June 10th, 2016
Blogging is essential for businesses that seek personal connection with their audiences. While social media posts work best when concise, blog posts allow companies to write in-depth regarding topics relevant to their brands.
Companies with blogs have the opportunity to inform, educate, and entertain potential readers in ways that their social media accounts cannot. However, blogs require a steady influx of fresh content, which requires time and effort to maintain. Though it may appear a hassle at first, creating and managing your company’s blog can be rather simple.
Here are 5 tips for starting and managing your company’s own blog:
Before you start publishing content to your blog, decide how you want it to look. Presentation factor is equally important to the message behind the words you’re writing. Both heavily influence readers’ perceptions of your brand.
Take notes from Microsoft’s blog and implement a simple design scheme. The tech titan mastered this by using only two colors (black and white), a four-item menu bar, and vibrant photography. The photos grab reader and start telling a story before any reading begins.
Presenting content with a simple layout not only draws more attention to what you’re writing or sharing, but it also enhances the site’s navigation experience. The reader will be able to move through your blog quickly and easily. Cutting the clutter reduces confusion on the user end and creates an easier platform for you to maintain.
Select a few general topics relevant to your business and turn them into categories that you can use to organize the content on your blog. This increases the convenience factor when it comes to navigating your blog, as readers can choose which subjects interest them most and stay engaged for longer periods of time.
Trivia blog Listverse does this particularly well. Their categories are broad, yet focused enough to provide the user direction. Beyond these, there are sub-categories to narrow the focus further. Add a variety of interesting or engaging subject matter into the mix and the readers are hooked!
Pair images and video with written content to improve your audience members’ reading experience. Visual aids catch interest and provide a tangible representation of what you’re writing about. They can also set an overall tone for your content, market a product or service, and strengthen branding.
Men’s grooming and lifestyle brand Cut & Caliber uses vibrant, original photography to capture their company’s mission: to produce quality, Alaskan-made goods. By incorporating stylish product photos and beautiful shots of Alaskan wilderness, they succeed in establishing a lifestyle to associate with their company. There’s an extra dimension of depth added to their content by placing emphasis on visuals featuring their company name and logo.
Use your blog as a catalyst to link readers to your company’s social media accounts. Some blog-hosting platforms allow you to feature widgets such as a mini tweet feed, recent Instagram posts, or a like button for Facebook. However, widgets clutter the blog’s sidebars and interrupt that simple, yet clean approach that was discussed earlier.
So, what is the best way to promote social on your blog? Place social media icons somewhere at the top, bottom, or to the side of the page. Your audience, for the most part, will know what they mean – especially ones like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Cisco accomplishes this in a clean, simple, and effective manner by placing grayscale icons to the top-right underneath the option to subscribe to their newsletter.
Social media accounts also grant you the opportunity to promote your new blog posts. Never shy from linking them in tweets, Facebook statuses, LinkedIn updates, etc.
Once you start bloggging, develop a schedule to abide by. Having deadlines to meet provides a writer both a structured schedule and accountability. If you decide to post every Monday and Thursday, then stick to that commitment and prepare new content for those same days every week. Audience members will know when they can expect to check your site, and you’ll know when to update it. Whether you decide to create that content in advance or day-of is up to you.
Take a few minutes each day to brainstorm various concepts that you could turn into blog posts for your company. Keep a notebook handy or your phone’s notepad app at the ready for whenever the inspiration might strike. That way, you can generate new content with direction and focus and start writing with a clear vision of what you’ll be discussing in your newest pieces.