A blog about blogging
Thursday afternoon I was interviewed by the Midlands Business Journal about blogging for businesses. And I realized that a great blog topic for this week’s PR Impressions blog would be to share some of the fundamentals of blogging. With that said, here are a few do’s and don’ts for beginning business bloggers:
- Blogs don’t have to be long: A common misconception we see among businesses is that blogs need to be long, drawn out and solve the problems of the topic you’re discussing. That’s simply not true. If your blog is too long, your readers will likely lose interest. On the contrary, a blog that’s too short is hardly worth writing. My advice is this: Your blog should be long enough to outline your take on the topic at hand. Also, enlist the help of a co-worker who can look at a draft of your blog with an editorial eye
- Blogs do need to be kept fresh: Oftentimes we see businesses give up on blogging because they have a difficult time coming up with fresh content. This is certainly a challenge, albeit one that can be easily overcome by enlisting some help. Ask another member of your team to contribute to your company’s blog writing; sharing the work makes it seem less overwhelming, which means you’re likely to stick with your blogging efforts. Or, look outside of your company by asking a peer to guest blog.
- Don’t over- or under-blog: Striking the right balance between too few and too frequent blogs can be challenging. On one hand, you probably don’t have time to blog more than once per week. On the other hand, not blogging frequently enough will keep your audience from fully engaging in what you have to say; in fact, they may forget that your blog exists. I like a rhythm of at least twice per month, or every other week, and recommend this to companies that are testing the blog waters.
- Do accept that attracting readers takes time: Blogging, much like PR and other social media strategies, is a long-term approach. The most natural way to build buzz about your blog is to share it with the people you communicate with regularly – that means everybody from your fellow team members, friends and your family to your clients, prospects and referral sources. Cross-promote your blog via social media. Include a link in your email signature. Let people know that it’s there and, over time, you will see it pay off.
Blogging is an accessible part of the communications strategy for nearly any business. The challenge can be in finding a rhythm, defining appropriate content and sticking with it on a consistent basis. But the payoff is almost certainly worth the effort.