Blog implementation is a relatively straightforward process. Hire a great designer. Identify your business with a logo or graphic at the top of the page. Learn how to use the admin. Connect the blog to your social media accounts.

But what next? What do you actually say?

Why are you blogging?

Business blogs are not one size fits all. Before you begin the process of having a blog installed and set up, sit down and hammer out some objectives.  Try making a list on paper.

Done?

If you wrote down “make some money,” cross that out. Blogging will benefit your business, but it shouldn’t be considered a direct revenue stream. Think of it as an investment in the quality of your business, your credibility, and your position in your industry’s community.

Man blogging about his business

Here are some directions to consider and some examples of effective business blogs:

  • Post news and press releases. Thanks to blogging, businesses can speak directly to consumers without going through traditional media outlets. Use a blog to announce events, new products, new staff members, new locations. The Orbitz blog frequently posts news and updates related to the travel industry and Orbitz travel specials.
  • Address customer feedback and concerns. Blog posts can address both positive and negative feedback. Remember the Jet Blue guy who went a little crazy on the tarmac? Within days, Jet Blue’s corporate blog posted a humorous and honest response to the incident. A direct, public channel of communication inspires trust and loyalty.
  • Write industry-specific articles. Strengthen credibility and expertise by posting informative articles. Consider using lists and other “bite-sized” chunks of information that can easily be shared. Dr. Ayala Cahana of Ayala’s Herbal Water writes an engaging educational blog that lends credibility to her brand.
  • Become part of a community. Blogging is a culture. If you’re writing, you should also be reading and commenting. Show admiration and support for your competitors. Stay on top of industry news. Andrea Butje of Aromahead Institute of Essential Oil Studies blogs about essential oil distillers and promotes other aromatherapy instructors.
  • Put a human face on your business. Small businesses are often faced with lots of competition. Blogging is a great way to stand out from the crowd. Share the personal insights and stories that make you and your business unique. Employees of Mabel’s Labels blog together at The Mabelhood, giving consumers a chance to get to know the women behind the business.

Ultimately, your blogging goals should enthuse you. Don’t commit to writing dry industry articles if you hate writing dry industry articles. Don’t decide to establish an online persona if you’re a very private person.

Your business blog should be a natural extension of the enthusiasm and ambition you have for your work.