Oct 03, 2012

Corporate Blogging Best Practices

Action shot of our manager of blogger relations Tom Hynes, blogging.

Recently, we hosted a webinar with Jeff Corbin of KCSA on best practices for corporate blogging. Everyone wants to know how their company, how their brand can blog well. And while I may have the word “blogger” in my title, Jeff’s a CEO who blogs. In other words, we were lucky to have him on hand to provide a great example of how to blog well.

Jeff’s not only a great blogger, but he also gets it. By that, I mean he sees the benefit of a good corporate blog.  I thought I knew all the benefits of a solid blogging strategy, but even I learned a thing or two during our hour together.

“Our blog is a way to reinforce our brand,” said Corbin.  “The blog creates a real window into our corporate culture.”

It’s also worth noting that every employee of KCSA is encouraged to contribute to the company blog.  And, like most of KCSA’s blog strategy, this is smart for a few reasons. For one, have you ever tried to blog every day? It’s hard coming up with content. Best to have a stable of authors to help shoulder the load.

Secondly, blogging boosts morale. Writing a blog post can be a nice distraction to a static work routine. The blog then becomes everyone’s property. What’s more, when asking an employee to write a blog post, you’re essentially gaining the exposure of their individual social circles. Put another way, if someone writes a blog post, they’re probably going to want to promote it. They’re probably going to want to share it with the people they know. And that means more eyeballs on your company blog.

To that end, Corbin also encourages utilizing the occasional guest blogger. Not only do you get their outside perspective, but you also get the benefit of being exposed to their audiences.

Finally, consistent blogging helps SEO. And that makes sense. SEO is an algorithm controlled by logic. The more you publish, the more you link, the more you get shared, the higher up you’ll appear in search.

“Blogs must have a clear message, provide actionable advice, and reinforce position,” said Corbin. “Plus personality.”

And I think that last point is pretty important. Jeff Corbin and KCSA provide a great example of effective blogging. But, even on a more macro level personality, or tone, or voice, or whatever you want to call it is crucial to successful blogging. All too often, people lose their voice when they blog. It’s as though the written word is seen as this precious thing that must be treated delicately. And, hey, look, the written word is a really great thing! But bloggers shouldn’t be afraid to write how they speak. If you don’t speak in long-winded sentences that run on and on, then why would you write like that?

Furthermore, blogs should have an angle. When I think of the word “angle,” I think of a point of view or a perspective, sure. But I also think of the word’s literal meaning in geometry. I think of two lines meeting at one point. Great blogs have a perspective, but they’re also often an intersection of subjects.

Take for example Tight Laces in 50 Places. This is a blog about a guy who wants to run a half marathon in every state. It’s a running blog, but it’s also about travel. More often than not, people don’t actually want to read about food, fashion, home design, or whatever. They want to read about how all of those things play into people’s lives. They want to hear from human beings.

It’s no surprise Corbin stressed the importance of having a personality when blogging.

To hear the webinar in full, click here.

Author Tom Hynes is PR Newswire’s manager of blogger relations. And as you may have guessed, he has a twitter account.

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