5 Things to Consider Before Starting a Company Blog

Blogging is not for every business, but I’ve outlined 5 tips for your company to consider before starting your company blog.

1. Write blog posts, not ads.

A blog is not another marketing tool for you to advertise and self-promote. Blogs readers are usually looking to read about your experiences and insights, or even engage you in conversation – they generally tune out advertising. The most successful corporate blogs consistently provide valuable content to readers, not just information about current promotions. Before you start blogging, see what successful bloggers in your industry are doing right and then decide how you want to share your stories with readers.

2. Identify the best person to write your blog.

Deciding who should be the main author of your company’s blog does not have to be a major hurdle. If you sell a complex product or service where customers need guidance from an expert, try to find a way for one of your experts to do the writing. If your offering is simple, choose a blogger with personality and the ability to write in a conversational style, often. Sometimes the best person to write the blog is just someone in your company who’s passionate about social media.

3. Choose an appropriate publishing platform.

Choosing the right blogging platform to publish your blog is dependent upon many technical factors, but a simple way solution is to try what everyone else is using. Currently WordPress is the most popular blogging platform (and it’s pretty and making full websites too), but other popular platforms include Tumblr, Blogger, Posterous and Movable Type. Another consideration is if you want to self-host your blog or want to sign-up for a hosted solution. A self-hosted blog will allow for high control and customization of the blog’s layout/design, but will also require more investment in time by you and/or a developer. A hosted blog can be set-up as simply as filling out a form and clicking a button, but you will be limited to how much you can customize the look and functionality of the blog. WordPress is what powers this website (EllsworthMedia.com) and WordPress offers both hosted and self-hosted options.

4. Start and maintain an honest conversation with your audience.

Dialogue and interaction are fundamental to successful blogging. Studies indicate that customers often ignore advertising, but increasingly rely on word-of-mouth recommendations for making purchasing decisions. Customers go online and use email, IM, forums and now blogs to share experiences about vendors. This is why open dialogue and interaction are so important. Be honest and forthcoming. Otherwise, you risk being ignored, or even worse, incurring the wrath of angry consumers who will be forthcoming. With the new reality of personal publishing, this critical backlash can remain online for years to come.

Create a blogging policy and set guidelines that define the interaction between your company blog and its readers. Setting rules and expectations will help you avoid bad publicity and protect your credibility. The new world of consumer-generated media requires an understanding of how to react to comments and customer blog posts, and how to research and write your own blog posts. Taking the time to think about every post before you publish will save you embarrassment and public criticism. When an employee writes on a blog, whether on a corporate blog or his/her own personal blog, its important that the employee consider his/her obligations to his/her employer and colleagues.

5. Write often, stay focused to increase readership.

My biggest challenge with writing for this blog is blocking off the time to write content. The more a blog publishes, the greater the reader traffic.

  • RSS feeds draw more traffic as publishing frequency increases.
  • Frequently publishing brief posts that focus on a single idea and set of keywords will provide search engines with more pages to index from your website.
  • Well written, longer posts are the best at engaging readers and will generate links to your website. Longer posts should reference other bloggers or link to related topics – which will in turn add to your credibility of your blog.

 

If you have any questions about blogging or social media, please contact us and we’d be happy to chat.