Decisions, decisions. You make a lot of them when you run a business blog. Who to write to, how often to write, and why to write are just the beginning. Today, we'll talk about what to write on your company blog - and what to leave out.
It's not exactly rocket science to figure out what doesn't belong on your blog. But what does can come with some important restrictions.
Let's look at the rules for business blogging.
1. What Happens At Home (Vacation, Spring Break, etc) Stays There. I get that you want to show you have a life outside of business hours. But the place to celebrate it is not your business' blog. In fact, you should be wary of publicly posting anything that shows your, um, less professional side - even if it's on your personal social media page.
And just because it gets a G rating doesn't mean it's suitable. Your kid triumphing in the school play or cute videos of your new puppy shouldn't be featured on your blog. The blog promotes your business, not your personal life. And please, no vacation photos. We get enough of those on Facebook. Let your blog be mercifully free of them (unless, of course, it's business-related. See rule four below.)
2. Post Important Stuff. On the other hand, your blog is the perfect place to post announcements and other timely material. Upcoming sales, new products you're offering, new ideas that you want feedback on - all of these are ideal. So are plain old interesting topics that your audience might enjoy, provided they are at least a little related to what you do.
3. Bloggers Shall Not Salespeople Be. It's considered bad form to use your blog to aggressively sell yourself. In a roundabout way, that's exactly what you're doing, though. How does this work?
It's okay to use your blog to talk about your industry and company. It's okay to comment on other people's blogs. And it's okay to include a brief mention of yourself and/or your featured services in your blog.
What's not okay? Blatant self-promotion. (Think those annoying late-night infomercials with the screaming pitchmen.) Commenting on other people's blogs and including a link back to your own. Posting rude and/or defamatory comments on someone else's blog. Using your blog to trash a competitor.
4. Avoid the Appearance of Automation. Your blog should be professional, but it should also reflect your company's personality. So go ahead and post interviews with your employees, photos of everybody having fun at work, and other stuff that shows off your human side. If you get involved in the community, show it. If you support a charity. give it blog space. If you do group outings or other activities as a team, display your team spirit. These are the kind of vacation-y pics that do your blog credit.
Join us next week, when we'll dive into what blogs do for businesses and websites.