Dave Crader, reviews six best practices to consider when creating a corporate blog. He’ll go over a few ways you can motivate your employees to write as well as some tips on how to measure their performance. By the end of this blog you’ll know how to get started with blogging and how to sustain it with new content.
You may have heard about blogging somewhere on the Internet or on someone else’s blog, and you might be wondering if it is right for your business. Most of the time it is. Blogging has many benefits. You can add tremendous credibility to your business and to your website, and it’s really not that hard to do.
You’ll notice today that many websites do have a blog. You don’t need to be updating it every single day, but it’s very simple to get started. Today we’re going to go over a few best practices to consider if you do start blogging for your business.
Coming up with ideas and actually writing about those ideas is not easy. It takes a lot of time, and a lot of times it’s hard for people to figure out where they can fit blogging into their daily schedule. They have so many other responsibilities, and blogging is probably the last thing on their minds. There are some things you can do to try to incentivize your employees to begin blogging. One way, maybe you do a contest, whoever gets the blog post with the most traffic gets some kind of gift card. or maybe, every Friday you have everyone in the office write a blog post. You don’t have to use them all, but it gets everyone talking about it. It is just an interesting Friday, fun day thing to look forward to for everyone.
This next one is a little bit controversial: author pages and headshots. A lot of times, as a company owner, you’re thinking, “Well, what if this employee leaves the company? I have his photo and his author page all over this blog, but he’s not with the company anymore. What do I do? Maybe I’ll just not put the author pages on there at all.” Well, that’s a big mistake. One of the main purposes of the blog is to humanize the brand. It’s going to be hard to do that if you don’t have an actual author for the blog posts. Without an author, either, the readers of your blog can’t follow those people’s posts for in the future. It really almost defeats the purpose of blogging, so definitely do this. If that person leaves the company, you can always take their picture off or change it to the company owner or remove their author page. It’s very important that you have an author page and a headshot along with every blog post.
The third point is to allow comments. You’ll see I added five exclamation points here because this is vitally important that you allow comments on your blog. Blogging is definitely a two-way conversation. You want to allow your readers to comment, ask questions on your posts. You’ve got to make sure that you follow up with those comments.
The next point is social sharing icons. This is fairly easy to implement. You can get a little widget from a company called AddThis if you’re interested, or you could actually go on Facebook and Twitter and get their sharing icons. Social sharing icons are important to allow others to obviously share your posts. When your readers share your posts, that’s going to be good for search engine benefits, search engine rankings, and it’s going to increase the exposure of your blog and brand awareness, and all those other benefits. Very easy to implement and very important.
Adding a call to action to your blog, this is just a little bit of self-promotion. Definitely don’t overdo it. Your blog posts are written for your readers. You’re not supposed to really write about your products. That’s better for the news section of your website. The call to action, for example, at the end of your post maybe you ask your readers to subscribe to your email newsletter, or you ask your readers to subscribe to the RSS feed of your blog, or follow you on Twitter, follow you on Facebook. All of these subtle things that you can do can actually really, really work. I’ve seen it firsthand. At the end of every post, try to do some kind of call to action. Try to tie it into your services in some way. Every post you write doesn’t have to have a call to action, but if it’s relevant to the post and it makes sense, then definitely try to include it.
Lastly, measure with analytics. Google offers a free tool called Google Analytics that you can install on your website very easily. I highly recommend it. By installing Google Analytics, you’ll be able to see which posts are being read the most, which posts are receiving the longest time on page scores, which posts are readers really reading and liking the most and reading all the way through. You can figure that all out with Analytics. It’s going to help with incentivizing your workers. You can show them which post is most popular in the company, try to get some competitive rivalry going on there. Also with analytics, you can measure and see what’s working. Is one of your blog posts converting into a lead, into a sale? If it is, try to innovate off that. Try to make more posts related to that subject and you can increase leads and sales for your business.
In summary, definitely try to get a blog for your website. It can be time consuming, but it’s well worth it. The content you create is going to be there forever. Try to make content that’s not going to go out of date within a few weeks, something that’s going to be long lasting and provide long lasting benefits for your business. For an example of a well done blog, you can check out Blog.EvolveCreativeGroup.com. See that, I added a little call to action there at the end of this blog, just like you should do to your blogs.