By Joe Pulizzi published October 20, 2011

Blogging? 10 Questions to Ask Before You Blog

Blogging - Old SchoolOne of the most frequent questions I receive while traveling is about blogging. The questions revolve around how to get started, what to talk about, and even what software to use.

My questions back to them usually startle the person, because so many start thinking about what they want to say, other than how they can impact the reader. Here are a few…

  1. Who would the primary reader (subscriber) of your blog be?
  2. What do you want to tell them? (what’s your story?)
  3. Do you understand the key informational needs of that person?  What are their pain points? 
  4. Are you hanging out online where your customers are at? Do you or can you make a target hit list of blogs or sites where your customers frequent online?
  5. Are you leaving comments that add to the online conversation on the blogs you cover? (see Blog Commenting Strategy)
  6. Do you have a firm grasp on the types of keywords to focus on that your customers are searching for? (see Google’s Keyword Tool)
  7. Do you follow those keywords using Google Alerts or watch their usage on Twitter? (to find the influencers in your market)
  8. Can you commit to blogging at least two times per week? (content consistency is key)
  9. What is your ultimate goal in starting a blog? In one year from when you start blogging, how will the business be different?
  10. How will the execution process work within your company (see Content Marketing Workflow) and how will you market the blog?
  11. BONUS – How will you integrate the blog with the rest of your marketing? How can the blog make everything else you are doing better?  Can it?

These are the general starter questions (for both businesses and even individuals). Yes, a bit overwhelming for first timers, but necessary.

The majority of blogs out there don’t make it. The worst thing you can do as a business is start a consistent dialogue with your customers and then stop. Better not to do one at all.

And remember, blogging is just a tool. That said, it can be a very powerful tool to consistently communicate valuable, compelling content on a consistent basis. If you are ready to get started, here are six steps to successful blogging.

Have an additional question?  If so, please list it below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Author: Joe Pulizzi

Joe Pulizzi is the Founder of Content Marketing Institute, a UBM company, the leading education and training organization for content marketing, which includes the largest in-person content marketing event in the world, Content Marketing World. Joe is the winner of the 2014 John Caldwell Lifetime Achievement Award from the Content Council. Joe’s the author of five books, including his latest, Killing Marketing. His third book, Epic Content Marketing was named one of “Five Must Read Business Books of 2013” by Fortune Magazine. If you ever see Joe in person, he’ll be wearing orange. Follow him on Twitter @JoePulizzi.

Other posts by Joe Pulizzi

  • http://byronfernandez.wordpress.com Byron Fernandez

    Love the part on integrating blogging techniques into the rest of your marketing strategy Joe.
    Becomes ubiquitous…something I didn’t even realize or pick up until others, further analysis illuminated: Voice, style, formatting…so many variables from blogging can become a part of overall content strategies and job search, across channels (treating job search like a marketing campaign…)
    Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes of yours: All touch points connect

    • http://blog.junta42.com Joe Pulizzi

      Thanks Byron…great thoughts as usual.

  • http://twitter.com/brickmarketing Nick Stamoulis

    Many times people or businesses start a blog without really realizing what they are getting into. It takes a lot of time and effort to be a successful blogger. It’s best to answer these questions and think twice before getting started. Like you said, there’s nothing worse than starting a blog, getting a following, and then ditching them.

  • Graphic Save