6 Best Corporate Blogging Practices
I recently wrote a paper for a client called “Best Corporate Blogging Practices” as they are about to launch their first company blog. There were more than a few questions about what do do and what to avoid when blogging for their organization, so I want to share my thoughts with you.
This short guide should serve as a set of suggestions and ideas for corporate blogging. Please do not think that these are hard and fast rules, because your blogging style should be unique to your organization. As you get a little farther down the blogging road, you will naturally develop a voice and style that is true to your company, and that is what will keep people coming back for more.
1) Know your audience. Your audience will be mostly comprised of people that are interested in what you do, so try to remember to write with them in mind. This may sound obvious, but too many companies fall victim to trying to be all things to all people to increase their scope. This is what CNN is for, they have everything covered so that you don’t have to. Remember to be relevant to your readers and your mission.
2) Be consistent. As corporate bloggers, I recommend having a minimum of 2-3 new post published per week. I would not exceed 10 posts per week. This will provide an acceptable amount of information to your audience without overwhelming them. If you have already come to the conclusion that this is too much work for one person…you are right! Blogging should be a regular part of work, but it shouldn’t be a burden. A few people should be selected from the organization to write posts. Multi-author blogs tend to be the most popular and it’s easier and less stressful to put them together in this fashion. Each user should have their own unique log-in (quite doable on most blogging platforms) and should speak from their perspective within the company. Don’t tread into each other’s areas of expertise; write from your heart and from your experience. Think of each unique perspective as an ingredient in your corporate blogging recipe. If everybody sounds the same, it will be rather bland.
3) Keep it short. It is always a temptation to explain every small detail of what you want to convey. People are so overwhelmed with information these days that, with very few exceptions, they will not read extremely long posts. Keep them within 500-600 words. If you are writing about something that requires great depth due to its complexity or details, consider splitting it into multiple posts, e.g. Part I, Part II, Part III. When in doubt, brevity is usually best. I have no doubt that somebody will count the words in this post and notice there are 842. Well done, now do as I say, not as I do. ;)
4) Engage your readers. It will take a while to build an audience, but eventually they will be there, and they will start leaving comments. I like to reply to the commenter via email (their comment will be sent to your inbox), and I usually copy/paste my response to them into the comments section of the blog as well. If somebody took the time to publically engage you, no doubt they would appreciate the public reciprocity. On this note, I do not recommend moderating comments (it’s quite easy to pull them down if inappropriate), using CAPTCHA (it’s just a complicated deterrent) or requiring readers to register with your site before commenting. If you want interaction (and trust me, you do), then take away as many obstacles as possible. If you are concerned about spam, Askimet and other services are wonderful with weeding out most offenders.
5) Be professional. You are representing your company, so you need to remember to write accordingly. The use of profanity, slang and bad grammar simply doesn’t have a place here (unless you are, say…a skateboard company…then all three may apply). It’s always interesting to share little facts and tidbits about what your company is doing, although don’t monopolize the space with triviality.
6) Have fun. This doesn’t contradict the edict “be professional”, it compliments it. I have seen a lot of presentations over the years, at conventions or one-on-one in my office by a salesmen. The most compelling are those that are presenting me with the information that I want but aren’t too stuffy about it. They use their own personality to present the company information. I like that, and so will your readers.
Again, these are guidelines, not rules. Make your blog unique, but do remember that it is likely to be a popular touch point for the people you want to reach, probably more so than other areas of your website. Use it to inform, educate, inspire and engage.Image copyright 2007 Dave Coverly and distributed by Creators Syndicate.
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