The Successful Company Blog A guide to starting a blog

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A guide to starting a blog

A company blog can be a useful resource for increasing traffic to your website, developing your company as a thought leader, promoting your business, improving search visibility and engaging with current and potential clients.  However, to develop a blog that regularly publishes professional content and has a strong following among your target audiences requires commitment, with the benefits often only being realised over a significant period of time.

To ensure that the effort you will be putting into your company blog will yield the desired results, take the following into consideration before you even begin writing your first post:

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Choose a specific focus

In order to attract as many people as possible to your company blog, choose a specific topic on which you can attempt to be the definitive source of information.  Research the topics that major players in your industry are talking about on blogs and social networking sites.  Aim to find either a gap in available information or thought leadership on a particularly important industry topic or identify a niche that is already being addressed but in a manner that you believe you could improve upon.

Keep in mind that whatever topic you choose, it should be something that your target audience will be interested in reading.  This means that if you are a technology company that sells primarily to small businesses, you do not need to focus exclusively on your industry but can focus rather on an issue that is relevant to your clients. The sole focus of your blog should not be overt self-promotion.  A company blog that aims to work as a marketing tool is not the place to post company news such as a new company website.

Create a blog calendar

Posting content regularly is key to attracting followers.  So before you publish your first post plan a schedule of when you will be posting and on which topic at least a month in advance. This will ensure that the blog is well managed and that its topical focus is maintained.  It will be useful if the blog calendar also includes a list of posts that are prewritten and ready to publish during holidays or particularly busy times when it is difficult to keep up the regular writing schedule.

Get everyone involved

Not only is the maintenance of the company blog a large job for just one person, but getting everyone at the company involved in writing content will make your blog much better by allowing you to capitalise on the expertise of your employees.

Encourage employees to contribute articles related to their areas of expertise and even offer incentives to those that wish to regularly contribute.  Reading different writing styles can be refreshing so don’t worry about having a uniform writing style on the blog.  What is important, however, is that the person coordinating the blog checks the posts to ensure that the company’s messaging stays consistent and that the posts are free from errors, as the company blog contributes to the company’s image as a whole.  With the entire company aware of the blog and ready to contribute, it is much more likely to be a success.

Managing a professional company blog that achieves your desired objectives is challenging and time consuming.  By clearly defining the purpose of the company blog and creating a strategy for maintaining it before you even write your first post, the blog is much more likely to become a great marketing resource for the company.

By Rene Musech, account team member at TopLine Communications and regular contributor to the Guide to Social Media.

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