We’ve been doing a lot of work here lately helping our clients establish and leverage blogs. Everyone from a consumer retailer to a b-to-b technology company wants to get in the game, but they’re scared of the time commitment, negative comments, and the “where to start” factor. They’re all barriers that can stop a blog before it ever starts, but there are ways to get around all three. Here are some tips for how it can be done well:
Engage different parts of the company – because blogging can be time consuming, the more voices you have on a company blog the less of a burden it will be on one or two people. It’s true for this blog – we each write about once a month, which is easy. And we still have enough content to (hopefully) keep readers coming back. If a company wants to be involved in blogging, they need to open the medium up to multiple members of their internal team.
Be a thought partner – most of our clients think they need to write a white paper or novella for a blog entry. Clearly, we all know that’s not true. So to combat the “where to start” dilemma, we’ve engaged our client/authors one-on-one in 20 minute calls where we walk them through some possible ideas for a blog. We start where all blogs should start – with their audience. “What have you been talking about with customers?” It’s simple enough. And with the right follow-up questions, we can easily get all the raw material we need for an interesting and insightful post.
Encourage conversation – once we get a blog up-and-running, clients are often concerned about whether anyone is reading it. The truth is, that’s a shared responsibility. Since they have regular contact with a large portion of their audience, we give each author 5 tips for promoting their blog entry. It goes a long way. And once they start to see real dialogue, they’ll stop worrying about the stray negative comment and treat it as the opportunity it is.