So you know you need to blog, and you’re convinced you ought to write about something you’re passionate about and that speaks to your customers. How can you create something that people will want to come and read every day? Here are some tips to create a successful company blog from our friends at Mashable:
1. Be authentic
The thing that kills most blogs, in my view, is when you can tell that the writer is just going through the motions. You need to find a “voice” that is authentically yours. People will get used to your style and your style will become your signature.
2. Be transparent
The “old school” way of getting media attention was to submit press releases. These were artificially crafted documents that were filled with glowing reviews of your company. In short, they felt fake. The best way to establish your voice is to be transparent.
Be willing to talk like a human being. Be willing to show feelings and a point of view. Let your inner self come out rather than your “inner bullet point.” Don’t use too much lingo. Don’t feel like your prose has to sound like it was crafted by a university professor. Just speak!
3. Get inside your readers’ minds
I give this advice often and in many scenarios, including public speaking. When people speak to many audiences, they sometimes get into a canned routine. They give the same presentation no matter which crowd they’re addressing. The key is that each time you present, you need to think about who is in the audience and what they want to hear. The same is true for blogging.
On my blog, my audience is made of startup entrepreneurs and probably other VCs. When I write I try to be mindful of who these people are, the knowledge I assume they have, and what I believe they want to know.
4. Solicit feedback
I ask people what they want to read about. I regularly ask for feedback on what I’m writing. When people give me good suggestions, I try to cover those topics.
When community members write awesome comments, I’ll sometimes write a post about what they said to highlight them and their contributions. In my opinion, the best way to build an audience over time is to engage with them and to highlight those that really contribute positively to you.
5. Don’t be offensive or take big public risks
I sometimes read blogs that get extreme. I read a blog once that jokingly suggested “offering your angels cocaine if that would get them to invest.” It was intended to be funny. It wasn’t. And comments like this run the risk of offending people. This was a blog about personal finance, and I found the comment totally irresponsible and at odds with the brand image the blogger was trying to project.
I read a blog yesterday where the author was trying to make fun of a negative comment he got on his product. The blogger highlighted him and called him “retarded,” which I, and I’m sure many others, find offensive. There’s no upside to this type of comment, but there’s a big downside. My esteem for him went down.
Further, unless your company revolves around taking stands on controversial issues, it’s best to leave your political commentary at home. Statements like these stand to upset or anger half of your potential customers no matter what side you take.
6. Have fun
This may be obvious, but if writing a blog becomes a chore for you it will show. Try to make your writing fun and it will be easier to stick to. It will also reflect in your voice.
For more information please visit http://mashable.com/2010/03/01/company-blog/
Rachel is a digital marketing strategist, and CEO of Belle Strategies. She spends her time helping clients convert their digital communities into lifelong customers.