When beginning a blog project, there are a few things that I always want to get figured out first. You might be in the same boat, so I’m going to walk through my process when starting to blog with a company. Hopefully what I have to say helps or perhaps you can offer some additional pointers.
The truth of the matter is that the people who have the most industry insight and are the most qualified to be blogging for a company are usually the people who don’t have time to blog. There are a few ways to work around this. It can be in the first person of someone like the head of the company, but the first draft can be written by someone else. Then, it just needs to be edited and sent back for posting, greatly reducing the time requirement by the person whose voice it is in. Team blogging can be a solution, where different people have a specific day of the week to blog or one person that can do mini interviews of people who have good industry insight but very little free time. A blog put into the third person may not have an individual voice, but can still be informal and can be easier to manage since anyone can post and it will still flow together. Each company is different, so finding the blogging process that works best is a very individual decision. The most important part is to get started.
I always start out with a welcome blog entry that talks about what kinds of things readers can expect to find on the blog. While visitors might not be coming to the blog this early, it is a good first post to organize thoughts and create a kind of mission statement for the site. You can always write about something different but at least there is a direction. What industry expertise can you offer and what audience are you looking to attract?
Sometimes the question of when needs to be addressed. Usually the answer is as soon as everything’s ready. Once there’s a plan, a blog design, and a few opening posts, the blog is a go. However, there have been times when it is advantageous to wait to start the blog. For instance, if you want to have a lot of content to start out with, you can wait and draft more pieces so that the blog can start out on a more solid base.
Each company has to come up with their own answer on where a blog is hosted. Some have it on a separate site and others want it in a subfolder of their site. When it comes right down to it, having it on the company site is probably best since posts will boost search results for the whole site and traffic is brought right to the company site instead of the blog and company site competing. Having a blog right on the site can be a great way to integrate this new medium and reach out to customers.
If putting the blog right on the company site, it can quickly be incorporated into the company plan. Consider making announcements on the blog and having promotions for loyal readers. The more that the blog is used as a platform for speaking to the public, the more of that public will be interested in it. Make sure that the rest of the company is aware of the blog and get everyone involved in brainstorming blogging topics and getting the people writing the blog the latest company information. If industry news is sent around the company, get this news on the blog as well as your thoughts on it. This level of cooperation is vital in creating a successful and representative blog.