This week I read Chapter 11 in the textbook Share This: The Social Media Handbook for PR Professionals and it was all about the business of blogging. So yes, this week I am going to be blogging…about blogging. Now when it comes to written blogs such as this one I’m still relatively new to the game. I started this blog about 6 weeks ago and although I was pretty hesitant to start blogging, I’ve actually really grown to like it. However a personal blog or individual blog such as this one should be handled and maintained to a different standard then a business blog or company blog should, and that is what this weeks chapter in the text was all about.
Individual blogs usually focus on a particular subject or topic that the author of the blog either has a passion for talking about and sharing with others or has some sort of expertise in the subject and therefore words to offer up on a matter. With individual blogs it is much easier to create a voice or personality behind the writing because there is often just one writer. These types of blogs also often generate pretty sizable audiences because they are not hard to find. The most popular types of blogs searched for are often topics that individual bloggers might talk about.
Business blogs on the other hand are a little different. The purpose of a business blog usually correlates with achieving one or more of these benefits that the book mentions below:
- Direct engagement – executed well, blogging provides the means to build and engage with an audience in a participative environment around an issue or topic
- Leadership and social capital – publishing content on an area of expertise either by reporting on events or sharing authoritative comments means that a blogger can quickly become recognized as an expert.
- Search engine optimization (SEO) – content published regularly using the best practice Web publishing format of a commercial blogger platform is an excellent way of attracting the attention of Google around keywords.
- Raw Web traffic – blogs can be designed to attract the attention of Google around keywords or social strategies that engage an audience via networks such as Facebook and Twitter to generate traffic.
- Call to action – posts can include a call to action to prompt the reader to engage directly in a transaction with the blog. You could invite your audience to download an e-book, attend a seminar or buy a product directly.
As you can see there are many benefits that a company can gain from starting a blog. However like the book says “Good commercial blogs are hard to find because of the organizational and communication challenges of the genre.” Company or business blogs are a great tool to use however if a company is looking into starting a blog they should consider a few things first:
1. What do you want your blog to accomplish, what type of content do you want to post?
2. Who is going to run and maintain the blog? PR? Marketing? Communications? Legal? Customer relations?
3. How often are you going to update or post on your blog?
Just like a business should have a social media strategy before jumping in to starting any social media profile, a business should also have a blog strategy before starting a business blog.