So you’ve given it a go in the past with the company blog, got the CEO’s buy-in, people actively blogging and even a little community going. But somewhere along that road the blogging initiative got pushed back and now is off the radar. For some companies, ranking well organically is not a problem and they can rank well without any active blogging or content additions. But for most web sites, this is not the case. Here’s 8 reasons why you should really consider starting up a company blog or restarting it in 2010.
1) Google loves content. Let me say that again, Google all of the search engines love content. By creating new and valuable content for the search engines, you generally increase the chances of your web site ranking better and for a larger variety of keywords. If you are in a news or breaking news type of industry, you should also look more into Query Deserves Freshness, a component of Google’s algorithm where new or updated pages receive a little extra boost in their rankings. And on a side note, did you know Google also index blogs quicker than a normal site?
2) Create and control the official company voice. A blog makes it that much easier to get in front of customers. Start small with the blog post a week and stick to that schedule. Once that is consistent, start expanding out and looking for weekly features and themes that your readers can look forward to (i.e. Tues News or Viral Video Fridays). If you’d like, post press releases, answer questions from customers, feature promotions, post company event recaps, etc. Toyota had the right idea by creating a “Our Point of View” blog on their web site, but have failed to update it since December 2009. Really, nothing to write about since then Toyota?
3) It’s Free & Easy. Anyone comfortable with an email client should have no problem drafting their first post on a blogging platform. The beauty with a blog is that it opens up the possibility for collaboration. Multiple users can write drafts, edit, and work together and the technical learning curve is very low. For blogging platforms, we would recommend a self-hosted WordPress. Besides the initial setup, there’s no need to get a web developer or designer involved with every blog post. New content can be published on the web with just one click of a mouse.
Tip: We recommend installing a blog on your domain in a separate folder (not sub-domain). i.e. www.example.com/blog, NOT blog.example.com or example.blogspot.com.
4) Get more employees involved. Make blogging fun. Blogging opens the door to other social media opportunities. Look for ways to integrate video into your blog, a Flickr photo stream, or integrate something like Facebook Connect and have readers login with their Facebook account to comment on your blog. The important thing to remember here is to diversify the content and think beyond just text. As universal and blended search become more prominent, any valuable and unique video or image content can help rank your web site higher for desired keywords.
5) The topics are endless. Very few industries are too dry for a blog. Think deodorant is boring? Old Spice has a blog. What about this company that makes copy machines and paper? Find a unique angle and go for it. Anything from official press releases to company event recaps, new products, new employee profiles, and even “from the desk of the intern” posts are possible. The beauty with a blog is that content that won’t necessarily fit into a web site’s structure can be added here. And if you’re still stuck on topic ideas, post a comment below and we’ll help you!
Tip: Be sure to install analytics to see what type of blog posts are receiving the most reads. Tailor your content to what your readers like the most and you’ll have them coming back.
6) Flexible scheduling. Blog posts can be pre-scheduled and set to post at a certain time and date. This means if you want a weekly blog post to come out on Wednesdays, you don’t have to spend your Tuesday writing it. Plan, assign and schedule ahead and blogging can be simple!
7) Your competitors are doing it. Not to jump on the bandwagon, but if your competitors are blogging as well as many Fortune 500 companies, a blog might not seem that bad of an idea.
Tip: Jott down the categories and type of topics your competitors are writing about. Which of their blog posts receive the most comments? What seems to work for them and what does not?
8 ) Social media integration. A blog can be a platform to bring everything together. Tie in Facebook fan pages, Twitter feeds & followers, email subscriptions, etc. New content from the blog can also be fed directly into those properties to keep them fresh with content.
Great Blogging Resources:
ProBlogger.net – http://www.problogger.net/
CopyBlogger.com – http://www.copyblogger.com/
Wordpress Help – http://codex.wordpress.org/Main_Page
Photo Credit: Jon Marshall