In the early days of the medium, blogs were more or less the domain of would-be journalists, politicos and “personal bloggers” yacking about their real life dramas. Now, practically everyone is involved in the game – whether you own or contribute to a blog or you frequent certain blogs; and even if you aren’t blog savvy, the blogosphere is still impacting the news and culture around you.
So here’s the question many companies have when it comes to blogs: “Why do we need one?” Their protests against blogging could range from “it takes too much time” to “who would read it?” or “what’s the return on investment for a project like that?”
It can be difficult to convince a client that they need to blog. Nevertheless, a company blog can be a great online asset if utilized properly (nudge nudge, wink wink… we do it). Here are four ways you can fine tune your blogging effort to maximize its impact in an increasingly crowded field.
1. A blog is a conversation, so start one. You don’t necessarily need hundreds of comments to create a dialog. Just make sure you are writing with a real audience in mind and be respectful of that audience – don’t use the blog to vent your anger or to make controversial statements just for the heck of it. Bring something to the table. Write what you’d want to read. And most of all, be timely and relevant.
2. Think about your industry and how it relates to the rest of the world. Your audience could range from peers to customers to journalists to casual web browsers. A blog isn’t the place to get too technical, but it also shouldn’t be watered down. Think simplicity. Talk as though you are explaining what you do to a good friend.
3. Meet the audience halfway. Assume that your readers know something about what you’re blogging. Even if they don’t, they could be inspired to do a little research. You aren’t writing a thesis, you’re creating interest. As with all social media, in blogging, brevity trumps detail.
4. Don’t waste your time. If nobody is reading your blog, why are you spending your own resources on it? Make sure that your blog is searchable and, if you can, connect it to other relevant blogs through inbound links and “follows.” If you utilize other social media like Facebook and Twitter (and you should), make sure to share new posts via those outlets. Maximize your blog’s visibility because otherwise it’s a monologue. If you want to know the details of how much traffic you’re getting and where it comes from, you should utilize a tool like Google Analytics.
These are just a few guidelines. Once you start blogging, you’ll get the hang of it, and half the fun is learning. Blogging is a learning experience for both blogger and reader, so don’t think of it as a chore. Start your company blog today, and let your voice be heard.
Feel free to post your trials, tribulations, and successes here.