Are you a small business thinking about starting a blog?
Budget is probably one concern you have. Most small businesses always consider the budget and the expected return with any decision. It’s the only way to survive when you’re boostrapping.
But blogging can be done on a bootstrap budget and it can still be done well. It will be a struggle and something you might have to contstantly pay attention to but the return could be great in the long run.
Today I read the article – Bootstrapping: 5 Tips – and thought I’d create my own tips for bootstrapping your business blog.
Bootstrapping a Business Blog: 5 Tips
Be sure to call me out if I miss anything. Leave your comments.
I’m going to skip a few steps with this post. It will focus entirely on the aspect of writing, which takes time. You can launch a blog for relatively cheap if you use a free template. I would estimate paying a developer for a few hours of their time to install WordPress and use a slightly altered free theme. You’re still looking at a few hundred dollars. If you want, read the documentation at WordPress and attempt to install the platform on your own.
1. Write During Free Time
As a small business owner, you probably have little free time. You already do everything during your free time. If you’re expecting to write blog posts then I would start writing during your free time. It’s going to be difficult to blog if you don’t enjoy it at least somewhat. Writing during your free time will be a good gauge to determine if you’re cut out for blogging. When you’re sitting on the couch on Sunday afternoon just reach for that computer and start typing that first post. Maybe it won’t be so bad and you’ll actually enjoy writing a blog post each week.
2. Seek Guest Authors
If you need help with the writing then you’re going to need guest authors. If you have already determined this to be the case then start building your network of blogging friends. Back in my initial days of blogging I made it a point to connect with other bloggers in my niche. I would comment on their blogs. I would follow them on Twitter and respond to their tweets. I would tweet and share their posts. Start building a network of blogging friends in your niche today. Then, in a little while, you can reach out to them to ask if they would be interested in blogging for you as a guest author. Be sure to make it worth their while. Allow them a place to promote themselves. This is typically a byline with their name, business or blog name, and possibly a link to their site and social profiles. They are their to promote themselves and to expand their audience. Make it worth their while so they have incentive to write great content.
3. Ask Employees
You might have a few employees working for you right now. Reach out to them about your blogging idea. See if they have any interest in possibly writing. You never know if there is a hidden gem of a writer working for you already. Explain that blogging is a new initiative. You might determine that blogging is an essential way for your company to acquire customers in the future or you might just be testing it out. Explain your interest and gauge their interest in writing. If things work out then you can possibly make it part of their current job requirements (I don’t like using this word, but it seems to fit the best).
4. Ask Vendors and Partners
You probably work with a few other businesses. Tell them that you’re interested in starting a blog. They might be willing to help. Other business are probably considering a blog themselves, but have the same issues of budget. See if you can work out a deal where they would write posts for you in exchange for promotion of their business in a blog post byline. Make sure it’s a win-win for each party involved.
5. Ask Clients
Finally, ask your clients if they would be willing to write a guest post for your blog. Allow them a byline area where they can include their name, business name, and perhaps even a link to their site. Make sure you make it easy for them to provide the content with you as the editor and publisher. You’ll be taking care of formatting. This doesn’t have to be a client testimonial although asking a client to tell their story would make for a great blog post. Fish around a little with your clients to see if anyone is interested. They might be interested in blogging, but might not want to commit right away to building a blog.