Should You Create a Corporate Blog?

Three Reasons For & Against

Over the past several years, I’ve had a number of clients, colleagues and friends ask me about the benefits of blogging. Who could blame them? It seems everyone has something to say. The technology available from tools like WordPress, tumblr, posterous and blogger make the barrier to blogger entry nearly nonexistent. For businesses, I often get the impression that the impetus behind the decision to blog is competitive influence or the feeling that they may be missing out by not blogging.

It’s true, there are several benefits to blogging, three of which are covered below. However, before diving face first into the blogosphere, please consider the arguments against blogging as well.

Your Company Should Blog

1. Authority & Expertise – Everybody is an expert in something. All sarcasm aside, I truly believe that everyone has something valuable and insightful to contribute based on experience, personal history and their unique point of view. What does your organization do that is better different than any other? Make it the subject of your blog. Who are the subject matter experts under your roof? Give them a voice.

2. SEO – Google loves fresh content and blogs provide just that. One of the ways you can “tell” Google that your post is relevant for a specific keyword phase is by incorporating that term in a repetitive fashion. You will want to use simple keyword research tools to select keyword targets with each post. When working keywords into your post, try not to overdo it. Three to five times will do and include the term in your post title. Participation on other blogs (comments and feedback primarily) will be crucial to garnering attention for your own. Many companies promote posts and share them with current and prospective customers which can also improve readership as well as your standing in search results.

3. Signs of Life – Blogging is also an indicator of vitality. Unlike companies that have no interactive component to their websites, a blog can demonstrate a certain level of proactive participation and a thought process that static site content simply does not. In these uncertain economic times, a blog that is updated regularly shows that your company is still in business to unfamiliar prospects.

Please Don’t Let Your Company Blog

1. No Leader / Team Support – Every corporate blog should have one person to drive the effort. This person should lead the charge in creating an editorial calendar, assign post responsibilities within the organization and edit content where necessary for quality assurance. Posts should come from a group of people. Otherwise, the result is simply a personal blog. For the person holding others responsible for contributing, this is no easy task. Getting people to write a post can often be more trying than pulling teeth from a herd of cats while running uphill. Work together to create a sustainable presence. If you cannot assign a leader or identify a team of willing blog contributors, don’t bother.

2. Lack of Content – Like most online projects, content is always the element everyone remembers at the last minute. Try this exercise:

  • Gather your team for a brainstorming session
  • Identify strengths and opportunities for your company
  • Come up with 30 unique post ideas that you can schedule and assign to specific bloggers

If your team cannot think of at least 30 relevant posts, please don’t create a blog.

3. No Promotion Plan – A blog cannot thrive in a vacuum. Let it out to breathe. Optimize your blog for search with relevant keywords. Utilize popular social media tools to share posts with followers and fans as they are developed. Get involved in your specific online community and contribute to the conversation. Failure to plan how to promote your blog is a plan for a lonely online presence. If you cannot commit time to optimization, social marketing and participation, blogging is probably not for you.