Are you looking to start up a blog for your small business? Having a blog to accompany your website and social media is a great way to improve your search engine optimization (SEO), increase leads and sales, build your brand and establish you as an industry expert.

With so many blogs available on the Internet, you need to figure out how to set yours apart from the rest and utilize your knowledge to put out the best content possible. However, you don’t want to dive right in without figuring out a few logistics first.

If you’re ready to implement a blog into your content strategy, there are a few questions that will need answering prior to starting. Once you’ve answered them, you’ll have a clearer understanding of exactly what your blog will look like.

What is your goal/purpose?

Like any good strategy, you want to have a plan or goal in mind prior to starting. Are you looking to build your brand? What about attracting new customers? Are you trying to lead more traffic back to your website or social media channels through backlinks? Determine exactly what you’re looking to gain from having a blog, then you can come up with a timeline and plan to help you get there.

What value are you providing your audience with?

You can have as much passion about your business as you want, but it won’t matter if you’re not providing value. Blogs must provide value or people won’t read them, it’s that simple. Whether that value is educational, humorous, helpful or something else is entirely up to you. Ask yourself what your customers want to read about, the types of questions they may have about your business and industry and the problems they need help solving. Then, you can create content that helps meet those needs.

What do you want it to look like?

Although content is incredibly important, the design of your blog is also incredibly crucial. Design aesthetics that are visually appealing can help peak a visitor’s interest and keep them on your blog. When making design choices, you want to choose components that will complement your blog’s overall purpose, this includes images, color schemes and text font. You’ll also want your content to be organized so that visitors can easily find what they’re looking for.

When are you going to post new blogs?

If you want your blog to succeed and serve its purpose, then you need to determine a strict posting schedule and stick to it. You don’t want to wait too long in between posting because you’ll risk disrupting the connect with your followers. You want to maintain consistency and uphold your reader’s expectations of new content when they visit your blog. If your blog stays inactive and neglected for too long, your readers will find somewhere else to get their information from, and you might never gain them back.

How are you going to market and promote your blog?

You need to let your customers, as well as other interested consumers know that you have a blog. You can do this by posting articles on social media or placing them inside emails or newsletters. You’ll also want to have a link to your blog on your website. If you have a storefront, you can invite customers to subscribe to your blog in-store and receive updates any time you publish a new post. There’s no shortage of ways to promote your blog, you just need to figure out what works best for you and make a plan for promoting it.