Weblogs, more commonly known as blogs, are spreading feverishly across the Internet. According to Robyn Aber of Cisco Systems Inc., about four million blogs populate the Web. Though most private individuals maintain blogs, many companies are beginning to launch company blogs to communicate and interact with their clients, customers, and the public.
How can you create a company blog that outshines and outlasts every other blog? And how do you hypnotize readers to keep coming back? This article provides tips to write effective, attention-arresting blog copy and shows how you can develop reader and customer loyalty.
1. WRITE CONVERSATIONALLY.
The most engaging blogs speak to their audience in a casual and conversational tone. A big benefit of a blog is its ability to speak to readers in a way that is personal, candid and straightforward. Write your blog the same way you’d speak to your audience, face to face. The personal element is almost always what attracts people and keeps them coming back to your blog.
Amy Joyce of the Washington Post says, “Weblogs—or blogs—started as a way to talk about new technologies, vent about life and interact in a no-holds-barred forum. Since blogs became the next big thing, an increasing number of companies have come to see them as the next great public relations vehicle—a way for executives to show their casual, interactive side. But, of course, the executives do nothing of the sort. Their attempts at the hip, guerrilla-style blogging are often pained—and painful.”
To avoid this pitfall, simply be yourself. The best blogs reveal the interests, opinions, and personality of the writer. Your perspective, personal and professional, is unique in all the world. Let it shine through, and your blog will automatically be one-of-a-kind. An interesting blog will bring back customers again and again and will generate priceless interest in your company.
2. TELL STORIES.
Readers want to know things they already don’t know about your company. They want to know what the products, services, people, challenges, and innovations in your organization are really like. If you give them a glimpse of the inner workings, express your opinions boldly, and tell engaging stories, you will foster reader interest and loyalty. In a biography, both interviews and quotations usually are the most intriguing parts. Think of your company blog as a business biography. Personalize it with your unique thoughts and perspective.
3. MAKE IT PERSONAL.
Write about what you know. Draw from your expertise to inform the public about the finer points of your business. Detailing development ideas, setbacks, successes, and reactions reveals the human element and engages the reader. It’s fine to talk about new products and innovations, but blogs devoted mostly to marketing and promotion are the most boring and least popular of company blogs. Make these topics more appealing to readers by framing such announcements with personal impressions and insights. Customers want to feel a kinship with the brand. Letting them in on the details of your business will make them feel part of your company culture and increase the chances of their lifetime loyalty.
4. UPDATE FREQUENTLY.
Once you have established a good reader base, offer new insights regularly to reward surfers for coming back. Not only does this provide more information and exposure, but it also reflects that your company is active and on top of things. Link to current articles from other sources to keep readers abreast of developments in your sector. A rarely-updated blog feels stale and tired. This is not the reputation you want your company to have!
5. ADHERE TO COMPANY RULES.
You are personally responsible for whatever material you publish on your company blog. Respect the confidentiality of your organization and employees. Though you may express disagreements or concerns, do not make personal attacks or use the blog to air petty complaints. Do not reveal proprietary information; and avoid discussing revenue, share price, or other financial statistics. Observe copyright law, and quote sources as you would in any other document. Make sure what you write in the company blog reflects the company’s goals. Keep in mind the ultimate goal of most company blogs is to increase visibility and promote the exchange of information. While most companies allow and encourage blogging on company time, you should avoid letting your writing time interfere with your regular workload.
6. WRITE GRAMMATICALLY.
Finally, make sure that what you write is grammatical. Your blog entries reflect your company, and you want to give the best possible impression of the organization and its personnel. The Internet is rife with bad English. Though blogs tend to be relaxed in tone, it is no more appropriate to ignore standard English than it is to wear flip-flops and swimming trunks on casual Friday.
A company blog is an excellent tool for promotion, communication, and information. The tips outlined here will help elevate your blog and generate traffic and interest. Good luck, and welcome to the wonderful world of blogging!