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July 27, 2010

4 Business Blogging Lessons From Google's Chief Blogger

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Karen has worked at Google since 2002, specializing in business writing and media relations. Karen first launched Google’s corporate blog back in 2004. Today the company has digital embassies for virtually every product. This armada spans dozens of blogs, Twitter profiles, YouTube and more recently, Facebook. She also developed Google’s corporate strategy using Twitter in 2009; in the first six months, @Google gained more than 2 million followers, making it one of the largest corporate Twitter accounts.

We were able to ask Karen a few key questions about business blogging as a preview of her participation at Connected Marketing Week :

What is the most important thing a company new to blogging should do?

Read other business, news, corporate blogs to get a feel for all that's possible. Some are personal (i.e. an executive writes it), and some are collaborative. Some blogs are all about 'thought leadership' and others are more about customer service and best practices. The main thing to do is get familiar with a wide variety (there is no single right way to do this), and begin to consider what you would want to say. 

What questions do good business blog posts answer?

Posts don't literally answer questions so much as establish ground for the company. Do most posts offer useful or unique information? Do they reflect the company's values and interests? Do they demonstrate the people behind the company/products?  Collectively, these are the things a good company blog should do.

How do you get people from across the organization to contribute to a business blog?

You have to start with people who are comfortable with writing and editing on the fly, and who have an editorial sense. People who can think broadly enough about what content your blog can encompass. I often advise creating an editorial calendar that people can track and contribute to with ideas - customer stories, presentations from events, commentary, feedback, industry trends, etc. Generally, broader rather than more narrow is a good approach. Don't just wait till you have a big announcement.  However, the more often you post, the higher the demand for resources. The people who work on it day in and day out MUST be at ease. If it feels like homework or takes too many revisions, they're not the right ones to do it.

What should be the metrics for business blogging success?

Tangibles: unique visitors, length of time on page, linkbacks, etc - these are all fine to have. I would consider adding Twitter if for no other reason than to further extend the reach of your posts - tweet each new one - but of course Twitter itself is good for much more than that. Beyond that, if comments or other feedback is enabled, then be sure to mine that and respond. The more interactive questions and calls for participation will also yield metrics.

Karen will lead a special webinar as part of Connected Marketing Week . This webcast will cover the latest trends in corporate blogging, Google’s unique take on blogger messaging , and Karen will give webcast participants opportunities to ask her their most pressing blogging questions!


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