Have you been asked to start a company blog? Not sure where to start? Here are some tips to help you create a solid content portal.
Google’s latest Panda and Penguin updates have positioned fresh and original writing as the cornerstone of any content marketing strategy. As a result everyone wants to have their own corporate blog. I’ve launched and revamped blogs in a number of different sectors and have found that some tips are relevant regardless of the industry.
Be On Top of the News
Producing content related to current events shows that you are aware and understand what is going on in your industry. I am always surprised when I see a post discussing something that happened last week. It makes the blog and the company look behind the times.
No one cares what you think three weeks later when everyone has already commented on the issue. For example, if a government official makes a speech that affects your industry, post your opinion on the same day. A corporate blog provides an opportunity to be recognised as a thought leader. Seize it.
Be Consistently Good
Regardless of the amount of content you produce make sure it is all well written and interesting. The internet has created a huge potential audience for your writing; it is up to you to make sure you draw them in with consistently, high quality content.
A single poorly written or misinformed piece means you may have sullied your online reputation. A company blog should not be something you let the intern run; it should highlight your in-depth knowledge, expertise and opinions.
Get Everyone Involved
Throughout my career I have written content for a range of sectors which, initially, I didn’t know very much about. So what did I do? I took advantage of the ocean of knowledge at my disposal within the company.
Identify the employees which are passionate and knowledgeable about their sector. Ask them about current trends, emerging issues and seek out their opinions. Most people are delighted to be handed a soapbox. Just remember the best people to talk to are often those with the least time. Try to make the whole process as easy as possible.
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” I won’t philosophise about the above but consider the following: “If great content is written and nobody reads it, does it make an impact?”
Yes, possibly in terms of SEO but that’s only part of the picture. Sharing via social media, newsletters and specially targeted campaigns is a great way of getting people to read about your offerings and highlighting your knowledge. The internet is bursting with great tools designed to make sharing easy. Take advantage of them and encourage your co-workers to do the same.
Reach out to other writers and they will return the favour. One of my priorities when looking to launch a corporate blog is building relationships with relevant websites. The aim is to expose content to a new audience whilst allowing the other blogger to do the same. This approach is often beneficial for both parties.
Do you work in a niche sector with limited blogging activity? Maybe there are some friendly agencies, suppliers or news sites that might be interested in your content.
Update – in January 2014 Google’s Matt Cutts had this to say about guest blogging. Basically it’s getting a bit too spammy and he says stop doing it as a way to get links. You have been warned! Not that this should detract from high quality blogging, just be careful how you do it.
Michele Martinelli is a London based writer, you can follow him on @Greatbites.
Do you agree or disagree with any of these tips? Let me know in the comments below.