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To blog or not to blog…

Posted by Louise Palmer on 6th August 2010

So, recently I spotted a Facebook update from a friend saying: “thinking about the pros and cons of blogging”. It initiated a variety of comments, from a “yes, do it, your public needs you!” to “the pros are more expensive” and a simple “oh dear”.

It seems my friend isn’t too convinced himself at the moment, stating in response he was finding “lots of cons – not many pros”.

Now I’m not saying I’m a blogging expert, but it struck me the ‘cons’ were getting an unfair advantage.

Blogs are arguably easier to control than other social media methods and, used well, can drive traffic, encourage engagement and help create community and new relationships. They’re also a great way to boost search engine optimisation (SEO), convey the personality of a brand or individual and demonstrate expertise in specific areas.

Admittedly, effort needs to be spent establishing the platform. And it will take time to regularly put those nuggets of wisdom down ‘on paper’, more time to monitor the blogosphere to find like-minded people, and even more time to respond to and engage with them. There’s also cost to consider, for paying a dedicated blogger or the salary of an employee spending time writing blog posts.

But I know through Wildfire’s work with clients that the investment in blogging can really pay off, increasing a company’s influence, generating business opportunities and delivering measurable benefits to an organisation.

So if you want to get involved, then read on for Wildfire’s practical tips on running a corporate blog, taken from our recent benchmark report – putting the ‘social’ into social media:

Tips for running a corporate blog

  1. Set realistic frequency targets and stick to them – don’t pretend you’ll blog every day if you know that will be a challenge. Be realistic, making it easier to stick to goals and setting expectations for web visitors
  2. Keep posts, paragraphs and sentences short – we read differently online. Around 300-500 words is ideal with sub-heads to break the text and help readers navigate through your post
  3. Make your content interesting and relevant – think about your audience. Who is it you are trying to appeal to? Make sure your content will be interesting and useful to them
  4. Convey personality – set the right tone, but don’t be afraid to give your bloggers the freedom to convey their own individuality
  5. Demonstrate your expertise and knowledge – show your readers you know your industry and make them feel they can trust you to come up with the goods
  6. Always reply to comments on your blog – even if it is just a sentence or two. Make your readers feel valued and they’ll return again and again
  7. Add RSS and email sign-ups – RSS feeds allow your readers to subscribe to posts without having to visit regularly. Alternatively, you can let visitors subscribe by email
  8. Share your posts on social networks – ensure you remember to alert followers on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin about your latest blog posts
  9. Read and respond to other blogs – as a blogger, you need to participate in the community to really reap the benefits. Reply to posts on other blogs in your sector and they may start to return the favour
  10. Be controversial – make your blog stand out from the crowd by saying something different. This will help you attract and retain readers

picture credit

Louise Palmer

Deftly switching between business and consumer accounts, the focus for Louise remains the same; how can Wildfire tell clients’ stories in a way that is faithful, relevant and engaging? Her wide technology PR experience makes Louise an agile Managing Director, combining the strategic management of PR programmes with a hands-on approach to get under the skin of clients and motivate her teams.