How to guarantee no one will ever read your company blog
Hi, my name is Patrick and I run a corporate blog. Sure, its not some super-magazine blog with offers from Nike to run ads in our sidebar, but people do read it. We get emails, likes, shares, tweets, phone calls, backlinks the occasional comment…and even leads as the result of our blog.
We’ve got regular readers that email me if we don’t post in a week, ideas for new posts from readers, and people that use our blog as a way to stay up to date on the SEO / inbound community.
We’ve been blogging for about 5 years now, and while some may think we should be much further along, I think we’re exactly where we need to be.
There is one thing I will tell you about our company blog: we stand behind what we write. I’m not embarrassed about any of our content, and I would be proud to use any of it as a reference in any industry discussion.
Please ask yourself: what is your motivation for your company blog?
Lets go through this brief checklist and try to give a genuine answer:
- In your heart of hearts, what is your reason for blogging?
- Do you blog because someone told you it is good for SEO?
- Do you blog to make your website look better to clients, investors, your staff?
Your motivation must be pure for your company blog.
Please, have an original thought
No one is going to read your pathetic blog if they can get news, information, and even opinion from a more well known and reputable source. That is, unless you *are* someone (we call them “entities.”)
In our industry, you can get your fill of SEO news and blog posts from Search Engine Land / Watch / Journal, Inbound.org, Moz and a few others. There really is no need to go further than those sources, especially because Inbound features the best content of that particular day.
If you are responsible for your company blog and I could only give you one piece of advice today it is post original content. And no, I don’t mean make sure it passes Copyscape and isn’t plagiarized, but really try to break the mold.
If I don’t have something to post on our blog, I won’t post it. I’ve gone as long as 2 weeks without posting at times (I try to do 3x weekly) but I will not, repeat will not post content if I am not proud of it.
For gods sake clean yourself up
Remember, most people will not read your blog. And there is research to back that up. When I want to sit down and read a blog I don’t want distractions. No, I don’t mean crying kids and ringing phones I’m talking about website distractions. UX should be as much as a consideration on your company blog as it is on your landing pages. Sure, there can be some razz-ma-tazz and even a few ads, but be tasteful. If people are being kind enough to take time out of their day to read your blog, don’t think for a second they won’t immediately bounce at the first sign of annoyance.
Clean your blog up. Develop design / writing standards. Make sure your header / featured images go along with your theme. Make sure your title tags match the title of your blog, or don’t! But pick a standard.
Backup a second, lets define a company blog
A company blog or “corporate blog” is typically a blog that resides on the same website as a company website. That is, it usually isn’t an independent entity. The main purpose of a company blog is to:
- Update the public, staff, investors, etc on company happenings
- Be a creative outlet for the staff and founders
- Post research, case studies, and findings done by the company
- Talk about what is going on in the industry
- Talk about company culture
- Make predictions, guesses, and speculate in regards to innovation etc
Two drastic examples of great company blogs
I’d like to name 2 examples of excellent company blogs from different ends of the spectrum: super corporate and indy.
Dell is obviously a huge name in tech, with billions in revenue and thousands of employees. The Dell blog is a shining example of excellence, and something we can all strive to be more like. The main Dell blog is actually more of a directory for their other blogs. Being that they are so huge, instead of categories they have separate blogs for investors, software, hardware, enterprise and more.
On the other side of the spectrum you have Signal vs. Noise, the official blog of Basecamp. This is more of an independent style blog, but don’t let that fool you. This is one of the most respected blogs in the industry and gets tens of thousands of visits per day. Their blog
Remember, it’s a company blog not “Eds thoughts on life”
One thing that I got caught up with early on in our company blog was using it as a personal outlet. Yes, it is ok to post opinion pieces but it must remain on topic. I’ve made probably 5-6 posts since 2010 that I’ve regretted for being off topic and inappropriate.
If you or your founder needs a creative outlet for off-topic posts, get yourself a blog or a Tumblr, a company blog is no place for your rants.