It's okay to struggle with writing (everyone does), but don't let it keep you from sharing your content with the world. If you want to get your blog off the ground, kicking butt, and consistently creating excellent content, here are some things that have
worked for me
1) Empower the Writers and Creative People Around You
Blogging shouldn't be a one person show for any company. Your first step when
starting a company blog
should be recruiting people who can join in your effort. Think about it: how many print media and popular blogs out there rely on only one author? Going it alone when starting a company blog can be compared to starting a company or product on your own. It's just not the best idea.
Getting your colleagues excited to blog shouldn't take too much effort. Start with people who you know are super passionate about what they do. Engage the developers, involve interested coworkers, and talk about ideas. In most cases, they'll be excited to contribute.
Can't get anyone to help you out? You could always consider adding blogging into your new employee's job descriptions. You could also offer a contest - give a $25 gift card to the employee who writes the most compelling post (or the one that gets the most traffic).
2) Implement an Idea Bucket
Ideas about your company's space and products can come from all sorts of places. Some of the most valuable are from your employees (especially those who use your products) and your users.
Implement an application that makes it easy for folks to submit their ideas about your products and you're likely to get some great ideas for content. To do this internally, I'd recommend a wiki or forum. For ideas from people outside of your company, I'd recommend
3) Understand On-Page SEO Techniques and Optimize Every Post
Our own Rick Burnes wrote an awesome post a few months ago titled '
Why your business blog is an annuity
' - which focuses on the fact that each blog post your company writes will continue to pay you back over time. People will continue to find your company when they search for the keywords you're writing about, so make sure you optimize every post that's written.
If you're following
SEO best practices
and focusing your writing around a specific keyword (of the long tail variety), then you should make sure that the keyword appears in the post's URL, title (as in 'title' tag), header ('h1') and last but not least, the content itself.
4) Be Smart and Innovative When Engaging Your Community
Reading other influential blogs in and around your industry is paramount. Don't use an RSS reader? Set one up and start subscribing to blogs in your industry. Commenting on blog posts is a good tactic for engaging others in your space, but I recommend that you take your communication to a more personal level. Engage thought leaders via email or by phone when appropriate. Making these connections will not only lead to some great ideas for your blog, but will connect you to experts who may write guest posts for you in the future.
5) Embrace Your Analytics and Practice What's Working
Don't be afraid of your analytics. Your new blog isn't going to become Gawker or TechCrunch in a day or even a year. Remember, the purpose of your blog is to serve as a hub for information that people in your industry want to read. The main reason your blog exists is to generate more traffic , convert the traffic into leads , and make more money.
Look at your analytics everyday and see what's working and what's not. Check out your traffic sources, what keywords are getting your posts found, and review your most popular articles. If you're ranking highly with a particular keyword, consider expanding on the subject with another post and your ranking will likely improve even more.
If you are having some really great search traffic flowing toward a particular post, analyze what you did for that post and repeat it going forward. Analyze the post format (list, review, interview, etc...) and try to use that format more often in the future. Share your findings with others and spread the knowledge!
And remember, if you want the culture of content creation to thrive within your company, always take a moment to celebrate small wins and blog improvements with your team.
Photo by robinhamman
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