So, you’ve decided it’s time your company had its own blog. Firstly, relax. This could actually be one of the easier, and more fun aspects of building your company’s brand. The best part about blogging is that there aren’t many rules, and it’s a great way to inject your brand with personality. The stronger your brand’s personality, the more consumers can relate with and eventually trust it.
It’s important to remember that you’re not creating the Wall Street Journal; your articles can be opinionated, passionate, even dramatic. Of course, there are plenty of pitfalls to avoid – opinionated and passionate can easily be interpreted as ignorant and stubborn – but if you already have a basic understanding of marketing and journalism, you should be fine.
After you relax, you should probably decide how and where your blog will exist. If you have a company website, your blog should probably be integrated in to it, if only for the SEO benefits. If your blog is completely separate from your company website, it is quite difficult for the two of them to share traction. If they are integrated (i.e. share a domain), any attention your blog gets will be shared by your company website, and vice versa.
Your blog can be manually designed and hosted through your initial website, although this obviously requires some developer skills. You can also use a CMS (Content Management System) such as Wordpress to help you create a blog within your website. This means you would author your blog using Wordpress, but host it on your own website. If you’re a smaller operation, this is the easier way to go. Wordpress actually offers fairly basic instructions on how to do this, which you can read here. Similar CMS services that can also be used include Typepad and Blogger, a Google-owned CMS.
But deciding where and how to host your blog is not the hardest part. In my opinion, the real challenge is making sure your blog is relevant, interesting, and kept up to date.
Keeping it at least somewhat related to your company should be fairly straightforward – for example, nobody wants dating advice from an accountancy firm - and when it comes to upkeep, daily posts are best. When you’re first starting out, however, you may want to start slow and give yourself a target of three to five articles per week. Giving yourself a lower target means you can work harder on making sure the blog is delivering quality content to your audience, whoever they are.
My final piece of advice would be to keep it short and sweet. Blog-readers have short attention spans, and anything over five hundred words is creeping on too much. As I wrote earlier, this isn’t the Wall Street Journal… Even if your articles are addressing a sensitive topic, being succinct is the best approach. If you’re a natural at blogging, you’ll quickly learn not to waste words, and start writing articles that reach five hundred words exactly… But don’t set your sights too high at first.