It Takes A Village… To Blog

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by Steve Holt on September 1, 2012

I spend alot of time consulting businesses, both small and large, in their use of social media and Internet marketing to promote their business and connect with their customers. And one of the pieces of advice I give to just about everyone is to start blogging on their website.

Blogging has so many benefits, chief among them is Google’s insatiable appetite for fresh content that a regularly updated blog would provide. You want more traffic to your site? Blog often, using strategic keywords and great content. But this post isn’t about trying to convince you to blog. I am going to assume that you are already interested in doing that. Here is how you can be successful at blogging for your business.

1.  Top-down commitment – If the folks in charge at the top don’t support a blogging outreach effort, you are setting yourselves up for failure. As will become apparent in the next few bullet points, successful blogging takes people, time, and consistent effort. And when life happens, and everyone gets busy, and fires crop up that need to be handled, any blogging effort that you establish can easily be pushed aside as a non-critical business endeavour by those who make decisions. Commitment from the top will ensure that blogging is not seen as ‘fluff’ but something that is important to building your business.

2. Blog about what you know, and what your customers would be interested in – It is true that blogging can be used to provide all sorts of helpful, useful, interesting information to whomever is reading your blog.  In fact, I encourage businesses to blog about things that don’t necessarily have anything to do with their core business.  For example, if I own a men’s clothing store I am going to also blog about things like summer grilling tips and how to balance work and family. Why? Because those are things that my core customer base care about. But never forget to blog about what you do. In my example, I need to blog most often about fashion advice for men. Your blog should establish you as a serious source of information and advice about what you do.

3. You are not alone – I would say one of the biggest reasons why businesses burn out on their social media engagement, and Internet engagement in general, is that the task is given to one person who already has a job to do and this whole internet thing is dumped on top of them. This is where the ‘village’ comes into play. Eventually, that one person is going to get busy, go on vacation, or worse… quit. Then what are you going to do?  Get multiple people in the company involved in this effort. In fact, I suggest establishing a requirement that every department in the company or maybe even every employee should submit blogging articles and ideas on a regular schedule. This of course can only be accomplished if you did #1 above, so get your CEO/owner involved early in this. Perhaps the hardest thing about blogging is coming up with the ideas of what to write, so get more brains involved in that. You’ll be surprised at what they come up with that you never thought of.

4. Reward participation – If you want #3 to actually work, then you need to reward those who participate and it doesn’t have to be money.  Sometimes just a simple recognition of a job well done is enough. Perhaps you could make the blogging outreach an internal contest.  Example… whoever submits the most ideas and posts that get used every month, that person gets a gift card to a local shop. Another easy way to recognize someone’s effort is to add their name and picture to the bottom of their posts, so they publicly get credit for what they wrote.

Blogging is a fantastic way for your company and employees to build up their credibility and authority on the topics that deal with your business and industry. But it takes more than one person and it takes commitment.

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