This week I want to write about…blogging. I read an interesting article on my flight to San Francisco last week titled, 7 Tips to Write a Great Corporate Blog by Debbie Weil. Debbie shares her 7 tips to a successful blog which I can’t fully agree with. Now, take my commentary as simply my own opinion but I feel as though some of her tips are best used for personal and not corporate blogging purposes.
Take for example the “Mom exercise.” Debbie suggests that you pretend you are writing an e-mail to your mom. After you are done, you should go back and edit that entry to make it slightly more professional and you are good to go. I’m not sure I fully agree. Yes, she does follow up on this point and say that the main point to take away is that you should write informally to your audience, which is not to be mistaken with writing to them sloppily. However, I feel that although you want to be seen as a friendly advice giver you also want to be taken seriously. Writing too candidly and freely may not only land you in hot water but also ruin your reputation as a reliable and sound resource.
My second gripe is about not needing to write long posts every time. I do have to say I agree on a personal level, my frequent readers know that I’ve certainly had my fair share of short postings; however I cannot agree that simply writing two sentences with a link to another publication that did have a voice on a topic is sufficient, especially in a corporate setting. Although I would be happy to read the linked article, I would be left wondering, “So what?” For a personal blog it’s one thing to simply point your loyal readers to a site you found might be interesting to them. However, I feel that on a corporate level you are expected to give a little bit more, if not a lot more.
Having said this, I do have to agree on Debbie’s following tips:
- “Start with a topic you are passionate about.” Yes, your blog will more than likely revolve around a certain industry. However, if the first few postings don’t come across as something you are passionate about, it will be more than obvious to your readers. Not only that, writing the blog will become a task to you and you won’t enjoy writing it. I have to say that making sure I blog three times a week is sometimes hard to plan out. However, when I sit down and think about the topics I want to write about, the words just seem to flow out of me. Take this post, I was on a flight reading about corporate blogging and out of that article I came up with three separate blog entries. My point is, this has kind of become second nature to me, and that has to be the case if you want a blog to succeed. Especially when success will not happen overnight, you have to work at it.
- “Let your authentic ‘voice’ emerge.” Your blog can’t sound like a robot. You know what I mean. There are those blogs you read that offer up great information but it just sounds like you are reading another 3 page article from a black and white newspaper. The information might be great, but it’s stale. Let your voice come through in your writing. The blog can still be professional but allow people to feel that there is actually a person behind it and not a robot. Be passionate about your writing!
- “Title your posts with care. Include as many specifics and keywords as possible.” This goes back to the importance of SEO and how well your webpage or blog is optimized. If you want people to find you, you have to work at it. Pushing your blog won’t work so you have to go around and pull your readers in. Just recently I wrote about how I felt that the Trader Joe’s philosophy should be applied to everyday life, i.e. quality over quantity. That day I happen to put the Trader Joe’s name in my blog title and wouldn’t you know it, more people than I had seen in weeks stopped by. I can only attribute it to one reason, those two keywords “Trader” and “Joe’s.”
There is a lot more advice that Debbie shared and that I enjoyed reading about, so I encourage you to read her whole article and see what you can take away for your personal or corporate blog.
What did you do today?