Some of the clients we get at Ghost Blog Writers are startup businesses. They often have great ideas for a new business often found by seeing an area of need somewhere and filling it. For example, Ghost Blog Writers kind of started by accident when a couple people that knew I liked to blog asked if I would help them with their company blogs.
I don’t claim to be a smart man so an idea had to hit me on the head before I realized what was going on. The startup founders that often come to GBW are way smarter and have great ideas. They’re putting their businesses on the right track with the right systems for success and that includes inbound marketing strategies.
But like most business owners, these people are busy so even though they want to blog they don’t really have the time. So they want to discuss strategy and put their blogging in motion.
Here are the steps we go through with startups to get their company blogs launched.
1. Identify Key Business Objectives
We always ask for two things when new inquiries come through at GBW:
1) Tell us about your business.
2) Tell us about your customer.
This gives us necessary information to determine if a blog is right for a company. There are plenty of times when a business owner has heard about blogging and they’re wondering if a blog is a good way for them to bring in new business. It’s smart of any business owner to explore all potential ways to get new customers so when customers come to us it’s our job to provide the answer.
The first step is to identify the key business objectives. We ask about the business. That gives us information about the industry and we determine if there is potential for a blog to work.
This step is also about determining your business priorities and specifically your new customer acquisition priorities. Blogging is a long-term strategy so you have to get on that page with the idea of slowly building an audience that will turn into customers over time.
2. Assess The Target Customer
Next up is the target customer discussion. If your customer isn’t using the Internet and specifically search engines, social media and email then you’re going to really struggle to succeed with a blog.
We ask about target customer for this reason and if we feel there is potential we have to learn about the customer so we can figure out the kind of content the customer is looking for as it relates to the business. That’s the next step.
3. Find Common Questions
Blogging works best when you focus on common questions that your customer has. You likely work with customers in person or on the phone or via email. They probably have questions that they ask you specifically about your business. But also think about the times when you’re at conferences or just listening to people and they’re asking more basic questions about your industry.
These are all common questions that you can answer with a blog and when you do that you’ll attract customers via search, social, email and any other channel. If you provide answers with a blog people are going to find them because if they’re asking in real life you can bet that they’re looking online for those answers.
4. Identify Industry Influencers
The next thing we do on our end with a new startup blog is look for influencers in the industry. This is part of our strategy to help the startup grow their audience and grow their blog traffic.
Influencers including individuals and brands have established audiences. What we’ll do is write posts that include quotes and mentions of these influencers. It’s always good to link to sources and other resources. That gives credibility to what you’re writing, but people generally appreciate when you write about them too and they’ll often share your articles with their audience, which sends you traffic.
5. Setup Content Calendar
The next step for us to setup the content calendar. The biggest issue with new blogs including startup blogs is that they’ll launch the blog with a few posts and within a few months or even within a few weeks the blog will start to lose updates. It’s a lot of work to keep a blog updated. I think a little bit of it is that business owners don’t anticipate this effort, but they’re also just so busy with other things that they can’t keep up.
One thing that we do is create the content calendar. It allows you to do your ideation with titles and notes ahead of time. Then when it’s time to write you can simply look at your calendar and get writing. You don’t have to find something to write about.
The calendar is also a way to keep yourself honest. When you know you have to do a post on a schedule you’re more likely to follow it.
6. Choose A Design
The design is where many businesses get stuck. A custom design is great, but you might not need it starting out. You want to have something that represents your brand well and something that’s integrated with your main website, but beyond that you can get away with a more basic design. Keep it simple and without clutter and launch the blog with the design.
You can start with a template that might cost less than a hundred dollars and that’s right in the budget of a startup. You can work on the custom design later when the business is bringing in more cash.
7. Launch The Blog On WordPress
Finally, go with WordPress. We’ve used a lot of content management systems and blogging software and WordPress is the best. You could even launch your entire website on WordPress. There’s a strong community with WordPress with designers and developers. You’ll never have to worry about finding people that can help you when you use WordPress.
These are the steps we go through with just about all the startups that come through our system at Ghost Blog Writers. Startups are a little unique in that they are often fresh ideas and that they are very excited about inbound marketing and blogging. So we’re always excited when working with startups and hopefully these steps can help you with your company blog. And if you have questions about the need for a blog writer please get in touch.