1. What's the purpose? Sure, this may sound like common sense, but when it comes to blogging that's not always the case. If you're planning on starting a blog for your business, you must (and I can't repeat this enough) identify a purpose for your blog. Let's say you own flower shop (dream job, am I right?). Here are a few examples of why you might start a blog:
- Perhaps you work closely with event planners and your focus is to increase your partnerships. Snap some photographs at events where your arrangements are used and feature those prominently throughout the blog. You'll also want to link back to those event planners - they might even share your content!
- Are you looking to engage with your customers? Craft content around DIY tips for customers who purchase your flowers and invite them to share their own creations.
- Maybe your purpose is to connect with bloggers to increase exposure of your shop (why? because bloggers are awesome). Start with building relationships with 5-10 bloggers; send over some arrangements and request a home tour for you to feature on your own blog.
2. Select a tool
If you're looking to jump into the blogosphere, you'll need to figure out which tool/platform/website you'd like to use. Of course, they all have their pros and cons, so you'll need to figure out what's most important for you. If it's simplicity, you might want to check out Blogger or Squarespace. If you're looking for a robust tool to customize, I would highly suggest Wordpress. Of course, there are a ton of platforms for you to choose from, it all depends on what you're looking for.
3. Identify your bloggers
If you're the only person who will be writing for your blog, make sure you're ready to commit. There's nothing worse than starting a blog and letting it just sit there, unattended. It's almost like a sad lost puppy, and no one likes a sad lost puppy.
If you'll be working with a team of bloggers, it's also important that you're all on the same page. Communicate your expectations, write up a goals (next step!) document, and agree on blogging guidelines. You also might want to utilize an editorial calendar (here are some fantastic tips for creating an editorial calendar thanks to maiedae) so that everyone knows what topics will be covered, when posts are due, and when they will be published.
4. Set your goals
Sometimes this step is overlooked, but it really shouldn't be. Without goals, what are you actually working towards? Remember, you can start small here! Maybe something like:
- Publish three blog posts in December
- Obtain 200 page views by the end of the year
- Collaborate with one other blogger for a post
And so on and so forth. These are your goals, so make sure you tailor them for you!
Now that you know what you'll be blogging about, which tool you're using, who your bloggers are, and have a set of goals under your belt, it's time to publish and share! As you craft content for your blog, you'll want to share via the social networks you're active on. Twitter is always great for linking to blog posts, but remember Facebook and Instagram, too (and any other media you might use!).
Some of these steps might take longer than expected, but think back to why you started the blog to keep yourself motivated. Remember, be diligent, patient, and creative! It's your time to shine, lady.
- Gabriella Valladares
I am a social media marketer (by day) and content curator (by day and night). I am lucky enough to be the Creative Manager for the BOS Lady Project, a sorority advisor, and a lifestyle blogger. You'll most likely find me writing in a local Boston (or Atlanta) coffee shop or scouting the nearest stationary store. Want to learn more? Let's connect!