The wisdom of having a blog section on a company website seems to be generally accepted but how often do you click through to take a look at that blog and find that the last post was three months ago? Or perhaps there’s an article about the company water cooler or the Christmas party – some random topic that was picked for the sake of posting something. It’s true that you do need a company blog but you also need to have good ideas for content that relate to your business and you must post regularly.
There is no set in stone plan for a company blog because different approaches will be necessary for different businesses, but we can take a look at some simple ways to generate ideas for your blog.
All About You
There are various ways to run a company blog. If you are already a big company with a serious following then you can legitimately make your blog about your business. You can discuss internal developments, project updates, staff changes and future plans. You can appeal to customers for input and use your blog as a platform to engage with them and inform them about what you are doing.
Most companies do not have a following like this and so when they make their blog all about their business and keep it self-referential they get no traffic and the people who do arrive are quickly turned off. Think about what your blog is for and how to deliver something of value to your visitors.
Using a Blog to Attract Targeted Traffic
The vast majority of businesses add a blog in order to increase the flow of traffic into their website. Quality content related to your business will boost your website ranking and pull in targeted traffic. In simple terms if you sell silver jewelry then your blog posts should be about silver jewelry and related topics. Start by thinking about what your desired customer would type into a search engine in order to find your business. This will allow you to create a list of keyword phrases that you can use to generate topic ideas.
We aren’t going to go further into SEO and keywords here but you can use Google AdWords or Wordtracker’s free keywords tool to generate lists of keywords you might want to target and ideas for related keywords and phrases.
This is a good direct approach for small businesses. Continuing the silver jewlery example you could generate a lot of different angles for individual blog posts hitting the keywords you want to target – advice on jewelry for special occasions, how to clean silver jewelry, how you design a piece, how you make a piece, great gift ideas, sourcing materials, trends in the industry and so on.
Establishing Thought Leadership and Topicality
Another approach which is more common in the B2B world where companies are selling services or products to other businesses is to try and establish their expertise. This is about commentating on and, more importantly, offering an opinion on industry trends. It is a way of showing that you know exactly what is happening in your industry and building confidence in potential customers that you know what you are talking about. By discussing topical issues you can project yourself into the discussion and really build some brand awareness.
Bland Blogs Don’t Work
All the planning in the world is not going to make any difference at all if you don’t have some insight, some passion or some opinion to share. It’s fair enough to maintain a professional veneer but try to avoid making your posts too bland. If you don’t have the time to write enticing blog posts yourself then outsource it. You can give a writer specific directions and leave it up to them to establish an engaging voice. Many company blogs are ghostwritten.
Once you have your blog up and running pay close attention to the stats. You’ll soon be able to see what is delivering the most traffic and which posts users are commenting on. Use that information to decide on follow-up future topics.