At what point during the business planning process is creating a blog a good idea?
I want to start a blog but have no idea where to begin. I don't yet have a business, just an idea. However, I have a business plan, design ideas, and I've researched the type of legal structure, fees, etc. necessary to get started. Should I start the blog now to get my name out to the public, or wait until I have physical merchandise to sell?
At the moment you find you have valuable content to share, content that express your brand vision and even content that could empowers others or move them for the best, then at that time is your time.
Many women including me started businesses after we have shared all those ideas we had in our minds. We knew that most people around us would not help us get there, and the way it probably would was through writing, connecting with others, recording our thoughts, etc. And know is blogging.
Joi, one thing you should remember is how quick we tend to procrastinate and our minds to forget. Keep your thoughts and everything your mind tells you in writing. If not this time, maybe later you are gonna have that urge to express and share them -that is part of your branding sweetheart. ;)
wish you success.
Why you should write a blog for your business, because it will be your business plan for you to accomplish many things:
Give you new blog + business ideas as you write.
Help you take your blog seriously as a business.
Cause you to discover and analyze your growth potential.
Help you carefully plan the ways to make money from your blog that best fit your brand.
Help you budget and not overspend.
Guide you through future decisions for your blog as a business.
Give you a clear picture of how you will promote + grow your blog.
Your blog may not require each section of this plan; you’ll be the one who determines how much to include. However, if you’re running your blog as a business, each section you write is important and should ideally be completed before you invest a substantial amount of time or money in your business.
A thorough blog business plan will help you avoid major obstacles and will guide your decisions unlike any other document. When considering a new idea, upcoming blog post, customer request or suggestion, expansion, marketing opportunity, or any other operational item, you will have this plan to consult.
Operating a blog and a business without a road-map can hurt your growth potential or cause your reach to grow more slowly than it could have.
Quick tip: I recommend reading through your blog business plan at least once each month. This will help you stay on track with goals as well as remind you of objectives you’ve forgotten about that can fill your “free time.”
You can write your blog business plan in any order you wish, and in fact it might be easiest to start with the sections you’re most excited about to get the ideas and energy flowing.
You must do blog only if you are willing to write about your Business regularly.
Blogs can take a long time build a large audience so the sooner you start the better. Be consistent, write weekly - and most important : educate! Don't sell...
The earlier you start a blog the better, as it can rank on the search engines wake you work on the business plan. You can even put up alone page blog initially and expand when you have a clearer view of your business plan.
As soon as you have all your eggs in a row and can defend your position as an expert or one willing to learn
I'd say there's no general right answer to this. It's what's right for your business idea that matters.
You can use a blog as a research tool to develop your value proposition: try out your ideas, and ask for feedback, or you can write a blog for a few months to see how quickly you can build interest, to validate how easy it might be to generate leads. You might also use a blog to develop community support for your product idea. This might encourage you to carry your idea into a real business.
If you decide that blogging is going to be essential to drive interest in your product, perhaps because the internet is your only route to the customer, then starting a blog before you start your business is a pretty useful test. Conversely, if generating interest on a blog is non-essential to your business, then it's something you should start later on, or not at all.
From the information you have given it sounded like you were possibly designing a physical not a virtual product. How do you exactly see blogging as enhancing the product brand? Who is your public? Are they most easily addressible via a blog or other means of communication? Will you be selling direct to them, or through a partner?
Blogging is one of several marketing communication methods, you could use. It takes a long time and commitment to build even relatively modest and loyal following. Brands also take a long time to develop -- traditionally around 3 to 7 years -- although can be faster via the internet, e.g. Youtube vloggers, who might become well-known with their audience in six months.
There are lots of people commenting on the importance of getting the planning and thinking straight and while that is a good idea if your business is established, it can make the whole thing rather daunting. You can quite easily blog about your insights from meeting customers and discussing your plans with them and how your products will help them. You can use this as part of your market discovery and at least start to build a community around your new venture. It is entirely likely that your business will take a turn into a direction that you are not planning - that is healthy so worrying about a detailed marketing and positioning plan and SEO now is likely to be time wasted and - perhaps worse, build such a big barrier that it puts you off doing anything.
Get out and talk to people and write what you find. People buy from people so trying to be too prescriptive and aiming for perfection now is IMHO the wrong strategy. You can easily have a blog without the rest of the website so worrying about brand is also a distraction.
