If your company is one of the 20% that interacts with its customers on social media, maybe it is also planning to launch its own blog in the near future. While this article won’t deals with the benefits of a corporate blog, it’s commonly acknowledged this new step in social media marketing is often a real challenge for professionals. Here are few things to consider for a good start when you’re about to make the leap.
How to start a blog: from the idea to the editorial guidelines
At the beginning, an idea and the desire to share it
Each blog is runned by an idea, and the will to share it. Behind an idea, there is often a lot of curiosity, passion, and investment on a specific subject. Reading blogs yourself can be the trigger for creating a blog:”If others do it, why not me?”.
Twitter is one of the social networks that serves the best to inform and share information in real time with a wide audience. If you’re planning to launch a blog, join the platform and follow bloggers related to your future theme. This will allow you to find ideas on how to communicate around a blog, and maybe also, new inspiration.
Define your editorial guidelines
The definition of editorial guidelines consists to think about the way you’re going to blog. It answers to questions like:
Launching the blog: few tips to succeed
Create your own blog with WordPress
For the creation of a professional blog, I recommend WordPress. I mean of course the CMS used as a self hosted blog and not the blogging platform. WordPress, as a content management system is regularly improved, and represents the most interesting solution on the market. If you’re looking for an easy-to-use, highly customizable tool (thanks to its many plugins and themes available), you couldn’t have dreamed better.
Announce the imminent launch of your blog
Opening a blog is a milestone event for a company, and should be shared with as many people as possible. By setting up a splash screen allowing you to do some teasing on the launch of the blog, you can also invite users not to miss its launch by proposing them to register by email. In that way, you will also start your first qualified mailing list.
Organize your day for blogging
Blogging is a time-consuming activity, it’s well known. Writing a 250-word blog article takes at least an hour. When you know you have to publish regularly on your blog to make it live, this means you will have to plan in your days, moments devoted to writing: In your travels from home to work or at lunchtime if you are in an inspired mood… early in the morning or in the evening, if you need to be fully focused on your writing activity. Another thing: Before you get started, you’ll have to prepare several blog posts, so that you always have a few in advance to publish.
Blogging is about expressing a unique perspective
There are probably lots of blogs on the topics you are going to write about, and your target group probably knows them too. To have a chance to reach the goals you set for yourself, you will have to clearly show your singularity from other blogs. After all, opening a blog is never an insignificant act or made to stay that way, right?
Write about something else than your activity
There is certainly an audience interested in your latest products or services, but you should be aware that a blog isn’t intended to replace the “News” section of your site, or your “They are talking about us” section, showing how much you invest in PR. Blogging offers you the opportunity to share your expertise on a topic, through the writing of in-depth articles. You will you attract a growing readership only by producing this original and high value-added content.
Generate the interaction with your content
Multiply the incentives to comment
Comments of a blog article have a positive impact on its search engine ranking. They are also for the author (with social media) the main way to interact with his or her readership. Although it’s easy to comment on a blog post, most people don’t spontaneously use this feature. To encourage your visitors to comment, you will have to multiply the incentives, as for example, insert a call-to-action sentence at the end of the article. Also, have the greatest respect for users who would express their opinions on your blog, and carefully manage those who aren’t commenting, but only trolling. You are legaly responsible of all the comments on your blog.
Spread your posts on social media
When you launch your blog, your community of readers will be close to zero. To give visibility to your articles, share them on social media. Share them several times, at different times, to reach as many people as possible. Likewise, include sharing buttons at the end of your blog posts to make your readers spread your words.
Multiply the incentives to email subscription
Let’s admit it: if everyone can follow your blog via their RSS feed, how many do it? If you want to build a true community of subscribers, you must propose email subscription to your blog articles. And because visitors usually hate pop-up windows, place your subscription form at strategic places on your blog: at the bottom of your blog posts, or in your sidebar, for example.
Patience and perseverance are the key to success
Don’t be obsessed with your statistics
Nothing is more certain than when you have a professional blog, you partly do it to increase your visibility et brand awareness. Google Analytics is often the blogger’s best friend to evaluate his progress, providing him with various statistics on his traffic. While a regular monitoring of key metrics is encouraged over time, it can be also recommended that you don’t focus too much on it, at least first weeks after the launch, as the first results don’t reflect the relevance of published articles.
Don’t be a perfectionist
Be realistic. Setting the bar too high can have consequences on your motivation. If you want to write often, and regularly, go to the essential and don’t spend more than 2-3 hours on average on writing and publishing.
Last but not least: arm yourself with patience. This may seem obvious, but you don’t blog with the expectation of immediate results. Writing a blog is a long-term undertaking, which requires a lot of time and energy. Don’t worry, though: If you can imagine having a blogging activity on the long term, you are likely to see your patience rewarded one day.