The other day, a close friend (Don’t get funny, I do have a few!) asked me how to go about forming a blog development team to overhaul a homegrown blog that needed to get ready for Prime Time.
For small and medium sized businesses, especially those that are not in the IT field, this means looking outside the organization.
(Yes, I know that your nephew did a bang up job on the family’s fantasy football league blog. But, humor me, you need to up your game here!)
There are two major parts to this effort:
- The blog itself
- The content for the blog.
This will involve two sets of professionals:
- For small and medium businesses, the blog effort itself should be outsourced to a developer, in most cases this will be an individual (Main reason, to keep costs under control)
- The content development effort should be kept within the organization. Yes, guest bloggers are perfectly acceptable. But, editorial control of content should remain within your organization.
Then there’s the next big hurdle, finding a reputable blog developer.
That’s what I’ll discuss in this article.
(BTW at this point, you should be using WordPress as your blogging tool. If you want to be ready for Prime Time then you have to use this tool. This is what I tell my clients. The free sites are fine for small, initial efforts but sooner or later, you’ll have to step away from them.)
The best place to start is with people whom you know and trust and are running their own blogs.
Who did they use?
Will they refer you?
If you don’t have friends with connections then there are several online sites where you can start looking for a developer.
The attached link is a good starting place.
Remember these sites are just a starting point, the onus is on you to select someone competent to do your work!
I’ll talk about that next.
You’ll need a plan!
(That one always separates the adults from the children!)
This doesn’t have to be scary, it’s just a subset of developing a social media program.
This will get you started:
- What are your goals for your blog? (The more specific the better.)
- Who is the intended audience? (Again, the more specific the better.)
- What functionality do you need?
- What metrics do you want to measure your progress?
- How much are you willing to spend?
- Write it all down! (Like how I sneaked in an action item, huh?)
When you solicit bids from potential developers, you’ll want the following back:
- Samples of their work
- Client references (Preferably not their parents!)
- Price quotes and number of hours
- Consideration of ongoing maintenance, troubleshooting, security, viruses, anti-malware, backups and the like
- Their thinking about your content strategy and how best to implement it with the blog
- Their opinions on how to handle Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and analytics
- A detailed plan with tasks, interim and final deliverables, due dates, and roles and responsibilities
My advice is to always compare at least three developers when preparing to make a vendor selection.
Once you have a vendor selected and an agreed upon plan then you can begin to start preparing your editorial calendar and content.
I’ll talk more about this in a future article.
That’s it for now!
In the meantime, thank you for following and reading my blog!
I look forward to any and all comments that you may have. I will reply to any comments made to this blog post as promptly as I can.
I do this for a living and if I can be of any assistance to either you or your organization, please feel free to call on me. Our initial discussion will be of no charge to you.
I can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My Twitter handle is @conpsweeney.