Part One of this two-part series
Blogging Best Practices: How to Get the Most Out of Your Blog
Blogs are designed to reflect individual company culture and the overall marketing strategy, so not every blog is going to be the same even within the same industries. A company blog must have its own voice and tone. Yet, there are some overall best practices that can help businesses create a successful blog no matter in what industry they operate.
Blogging Best Practices
- Focus on the target audience: A company blog must speak to the people that will most be interested in their products or services. Do research, and determine what most interests this audience. Don’t just assume; research the target audience’s needs and wants. Assumptions may be outdated, and research will confirm or quickly rule out topics.
- Don’t always go for the quick sale: Use the blog for launch announcements or special offers, but not solely for this purpose. Thought leadership content which targets the top and middle of the funnel should also be included. Don’t limit the blog to one industry, i.e. the company’s industry. Some content about other industries may appeal to the audience.
- Don’t write “above” the audience: Jargon is easy for people in the industry to understand, but might be very difficult for the target audience to easily grasp. Always write to the intended audience, not above them. If necessary, let someone outside of the industry read and few posts and see if they get the intended meaning.
- Be Controversial: The goal of the blog is to build a brand, and sometimes that means taking a stand on topics – or being controversial. Put out an opinion, and challenge readers to share their own thoughts on topics, especially timely news or gossip. Try to start conversations with the audience to get them engaged. Ask questions, and invite readers to respond on the blog itself or on social networks.
- SEO isn’t dead, but it also shouldn’t be the blog’s only focus: SEO isn’t dead, but it also shouldn’t be the blog’s only focus: SEO-based topics (with emphasis on main keywords) help improve SERPs. But they shouldn’t be the only topic. Always have a mix of SEO-based, opinion, news-related, etc. topics to keep the audience interested.
- Make the text easy to read: No one likes reading a large block of text. Break up the content with headings, bullets, photos, short paragraphs, etc. to help readers navigate the page.
- Have a personality: A company blog might sometimes cover the same topics as many other bloggers. Try to cut through the clutter by having a unique personality. Be opinionated, or have an opposite personality to the mainstream. Or just be the “techie guy” with a fresh take on the news of the day. Whatever the company personality, let it shine through. Share personal experiences and knowledge, and let the company voice be the blog centerpiece.
- Respond to feedback – whether positive or negative: The goal of a blog is to have a conversation with readers. That conversation may result in positive or negative feedback. Acknowledge and thank the positive, and use the negative as a way to turn a disgruntled customer into a customer for life. Most customers only want to be heard. Listen to their grievances, and try to correct the problem.
- Always edit the posts before publishing to your blog: Poorly written and badly edited blogs are hard to read, and viewers will tend to quit part of the way through. Worse yet, the blog will lack credibility if it doesn’t come across as professional.
Blogging isn’t something to fear, but businesses do need to follow best practices and avoid common pitfalls to be successful. They also have to commit to keeping the blog updated with fresh content.