value of it before you even start, your chances of success are sketchy at best. You will need to plan, schedule, and organize your blog. If you lack the passion for it, your blog will reach the magic number of three—three published posts.
Then you will likely lose interest.
Worse yet, if you’re considering a blog because your brother or friend told you it would be “good for your business,” you have reached the first caution sign.
Before blindly following your brother or friend’s advice, ask if they have a blog themselves, and more importantly, if they do, when was the last time they posted to it? If the answer is “no” or “I’m not sure,” think twice about the advice.
2) What are you trying to achieve?
Keep in mind, a blog post is not a press release, nor should it be treated like one. You also shouldn’t blog for SEO purposes only or just to announce sales and promotions. Worse yet, don’t start a blog as a way to compete with the restaurant down the street.
Small Business Blog Groundwork
Prepare yourself for three technical hurdles.
1) First Hurdle – Getting It Set Up
A Content Management System (CMS) will need to be installed on your web server. You also need a database. WordPress, is a popular CMS. It’s probably the way to go. WordPress software is open source and free, which is great news for a small business. But you will need someone who is technically savvy to get it started. (NOTE: If you have a business website, you may already have a CMS and database installed.)
2) Second Hurdle – Customizing It
Your blog design will need to be modified to match your website and brand. There are many free WordPress themes that are available, but you’ll need someone with the necessary skills to customize it, most likely a web designer.
3) Third Hurdle – Understanding It
You have it all set up. Now you have to figure out how it all works. This is where many people fail. It’s the biggest technical hurdle. WordPress is not overly complicated, but it can be intimidating at first. You’ll be writing posts in the admin section (also known as the Dashboard in WordPress. Not computer savvy? Proceed with caution.
If these technical hurdles and caution signs don’t intimidate you, you’re halfway there. You can continue with confidence to PART 2. We’re headed towards the stumbling blocks.