Cyberwise: Belated Blogger?

Am I too late in the game?

I want to begin a blog for my event planning business; but every time I mention it, friends scoff at the idea. Am I too late to the game?

—J. Hall
Via E-mail

Absolutely not. Blogging certainly has come into its own in terms of mainstream recognition, with folks writing about anything and everything under the sun. The key is to think carefully about your target audience, what you want to say, and how that benefits them. This will ultimately benefit your business.

To start, take a look at the blogging tools available to you. WordPress and Blogger are the two better-known tools, with WordPress, in my opinion, having a decided edge. Then, spend a week or so following a few blogs directly and tangentially related to your business. What are they blogging about, and what kinds of responses do they get? What is the size of the pool? How can you differentiate your business in this pool—or create your own pool?

It’s a good idea to choose a name that is interesting, easy to remember, and relates to your company. Check to make sure the domain name is available. Use a professional, appealing theme, one that will attract, not repel visitors. And make it easy for them to engage with your blog. You’ll find that having an effective blog means considering things such as search engine optimization, traffic generation, taglines, and design, just to name a few. But you have lots of help. Mahalo has a really good tutorial for beginners; also check out the tutorials in the blog tool you decide to use.

Sonya Donaldson is the Technology Editor of Black Enterprise.

ACROSS THE WEB
  • http://diasporique.typepad.com Diasporique

    Great post, thank you! I’d recommend even trying Typepad, which I find more user friendly (and more visually appealing) than WordPress/Blogger blogs.

    I would love to see a feature on marketing tools & techniques to drive traffic for professional bloggers.

  • http://www.bluemonitor.com blue monitor

    Two great reasons to maintain a blog for your business, one is the “conversational” marketing benefits, the second are the SEO benefits. Most blogging platforms are “Semantic” formatted pages with features like page title editing,  and “tagging” which will only increase your ranking in google. 

    I would also consider word press over the type pad and blogger, and I would install the open source (free) word press app on my own web hosting account or server so you get all these SEO benefits I mentioned above. 

    Good luck on your blog and your business!

    • http://www.blackenterprise.com sonya

      @blue monitor. great advice. i really like wordpress–it’s a little more involvement on the front end but I think the flexibility and the variety of resources really make it a better option for many. but i think there is also something to be said for finding a solution that works for your particular needs.

      @Diasporique, we definitely plan to look at more resources both in the mag and online. look for upcoming issues to address the use of video, for example (how to use it effectively, and in a way that makes sense for your business.