The readings this week explored the power and influence of blogging. As stated by Neal Schaffer in Maximize Your Social (2013), 28% of the Fortune 500 corporations already have blogs (p.50). He gives many reasons for why these corporations create blogs:
- It acts as a home base
- Creates a social voice
- Allows for search engine optimization (SEO)
However is any of this really meaningful? Is it worthwhile? The answer…Yes.
Blogs are what create powerful online presences for companies and for individuals. They are spaces where you can add and share relevant content with your audience on a regular basis. Building your brand and value. Blogging is an opportunity to add new fresh content to your website and is part of a good content strategy because content can be tailored to your “customer avatar” (Search Engine Watch, 2013), or persona. The use of a continuously updating blog also helps improve your SEO rankings, so that your name will appear more often in the top results of search engines; funneling traffic to your site. A great survey conducted by Lee Odden on blog optimization found that 90% of respondents cited blogging as important, significantly important or a primary SEO target (TopRank, 2010).
However, creating a blog is not a task to be taken lightly because aside from having to create and curate content bloggers are in a position where they now have to manage an additional social media platform. Therefore, your blog must be consistent with all your other forms of social media in voice and brand identification, encourage collaboration from all parties in your company to ensure insights are shared, and there must be a commitment in the organization to support, cultivate and maintain the blog (Schaffer, 2013). None of this is easy and requires hard work.
One must also bear in mind that there are a lot of blogs out there and that means a lot of competition. So you have to make your content stand out and engaging. But what do you need to make your blog a success? Some well written whimsical wording or a tantalizing theme? There are many, many, many suggestions online but some of the most often occurring (and relevant) ones are:
- Engaging Title: It should clearly, specifically depict the topic of the post and, as a bonus, be tweetable.
- Original Content: Make sure to share something new with the world.
- Valuable Content: What does your audience want? What will they find interesting?
- Visuals: Use images, paragraphs, lists, bold/italic, small caps, different fonts, block quotes and subheadings to make your post more interesting.
At times blogging may seem difficult and tedious, I personally do not find it an enjoyable activity but you have to consider the impact sharing your voice or your company’s voice has. In some small way you are contributing to an ever growing body of literature and a proven pastime of brand success. Blogging is like writing, it can only get better with practice and is a great exercise for showing employers and peers how putting in a little extra effort can pay off. It is a valuable skill to have and one that must be honed to perfection in order to create value for your audience.
07heavendesign. (n.d.). Blog Articles. Retrieved February 3, 2014, from http://www.07heavendesign.co.uk/blog
Schaffer, N. (2013). Maximize your social a one-sep guide to building a social media strategy for marketing and business success. Hoboken, New Jersey: Windmills Marketing, LLC.
Search Engine Watch. (2013). How to build your first content marketing strategy. Retrieved February 3, 2014, from http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2297429/How-to-Build-Your-First-Content-Marketing-Strategy
SocialFish. (2013). 5 must haves for every good blog post. Retrieved February 3, 2014, from http://www.socialfish.org/2013/09/5-must-haves-for-every-good-blog-post.html#comments
TopRank. (2010). Survey results: impact of blogging on search engine optimization. Retrieved February 3, 2014, from http://www.toprankblog.com/2010/01/survey-seo-blogging/