Setting Business Blog Expectations

November 30, 2010By

MoonThousands of businesses have started a blog as a way to generate traffic for their site, improve their internal SEO, and improve their customers relations. While all businesses that start a blog have the right idea not all succeed in their blogging initiatives.

I’ve found that a big reason for blogging failure is the inability to set the proper expectations when starting a blog. Businesses that start a blog often expect too much too soon from a blog.

In my experience I’ve noticed a few key things that determine the success or failure of most blogs. There are more variables, but these next three seem to be near universal.

Business Blog Expectations

Frequency

Most blogs build traffic either through natural search traffic or by obtaining regular followers (community). Both of these types of traffic are highly dependent on the frequency of posting.

A simple rule of thought is: The more your post, the more traffic you receive.

When starting a blog the frequency is a key variable in determining the type of traffic growth you can expect. There is not a right or wrong frequency for your blog. Each blog strategy will have a different frequency required and it depends mostly on the available resources for posting.

A basic rule of thumb I’ve noticed is you can expect relatively little traffic for the first few months for a blog that posts once a week. For a blog that posts once a month it may take a year to start seeing any traffic at all. A blog that posts daily can start to see some traction within a month or two. What I mean by traction will be an increase in traffic from search engines and potential some sharing sites. This traffic may start out as just a handful of visits each day to ten or twenty per day for a blog with daily posts. This traffic should continue increasing at a good rate if the frequency continues.

This is a basic expectation and can vary based on other variables including the next two.

Voice

The voice of the blog is important even for a business blog. Readers are drawn to the voice of the blog more than they are drawn even to the content of a blog. People look to other people for viewpoints and interpretation.

For example, I like to read as much news about the Green Bay Packers as I can. There are many writers and bloggers. They all cover the basic same news topics that come out about the team each week. What I’m drawn to as a reader and a fan are how each blogger and writer interprets the news. If the team happens to lose the game one week I look for interpretation of why and how they lost. I want to understand how my favorite team lost and I need someone to tell me that. If I’m looking for condolence I look for a blogger with a compassionate voice.

A blogging voice is the voice of the blogger. The personality needs to come out from the person writing a blog. I’ve noticed that blogs with high traffic often have bloggers that tend to walk the edge of making 50% of the readers happy and the other 50% angry. The more disagreement amongst readers the better in most cases. It leads to a lot of interaction and repeat traffic.

Now controversy doesn’t have to be insulting or entirely negative. There are ways to write blog posts that attract attention without damaging a brand. This is of course important for most companies.

Topic

The topic of the blog is an important variable in determining the success of a blog. Not all businesses will find success with blogging. If a business that is extremely specialized with just a few potential clients may not benefit as much from a blog as a marketing consulting firm may.

Blogs about marketing tactics and strategy are plentiful because there are many business looking for quality individuals to help market their business. There aren’t as many blogs about toothpicks…although maybe there could be a few more.

The more people interested in your topic the more potential readers you’ll have. Simple.

Business Blogging

For your business blog it’s important to know what to expect. The success of your blog depends on how you expect the blog to perform over time. If you think you can post 3 times each week with a strong blogging voice in a fairly popular topic can expect perhaps a few hundred page views a month after a couple to three months. This can of course vary and if you catch fire it can leave to more traffic.

With blogging targeting keywords it’s a good bet a blog strategy like this can bring in some relevant traffic that can convert to sales while improving customer relations.

Discussion

What are your experiences with blogs?

Have you started a blog that has been successful?

Have you started a blog that has struggled?

A common struggle I see is that people set expectations too high for their blog and that leads to abandonment after only a few months of hard work. It’s common. The goal of Ghost Blog Writers is to make sure those business blogs make it past their first year – that’s when the magic can start happening.

Moon image courtesy of aussiegall