Suit the action to the word, the word to the action. ~ William Shakespeare (Hamlet: Act 3, Scene 2)
“Should we have a blog?” said the client.
If I had a Bulleit Neat for every time a client asked that question, this blog post would be coming to you live from Betty Ford.
The term “blog” originally was the mixture of two words – Web and log, or weblog. A blog is simply an online journal. The intent around personal opinion, likes and dislikes – A place for recent events and updates – Pictures, videos and links to things you deem important… to you.
Corporate blogs sprung up as a way for brands to update their customers on news and events around their products and services. Brands with a current and healthy blog are in some ways viewed by Internet users as “experts” in their industry.
Reasons to blog
A ginormous reason to begin blogging for your brand or business is the impact new content can have on your search engine ranking. Search Engines love fresh content. As you post new articles around products and services, search engine crawlers can take notice and develop a pattern of visiting your site more often in hopes of feasting on some crisp and savory content. Write more content, get more drop-ins from the search engine crawlers.
Become an Expert
“If it’s on the Internet it must be true.”
For some enigmatic reason, when we read articles by Geraldine Whithycomb on the impact of kidney health as it relates to beer consumption, it’s feasible one may come away feeling the author has some knowledge or regard to the subject.
With Social Media and Cause Marketing eruptions, brands are being viewed through some new consumer filters. As customers, we now expect “behind the scenes” access to the brands we use. We want to see if a brands philanthropy is showing. A blog is a great place to let your corporate hair down. Posting articles on brand culture, events, recent conferences (with pictures and video) allows your new and existing customers that opportunity to see inside your walls. Don’t be afraid to be real or transparent. People respond well to honesty. Go figure.
Reasons NOT to Blog
I Have Commitment Issues
An uber reason many blogs fail is lack of commitment. In most corporate/business environments, there aren’t “blog guys” to magically conjure up the daily dirt for all to see and cheer. For a blog to be successful, it must have regular posts, at least one a week. There’s nothing more glaring than a brand whose blog page is outdated and stale. No Blog For You! So if you know up front that producing a post weekly or even bi-weekly is going to be an issue, then don’t have a blog.
A Little Agency Told Me
Many, many, many, many times businesses seek the help of “professionals”. They just came back from a Zig Ziglar pep rally and Ziggy told them they should be blogging. Or your competition just started “blogging” and you feel a sudden urge to blog the hell out of blogging the blog… thing. So you seek out the help of some agency blogging sensei. Surprisingly, they agree with your notion to blog. You’re submerged in a deluge of PowerPoint slides and charts on the urgency of blogging to your business’ online success. I’m sure it was a “working lunch” and they filled your bellies with nom-noms. You sign on the dotted line; you receive a Content Management System (CMS) that you’re told is the Blogging Messiah. You are ready to blog. What will you blog about? Who’s going to blog next week? You still have to plan for that meeting tomorrow… Oh and those vendor invoices aren’t going to fill themselves out either. You’ll blog tomorrow.
Blogging is akin to relationships. You have to commit to it. You have to sit down and plan a life together (strategy). It’s the ancient formula in action. You’ll get out of it what you put into it. I hate it when my Mom is right (again)!
If you’ve not run in terror to this point, and wish to continue on this quest to have a blog, then follow this recipe and you’ll be pontificating in no time.
- Assemble a team – bribe, solicit, blackmail, tempt with ice cream any of your coworkers who have shown an interest in writing. (Blood Oaths, though not required, have proven effective.)
- Choose the Topics – You’ll need to develop ideas and topics for your posts. A simple way might be to select categories around your products and services, corporate life, events etc. It would be better to have fewer categories than many to start with. Once you have your categories, brainstorm on subjects within those funnels you might blog about.
- Set a Schedule – Probably one of the toughest components of having a consistent blog is creating and keeping to a writing/editorial calendar. Its good to set a 6-month calendar and assign dates to your writers.
- Just Go Man – Start writing. Schedule the first post. Put it on the calendar. Share the calendar. Stick to the calendar. Be the calendar.