Via ehnmark @ flickrWARNING: Do not read this post if:

  1. You already have a corporate blog
  2. You blog more than I do
  3. You think I am a faker

There… now for those who are considering adding a blog to your online strategy, consider the following as a brief tutorial of things/concepts you should know before beginning.

Blogging Engines

A Blog has an engine behind it. The engine controls the function and capabilities with a blog. There are thousands of engines out there each with their own niche/features and purpose.

I personally use Blogger and WordPress. And I am trying to convert those who are serious about blogging to the wordpress engine.

If you choose to go with wordpress there are two versions, wordpress.com (hosted, limited in features, good SEO) and wordpress.org (need to have a host/webserver download wordpress to there, install it, and setup plugins/themes). Blogger is 100% free but can be fairly limiting.

Other Platforms to consider:

Content for a Corporate Blog

By far two thirds of the difficulty in blogging is generating content. If you have no problems generating content, then by all means skip this and read on. For the rest of us think about a blog post as an answer to one of your client/consumers questions. If you could spend 30 minutes with them over coffee what would you teach them? The answer to that question is a good post, and has the potential to be a great post.

You do not need to be the top expert in the field. We all look up to better authors for inspiration. Realize you have a target audience who can learn from you — teach them. If you are offering educational material that is meeting or filling a need people will subscribe and consider you a valuable resource.

Does your competition blog? What is their content about, is it beneficial or just tooting their own horn. The litmus test for me is this: do I subscribe to my competitors’ blog. If yes then they are generating good content. Otherwise they are just bragging about themselves. (see picture above)

Goals for a Corporate Blog

The basic goal of blogging for a business is to help convert potential clients to existing clients and convert existing clients to repeat clients. How is this done? When a potential client views your website there are limited ways to interact: fill out a contact form, call, email, or the dreaded snail mail. But on a blog a potential client can comment or subscribe (as well as the others mentioned above)

Comments allow for dialog opening the potential client up to an interaction with your company.

Subscriptions open up the door for you to speak right to your potential client with each successive blog post. They are 1 step closer to converting to a real client.

Gathering Inspiration

Learn how to use RSS and how to subscribe to feeds. YouTube – Video: RSS in Plain English Then subscribe to blogs on your topic. By reading the information in those blogs you will be able to present good/new information to your community. Generally people who read your blog don’t read all the other blogs out there. Cite references, and refer people to posts of quality. In doing so share opinions, give contradicting positions, or expound upon the other blog post.

SIDE NOTE: by dialoging with people on their blog they may dialog with you on your blog (and potentially subscribe too!) The dialog is public and encourages more dialog. Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd.

More info later:

Not everything can be explained in a single post. Plus I’d like to know if this is beneficial to you or what your questions might be. So here is what I’m planning for the next business blog posting.

  • WordPress plugins – a must have list
  • How to acquire subscribers (the other third of the difficulty in blogging)
  • Search Engine keyword selection/density — SEO stuff
  • Widgets
  • Advertising
  • Frequency of posting content
  • Imagery

Ok, so fire off your questions, I’m sure I’ve missed quite a bit.

(if you know more than I do and have made it this far I encourage you to wax eloquent in the comments, acquire new subscribes that way eh?)