Entrepreneurs: Blogging Requires Commitment. Are You Ready?

Entrepreneurs: Blogging Requires Commitment What is your company’s blogging strategy?

That is one of the first questions I ask when talking to a client for the first time. I understand it’s not a simple question, specially if the company hasn’t been blogging yet.

Just to give you an idea, the answer involves things like how often are you planning to publish content, who is in charge of developing this content, what’s the plan for front-end interaction, how is it going to be distributed and where. That is of course, besides knowing exactly what is the business goal behind blogging and how it integrates with the rest of your marketing overall strategy.

It’s 2am in Santiago, Chile. I arrived yesterday at 1am after a 12-hour flight from Los Angeles that was originally delayed almost 24 hours. I’m finally in my room after a day of meetings and writing a huge proposal. After the February earthquake, I admit I’m not too thrilled about the 16th floor but at least it overlooks beautiful Las Condes business center, so I’ll focus on that.

I wrote and published a post before flying since I knew I wouldn’t have the time during my stay here. You know, I try to be consistent with that stuff and write at least once a week. It’s been almost 48 hours and I barely go back to my blog to see what’s up before crashing, I’m really half-way crashed as you can imagine. BUT, I see that my post has more than 200 Retweets and quite a few comments I haven’t reply too… I guess I’m not going to sleep yet.

Am I insane? Let me ask you this, if you just finished speaking in front of an audience and now you open for some Q&A time, people start expressing their thoughts on your subject and asking you questions, would you respond to them? or would you ignore them and just stay quiet?

That’s what I thought.

Blogging requires of a huge commitment and every company or entrepreneur should ask him/herself a series of questions before diving into the so popular blogosphere. So let me see if I can stay awake a little longer and articulate some of these basic questions…

Let’s assume that your business objective and your online goals are clear and aligned. Let’s jump right into how are we going to approach this blogging thing.

Content Development

  • Who in the company is in charge of this? I understand there is a big chance there’s nobody around you so… guess who? Acknowledge that.
  • How often are you going to write and publish content? Forget about what everybody says, frequency builds traction and all that stuff. It’s fine if it’s only once a week, just establish that. You can even consider using an editorial calendar.
  • Do you have enough ideas for content? Is this a topic with enough juice that you can write stuff on a weekly basis? Consider keeping a document to write possible headline ideas, see how many you can come up with.
  • What is the time and cost that this will take? If the person in charge is one of your employees or maybe it is you, your time has a value too and you’re most likely the highest (or the only) salary.

Distribution

  • Again, who is in charge of this? Consider the time spent on this task or the cost.
  • Where are you going to distribute the content? Twitter, Facebook?
  • If your distribution plan involves social media, what is the strategy for that? it can’t only be self-promotion. How are you going to approach social media.
  • Are you being consistent with your brand in different social platforms? Key messages, design, etc.

Front-End Interaction

  • Who is going to deal with interaction inside your blog?
  • Are you going to reply to every single comment? or only the ones that engage in meaningful conversations?
  • How quick are you going to reply?
  • Should you set up email alerts for those comments?
  • How are you going to interact with outside reactions? You can’t ignore what happens on Twitter, Facebook and the other platforms that are relevant to you.
  • How are you going to monitor those reactions? Is there a tool you’re planning on using?
  • How are you going to approach those reactions? Are you planning to engage on all existing conversations? or how will you decide when to do so and when to pass?

Metrics

  • What are the metrics that are relevant to your business? Traffic, content engagement, subscriptions, conversions? Or do you only care about Retweets?
  • How are you going to measure the impact?
  • What tools are you going to use to measure performance? Google Analytics, PostRank?
  • How are you planning to adjust your strategy? Based on what results?

Help Me Finish This Post

Is there more? I’m sure there is but I’m falling to sleep and I want to send out the post. Help me by sharing your thoughts in the comments section. What else do you think it’s important to consider when planning to start a blog for business?

Final Thought

Not that there are rules for blogging, I don’t believe in rules for anything. I think you should be creative in everything you do, specially in business and marketing. But I think the point here is that there are some basic items to consider as an entrepreneur or as a company before jumping in for the wrong reasons, without a strategy or without knowing what it takes to enjoy some success.

Blogging is a great opportunity. Do it. Plan and commit to it. Just sayin’

Thank you all for the comments, retweets and likes. You rock!

Good night from Santiago!


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  • http://www.HectorJCuevas.com Hector | Blog Marketing Tips

    I think you pretty much covered everything Francisco.. Just wanted to say that I completely agree with the “No Rules” thing..

    Creativity and uniqueness is very important, and those looking for a cookie-cutter method or blueprint are gonna be very disappointed when they find out it doesn't exist..

