Why do I call them “little known secrets”?
Well, the blogging industry ~ if you can call it ‘an industry ~ has grown incredibly over the past few years, especially in the Social sector. In fact, since 2006, blogging has grown overall by 318%. And in 2011, Technorati reported that there were 181 million active blogs on the Internet.
But of those 181 million, just 8% are corporate blogs, used to share expertise, gain professional recognition and, most importantly, attract new clients and supporters.
I don’t know how many of these are social enterprise websites, but I do know, from my experience, a large percentage of those managers ~ around 80% or more ~ fail to implement blogs as a social media tactic.
And yet, recent research found out organisations who blogged as a social media tactic had 55% more traffic, twice the number of inbound links and over 4 times more pages indexed by Google than their peers!
Why is that, I wonder? Why don’t they see the connection?
Make Your Blog Popular
Anyway, that’s why I call them “little known secrets”. Because just using WordPress as a website doesn’t magically turn it into a blog, or make you popular.
So, let me ask you, honestly, how well is your blog doing? Really? How do you know? What metrics are you you using to understand the ROI on your investment?
You know ‘blogs’, like any form of communication and marketing require planning, consistency, and extreme attention to detail. There are many logical steps to follow prior to venturing into the blogosphere ~ and you better know them all, and in which order. Or you better hire someone who does.
But even if you’re just a contributor, by following these tips you will definitely avoid the most common blogging blunders and, who knows, you might even become a blogging superstar.
1. Master The Art Of Conversation
While a blog represents your organisation or enterprise, it is important to adapt your style of communication to be conversational. Think in terms of “I” not “we”. And don’t post press releases on your blog. They are not designed to be relevant to blog followers. Press releases serve a variety of purposes, but building a community of followers to engage with, certainly is not one of them. Write with a casual voice, engage with your readers, ask them questions, encourage comments and most importantly, respond if they do comment… just as you would in face-to-face conversation.
Blogs are an excellent opportunity to show corporate personality. Use this as a platform to write about things other than your core business capabilities. Share your insights on greater trends in the industry you work in, politics, world events, and the inner-workings of your organisation. Also, use multiple voices to truly diversify your blog. Invite other employees to guest post to generate multiple personalities and tones for your blog.
3. Consistent Content
A key to having a successful blog is continuous, relevant content. That being said, planning time to write your blog posts is key. Pick one or two days each week that you will write blog posts. Another key is interesting and engaging content. To accomplish this, create a content calendar with a list of topics you feel comfortable writing about. That way, when it comes time to write your blog post, you are not wasting time brainstorming a topic.
4. Be Substantial
As I mentioned before, blogs are an opportunity to show personality. In other words, they are the perfect platform for opinion, and on some occasions, controversy. This does not mean blogs should be used to attack competitors, or speak ill about other. Rather, use this channel to share your opinion, and back it up with supporting facts and research. When done correctly, this will generate comments and feedback from your community of followers and foster engagement, which ultimately is the goal of your blog.
5. Don’t Play Hide and Seek
Speaking of your community of followers, it is critical they are able to find you. Place a link on your website, include links on your personal social media channels, email an announcement to your friends, family and co-workers encouraging them to follow you. Additionally, be sure to utilize your existing social media outlets such as Twitter and Facebook to let people know about recent posts.
6. Pace Yourself
Just like all social media efforts, there is little instant gratification ~ it doesn’t happen overnight. Building a following of loyal and dedicated followers can take time. However, keep in mind the overwhelming business benefits of blogging and in the end, it will all be worth it.
Creating an enterprise blog is no easy feat, which presumably is why only 33% of B2B Companies maintain an active blog, and many of them are just brochure’s online. However, when used correctly, blogs have the ability to assert your organisation as a thought leader in its sector, strengthen your social media personality, attract more traffic to your website, and help create a community of like-minded professionals.
Setting up a blog is not rocket science, but getting people to visit, read your content and engage with you, now that’s another issue entirely. One that occupies my thoughts and focuses my efforts 24/7. As with most things on the Internet, the devil is in the details.
Do you have a blog already? Is yours alive and well and kicking, or is it too just another brochure online?
What’s your plan for bringing it to life?