Here at Kendall Press, our blog is a valuable communications tool. We use it for everything from highlighting the most positive aspects of our community, to identifying the best events taking place in Greater Boston for our readers, to sharing the expertise and knowledgebase we’ve honed over the course of our 28 year history as a customer-centric business.
Today, I’m going to share four keys to effective business blogging that will help you create a platform that people want to read. These suggestions are based on the experience and success that we’ve found as we’ve adjusted and refined how we operate the Kendall Press business blog. I’m also going to offer a handful of tips that I think would have been useful when I first started contributing here.
1. Write about topics you find interesting.
Engaging. Confident. Informative. These are the types of words that describe someone sharing knowledge about what they love to do. Think about the excitement that emanates from someone passionate about what they’re talking about. That same type of excitement shines through in the written word when it’s coming from someone happy to share their expertise. The authenticity that comes with sharing your personal passion resonates with readers. When you’re able to relate that passion to your company, product or service, that sense of electricity will stick with the people who encounter it long after they’re done reading.
*Tip: It’s a good idea to keep a running list of topics you might want to write about. Take that idea even further by sketching out a quick framework of how you would write about each topic when you add it, while it’s fresh in your mind. Now, you already have an outline that will make the writing process go faster when it’s time to flesh out that particular topic.
2. Think about your audience.
While you need to be interested in the topics that you’re writing about, you also need to remember that there’s an audience reading what you post. Even if you don’t know every single person who will read your posts, it’s safe to say that not everyone visiting your company’s blog will have background in your company or industry. Avoid technical and industry jargon when you can, and consider common threads where you can provide clarity or information that may be helpful to people who aren’t insiders to what your work encompasses.
*Tip: Assess what you’re writing from the vantage point of three parties: a broad audience with broad interests and varied backgrounds, a narrower audience with identifiable attributes related to your topic, and yourself / your company (ie: the message and value you’re attempting to impart). If you have a hard time putting yourself in other people’s shoes, ask for feedback from someone not directly involved in your work. Broad appeal comes from finding a balance in meeting the needs of those three groups.
3. Be consistent.
Consistency plays an important role in business, and that importance carries over to everything you do. This includes running your company’s blog! Regular readership gets built through reliable delivery of interesting and useful information. Whether you post once a week, or once a month, you can create an appropriate set of expectations that keeps visitors coming back for more. Consistency is also good for being found by search engine webcrawlers, which is good for you being found in general.
*Tip: Don’t sacrifice quality of content for quantity of posts. Instead, focus on creating the best content you can as often as you can. Be realistic with your productivity goals!
4. Use the right tools.
There are plenty of tools that can help you identify best practices when it comes to running your company blog. Analytics can provide insight into how visitors engage your material, telling you what days people visit most often and what topics are viewed more than others. Social media platforms are also powerful tools when it comes to sharing what you’re working on and increasing the visibility and reach of your blog. Make your material available where your audience is. People gravitate toward accessibility.
*Tip: You can use a free tool like Hootsuite to manage multiple social media accounts simultaneously, giving you the ability to quickly post and share across platforms from one central dashboard. Focus on whichever platform gives you the most traction, but don’t neglect others completely. Platforms come and go (right, MySpace?), and a diversified approach will keep you visible even when your preferred communication channel ultimately loses steam with the general public.
Jason, for the team at Kendall Press