Starting a Company Blog Doesn’t Have to Be Scary
We can help with starting a company blog.
Are you starting a company blog? We show you the basics of how to get a business blog going and use it to your advantage. Yes, you can be a business blogger! We are here to get you going, and keep you going.
In Part 1, I talked about getting a platform for blogging. But now you may be wondering: I’ve got this great Wix or Blogger or Tumblr or WordPress blog and – help! – I have no idea what to put in it. No worries.
Starting a Company Blog: Your Basic Look and Feel
When you are starting a company blog, recognize it should have a certain look and feel to it. Just like your overall website, it benefits from a degree of branding. Let’s say your company is Green’s Trucking. If it is, then it makes sense to use the color green in your design, and you probably already are. A blog is a good place for your logo and for other imagery which evokes your company.
In our trucking company example, there could be pictures of the trucks or the drivers or the routes. How about a map with the locations where your drivers have gone to?
But I Don’t Own a Trucking Company
Okay, neither do I. So let’s say you are a residential real estate agent. When you are starting your company blog, you should look at your competition. Keep in mind, though, that realtors associated with a larger umbrella organization may have to follow certain branding requirements. Century 21, for example, could be dictating the look and feel of those blogs.
But if you are starting a company blog and you are independent, you don’t have to follow their branding guidelines. But it does pay to take a look at them, anyway. Because for one thing, you may notice some things you’re missing.
What to write about? Neighborhoods and growing trees. What about school districts and building fences? Or pull out the map and show where everything is.
As noted in Part 1, consider your expertise to be your guide.
If you think I’ve over-emphasizing imagery, think again. Images are important because posts with images are more likely to be clicked on when they are shared via social media. Images are also useful for search engine optimization purposes. Furthermore, they add a lot to readability. If you were writing a blog about the dog toys your company sells, it would help to have a picture for your customers to get a better feel for what you’re talking about.
Headings and Subheadings
The best blogs aren’t just a big, fat wall of text. Instead, they are far more readable because they break up the content. In general, you want each section of your blog to be about 300 words long and for each paragraph to have no more than 149 words. Overall, try to shoot for 300 – 2000 words. But don’t worry if you can’t crank out that kind of volume when starting a company blog. Call it a victory if you can hit maybe 1000 words your first time out.
Hence if you are writing about a hair salon’s services, then your first heading might be on haircuts for children. The second might be on permanent waves. And the third might be on how to keep your haircut looking good between appointments. A fourth might be on the hair care products you like the most.
If each of these headings has about 260 or so words in it, then you’ll meet the 1000 word overall minimum easily without loading up one heading too much. Got a blog that goes on and on? Then see if you can break it into two or more separate blog posts. I wouldn’t recommend a series going any longer than maybe three posts and even that is pushing it. But if you’re topping 3000 words regularly, then see if you can split up those posts.
Starting a Company Blog: SEO and Plugins
If you are using WordPress, then you can get plugins to do a lot of this. But if you aren’t, don’t fret! You can do some of this on your own. I’m talking about Search Engine Optimization. Without going into more depth than necessary (SEO is really its own blog post), SEO is essentially where you tell search engines and readers what your blog post is about.
If you are writing a blog post about the goods in your candy shop and your post is about licorice, you should not be adding photos of lollipops. Keeping on topic – and keeping the topic clear – will stand you in good stead. This means your title, your image titles, your key phrases, and even your headers and sub-headers should reflect your topic.
This is not keyword stuffing! If you have ever seen a web page with just a big list of seemingly unrelated words, then that’s what was being done there. It’s a bad practice, and Google can penalize you for it.
Starting a Company Blog: Writing
While it’s not really possible to teach anyone how to write in just one blog post, writing for a blog can be as easy or as difficult as you make it. Your main goal is to get information across and do so in a clear manner. If your audience is well-read, then you might be able to get away with overly technical jargon. But if they aren’t, then figure out how to use easier to understand terms. This isn’t so much to dumb it down; it’s more to keep the writing accessible.
Case in point: let’s say you’re writing for a law firm. Blog posts targeting other lawyers will probably be written differently from blog posts targeting potential clients. Or you might write blog posts for business clients differently than for people reading who want to sue because their neighbor’s dog bit them.
Writing works best when you start with an introduction which states your premise (your topic or your position). Then add a few paragraphs about your topic or defending your opinion. And then add a conclusory paragraph. Each of these paragraphs can go under one heading. Then use the same intro-topic-conclusion format for the next heading.
Finding Topics to Write About
This may be where you’re floundering. But don’t worry! Help is at hand! Before you even start with designing your blog, brainstorm. Ask your customers, your employees, and even friends what you should write about. Here are a few general suggestions for starting a company blog:
- Write about who you are, what your credentials and experience are, and how you got into the business
- Or write about what you do or make
- Write about the history of what you do or make
- Answer questions which come up often
- Write on news stories which directly affect your industry. But try not to get political.
- Tie your blog to local or national holiday. But try not to get religious. This isn’t Easter; it’s things like National Hotdog Day.
- Write about special customers. This can include testimonials and it probably should every time.
- Or write about topics of interest to the demographics which make up your customer base.
- Write about company initiatives and milestones. This can be everything from the story of your founding to your company picnic to a blood drive
More Specific Content Suggestions
Here are a few more on-point content suggestions:
- If you’re selling products, use your blog to showcase one or a few of them. If your company sells baked goods, then write a post showcasing, say, six different types of muffins.
- Use your blog as a teaching platform. If you do software installation, explain to customers how new software is developed. Or cover how to buy the best computer for their needs.
- Comment on a major, unrelated news story if you can do so gracefully and appropriately. But make sure not to try to co-opt a tragedy for your sales. However, there’s nothing wrong with a post celebrating a hometown hero firefighter injured in a blaze. But again, with this type of post, don’t use it to sell anything.
Or get into the specifics of your industry.
- Use your blog to give scheduling and event information. If your vineyard holds a wine tasting, then you can blog about the event to get people excited about it. And then blog about the event after it happens.
- Drill down into generalized topics and unearth the specifics. If you flip houses, then you can blog about flipping. But you can also blog about the age and character of a particular neighborhood. Or cover how to effectively work with a lot of different trades (plumbing, electrical, etc.).
- Search online for others’ blog posts about your topics and comment on them with your own spin. This doesn’t mean to just copy what someone else has said. Instead, give them a link back and full credit but you can either critique their choices or bolster them.
For all bloggers, put together as big a bank of topic ideas as you can. Keep adding to that bank if you think of something new.
Write for Both People and Search Engines
Search engines want you to stay on topic. In particular, if you use the free Yoast plugin on WordPress, you’ll see their suggestions of how to get Google’s attention.
But you are also writing for human beings. This means spelling, grammar, and punctuation matter. It means you don’t just trail off at the end if you run out of gas. So hit a conclusion, or list some takeaways.
And speaking of takeaways….
Starting a Company Blog: Takeaways
Add blog posts about twice a week to start, and take advantage of your platform’s scheduler if there is one. Both Blogger and WordPress have these. Be sure to share the link on social media. And have fun with it! Check out how this will help your company leverage the power of the internet and social media.