These tips (to avoid using the pretty nasty word guidelines) are to be seen as hints, ideas, and tips for corporate blogging. It is not a playbook, not the end of the road. Simply something to get you started. Use them with discretion and never doubt to test ways and methods you believe in. Try it out, explore, and learn.
The blog economy
The base of the ”blog economy” is sharing something of value. You share your insights on a subject and your readers share their thoughts and ideas in the form of comments. But value goes beyond just writing. Sharing (linking to) other blogs & sites – yes, even the competition – your sources, articles, or statistics that has inspired you – it is all a necessary part of blogging. It’s the heart of the blog economy.
Before you start
You need to have a few things sorted out before you start off. These are all beside the technical aspect of blogging. You will of course need a good, easy to use platform (such as WordPress), you will need to get your blogging into the overall PR and marketing strategy and you would like to have an idea of how your company benefits (preferably in ＄) from all this. Last but not least, you need to engage everyone at your company; from the CEO to customer care. Make them understand what you are doing and why.
Choose a theme and direction
What’s your specific field or topic and even more important; what makes your thoughts interesting? What’s your unique contribution to the community?
Stick to what you know
Seems simple, but it can be very tempting to wander off. Please don’t. If you stick to what you know best you will contribute. This is creating value for your readers. Otherwise you risk ending up as just another time wasting copy cat.
Who’s doing it
Is it only you who’s writing the blog or is it the whole department? Maybe you’re thinking of using external blogger like the good folks over at Amex? (http://www.openforum.com/) In any case, it’s vital that it’s crystal clear who writes the blog and how they are connected to your company, brand or product.
Please, be a human
It’s ok. You can be both professional and personal at the same time. By the way, being personal does not mean you have to give up your privacy.
Love the critics
As mentioned earlier, comments are a vital part of blogging. It does include both the good, the bad, and sometimes even the ugly. This is a great opportunity to learn. Nt least about your readers.
Even so, you should be very clear about what’s ok and what’s not. Make some easy to follow guidelines for comment and publish them on the blog. Make sure you know who answers what. Maybe the one writing the blog is not the one to answer all questions raised.
Spread, spread, spread
Tell everyone that the blog exists. Be sure to use all channels you have at your disposal, ‘cause getting people to a blog isn’t easy. There are loads out there.
Let’s get you up and running
Ok, so now you’re ready to start writing. Besides from the vert obvious things like checking your spelling, grammar and naming your posts in a way that actually makes sense, here are five tips for writing a blog:
Write short posts
Flow is important. Writing some short pieces every other day are much better than three really long ones every other month. Trust me, your audience has a very short attention span. Feed them with interesting (i.e. valuable) posts and they will be happy (and even grow), stop and they will go somewhere else
Try in every way to engage your audience. This is not easy. Asking questions outright can be a good way to get the discussion going. ”What do you think?” ”What do you want to know more about?”
If people take the time to comment: show them respect and answer any questions they may have. Talk to them. It’s pretty easy and fun too. And if you do they’ll keep coming back for more.
Use and re-use
Re-connect to what you talked about earlier or issues raised by readers. Another method is to divide long posts in to several smaller ones. Besides keeping you on track, that way you save some time as well.
Yes, it sounds trite, but it is important – both to you and for your readers.
More good stuff on corporate blogging. Not all of them agree with me, but that’s kind of the point:
- 10 Tips for Becoming a Great Corporate Blogger at http://www.scoutblogging.com/tips.html
- 10 Tips for Corporate Blogging at http://mashable.com/2010/07/20/corporate-blogging-tips/
- Five Reasons Why Corporate Blogs Fail at http://technorati.com/business/gurus/article/five-reasons-why-corporate-blogs-fail/
- 10 Harsh Truths About Corporate Blogging at http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/08/09/10-harsh-truths-about-corporate-blogging/
- 4 Corporate Blogging Strategies at http://www.penn-olson.com/2010/04/29/4-corporate-blogging-strategies/