Before you do anything else make sure people want what you are offering and if necessary refine your proposition until they do.
Use your blog to demonstrate your expertise and get your name out there.
You have been given some good advice here, but there are a few more things you might want to consider.
There are more than 50 different types of blog posts. What are you writing about, when and why? Are you mixing and combining different media or using just text?
Are you connecting your content to your business goals KPIs and metrics and thinking about conversions from readers to subscribers to customers will take place?
Are you trying to build a list of prospects to nurture and a list of customers to develop into repeat business, or just going for low-hanging fruit and hoping or expecting a certain number of sales per post?
You might want to at least create a basic editorial calendar so you can see the big picture of what you'll write, when and why, and how the different posts and pages will connect and support each other. Writing a bunch of disconnected content doesn't produce an exponential, leveraged result and there will be seasonal issues, forecasts, hot news, and a variety of other categories that should be organized in your plan - besides the specific topics you'll want to write about..
An editorial calendar also helps you in gathering research info along the way. When you have a content plan and know what topics are coming up, you can grab bits and pieces or related topics/articles as ideas when you find or stumble across them. You may also need to include examples or other data with your own content and you can set up a bookmarking folder structure to support keep it all in order.
In addition to bookmarks, I use the Session Manager extension for Firefox which allows me to save a collection of open tabs for accessing later.
Also consider doing some basic content curation as part of your content plan as it can relieve the load and pressure from time to time. It will also allow you to link out to high-quality sites related to your site/posts/topics/keywords which is good for SEO as long as you don't overdo it. Too many links to other sites can devalue why anyone would want to visit yours.
Reader/Buyer personas will be a consideration at some point. Writing a post for all women in your targeted age group might work to some degree, but if you use a main article and then include mentions of things in the text that link to secondary articles, certain personas will segment themselves closer to a specific need/solution.
This is why it's so valuable to have your content/editorial calendar in at least a basic form - so you can create content with intention toward specific results. You can also flowchart the relationships between your pages and posts and leverage multiple pages instead of hoping one page can do all the work.
This may seem like extra work and it is. But it gets you thinking more clearly about how to best invest your valuable and limited time for content creation.
Also, when you write a blog post, you will sometimes want to write a Tweet and/or Facebook comment pointing to the blog post so those venues can drive traffic. You need to use various venues like Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. to get traffic to your blog even if you are planning on advertising to generate traffic. Blogging is no longer a standalone activity. It works more effectively when integrated with other tools and you need the time to do those, too, or you'll see less of a result.
It all boils down to how effectively you can do blogging and how many of the elements of its success are executed correctly. There are an infinite number of ways to do something wrong, but only a few variations to do it where the desired results are achieved.
When the inevitable struggles you'll experience tell you to stop something because it doesn't work, it actually could be that you need to tweak or adjust some things or make tactical additions/subtractions to your strategy.
My Golden Rule of marketing is, "Test Everything". I know it's easier said than done, but the more you test, the more you find out what doesn't work, what works, and what works even better. A/B Split testing is easiest.
You'll probably be testing alternative ads and landing pages in your advertising, but you can do this in content creation, too. When one version of a post produces more of the desired result than a similar post written with a different emphasis, you'll be a believer in how valuable and powerful content testing for improved results can be.
Until the content is something you would find captivating as someone interested in your business, it's better to wait or blog about related topics. Don't give a play by play of daily details or you'll alienate your potential readers.
I have a mailing list from Cikgu Hafiz - Rabbi Hafeez - who says you don't need your -own- product to start selling. Sell a product you think defines you. Look on Tumblr and on Pinterest [which is now charging for some of its photos - so get moving quick likewise]. Then rebrand, later innovate.
If you have something to say that provides value for your audience and future prospects, say it. Consistency is key so make sure you have enough to say to publish at least once a month.
If you have a website up and running, publish from your site.
If you don't have a website yet, start publishing on LinkedIn. You'll start to build an audience and following there.
I think you shall start as soon as possible when ever your product or seevices are ready , when ever you announce your work that will reflecs your ability to introduce your services , Never delay to start or announce - dicide & choose the perfect time to start , wish you all the best .
If you are planning on selling a product to the marketplace. at least have prototypes available for the market to try based upon your blogging. business plan and design ideas...If you are going to blog about something that is an actual product have some of it on hand for tryouts
GREAT question and smart that you are thinking of this below, here are some quick points.
