Too often, companies interested in launching blogs spend too much time agonizing over the “B” word. Either they fear what they think is the “wild west,” or convention-constrained Gen Xers and Gen Yers get hung up on whether the ultimate creation is actually a “real blog.” Forget all this shit. Look at a blog as a technology platform, and think of it as something to be filled with content that will advance your company in the marketplace. A successful corporate blog will fall somewhere in between. Just keep the following four tips in mind.
1. Writing style
The old-timers love long white paper writing, and the young folks believe a blog should have a breezy, casual style. Neither is correct. The posts should be fairly short and easy to read: 2,000 words is the absolute maximum, though 500 to 1,000 words is usually the sweet spot. You don’t need to be too casual, but it’s smart to be succinct.
2. Shut off the comments
Commentary can’t happen if you don’t let it. Shut off the comments functionality, at least at first. Then, turn them on when you’re ready, and require that they be approved before they go live.
In some industries, it doesn’t make sense to turn them on at all. Highly regulated businesses (such as financial services), are unlikely to see many legitimate comments. So, don’t turn the feature on at all. Chances are you’re readers will be too skittish to leave anything meaningful.
Need help deciding? Take a look at other corporate blogs in your space. If the comments aren’t valuable – or you see post after post with none – don’t bother messing with that feature.
3. Content is content
Look at every post for what it is: content. It is a unit of words and message to be published. Don’t worry about the nuances of bylined articles, reblogs and reports. Say what you want to say … then publish. It really is that simple.
4. Don’t call it a blog!
This is important. The word “blog” has too much baggage associated with it. Call it “the site” – or call it by its name. Emphasize the role it plays in your company instead of the type of technology it uses.