Thinking about starting a blog for your association? Use these questions as a place to start.
- Why are you creating a blog? This is your mission statement and introduces your blog to your readers and your leadership. It should include a brief summary of the idea behind the creation of the blog, your blog objectives, and generally what your blog stands for.
- What is the focus of your blog content? Business tips, membership life, association news, housing data for members, home buying and home selling advice for consumers?
- Who is the target audience for your blog? Describe who you believe will read your blog and why. Do you have research on how many members visit blogs or use social media?
- Who will write your blog content? Be specific about which staff, members, or others will author your content. Provide bios about them, and list their contact information.
- Will you write original content, or glean content from other sources? Where will your content ideas come from?
- Can you make money with your blog? Will you sell advertising space to members or affiliates?
- How will you promote your blog? Consider here how much time and money it will take to attract readership.
- How much time can you, or the staff person in charge of your blog, devote to blog management per month? How will you track this time spent?
- What role will volunteers and leadership take in the blog and its content? Will you have a committee oversee and evaluate the blog? Will you solicit volunteers to help promote the blog?
- What's your policy about reader comments on your blog? Will you let negative statements stay, how will you respond, and how quickly will you respond?
- How will you measure your blog's success? Number of clicks, shares, or other analytics? Will you survey members about the blog?
- What steps will you take if your blog does not reach its goals? Close the blog? After how long?
- Where will you host your blog, and who will manage the technical issues? Will you go with a free blog service, such as WordPress or Blogger, or host your own using blog software? Consider the risks of free blog services, including the fact that you will not own your content.
- Who will design your blog? Will you use graphics with your posts? What is your art and design budget? Where will you find art? Will you post videos?
- Are you familiar with the legal risks of a blog, including your liability for defamation, illegal content, copyright infringement, etc.?
- What will you call your blog? Will it have its own domain name?
- Is your blog replacing or complementing your other communication channels? How will your communications channels work together? For example, can visitors sign up for your e-newsletter at the blog? Will you repeat content on your various channels?
- How much time and money will you spend on search engine optimization?
- Will you launch other blogs if your first is successful? Is there potential to hire blogging staff or interns in the future?
- How will you stay on top of blog technology and content trends? Do you have a professional development fund to tap?
From REALTOR® Magazine: Blogging Rules: How to Make Words + Pictures = Top-Ranking Results
From the NAR Library: Field Guide to Marketing With Blogs