You’ve heard us say it a million times: You should be blogging about your business. Both your employees and yes, even you the owner, have plenty of wisdom to share. Potential clients, vendors, partners or anyone else that shows a little interest in your business (including your employees) are interested in what you have to say.
You have your audience. Now, it’s time to seize the moment and give them the information that they want.
Whether you’re going to post news and info about your company, request feedback, show off your industry knowledge, or just blog because it’s the new trend, one thing remains true: Getting started is half the battle.
Here are some of the top questions clients ask us about how to run a blog for their business:
1. How long is it going to take me to blog?
You’re busy. We get that. We all are. We’re constantly multitasking, and our time is in high demand. If you’re like me, everything you take part in comes at the cost of forfeiting something else. My advice? Whatever you do, don’t over-commit and take on more than you can handle. Heck, start with even one post a month. Mark it on the calendar to make it a real goal. If you realize that you’re able to blog more than that, then great. It’s better to amplify it and over-deliver.
2. How long am I signing up for this?
Blogging, just like anything else, is something you try. It will either work for you or not. Starting a blog doesn’t tie you to it forever. I see a lot of folks simply never start because they are afraid of the burden it will cause. Begin with an open mind, and keep doing it only as long as it works for you. My bet is you will start to enjoy it. However, if it ever gets to be a burden, all you have to do is just slow down, don’t post as often (or even take a little break). With that being said, you should realize that blogs aren’t one of those ‘build it and they will come’ type of things. It takes a lot of time, dedication, and interesting content to form an audience. So, don’t give up on it too soon.
3. How long should I make my posts?
Blog posts don’t have to be long at all to be effective. Some of the most intriguing, influencing, and conversational posts don’t display everything to the people reading. In fact, the writer leaves some things open for a discussion and deliberation. I generally try to keep my posts are between 500 to 1000 words — just long enough to get the readers interested, but not so long that it feels like you’ve picked up a copy of “Atlas Shrugged”.
4. Should I allow comments on my blog?
By all means, yes! Blogging is all about creating conversations. Just realize up front, you’re going to get a lot of spam and inappropriate comments mixed in with the real, valid stuff. You will definitely want to moderate comments. After a little while, you will be able to tell the legit comments from the spam, and answer them appropriately. If readers find a lot of questions but no answers, they will take it as a sign you don’t really care and lose interest in your blog.
5. Can’t I just have someone else write my posts?
In the beginning, Absolutely not! Blogging is about communication. People won’t connect with the business because of the blog, they connect with the person writing the blog. Ghostwriting, unless done by someone who knows your business as well as you do, will almost always end you up having to explain something. For instance, when a question comes in, the answer may be complicated. Who’s replying? If it is a ghost writer, you can bet they won’t respond like you would. What’s worse, they could just rely on info they find on the web that is incorrect, and if writing in your name could make you look incompetent. If you decide to have someone else write for you, make sure that they write under their own name and really know the subject matter they are writing about.