How to Make Your Blog Not Suck #SMM2011
Yesterday, I spent the day at the Social Media Masters conference in Atlanta, soaking in ideas and insights from several minds across the industry.
One of the sessions I was most looking forward to was about corporate blogging. I enjoy blogging, mainly because I’m a writer at heart, but also because I believe it is a powerful tool to spread your message.
This session was led by Mark Schaefer, a consultant, professor, and author with a deep knowledge of the blogosphere and how to implement blogging into your brand’s marketing campaign.
Mark’s session revolved around 10 reasons to blog and 10 reasons to make your blog not suck. Anti-suckology, as he says. Write that one down. Every company is different and these rules and reasons may not be implemented in the same manner for all. I would like to share these points from Mark and show how I implement them on the agency side with BFG Communications (and on here as well).
10 Reasons to Blog
1) SEO benefits: Blogs increase your search presence. At BFG, our posts that include key words related to points of interest to our community helps this cause.
2) Differentiation (The holy grail of marketing). We use the blog to showcase our unique interactive work and points of view. It helps us differentiate from other agencies out there.
3) Infinite search life. A blog will last forever (if you keep it up). People searching for topics years from know in which we wrote about may be drawn in to our blog. It provides a lasting online presence.
4) Integrate sales strategy with other channels. At BFG, we use our blog as a sales tool. It helps to show clients that we know what we are talking about. When clients are convinced, that leads to sales.
5) Crisis management. We haven’t had to put out many public fires at BFG that I am aware of, but our blogging presence would be a resource for this if it ever occurred.
6) Focus on strategy and POV. I do this from a personal level all the time. Blogging helps me clarify my opinion and viewpoint on certain topics. It gives you time to think and read for yourself what you sound like. Sometimes I find I sound like an idiot, so I try to change that before I publish.
7) Re-purpose content in newsletters and whitepapers. The content team at BFG is scaling the depths of the Internet all day, Christopher Columbus style. We find and re-purpose a ton of information that we hope others will find interesting.
8 ) Reference library. We have years of posts in the blog hopper at BFG. I have found several instances when I have been asked questions about topics I previously blogged about. No need to reiterate this argument when you have it in place already.
9) Internal communications.
10) PR opportunities / massive reach. Pimpin’ aint easy, but a blog makes it a bit more breezy. Spread that outreach through your blog. I promise that will be my last reference of those sorts.
10 Ways to Make Your Blog Not Suck
1) Get your ducks in a row…first. Think about your content strategy for blogging before hand. On the BFG blog, each team member tries to post at least 1 post per week. This helps to keep the content flowing and retain interest from those reading.
2) Entertain. My personal rule for all of social media is that I have to have at least 1 specific person in mind who I think would enjoy whatever I am about to say. If not, it probably isn’t worth saying. People like fun things. If you don’t like fun, I probably don’t want to be your friend. Unless you are a robot, because I’m OK with non-fun robots.
3) Consider culture. We try to keep it real at BFG, and this is reflected on our blog. I say silly things that may not fly at other companies. It provides a look into how your company operates daily for potential employees and clients.
4) Go ahead and sell. Why not? We post about our successful campaigns at BFG. We are proud of them and want to share that with others. Nothing wrong with that, in fact there is everything right about that. Be confident, not cocky.
5) Social validation. Like it or not, people judge your online blogging presence based on retweets, “Likes”, etc. It is part of life, so roll with it. A good portion ofthe BFGInteractive office is on Twitter and often shares blog posts they find interesting with others to help validate our presence.
6) Engage leadership. We are fortunate at BFG to have a C-team that understands the power of social media (including blogs) and let’s us run with it. Thanks guys.
7) Deputize. Get everyone involved.
8 ) Leverage your content. At BFG, we feel like we have knowledge in several fields related to the interactive and digital space. We have a lot of content related to this already created, which we share through our blog often.
9) 5 steps to a perfect post
- Compelling headline
- Original viewpoint (I usually always try and integrate my own thoughts and point of view into a post.)
- Courage to be imperfect (Everyone messes up. Such is life. Don’t be afraid to take risks.)
- Don’t write, rewrite
10) Lower expectations. Don’t set goals you know you can’t achieve. Start small and work your way up.
Thanks Mark for sharing this with us. It has certainly made me think a bit more about why I blog and why I should continue to do so.