Starting a corporate blog is not something to be taken lightly: any missteps will be recorded and cached for the foreseeable future. So before you decide to take on blogging, make sure you’re doing it right. Avoiding these 4 mistakes is a great first step.
A blog post might be short to read, but it still takes some time to write, not to mention research, find pictures and add formatting. If everyone in your company is already feeling pressed for time, either don’t have a blog or sacrifice something else that’s of lower importance.
It is generally recommended to write regularly, though once or twice a week can be just as powerful as twenty times every day. Don’t burn yourself out one week only to stop posting completely the next week. And if something does happen, don’t apologize for being gone – just make sure your next posts are good ones.
It’s worth noting that some companies spend even more time on long, amazing blog posts – but only post them once a month or less. A significant example of this is the blog of Ok Cupid, a dating site which has become known for its extensive posts of original research using its customer data. Now that RSS readers are becoming more prolific, it’s easier to maintain readers between long silences.
It can be tempting to jump onto every bandwagon you come across – but you shouldn’t. Even though you might be able to get more one-time hits with a broad array of subjects, it’s harder to attract readers who will return over and over. Writing about everything also makes it difficult for readers to remember what your company actually does.
Instead, narrow your focus, especially your focus on your audience. Marketing, social media, and blogging are several large topics that can still be tied together by an internet marketing firm, while a manufacturing company wouldn’t create an audience of customers if they blogged about the same subjects.
Bloggers have developed a number of conventions which your readers will expect from your blog as well. If you’re going to break the rules, at least make sure you know what the rules are, first.
To understand more blog conventions, read the blogs of others in your niche, and even outside of it. And if, in the process, you find something interesting, don’t hesitate to share the link with your audience, too.
You need to know why you’re blogging – and “because everyone else is doing it” or “this book said I should” are not the right reasons. You don’t want to create a blog just to be read by someone – if you want your blog to help your business, your target audience needs to be your customers.
Once you know that you are targeting your customers, start writing and giving away content that they would want to read. Make sure your blog posts have value: if they are simply glorified sales pitches, no one will want to read more than one or two.
You can include some news, updates on product development, or messages about individual team members, but don’t make your blog all about you. Also include information that will help anyone who wants to buy your products or services.
Now that you know a few things to avoid, and plenty of things to work on, your blog is ready to get started. If you’re already blogging, are there any other mistakes you see that you think other bloggers should avoid?