Blogs are the internet equivalent of opinion pages in the daily newspaper. They’re where you go for information, opinion, a little more depth than what you’ll find in simple news stories. So the question is this – as an entrepreneur, start-up business, or industry leader, do you need a blog?
The simple answer in most cases is yes. A blog is a brilliant, and relatively easy, way to engage with your clients, peers and industry. It can help you build audience, communicate and influence. It can help establish you as a voice in your relevant space.
If you want to successfully use a blog to help build your brand it is vital you be transparent, accessible, and authentic.
Think about who you want to target with the blog; who do you want to speak to? Clients? Partners? Suppliers?
Once you’ve decided the answer to this a good place to begin is by blogging about your industry. However, unless you are already an established expert in your field don’t try to present yourself as one. You will only do damage to your brand if you pretend in your blog to be something you aren’t; it would be better to grow your expertise at the same time as your brand and your blog.
If you are building your profile and credibility use your blog to publish information your audience might be looking for. Do the research for them so that via your blog you are established as a credible, specialist thought leader in your space. Remember to blog to your industry community and to be knowledgeable, thoughtful and passionate.
Before you begin, sit down and create a list of topics that interest you from an industry stand point – chances are high they will interest others. If a topic seems particularly challenging or indepth, break it into several topics and post them to your blog over a period of time.
You don’t have to write all your blog entries in one go, but it is a good idea to have several ready before you go live for the first time. An empty site is never a good look.
It’s also important to decide whether your blog is going to be a part of your main website or independent of it. If you are hoping to capitalise on link traffic, then make it part of your main site; if you want to influence outside players or you want to express views that may not be those of your business partners, take it to a separate platform.