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Article ID: 2979683 - Last Review: October 9, 2014 - Revision: 27.0

 These nine steps will help you explore the potential rewards blogging can bring to your small business.

Experts David Caughran, digital strategist and one of his clients, veteran blogger, Sean Wallbridge, president and principal consultant of itgroove Professional Services, Ltd., offer some words of wisdom to help you along your way.



STEPS EXPERT ADVICE

1. Decide why you want to blog.


If you don’t understand why you’re putting time and effort into blogging, don’t start until you do or you may be wasting your time. Then, set some goals so you can measure your success along the way.

 

 "Social media is social; sharing ideas and information in a conversational way with your audience. It’s not about your sales pitch or ranting about a subject for the sake of venting your feelings."

- CAUGHRAN

 

2. Practice.


Write a few blogs and send them out to friends and customers to get their reaction. Keep a list of future topics to give you confidence that you can write more than one post.

 

"There is nothing worse than a blog with only one or two entries. If you abandon a blog, your customers may be afraid you’ll abandon them too."

- WALLBRIDGE

 

3. Decide how often you are going to post new content.


Once you’ve decided how often you’re going to post, put your content on the calendar. Even if your calendar entry reads "blog post" instead of the topic and title, it’s better than winging it.

 

 "Having a schedule that you stick to builds trust with your audience. I use OneNote to capture ideas and thoughts as I go. I can rarely sit down and knock out a post in one go. So pecking away at several works too."

- WALLBRIDGE

 

4. Write from your customer's point of view.


What questions do your customers always seem to have? What are their informational needs? Make solving their problems one of your passions.

 

 "You are the best person to share what’s new or cool about your product or service, because of your passion for it. It's great to have your passion come through in your message, but do it through the filter of your customers' concerns, not yours."

- CAUGHRAN

 

5. Make a list of three qualities your blogs will reflect.


Do you want your blogs to be informational, entertaining, or inspirational? Over time, those qualities will come to represent your voice.

 

 

For more information: 5 tips to develop a strong voice and make your blog amazing.

 

6. Define what great content means to your audience.


What kind of stories will they be interested in and what format? Video? Pictures? Text? A mash up of those elements? If you don’t know, experiment.

 

 "If you keep saying ‘hello?’ (through posts or tweets) and nobody answers, it's either not the right social platform for you or you’re not using the right message to reach your audience."

- CAUGHRAN

 

7. Build your following.


Follow others and repost content you think will be interesting to your audience.

 

 "People will take heed of your generosity and look to you as a resource for important information."

- CAUGHRAN

 

8. Choose your blogging platform.


Ask other bloggers what they use. Make your decision based on features and functionality that are important to you, for example: cost, ease of use, and ability to customize (plug-ins).

 

 

Leading blog platforms include:

Want more choices? Check out: The 15 best blogging and publishing platforms on the Internet today.

 

9. Monitor your traffic.


Look for incoming and referral links from your social media activity. See what kind of blogs—serious, humorous, thought-leadership, or how-to’s—bring the most traffic.

 

 "Use a third-party social media aggregator such as Hootsuite or SproutSocial to monitor the popularity of your blogs. If you share new blog links through social media, monitor the number of clicks to your blog from social platforms."

- WALLBRIDGE

 

For more information about blogging and social media read these
smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com articles: (http://smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com/)


Other links


About Sean Wallbridge
Wallbridge, president and principal consultant of itgroove Professional Services Ltd, is a six-time SharePoint MVP and evangelist from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
 

About David Caughran
Caughran is the principal consultant at CONNECTED THOUGHT. As a digital strategist, he is responsible for creating digital and social strategies that enable clients to create and maintain engaging user experiences.
 
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