I’ve been in charge of my company’s blog for about three years now. I’ve learned a lot in that time. Here are three key tips for anyone who is running a company blog:
Edit lightly: There is an argument to be made that blogs don’t even belong in the corporate communications or marketing department. But I think marketing professionals can play a very productive and important role in corporate blogging by instilling discipline, offering guidance and coaching and filling in the gaps when no one has the time or inspiration to write. But trying to run a blog the way you create other marketing communications is a fool’s errand. You are wasting your time rewriting stuff that is perfectly acceptable and squashing the real voices that are what make blogs interesting. I focus on grammar and spelling and try to take a very light touch otherwise. If a post has a message I think isn’t good for our brand or if the post is confusing I will make suggestions back to the writer. And I will reject a post I think isn’t going to work, but do so very rarely. Most of the time I post ’em as I get ’em.
“Corporate” isn’t a dirty word: Having said that, corporate blogs can be interesting and be well-written. Sure, there are companies that have success with what I call “unplugged” blogs that are run by the employees vs. living within corporate communications. But that doesn’t mean buttoned-up blog that is a bit more polished can’t work. As long as you focus on your audience and let writers have their voice (see previous tip) you can have an interesting blog that is also high quality.
Consistency is key, but don’t be a slave to a schedule: I have minimums (at least one post per week) and maximums (haven’t hit it yet, but I wouldn’t post more than five posts in a week), but I long ago gave up the idea of a schedule or a certain number of posts per day/week/month/quarter. It’s a blog, not a newspaper. You definitely need to post more often when you are getting rolling in order to build your readership. But once you’ve got it going you can be opportunistic and publish as you get content and not drive yourself crazy. If you can’t keep a baseline of consistency then you probably have a different problem.