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Starting your own blog? Here’s my advice to you

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 soon. While this article won’t deal with the benefits of a corporate blog, it’s commonly acknowledged this step in social media marketing is often a real challenge for professionals. From my experience, here are few things to consider for a good start when you’re about to make the leap.

In the beginning, there is an idea and the desire 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?”.

Join Twitter

Twitter is the social media 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 influencers on your favorite topics. This will allow you to find ideas for your own blog, and maybe also, people who would follow you with great interest.

Define your guidelines

The definition of editorial guidelines consists to think about the way you’re going to blog. It relates to your objectives, your target, the topics your blog will cover, how often you will write.

Use WordPress, not Medium

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. And you will never be depending on the TOS of blogging platforms, which can change at any time.

Tease around the 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 landing page enabling you to tease on the blog’s launch, you can also invite users not to miss it by proposing them to register by email. In that way, you will also start your first qualified mailing list.

Organize yourself to blog regularly

Blogging is a time-consuming activity, it’s a well-known fact. Writing a thoughtful 450-words piece takes a 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 during your daily routine, specific moments devoted to writing: from home to work or at lunchtime if you are in an inspired mood… in the early morning or in the late 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 ready for publishing.

Blogging is about sharing something unique

There are probably lots of blogs on the topics you are going to write about, and your target  probably knows them too. To have a chance to reach the goals you set for yourself, you will have to clearly show your difference 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 corporate news

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 attract a growing readership only by producing this original and high value-added 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 the main way to interact with his or her readership. As a consequence, have the greatest respect for the readers who would express their opinions on your blog, and manage those who aren’t commenting, only trolling.

Share your posts on social media

When you launch your blog, your amount of readers will be close to zero. To give visibility to your posts, share them on social media. Share them several times, at a different moment of the week, to reach as many people as possible.

Don’t be obsessed with your statistics

Google Analytics is often the blogger’s best friend to evaluate the progress made weeks after weeks. While regular monitoring of key metrics is encouraged over time, don’t focus too much on it, at least right after the launch, as the first results don’t reflect the relevance of the first published articles. And yes, the Pareto principle does apply here too: only 20% of your article will bring you 80% of your blog traffic.

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.

Be patient

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 in the long term, you are likely to see your patience rewarded one day.

So, when do you start?

By Max Schleiffer

French entrepreneur. I have grown a marketing consultancy over the decade. Now, I explore new ways of working in the digital age.