As more companies and businesses enter the blogging waters, it's
becoming easier to identify the characteristics of an outstanding
company blog. Next week at the Small Business Marketing Unleashed
conference in Houston, I'll be presenting on the topic of Blogging for
. Part of my presentation will cover the elements of a great
company blog, and I thought it would be a good idea to cover those
areas here as well.
So today will be the first of a five-part series this week examining the elements of a successful company blog. Let's first look at the content.
When a business starts blogging, many aren't sure what they should be blogging about. So they begin writing about what they know best, themselves. Unfortunately, the last thing a business blog should be, is a tool to promote that business.
Instead, companies should use their blog to provide value for their readers, and to give them information that they can find use in. Note what Patagonia states is the purpose of its blog, The Cleanest Line
"The goal of The Cleanest Line is to further Patagonia's mission by
encouraging dialogue about the products we build, the sports we love
and the environmental issues we're concerned about. By talking openly
about the products we build, Patagonia users can help us achieve ever
greater standards of quality and functionality. By spreading the word
about specific environmental issues, we can increase awareness and take
action as quickly as possible. By sharing field reports, we can inspire
one another to keep experiencing the natural wonders of our precious
planet. And like any good conversation, there's always the possibility
for pranksters and poets to direct the conversation towards territories
lacking any seriousness whatsoever."
Patagonia understands how to position its blog as a place to discuss topics that are of interest to their current and potential customers. Instead of going overboard with self-promotion, they instead promote the values and ideals that are at the heart of their brand. Which is what their customers relate to.
Before you begin creating content for your blog, put yourself in the shoes of your reader. Why would a person want to come to your blog? What would they be looking for? If someone arrived at your blog via a Google search, what would they be searching for?
While some promotion on your blog is fine, don't go overboard. Visitors to your blog will become readers only if you give them content that they find value in.
Tomorrow I'll look at how a great company blog sets its posting schedule.
Be sure and read each of the posts in this series:
What Makes a Great Company Blog?
What Makes a Great Company Blog: Posting Schedule
What Makes a Great Company Blog: Comments
What Makes a Great Company Blog: Sidebars
Examples of Great Company Blogs