    Great post as usual bro
    Talk soon
    Hector

  • http://www.socialmouths.com Francisco Rosales

    What's up man.

    There is a problem with observing already successful bloggers and thinking that by copying and pasting what we think is their strategy, we can get the same results, but there are too much stuff that happens behind the scenes. As you say, there is no blueprint…

    Thanks for stopping by bro!

  • http://www.webbedinkinc.com Tia Peterson

    Francisco, like Hector, I think you covered most of it. It's great that you expanded on Content Development and Distribution because those are the things that have to be tended to before anything can happen on the front-end! And of course, Metrics are key so having a plan for that is essential.

    Good post. Making time for blogging – it's a big commitment and needs a strategy to succeed. It's not like busy entrepreneurs and small businesses have the time or budget to dedicate to blogging 24/7!

    Cheers,
    Tia

  • http://twitter.com/rhogroupee Rosemary O'Neill

    Wish we had this list back when we were starting with our corporate blog! One thing I would add is that any company starting a blog needs to strategize the “flavor” or “tone” upfront. Especially if there will be multiple authors. It's good to establish the groundrules of what is OK to post and what is TMI. We often post “behind the scenes” pictures and humorous items mixed in with the management theory and corporate stuff, but some companies might not be willing/ready to let folks peek behind the curtain. It's good to decide that up-front, before someone posts a blog about the moldy sandwiches in the company fridge.

  • http://www.socialmouths.com Francisco Rosales

    Of course, tone and flavor, how open are you willing to be and also as you mentioned, it is very important when creating content is a team effort, are you allowing contributors to publish on their own or is there an editor?

    Thanks for the great tips Rosemary!

  • http://www.socialmouths.com Francisco Rosales

    And I'd like to add to that, smart entrepreneurs are great at outsourcing from a few technical tasks to almost everything in administration, outsourcing blogging is not always the best solution, specially in the content development department.

    So even if the plan is to outsource, some planning is due, perhaps even more critical.

    Thanks for your comment Tia!

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Man I couldn't agree more. People need to understand what it takes to play in the blogging waters. Years ago it was ok to write great content only.. now, that is ONLY your first step. The content gets them in, but with out promotion, they will never get to your door and open it to see whats inside.

  • dragonblogger

    I completely agree with the article, blogging is something that every business can benefit from but it requires commitment and if you are a business you should assign a staff member to keep up on it if you can't do it as the owner yourself. Having a clear strategy and plan before hand will help prevent making mistakes which so many do or have done (including myself)

  • Ashley Entrikin

    This is beautiful. I have a hard time doing this blogging business, not only because I just started full-time at this job to manage the Social Media project, but also because I'm not selling myself. I'm selling my boss, trying to put him out there and get responses. It's a lot harder than I thought it would be. I'm a writer, and thought “Yeah, this'll be cake….. Right??”

    Anywho, I appreciate this :)

  • http://www.socialmouths.com Francisco Rosales

    Thanks for stopping by Justin. I've been enjoying blog lately!

    http://www.dragonblogger.com/

  • http://www.socialmouths.com Francisco Rosales

    And then… what's inside? You're right John, and some of us, since we haven't started don't really realize how competitive some niches are…

    Thanks for your comment man!

  • srinirao

    Francisco,

    No doubt that this requires a huge commitment. I'm in charge of a blog for my day job. But without having had all the stuff I do on my personal projects and my personal network, I don't think the blog I run for my day job would be doing as well. Here's a link to a case study I wrote about how grew a brand new blog to 20,000 page views in 2 months. I think your audience might find it useful:

    http://www.wchingya.com/2010/09/case-study-new-blog-growth.html

    Cheers,
    Srinivas

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Exactly.. blogging is hard, now going into a competitive niche will double all your headaches.. can get ugly very fast haha

  • http://www.ew7707cm.com Alive

    I know that it takes alot of hard work. I do it everyday. I know that there are alot of people who enter into this with high hopes and drop out very quickly. They should read your article before they attempt it. It might save them some time.

  • Reagan

    Thanks for this awesome article – I'm just starting the process of putting a blog together and information like this is priceless for me while I'm in the planning stages and getting ready to dive into this :)

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  • http://www.socialmouths.com Francisco Rosales

    Hello Srinivas,

    Loved the post, thanks for sharing it.

  • http://www.newburyspa.ca/services_treatments Vita Fisk

    I guess I’m not going to sleep yet.

  • http://transportit.org/ transportit

    I understand it’s not a simple question, specially if the company hasn’t been blogging yet.

  • Michael Bian

    I have just start blogging, thanks for this information. Quite Inspiring.