If you don’t have the time or skill to write a twice weekly or even weekly blog to entertain & inform the customers who make use of your small business products or services, then you should find the time to select someone who does. There are at least seven steps involved.

As I have said (it’s over there on the left side of the page) “If you operate a small business in the 21st century, you need to ‘be’ on Social Media.”

So how do you select someone who shares your values, your voice, your interests?

But there’s more to it than that. Julia Peterson, a content marketing specialist and a private English language tutor who currently writes reviews at her educational blog AskPetersen.com, and is a contributor to such websites as CollectiveEvolution, FreelanceWrite.About, and Business.com, recently offered some advice.

Providing guest content on Susanna Gebauer’s The Social MS blog, Peterson presented a step by step game plan on how to flesh out a writing “partner”:

  • Experience and Education
  • Availability
  • Price vs. Quality
  • Turnaround Time
  • Interest In Your Topic
  • Diversity of Portfolio
  • Reviews or References

Price is the biggest stumbling block, in my opinion. Whereas many small businesses may “get” that they need to be on social media, they just don’t want to pay for it. Writers can charge $25, $75, $100+ per blog. This is where some small biz fall into the “relative, staffer, college intern” trap.

A word or two of caution; if you decide to give control/responsibility of your small business blogging and tweeting to a staff member or college intern, consider this. While they may excel as self-taught consumers of social media, they are not trained as marketers or customer service strategists.

This is critical, as a small biz operating a brick & mortar store on Main Street America, you need to decide the purpose of your blog. Is it a sales tool? Is it a customer service link? Is it a community public relations effort?

Only then can you determine how you want to rate the return on investment. Increased sales. Increased followers. Increased word of mouth about your business in the community.

Peterson very usefully closes out the article with sources for free lance writers, once you’ve made all your decisions.

(Anthony M. Scialis is a social media strategist focusing on blogging & tweeting as a two-step customer service effort in bridging the gap between the wants of your small business to grow and the needs of your customers to be satisfied. Follow https://twitter.com/amssvs)