Does It Make Sense To Blog?

by Vanessa on September 24, 2010

Recently we posted about how to blog when you’re not a writer.

First things first, though. If you are an ecommerce site owner, how do you know if it makes sense for you to throw your hat into the blogging ring in the first place?

In short, we think every business should consider blogging. There is always something that can be said about your industry, products, or niche that somebody else can’t say as well or with as much authority as you can. However, there are a few requirements and if you don’t meet them, you should reconsider blogging, or the blog may do more harm than good.

The main things for a small business owner to consider before beginning a blog are:

1. Blogging does take a strong level of commitment. It doesn’t mean you have to give up or start all over if a few weeks go by between posts, but it is best to commit to a regular schedule of posting and responding to any comments that you get. Most successful blogs have at least a few posts a week.

2. Sit down with a piece of paper and brainstorm as many ideas as you can for topics that you think would make for interesting short blog posts. Is it at least 10 topics? That’s enough for a nice start. If your reason for blogging is to help generate interest and revenue on your site, think about possible blog posts that tie into your products.

3. Do you feel comfortable writing? The blog posts don’t have to be Pulitzer Prize material, and the more casual nature of blogging means that the tone can be more conversational, along the lines of how you might speak to someone in person about your products. (See our previous post about how to blog if you don’t consider yourself a writer. There are some options for people who really don’t want to write.) Writing takes a little practice, so don’t give up if you have never done it before. We recommend putting up several practice posts before you announce your blog to the world.

4. Identify the audience you will be addressing in your blog. Is it other businesses or thought leaders in your field? Established customers? Potential customers? You need to do a little soul-searching and decide whether you think there will be an audience for what you want to talk about.

5. Are you prepared to respond to comments? Some feedback you get may be positive, and some may be negative. You may be asked to deal with an irate customer who is publicly venting. It takes some tact to deal with these eventualities, but blogging is a conversational medium so you want to be prepared to take part in the conversation.

If you can’t reasonably answer these questions yet, your energy might best be used to grow your business and focus your marketing in other ways. If you do have positive answers to these questions, a blog can be a crucial and important part of your strategy and we encourage you to get started.

If you are unsure how to take the first step, we recommending setting up a free blog at http://www.wordpress.com and using one of your blog post ideas to pen your first post.

When you launch your blog, let us know. We would be happy to check it out!

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