I’ve been approached several times recently by businesses and nonprofits who think they need a blog. Here are the tough questions I ask them to consider first.
What’s your goal for the blog? Who would it really benefit (besides your organization)?
What is the subject area? Given this focus, how will the blog inform, enlighten, and/or provoke people to action? How will it stand out from all the other noise in your space?
Who is the potential audience and how much do you know about their interests?
Who are the authors? What are their qualifications for writing? Are they familiar with blogging? Who will edit their writing?
Just to set expectations, does your audience have the potential to form a community around the blog or will they probably remain passive readers?
How will the blog fit with your other marketing tactics? Will it be part of a content marketing program)?
How often will you be able to publish new content?
What are your first three months’ worth of posts? Can you have them ready at launch?
How will you plan and track blog content?
Who will design and install the blog, and select and install plugins for subscriptions, comments, spam filters and other security features, SEO, and social sharing? Will they also be able to maintain the blog and be responsible for updates, security, and responding to technical issues?
Who will be your blog administrator, responsible for uploading posts, sharing the posts on social networks, and monitoring and responding to comments?
How will you promote the blog, especially at the launch?
It’s tempting to throw something up in a hurry in order to check “blog” off of the marketing to-do list, where it’s probably been hanging around for a few years. Just remember that the less work done on the front end, the more work has to be done later. The stakes are fairly high, too, so don’t let lack of planning lead to a waste of resources or damage to your organization’s reputation.