Company Blogging 101
So you want to write a company blog, huh? Awesome. Blogging is a fantastic way to start conversations and build relationships with consumers and companies similar to yourself. But creating a successful blog takes more than just a wave of your magic wand. We’ve established a few simple musts a company should follow when it creates a blog.
Before we dive headfirst into the tips, please note that blogging is time-consuming. Successful bloggers dedicate countless hours to researching other blogs before they write a single post. Research blogs similar to the one you wish to create with Technorati. Spend time reading through heavily-trafficked blogs and posts to see how audiences are responding. You can even make a comment or two to get your name into cyber space. Also remember that successful bloggers constantly update their material. Posted at least three times a week is essential.
If you’re prepared to do the research and nurture your blog so it can grow to be influential, our best blogging tips are the following:
1. Take time to develop your blog’s voice. A voice is like the narrator in the novel; it’s the personality you hear shining through even though nobody is speaking. The voice for a young graphic design company may be quirky, edgy, or sarcastic whereas the voice of a blog for cancer patients will be much more serious, caring, and possibly somber. But every blog has a voice. How will your blog’s voice sound?
2. Keep your posts short. It’s daunting for a reader to arrive on a blog and see 2,000-word posts. Most readers won’t put in the effort to read a post longer than 500 words. Say what you need to say and be to the point.
3. Keep your posts scannable. Blog audiences tend to read in an “F” shape: They read the first and second paragraph in full, and then they scan the remainder of an article for keywords. Some tricks you can use to keep the audience’s attention are to write in short paragraphs, to include bulleted or numbered lists, pictures, and quotes, and to add subheads wherever possible.
5. Link to other blogs and articles in your posts. Readers are skeptical; they want to see you back up your opinions with third-party sources. Plus bloggers will be grateful you’re directing your readers to them, and they may return the favor by linking to your blog in future posts.
6. Include an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) widget on your blog. An RSS widget allows reader to subscribe to your blog feed. RSS subscribers will be notified when you’ve published a new post.
7. DO NOT delete comments. Many new bloggers make the mistake of deleting negative remarks from readers. As strange as it may seem, negative remarks are actually good because they may spark a conversation. Negative remarks are also a great way to clear up misunderstandings or misconceptions your audience may have about your company. As a rule of thumb, the only reason to ever delete a comment is if it contains profanity or if it is a random jumble of words and numbers.
8. Remember your readers don’t know and/or understand everything. For example, if you’re a repairman blogging about home how-to’s, you’re reader probably won’t know industry speak. Absolutely no jargon. Write it in plain English.
And as a last general remark always remember that, on the internet, you are (or your company is) what you publish. Be personable, but keep your content relevant and professional and never libel the competition. Happy blogging!