Many people are starting blogs just to say they are part of the hot new, social-marketing trend. And blogs are a great way to communicate important messages to customers quickly and cost-effectively.

But before you begin a blog, it’s important to make sure it’s part of your overall marketing plan and that you are reaching your target audience. After all, if you don’t know what you want to talk about, or your customers aren’t going to read it, you’ll waste a lot of time, money and effort.

And if you decide to move forward, you’ll also want to make sure you have a dedicated writer for your blog who can supply new entries at least once or twice a week and monitor comments. Blog entries need to be current, provide value and have a voice or style people can relate to reading.

Plus, it’s important to monitor and respond to comments to keep the blog on track with your marketing goals and build relationships with customers…so in a nutshell, if you can create a blog with fresh, new content that has a purpose and focuses on your target audience, go for it. You’ll create value for your customers and help build online buzz for your products and services.