Should you start a blog for your business?

When and why a blog can be a very smart business decision for your web site and business and what you need to know before you start writing your blog.

Our expert explains when and why a blog can be an incredibly smart business move to make.

"Should I start a blog for my business?" It's a question I'm frequently asked, and although many people assume my answer would be a resounding "yes!" the answer I give most often is, "it depends."

Starting a blog can definitely be a smart move. In fact, it can be one of the most beneficial things you do for your business. But just because you have a blog doesn't mean you have a good blog. And therein lies the problem: Your blog should exist to improve your business, not detract from it.

Is a Blog Right for You?

The main reason to start a blog is because you want to move your business ahead. Blogs can be excellent vehicles for driving search traffic, expanding your market reach and establishing your authority in your industry.

Blogs are also great for adding complementary content to your online business. Often, business websites don’t allow for content that isn’t absolutely critical to the business. Blogs are a good bridge between core site content and content that's more loosely related to your business or industry.

A blog is also a good way to showcase your authority; building authority in your industry can give you an edge on your competition. One way to find content that showcases your authority is to repurpose content you’ve created elsewhere: talks you’ve given, presentations, videos, tutorials and so on, all of which can help you position your brand as the authority in your niche.

Once you've acknowledged you want to improve your business, your next step is to ask yourself if you can properly commit to it. For a business blog to be successful, you need to commit to creating or finding great content for it as well as to the resources—money, manpower and time—it takes to make that great content happen. If you can't commit to both of these key elements, then nobody wins—not the readers or your business—and your best move is to look into other avenues to pursue to grow your business.

Building a Great Business Blog

If you’ve decided you can commit to building and maintaining a blog, your next step is to create a blog that you would subscribe to yourself (your copyright). You have to be invested in your blog if you’re going to see it succeed, and everything about your blog—the content, the design, the posting schedule—should show your commitment.

There are strategies on how to build a successful business blog, but what it all boils down to is this: You have to plan and execute it as if it were a core part of your business. You can’t skimp on resources, you can’t just post recycled press releases, and you have to provide it with decent branding.

The good news is, if you can commit to these things, blogging can be a powerful tool for your business to help you improve sales and lead generation, and build authority within your niche.