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Blogging 101 – Part 1: Show your blog “What-For” (and why!)

Posted by Max Tatton-Brown on 28th May 2010

The lustre of other companies’ success in the social media sphere has put it firmly on the agenda for many brands. Blogging is often seen as an ‘easy’ way in – a social media portal that is easy to set up and control.  But it’s not all plain sailing.

When a blog works well it can bring you closer to your customers and prospects whilst allowing you to engage with the wider community. Unfortunately, all too often, blogs become stagnant voids with reams of old, out of date content.

What follows is the first part of a series of posts we’ll be running over the next few weeks looking at all aspects of blogging. Here we examine why you might want to have a blog in the first place and how it might tie in with the rest of your social media strategy.

If you’ve any questions on anything you think we might have missed then leave a comment or get in touch – we’re always happy to help.

WHY BLOG?

Before leaping in, it’s well worth taking a step back and working out exactly what you hope to achieve and what your blog will be for.

Three key questions to ask are:

  1. What are my objectives for blogging?
  2. What’s my strategy (e.g. for content generation, driving traffic and SEO, getting ROI and integrating with other marketing, social media and PR activities)?
  3. What does success look like?

If the answers to any of these questions are uncertain, then you need to think very carefully about why blogging is the right path to go down.

Setting objectives

Identifying the purpose of your blog can be a defining moment that paves the way for  success – or failure. The objectives for a blog can be very different for different companies, for example some may want to demonstrate their expertise and industry knowledge to customers and prospects, while others may see it as a great way of improving SEO.

It doesn’t matter what your objective is as long as you have one- as time goes on, you’ll better understand how your blog is benefitting you and set new ones. It’s also worth identifying specific and measurable business goals that your business hopes to achieve through blogging over the coming 12-18 months.

Strategic approach

Blogging is about much more than just content.  You could have the best posts in the world, but if no-one finds your blog,  knows about it or shares it, then there really isn’t any point!  Equally, if you have lots of traffic to your blog but it isn’t making an difference to your business, the investment is wasted.

Confronting these issues before you start is vital, so apply a bit of strategic thinking. When you’re considering all your campaigns, bear in mind the breadth of what is now possible and integrate your blogging activities into a much wider marketing and social media strategy.

Measuring success

Remember how I said it’s important to set some objectives?  The reason is simple. If you don’t know what you want your blog to do for your business then how can you measure its success in achieving those goals? Whether it’s increased hits on your website or more interactions with your brand,  make sure you know what success will look like.

BLOG WHAT?

Above all, your blog should strive to offer something new and valuable to your audience, becoming a source you’d follow yourselves. Asking yourself whether you’d be interested in reading your blog is a good litmus test!

For example, you could look at it as an opportunity to elevate topics that aren’t getting enough exposure or comment on what others are saying in your industry.  Tell people something they don’t know or draw their attention to articles they may not have seen.

Try and identify examples of blogs that you read and would like to emulate.  What do they do right? Where are they missing a trick?  Be sure to interact with them once you’ve got everything up and running.

WHAT NOW?

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be discussing where you go next and giving you tips on how to get a blog off the ground and how to get people interacting with it.

In the meantime, if you think there’s anything we’ve missed or you have questions, get in touch or leave a comment below!

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