1. Get started ASAP. Getting your brand started and built can take a while and internet marketing is key to your success online or offline.
2. Think of the domain name and if you can, either make the domain a keyword of your niche or a name that is brandable and easy to remember. I think we can remember google or yahoo. But also a keyword name can explain what your niche is about and helps with SEO.
3. Wordpress blog on a hosting domain is the best route, if you can use word you can use wordpress.
4. Getting started early will allow you to also link your blog to your social media accounts. Depending on your niche and client base, the social media platform that targets your demo, will be the best to get started with building your brand
5. Use your blog to gather much needed information via surveys. What direction should you go, what features are clients looking for etc. Imagine having a idea and now gathering the needs of your clients and building a company around that VALUED information.
6. Depending on your niche and business, think local business and local internet marketing. Getting listed in a local keyword or local business directory is much easier to get you going
7. Consult a Accountant or Lawyer (I am sure you have one in the family or no one) and find out about which Corp structure you can use. LLC's are easy to set up, but based on your niche you might need a C Corp of something. LegalZoom.com is a easy site to use that is also inexpensive to set up your copr. Once you know which type.
8. In most cases your Corp can own your domain name and website so you are protected in that way.
9. If you can afford it, get an internet marketing consultant on board as soon as you can to guide you, so no mistakes are done and you can get started on the right foot
I can go on for another million points, but I bet you get the idea, yes start early and be smart.
All the best to your success Auggie
Senior Consultant @ ask8
Start immediately. Or at least as soon as you have your website online. The faster you can get a robust amount of content online the better. For SEO purposes Google likes to see a lot of pages with relevant and unique content, so the sooner you can started with that the better.
For your future audience, it's good to have content up and ready for them to consume once you start getting people to your website. For your first post just start with an introduction of what your business is about (or going to be about) and let them know when they can expect your merchandise or services to be available.
Even if your site is going to change it's design or structure later it won't hurt to have the content up now.
I think that they can be implemented early. I really like reading businesses that blog about the success and hurdles that they experience. I think it makes the business easy to relate too.
As others have said, there are a lot of opportunities to identify your market, to work out issues, to find experts to bring into your organization, etc.
Beyond having a website adds to your assets but also your costs. Before you start a blog, consider what the purpose is and what commitment (resources) you are willing to put into it. I would suggest not adding a blog unless and until you are ready, willing, and able to regularly create interesting content that shows you are a thought leader/authority in your niche.
This is an excellent question that many business owners have a hard time with because most people are unfamiliar with how the internet works and how search engines rank websites.
A blog should start as soon as our website is live. Unique, original content is eaten up by Google and other search engines because it only adds to their value as search engines.
Its also important to note that the MAIN reason that I find that the small to medium sized businesses that I deal with on a daily basis are not ranking well is lack of content. Most businesses throw up 10-15 pages and never revisit the website, mainly because they are running their business. A website with 51-100 pages gets 148%+ more traffic than a website with 1-50 pages.
Relevance and confidence are two other search engine ranking factors that will be satisfied by starting a blog as early as possible. By continually adding new content to Google early on, you will show them that your website is not attributed to a fly-by-night operation; but rather a company who is continually a good source of new content.
The sooner you start, the better off you will be. Keep a small notebook in your desk drawer and write down topics you think would be good for the blog and try and write once (ideally) twice a week. Make sure your posts are:
- over 500 words
- have an image
- contain internal links to contact pages or landing pages to increase conversions
- uses proper headings, titles, urls
***** be sure you submit each new URL (page url) to Google & Bing webmaster to get your new pages indexed in days instead of weeks ******
It sounds like you are planning to include a blog into your venture, however, are you really convinced that you actually need one? The question you could ask yourself is "What will be the purpose of my blog and will it actually fit into my business structure, or will it be just another chore to keep up with? Everyone talks about blogging and the importance of having one, however a few talk about the challenges it entails. A large percentage of blogs that are started end up abandoned shortly thereafter. I come across so many outdated ones with the last post being at least a year or two ago. Why? Well because most bloggers get tired of fighting spam comments, attacks on their site, managing updates, attracting people to their blog, getting subscribers, generating revenue, etc. Unless the blog is a major component of who you are and what you plan to do, I would focus on putting your energy into establishing your revenue earning venture first.