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Starting a Company Blog, Part 1

Published By Janet Gershen-Siegel at June 16th, 2018

Starting a Company Blog Does Not Have to be Hard

We can help you with starting a company blog.

Starting business blogging may seem daunting. It can seem like an extra you don’t need. We break down the benefits – you will want a business blog!

As your business progresses and you get more clients, you may find certain questions keep coming up, over and over again. They are too long for Twitter and too generalized for Facebook. Or they might be the kinds of questions or information which could help to spur sales.

Another thing might be where you want to explain who you are and what your expertise is. But you don’t want to keep on repeating yourself, or even provide photographs or other supporting documentation. Or you could even want to provide some semi-enduring recognition for customers. Another possibility is you want to comment on news which affects your industry.

Every one of these topics is prime company blog content.

Content is King

For anyone who does not like to write or does not think they can do it well, a company blog can really feel like a hurdle. And, despite the reasons I just outlined, you may still be skeptical. So, hear me out.

Your company is likely on social media, or at the very least it should be. You may have a Facebook page or a Twitter account. Or perhaps you have great images and are posting on Instagram.

Business Blog Credit Suite

Awesome!

But there are just so many coupons you can give out. And there are just so many contests you can hold. At a certain point in time, your customers and prospects may want more. Or, you may want more. And here’s a pro tip. If your content is starting to bore you, then it is already boring your customers and prospects.

This is the last thing you want.

Social Media and Content and Blogs – Important Pieces of the Marketing Puzzle

Now if you have been on Facebook for a while, then you must know that you never see everything. You couldn’t – there is far more content being created on Facebook per second than you could possibly read in a day. Even a fairly small group of friends means you are getting bombarded with content.

Let’s look at an example for a person. But it holds more or less true for companies as well.

The average number of Facebook friends seems to vary depending on whose data you look at. But suffice it to say, the figure is in the low hundreds. For sake of an example, let’s say it’s 200 people.

These people are your family, your colleagues – both past and present. And they are also your classmates, both past and present. They may encompass your children’s friends’ parents. You may also be including old friends from childhood, your neighbors, and more.

There are 1440 minutes in a day. If, every day, each of your friends creates between seven and eight pieces of content, then they easily make the same number of pieces of content as there are minutes in a day.

You can never read it all. So Facebook uses what are called algorithms.

Facebook and Other Social Media Algorithms

The truth is, all social media platforms have some means or another of curating what you are going to see. They can’t just show you everything; you’d be overwhelmed. And overwhelmed people don’t tend to hang around. But social media platforms want you to stay. Why? Because you are their product. They are selling advertising based on you staying put.

An algorithm is essentially a fancy word for a set of rules. These algorithms are closely-guarded proprietary trade secrets. So marketers can never truly know exactly what they are. But it only takes a little observing to realize Facebook rewards both frequency and recency.

What this means is, the more content you produce, and the newer and fresher it is, the more likely Facebook will bump it up and serve it to your customers and prospects before it serves them other content.

Writing a company blog, and contributing to it regularly gives you both frequency and recency. Just don’t forget to share that content on Facebook.

As for Twitter, etc., other social media platforms also tend to reward frequency and recency.

Company Blog Credit Suite

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Still Not Convinced You Need a Company Blog?

Let’s say you own a dry cleaner. You may be wondering – what could people possibly want you to blog about? What can you put into a company blog? So it’s time to consider your expertise.

You’re probably better at getting stains out than most people, so why not blog about that? And once you’ve covered that topic, how about writing about preserving garments. Does your business also do alterations and tailoring? Then there ya go – more topics.

Do you do good works in your community? Sponsor a little league team? Have someone in the company who runs 5Ks? Then there’s more content right there.

Don’t hesitate. Just write.

Platforms for Your Company Blog

There are a few separate platforms which exist for business (or any other type of) blogging. Some will be more user-friendly or less expensive or will evoke more professionalism. Still others might come with semi-built-in audiences. Here are the main ones.

Blogger

Blogger is a somewhat older platform but it has one big advantage: Google backs it. If you are already signed into Google for any other purpose (such as Gmail or to access Google docs), then if you navigate to Blogger it’ll just open up a dashboard for you.

If you have read other blogs on this platform, then they can show up in the dashboard as well, under ‘Reading List’. Blogger is free but it also looks it. There are virtually no templates or themes, so you’re on your own for making it pretty. If you are artistically talented or have coding chops, then that shouldn’t be a problem.

But if you really need it to look good but don’t have the time or skills to do that, then this is really not the platform for you. A company blog needs to look good, so if you don’t have the skills or time, don’t consider Blogger.

Medium

Another free platform, Medium has the advantage of having some serious cachet these days. However, it’s not really for business blogging. Instead, it’s good for hobby and personal blogging, and you can give it an artistic look and feel.

But I wouldn’t try to sell anything through it. Medium also, technically, most likely ‘owns’ your content, in the sense that it is its own site and not, say, an internet service provider. If Medium closed tomorrow, your content would be destroyed right along with the website.

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Squarespace

More of an all-in-one software company than a true blogging platform, Squarespace has a pricing plan of $8 or $18 per month and a number of templates. They are good for out of the box work, where you want to get your website up and running yesterday, but still want it to look decent. With templates, you get a site which looks good.

However, you also get a site which is constrained by templating. If that doesn’t bother you, then Squarespace can be a good idea. They are decent for creative folks and for absolute beginners. Note: their number of templates is pretty small. And also note: their website looks great – but that’s because the photographs they have on it are smashing. Imagine not so great photos in their place and see if you are still interested in this platform.

Tumblr

Tumblr is kind of an odd duck. The site’s users have a good gender mix (e. g. it’s not too heavily skewed in one direction like, say, Pinterest is), and they are reportedly very loyal to the platform. Getting traction on Tumblr means interacting – a lot – with other Tumblr bloggers. And even then, there are no guarantees you’ll get an audience for your work.

Selling on Tumblr is probably not going to happen, although you could potentially get people to follow you on Tumblr and click through to your website. Another disadvantage to Tumblr is – much like is the case with Medium, they technically own your content. If Tumblr closes its proverbial doors, your content will go with it.

It may be hard for a company blog to get traction. You will need to have a lot more to talk about than sales.

Wix

Wix costs run from free to $25 per month, and that includes hosting. There are a few hundred templates (about ten times as many as Squarespace has) and they include templates for creating an online store. They also have an ‘arena’ where professionals advertise their wares in case you need to pay for pro help with your site.

WordPress

WordPress is my personal favorite and it is a go-to for a lot of people. WordPress is free with many of the bigger hosting companies such as GoDaddy and HostGator. When you purchase hosting, you are buying your domain; WordPress will not give you a domain.

If you do not purchase hosting, you can still have a free company blog with WordPress but the URL will look like yoursite.wordpress.com, and that’s not very professional. Instead, you should pay for hosting. But if you have a professional website already, then you are already doing this.

With thousands of themes and plugins, WordPress is ultra-customizable. It is, though, the hardest to use of all of the platforms. The good news, though, is that there are tutorials all over YouTube, plus you will learn by doing and by practicing.

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Coming Up Next…

In Part 2, I’ll talk more about what to actually put in your company blog. Check out how this will help your company leverage the power of the internet and social media.

 

 

 

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