There are many marketing avenues that small businesses can take to effectively reach their target market. One of these is blogging, which may make you wonder if you should take this route in an effort to expand your marketing efforts. This isn’t without good reason, as blogs can serve many positive purposes for small businesses looking to expand.
For starters, they give your target market one more way to get to know, like, and trust you—three essential elements of good marketing. They also help you portray your brand, establish you as an expert in your field, and can even draw the attention of future top employees who can potentially take your company to higher levels. However, even with all of these wonderful things that blogs can do, that doesn’t necessarily make starting one the right decision for your business at this point in time.
As with any other marketing effort, you need to consider the realities behind what starting and maintaining a blog would mean for you. Here are four to think about:
- Your Target Market. In order to be successful in marketing, you want to go where your target market is. That being said, does your target market typically go online and read blogs? With statistics showing that there are over 217 Tumblr blogs alone, it may be likely that they do. However, if your products or services are geared toward a market that doesn’t generally spend a lot of time reading blogs (for instance, blog readership tends to decline with people over the age of 51), then it is possible that your efforts would be better placed elsewhere.
- How Much Time You Have. Not only does starting a blog take time, as you have to set up the platform, whether it’s on your own website or elsewhere, but maintaining it can soak up a lot of hours too. Between figuring out some type of publishing calendar, writing the blogs, editing them, and posting them, either you or one of your employees is going to be tied up for a while getting your information online. Therefore, you want to make sure there is time available to create and maintain your blog because the last thing you want to do is get one up and never post on it.
- Your Budget. If you would be taking care of the blog yourself, then there isn’t really much of a cost associated with setting up or running a business blog. But if you’re going to pay someone else to do it for you, like a freelance writer or a blog management company, you can spend a decent amount of cash regularly depending on how often you want to have content posted. This requires budgeting for this type of expense so that you don’t find your business in the red. It also means taking the time to find a reputable freelance writer or company that you trust to take care of this for you if this is the route you choose to take.
- Your Blog’s Purpose. Even if all of the previous factors give you the green light to create a blog, you want to know up front what your blog’s purpose will be so that you can decide whether it will advance you in the direction you want to go. For instance, are you writing just to inform your readers of your services, or do you want to give them helpful tips so they can take care of smaller issues on their own? If the whole point of your blog is to continuously try to sell your products and services, you might face some resistance from your readers because people don’t like to be sold to every time they turn around.
There is no right or wrong answer as to whether you should start a blog for your business. There’s only what is right or wrong for you. Consider these four factors and you should be one step closer to making that decision.
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