So your company wants to start blogging.
Where to begin? How do you ensure that the blog will be a success?
Here are 5 tips that will break down the essentials of corporate blogging:
- Set goals.
If you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish with the blog, how will you be able to determine whether or not the blog is successful? Determine from the outset what results you’d like to see or what metrics you will be using. Also, make sure that your blog’s goals are aligned with your company’s larger goals and purpose. Is the goal of your blog brand awareness? Getting more leads? Attracting talent? Generating more subscriptions to your email newsletter? Gaining credibility and establishing thougtht leadership? Improving brand perception? Choose a clear goal or set of goals for the blog before you start. Keep in mind that your blogging goals will likely change over time.
2) Target your audience.
Next, you need to determine who the blog is written for. Are you trying to appeal to people who live in a certain geographical location? Stay-at-home moms? Moutain biking enthusiasts? People who enjoy outdoor activities? HR managers?
Identifying who your blog is speaking to will help you choose topics, set your tone, and develop a consistent brand voice. Targeting a specific audience doesn’t mean that it won’t be appealing to others as well, but a blog for everyone is for no-one. Try to tailor your blog content to one audience who would be particularly interested in your brand and write for them.
3) Publish frequently & consistently.
A major key to having success with blogging is publishing frequently and on a consistent basis. Publishing on a once-in-a-while or “whenever we get around to it” basis is not going to cut it. The only way to grow an audience and build momentum is by publishing frequently. Blogs that publish sporadically or infrequently fail to gain traction. Aim for once a day or once a week in the beginning. It’s also important to publish consistently. This will help you plan your content in advance so you never have to scramble for ideas. It will also please search engines and help your audience know more-or-less when to expect your next piece. Use a content calendar to schedule your posts. For example, you can decide to publish every Monday and Thursday or every day at 1 pm. The only way your blog will get off the ground is by making it a priority. Treat it like a TV program. Don’t delay, make excuses, or push it off. The show must go on!
4) Provide value
While your organization has an idea of what it would like to see happen with the blog, don’t forget to focus on the needs of your audience. If you want people to actually read your blog and share it with others, then you need to create content that your audience finds valuable and keeps their attention. Good blogs usually entertain, educate, tell stories, inspire, or answer common questions. Some blogs do all of the above, but chances are, your blog will excel particularly well in one of those areas.
No matter how great your content is, your blog will not do well if no one knows about it. Creating the content for your blog is only half the battle. Without a good distribution strategy, few people will discover your blog. Therefore, keep SEO best practices in mind when writing your blog posts so that people will have an easier time finding them. Share the blog posts to social media in a way that respects the individual nuances of each platform. For example, on Twitter shorten links, keep your posts to under 140 characters, and use 1-2 relevant hashtags. On Instagram, direct people to click the link in your bio to read your latest blog post. Write out a long-form teaser, caption, or excerpt in your Instagram posts, Facebook statuses and LinkedIn updates.
Besides contributing regularly to your “owned” blog, consider blogging natively on blogging platforms where your audience is already hanging out, such as Medium.
Good blogging takes a lot of time, dedication, patience, and consistent output. It also must be goal oriented and targeted to a specific audience. Combined with good content and basic technical know-how, these 5 tips will help your company achieve success with blogging.