So, you want to start a business blog? For the past several years, many bloggers have provided the same old tips:
Make it personal
Tell a story
Stick to company technology policies
But, really, where do you start? Here are seven simple Business Blogging 3.0 tips to get you started:
1. Name that blog
Don’t name the blog the exact same name as your company, or the exact tag line of the company. Give the blog a name that has snap. My favorite is Duct Tape Marketing, a blog by John Jantsch on the world of marketing. Whitney Matheson at USA TODAY calls her blog, Pop Candy, and reports on pop culture. You get the idea.
2. Do your homework and go straight to the top for approval
If you don’t get the nod from the top, you are big trouble. Go all the way to the CEO and/or President to ensure that there are no problems in starting and managing a company blog. You’ll need several things to take with you when you present the concept. First, ask your design staff to prepare a mock up of what the blog page might look like. Research what the Blog Roll column will include, a write up on the “about” page, categories, etc. In other words, make sure you know what the blog will be about and what the focus is prior to knocking on the CEO’s door.
3. Have a focused topic
What are the hot buttons that you hear about from your customers? What type of information can you feed to your customers that will drive them right back to you? If you can provide value, they will continue to come to you to seek solutions to solve their problems. Think of a company blog as a way to communicate to the outside world on what you do, and what you know your customers are facing.
More importantly, develop some interaction with your readers and include reader polls, contests, or ask customers to send in photos of them using your product(s). Write about the people that create the product, the people that buy it, and the world in between. Add photos of your customers interacting with your product at a recent trade show.
4. Decide who will write the blog
Whoever writes the blog needs to build a strong connection between the blog authors and the readers. Don’t let this fall only on the marketing department. In fact, that would be a bad move. Bobby Voicu claims that the person who should write the blog is the individual who has the most time to write it – upper management. Many of you don’t like the idea? Don’t fret just yet. There are other options, such as getting a team of bloggers in the company together to write it. Pull various individuals from across departments to give a 360-degree view of different perspectives. I suggest putting in simple guidelines together for all to follow, and have the drafts checked prior to posting.
5. Check your blog often and post often
Don’t keep the same graphics on your blog forever! Boring! Plus, create posts regularly. Don’t let the blog go for more than two days without a new post. This will keep your customers coming back for more. Change the graphics daily with videos, photos, and other visuals to break up the text.
6. Tend to your side bar and other pages
Identify an intriguing Blog Roll that keeps on growing over a period of time. Plus, include a bio of the writer or writers. Visitors want to see who is creating the posts and this gives them a good indication that there is a person, or persons, behind the screen.
7. Don’t make your readers jump hoops to get to your blog
Make the blog visible on your company home page to access. They should only have to click once to get there. You’d be surprised at how often companies hide their blogs and make it difficult to get there.
Come join the conversation on Blogging on Company Time