I have been tasked with writing our corporate blog. What do I need to consider prior to starting my blog? How often should I post? What should the content include? How much do I need to write per post?
By Jim Sweeney
A Weblog or Blog is a frequently updated online journal, organized by date and containing virtually anything the author/producer wants to communicate. Essentially, blogs are simple websites. In the case of a business or corporate blog, it is critical to consider and keep in mind the impact of the blog on brand reputation.
Before committing to a blog, an author should consider several basic yet important questions:
What is the intent or purpose for your blog (what are your goals)?
What are you going to write about?
What style of writing will you use?
What is the theme of your blog; what will your blog site look like?
Will you include add-ons to your site?
How often will you publish/post?
Will you keep your blog as text or include images, video, music, etc.?
Why should people read your blog?
Who do you want to read your blog?
How will you monitor and handle discussions on your blog?
Will you link your site to other blog sites?
How will you promote your blog?
The most effective blogs involve a steady flow of information that is almost always entertaining, insightful, interesting and/or educational. Ideally, the author already is or soon will be a recognized expert or “authority” for the subject area they are writing about. A blog author should write about what they know best and what they are most passionate about.
Blog Name & Description
Your blog name may or may not be a dedicated domain name. Whatever it is, keep it simple and representative of your blog’s content. Like any corporate or product name or even the title of a white paper, the name should be reflective of the content, it should be catchy and it should be memorable.
The general rule of thumb is to write less more frequently. Think of your blog as a billboard that keeps changing its content every couple of days or weeks. Ultimately, however, what you have to say and how much time you have to say will impact on your frequency. It is far better to provide good quality, fresh content once every two weeks than weak content every day. Ultimately, it is most important to have good content and to market your blog effectively to ensure steadily growing traffic.
Artificial or dispassionate voices tend not to last on the Web. And there is no better way to create fake content than to fill your blog with content that neither you nor your followers care about. The author needs to identify a platform that both he (she) and his (her) audience care about and will connect with. Blogs are about engaging a community by addressing subjects they are interested in discussing.
Content may be original – editorial comments on topical issues and news stories – or they may be existing materials that are reformatted and/or edited for posting purposes (e.g., new product news releases, case studies, white papers, product updates, brochures, trade show presentations, editorial Q & A backgrounders, interviews with company or industry experts, etc.). Because less is more in the blogging world, a single article can be divided into multiple parts (1 in a series of 6), maintaining reader interest in a single article for several weeks.
An informal, conversational style dominates blog writing. It’s what’s expected—and corporate blogs that conform are more likely to succeed. Short, snappy sentences are popular; long-winded speeches fall flat. Concise is expected. Most bloggers use bullet points liberally.
The goal is to make reading quick and easy—enabling readers to scan content. And provide links to stories or ideas you reference. That’s the blog etiquette. Stay relevant. Keep on topic and on track. Straying from the selected subject inevitably causes followers to depart—and not return.
Starting a corporate blog and want to learn how to create a blog that your target audiences will want to read? Contact me at jim at sweeneypr.com or 440.333.0001.