You’ve started a business, or you want to. Consider creating a blog. Your blog can help draw attention to you and your new business. Your blog also builds credibility; this is valuable as a long-term strategy.
The longer you’ve been blogging, the more people can learn about you and the way your business operates: it’s all there on your blog. And it’s your choice how transparent you’ll be. Buffer is completely transparent:
When we announced it, Joel, our co-founder, emailed everyone and said, “I truly believe that transparency breeds trust, that’s one of the key reasons for this adjustment.”
Consider the “pull” factor of your blog too. It’s inbound marketing, and helps to you to inform your customers:
A blog is the single best way to attract new visitors to your website. In order to get found by the right prospective customers, you must create educational content that speaks to them and answers their questions.
Before the Web came along, I ran a business. The customers had questions. Many, many questions. I spent my days on the phone. Of course, I couldn’t have imagined a blog in those days, but a blog would have cut my phone-time by 95 per cent.
I’ve been working with several entrepreneurs. Since I love blogging, the advice to “start a blog” comes naturally. Many kinds of businesses can benefit from blogs, especially small businesses. Your blog, combined with your social media presence, helps you to network.
These blogging tips work for start-ups, especially if you’re a one or two person operation at the moment, or if you’re working with a far-flung global team. Blogging is instant publishing. Potentially, your audience numbers in the millions. Your startup’s first customers may be in that audience.
1. Create Your Business Plan First.
Got a business plan? Create an informal one, if you haven’t done so already. The more you know about your goals, the better. Your plan will not only reveal what kind of image you want to project, but also who your customers will be. Create a SWOT analysis too. It will surprise you.
If you’ve never created a business plan, just answer the “Typical questions addressed by a business plan for a start up venture” in the Wikipedia article. If you decide you need funding, and want to create a formal plan at any stage, this rough plan will be a big help.
2. Decide on Your Blogging Persona, and a Choose a Couple of Audience Personas.
You need to decide who you’ll be as a blogger. What image will you project? Be yourself of course, but decide how much personal information you’ll share. If your blog’s all-business, you won’t be talking about your partner, or the movie you saw last night.
Choose a couple of audience personas too. These are the people for whom you’ll be creating content. Build a brief profile of your typical customer. If you want investors, build an investor profile too.
Here’s Hubspot on buyer personas:
Buyer personas are holistic ideals of what your customers are really like, inside and out. Personas encompass the goals, challenges, pain points, common objections to products and services, as well as personal and demographic information shared among all members of that particular customer type. Your personas are the people around whom your whole business is built.
Give each persona a name. I like to start persona profiles as if I’m talking about a real person: “Bill is 45 years old. He’s been married for 16 years. He has two teenage children…” etc.
When you’re crating content, you’re speaking directly to Bill, or to another persona you’ve created.
3. Your Blog Is Your Social Media Hub: Keep Content (Mainly) on Your Own Website.
Look on your blog as your startup’s marketing launchpad. Add your blog’s URL to your social media profiles. To repeat: add your blog’s URL to your social media profiles. This is vital. Before someone decides to follow you on Twitter, or circle you on Google+, they’ll check out your profile.
And speaking of Google+, join Google+, and visit your Google Dashboard occasionally, to keep track of your activities.
End of digression…. :-)
You’ll network on social media, but keep the bulk of your content on your website. When someone visits your website, they can read your content, and once your business has launched, they can do business with you. It makes sense to keep your good stuff where it will do you good, rather than sprinkled across the Web.
So there you have it.Three blogging tips for your new business. Good luck with your launch. :-)
Join Angela on Google+, and on Twitter: @angee.
You can find Angela on Pinterest, too.