Taking the Leap: Blogging

Most of us know how important it is to add new content regularly to our sites; if the content is interesting, it helps you to acquire backlinks from other sites, and it also gives businesses an informal way of interacting with their customers.

It’s something that we at Add People have recently come to grips with on our own site, and the insights below are what we have learned in our foray into corporate blogging.  🙂

If you’ve never kept a blog or online journal before,  it can be quite scary. What on earth can you say that won’t make you feel (and sound) like an idiot? Relax…the key is in just being yourself. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Write informally, as you would speak to friends.

No one wants to read a dry corporate communication or a dense page of technical specifications. Neither do people like to read “hard sell” pitches. Yes, by all means be professional. And don’t be afraid to sell your services or products – that’s why your site exists, after all. Just do it with a sense of humour, and your own unique style. You’ll see that your customers will respond.

A very good example of a corporate blog is Bonobos. It’s irreverent and cheeky, which suits its target audience to a T. Granted, this approach probably wouldn’t work for an accounting firm – you may want to go with a style more suited to your field. Even if you are writing a post about the state of the economy, however, you can still do it with a sense of style – think about the sites that you like to read.

What should you write about?

Anything that might interest your customers. The whole point is to get them interacting with your company and your brand – and hopefully get them interested enough to pass along what you have written via links. (This is known as linkbait, which is the technique of creating linkworthy content.)

New products are a good example – if you are excited about something, you’re bound to get your customers excited about the same thing.

Specials or hot deals – who isn’t interested in a bargain?

Your views on the state of the world as it affects your business, and your customers. This is emphasised because you shouldn’t lose track of the fact that you’re writing a corporate blog, not a personal blog – it has to relate to your site. That said, personal opinion is a good thing – people like companies and brands that have a “personality”.

Share your knowledge. You’re in a certain field because you have a passion for that industry – and expert knowledge which could benefit your readers. Share it! This is content at it’s best, and when you think about it, sharing is at the heart of the web.

A few last words.

Try to update regularly. The people who are interested enough to follow your updates will appreciate it, and search engines love regularly updated content.

Think about your keywords. Hopefully you’ll have a basic idea of how strong keywords affect search optimisation (you certainly should if you’re working with us), and what your main keywords are. If appropriate, work those keywords into your titles or the post content. Where you can, link to other things that you’ve written, or pages that relate well to the subject, using a strong key phrase. Search engines love keyword text links to relevant content.

Write about something that you are passionate about – if you’re bored, your readers will surely be.

Nuts and bolts – how do I add a blog to an existing site?

This is where it gets a bit technical. If you have an old site which you’re outgrowing, this might be a perfect time to have both a fresh, new look and a new content management system. Go on – treat yourself, and do your business a favour.

If you don’t want or need a new site, you can use a blogging system like WordPress (one of the best), and just add a feed from your blog into your site. That discussion is a bit technical for this article, so if you would like to know more please contact us about adding content to your site. An rss feed is a way of syndicating content from one site to another; it’s written in xml so that it can easily be read, displayed and formatted on the destination page – your “News” section.

Have fun, relax, and let your inner creativity flow…your customers will love it.