In the earlier two parts, we’ve spoken about painting a clearer picture about social media, as well as how to listen. We’re going to move on to the subject of blogging.
Is Blogging The Next Step?
You, along with a lot of organizations who are taking their first shot at using social media, may have been told that blogging is the most logical first step to take to set you on the right path. But it isn’t always the case.
You can say that blogging is a relatively big step for a beginner. Kind of like asking a kid to ride an adult-sized bike without having learned from a bicycle with training wheels. It’s quite a big leap to take.
Why not start with something smaller, a tumbleblog, perharps? Do a test run on something that isn’t about the organization, just to give the person who’s going to be assigned to do the blogging a feel of what to do.
You may also want to search for blogs whose style and tone you’d like to copy. Subscribe to those blogs and mix a little of business-related and entertainment-based content. In order to keep your reader in check, though, you might need to make folders for the different content you subscribe to.
Don’t forget that although blogs can empower your business and give a face to your organization, it’s also about fun and being able to show yourself for who you are. Don’t rush your would-be blogger into the job, let them find their way around it, get comfortable with their soon-to-be task, and them let them do it.
Private or public blogs? Why not both?
Although we often see blogging as something automatically done online where everybody connected can see, it can also be done internally. The good thing about internal blogging is that it helps inseminate information in a much faster manner. No more waiting for emails to be sent, all you need is a set of professional RSS listeners, and you, along with everybody else within the internal network, can quickly learn from the informative blog.
Going out to the public domain, you would want to be able to make use of your blogs voice to talk about things that are important to the company. Now, it’s not just one person’s job to do that blogging, but rather whoever has something to say that will open up lines of communications to the organization.
Choosing your stage
This isn’t really that big of a deal, but choosing a platform helps make blogging easier for whoever it is that will be assigned the task. WordPress, Typepad, Vox, and Blogger are only some of the paid and free blogging platforms you can use for you site. These platforms all cover ease of use and configurability. Both of which can prove rather beneficial for your site.
What can you talk about?
This is a big question for all organizations who are only starting to blog. But if you’ve been actively reading other blogs of the same niche, then you probably have an idea of what’s good to write about. You can try a hit or miss approach on this. Try to write something and see if it catches on. Enable comments so you’d see if people are commenting on your posts or not.
Basically, you’d want to get a conversation started between you and your readers. Sort of like a way to engage them into your blog. Most often than not, once you get a set of audience hooked on to you. Don’t worry yourself too much about how to get the conversation started, there are a lot of ways to do that. Again, just try something and see if anything would happen from there.
Going back to the previous topic, blog posts need not be narrowed down to just one format. Your blog is your playing field, so play around with it. However, there are things you need to keep in mind when blogging:
- Don’t be afraid to delete senseless and unruly comments from your blog’s comments section. Aside from the fact that these only take up precious space, they shouldn’t be tolerated at all.
- Learn to discern useless negative comments from those that are meant to criticize you for improvement. If the comment is meant as a constructive criticism, leave that on the thread. This is, of course, provided that the commenter did it in a civil manner. Not only will this help make you understand what your readers think of you, it also gives you a chance to learn something new.
- When reposting or expounding on someone else’s content, don’t forget to give them credit. Learn about Creative Commons and how RSS makes reposting and stealing content easy for those who want to.
- Don’t just stick to press releases and news clips. This makes your blog a boring read. Know that if you keep at this certain format, your blog is bound to die a lonely death.
- Make your blog more diverse. Don’t just write about yourself, your organization, or your services as this makes for yet another boring blog.
These pointers will help prevent you from making a lousy first impression to your reader. So keep these tips to heart.
What to expect from blogging
Blogging, once you start getting the hang of it, can be a great way to keep people connected to you. But aside from that, it offers you a means to represent your company. It also serves as a great way to throw information back and forth. The key, of course, to taking advantage of these benefits is to observe and learn from other blogs.
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