Why you should join the growing trend for business blogging and how to find your blogging rythmn.
Across all sectors, from SMEs to newspapers, from think tanks to universities, blogging is becoming big business.
As a result, increasing pressure is being placed on comms teams to create and deliver fresh blog content on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Not just any old content, but content capable of demonstrating expertise, building awareness, sharing values and, most importantly, building stronger connections with customers.
This can be a pretty big ask for an already busy communications team. And as a small business owner who's been blogging for just over twelve months, I know how time consuming it can be to write and deliver regular, fresh, on-message blog content.
Before starting to write my own blog, I spent a good chunk of time reading and researching. Trying to discover the secret sauce recipe to creating an engaging blog. I read a lot of bad blogs. And a lot of good ones. And a few brilliant ones.
And in reading those blogs, I started to notice a pattern emerging on the good ones (aside from the obvious good photos, good headline, good blog layout). Regardless of the subject matter, they shared a definite rythmn and a balance to their posts. It's a rythmn I've been working to create through the posts on my own blog. And one I thought I'd share with you.
I call it the 3 c's of business blogging.
I'l start with the hardest of posts. Creating original content that's useful and unique. It may be the launch of a new idea or initiative, a thought or opinion piece by a member of your team, original photography or just new ways in which your customers can engage with your brand, organisation or product.
A food blogger may create and share a new recipe, a musician may share new music, a business may share new product innovations or customer support initiatives. Keep it fresh, keep it light, keep it engaging (and resist the urge to go for the hard sell).
The bloggers favourite; posts which collate and share good stuff from across the wider blogosphere or web. A great way to demonstrate expertise, values or just a little personality, creating 'top ten' or 'five of the best' style round ups can add real texture to your blog.
Taking time to seek out new and interesting content to curate and share is well worth the time it takes to research. Keeping a file for bookmarking relevant youtube videos, cool images, insightful webinars or thought provoking articles as you come across them, can be a great tool for brainstorming possible future post themes and can save huge amounts of time when you want to pull together a quick (quality) post.
But do remember to respect copyright and intellectual property when curating content created by others. Link with love offers some great guidance on this.
Using your blog as a collaboration platform can reap huge business rewards. Inviting others to write guest posts on your blog, or writing posts for others can keep posts fresh and interesting, can broaden out your readership and, ideally, will help build your customer base.
Inviting others to contribute and offer feedback via your blog, can also be a great way of building stronger relationships with existing customers. How about crowdsourcing a summer events programme or inviting feedback on new services or initiative?
Involving readers and increasing the number of voices on your blog can add interest and keep content varied and topical.
So there it is. My 3 c's of blogging. Simple stuff really. Balance your posts. Create original content, curate good stuff created by others and collaborate with good people.
Find the balance that's right for your blog, keep an eye on your stats, see what resonates with your customers and you'll be well on your way to creating that great secret sauce blogging rythmn. And hopefully the proud content manager of an engaging and well read blog.
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