According to IBM research, 80 percent of those who start a corporate blog never post more than 5 entries. That’s right–80 percent of business blogs die without publishing more than 5 posts. That’s an alarming failure rate for business blogs, and for a company thinking about starting a blog, it can understandably give you some doubts about whether or not you should do it.
The good news is that there are many things you can do to avoid failure with your business blogs. A sound approach can help you avoid the mistakes made by most corporate bloggers, so you can build a successful blog that helps you connect with your target audience, drive traffic to your website, increase brand exposure, and produce a range of other key benefits.
So, what can you do to make sure your new business blog is a success? Here are 7 important steps you should take.
1. Make sure you’re ready to make the commitment–Building a business blog isn’t easy. It takes a lot of time to come up with ideas, write your posts, do all the necessary blog marketing, respond to comments, and manage all the other tasks that come with having a blog. You must be sure that you’re truly up for this long-term commitment before you launch your blog.
2. Define your target audience–Who is your ideal reader? Exactly who are you trying to reach? Understanding the characteristics, habits, and interests of your readers can help you write content that connects with them on a more meaningful level.
3. Wait to launch your blog until you have at least 5 posts written–When you launch a blog with just a single post, your blog looks naked and amateurish. People will assume that you’re just a fly-by-night blogger, and they probably won’t come back. But if you have a decent backlog of a few posts, readers will see that you’re legitimate and get a better sense of what your blog is all about.
4. Create a list of ideas for future posts–Writer’s block (or ‘blogger’s block’ if you prefer) is one of the biggest challenges faced by business bloggers. When bloggers run out of ideas, their blogs die. That’s why it’s important to have a running list of post ideas that you can draw from whenever it’s time to write something new. Jot down ideas as you think of them, so you’ll never be at a loss for something interesting to write about.
5. Make it easy to share your posts–Your blog’s growth will be driven by your readers sharing your content. As they share your posts with their friends and followers, you’ll get more and more readers. That’s why it’s so important that you make sharing your posts as easy as possible. Include social media buttons on your blog so that readers can share your posts on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites with just one click.
6. Get networked–Networking is one of the biggest keys to growing your blog. You need help getting your name out there and getting traffic driven to your blog. Some of the things you can do to build your network include guest posting on other blogs, inviting bloggers to submit guest posts to your blog, commenting on other blogs, linking out to other posts in your blogs, connecting with influencers through social media, and being active in the community surrounding your niche.
7. Don’t give up–Your blog probably isn’t going to be an overnight success. In fact, it will probably be pretty desolate for quite a while. Building an audience is something that takes time. You have to keep posting great content on a regular basis, and you have to keep promoting it to make sure it gets seen. So, don’t be discouraged when things start slowly. Stick with it, and over time, you’ll see it headed in the right direction.
What tips would you offer to someone starting a new business blog? Let us know by leaving a comment below.