Starting a Blog is like Adopting A Puppy: 8 Things to Consider When Starting A Blog

Last week I attended a networking event and I was talking to someone about the advantages of having a blog. Now, this person didn’t have a blog for their company and at one point in the conversation they threw out the line, “everyone’s doing it, so we should too.” Stop right there! That is the worst reason in the history of blogging and content marketing.

Dog Reading Blog

Creating a blog is like adopting a puppy. It brings you great joy (and SEO benefits), if it’s something you’re actually interested in, but you have to make a plan for it. You need to constantly take care of it. It will grow and change, but it takes time, dedication and love.

You have to know how to take care of a puppy before you pick it up from the ARL. The same is true when starting a blog for the first time. Before you decide you need a blog, make sure you know why and how you’re going to take care of it. Don’t be the “everyone is doing it” marketer – make sure you’re ready before you create a blog.

Here are 8 things you should consider when starting a blog:

  1. Why are you starting a blog? Beep, beep – back the truck up. First and foremost, you need to know why you are starting a blog. What’s your reasoning? Determine your goals from the beginning.
  2. Who is your target audience? With any piece of marketing material, whether it’s online or offline, you need to know who you are targeting. Targeting “people who are interested in cars in Des Moines” isn’t enough. Are you speaking to your current customers or are you fishing for new customers? What are the demographics of your target audience?
  3. What type of content will you post on your blog? Start by creating a pool of topics that your audience (now that you know who they are – see question #2) cares about. This doesn’t mean create and write about what YOU care about…it’s about what THEY care about.
  4. Who is responsible for writing and creating content for your blog? Who will be the blog authors? Your intern shouldn’t be the only one responsible for your blog…it’s a great way to communicate with your customers, give your brand some personality and showcase expertise! Make your blog a team effort. It’s much more interesting hearing from multiple perspectives and it’s easier to distribute the work.
  5. How often will you post content on your blog? Try your very, very best to post killer content at least once a week. I recommend starting a content calendar and sticking to it! Plan out blog topics and authors on a quarterly basis. Keep 80 percent of your content non-product focused and 20 percent of your content company/product focused.
  6. Where will your blog content live? Make sure your blog is a part of your website, rather than creating a new URL for your blog. For SEO purposes, it’s best to have all of the content under one URL instead of splitting your content between two competing URLs. You’ll reap the SEO benefits of having fresh, relevant, keyword-based content on your site.
  7. How will you know if your blog is successful? Creating content is great, but what are you going to do to track your content and success? Do you have any goals set up? Once you have set your goals, make sure they are measurable so you can track them through Google Analytics.
  8. How are you going to promote your blog? If you’re thinking, “I will build it and they shall come!”…maybe you should try harder. I suggest promoting your blog via social media channels and if you want to get really crazy…via an e-newsletter!

Take care of your new, little blog. Feed it (fresh content), take care of it (post regularly) and take it to the doctor (let the experts step in if you’re having issues or need consulting). Soon your little blog will grow into a big, slobbering blog and you’ll be happy that you trained it well from the beginning!