Standing out from the crowd and asserting authority
When I explain to my clients that they need to start creating original content and regularly publish a blog, I usually encounter a lot of resistance. All excuses were valid, starting with the lack of time and resources in-house. After all, entrepreneurs and professionals weren’t hired to spend their time writing.
Nevertheless, a corporate (or professional) blog remains an essential element for the success of influence marketing. Blogging is the safest and most effective way to stand out from the crowd and to assert expertise as a leader in the industry. There are several reasons to start blogging professionally, as well as many tips and tricks to make blogging easy. For some, it may even become a lucrative business.
The benefits of blogging professionally
The reasons for blogging outnumber the disadvantages. A corporate blog allows a company to nurture a steady and constant presence on social media. This is an opportunity to promote products and / or services, demonstrate skills, display achievements, and tell the businesses story. This is the time to assert digital identity and leadership in the business niche.
A professional blog effectively promoted through social networks is an excellent platform to start conversations with target customers, and develop relationships of trust and commitment by being tuned in. At the right time, it will clarify your message and provide the necessary transparency to managing crises.
The various options for corporate blogs
There are also many ways to find topics to write about for a professional blog. First, every business has a mission and vision to describe and explain. Each product has its characteristics and advantages. The need for each professional service must be shown. And behind every organization and network are stories to tell.
Blog content takes many forms – perhaps a once-a-month post by the President (CEO) or designated committee member or different departments in the organization. A blog can also be a great platform to give employees a voice and showcase the best ambassadors within the company. Depending on the context and editorial guidelines taken by the organization or a professional, a corporate blog writing can be done by external specialist, expert or freelancer to highlight an event or public launch.
Depending on the objectives of the campaign, a blog may use more than just text to exploit rich content (video clips, photo galleries and infographics). The sensational impact of visual content on the web is undeniable and has been widely demonstrated in various studies.
What is a professional blogger?
As Mark Schaefer points out, it is not necessary to be a great writer to be a good professional blogger:
¨Obviously write well. But even if you’re not a great writer, there are several other ways to be able to produce and publish quality content regularly. The first step is always to observe the world as a perpetual source of ideas, no matter what circumstances you are. Whether when you see the title of a book, a magazine headline, news you hear or question from a friend … you should always ask: Could this make a good blog post? How could I use this idea? I would say that it is the objectives and urgency, which differ (for businesses and professionals). The elements of a good blog post remain the same.¨
The elements of a successful blog
There are some essential rules to follow to make your blog successful. To ensure a blog post’s reach and to capture the attention of readers, the blogger should strive to be simple, direct and specific. The content and information conveyed must be credible and verifiable, and the topics must be original, interesting, and relevant to the niche.
The article must not be too short or too long (between 750 and 1,500 words), and it must have a catchy title and a structured presentation. Sentences and paragraphs should be short, clear and easy to read, understand and share. The professional blogger must also follow SEO rules, and use keywords to make sure the blog post shows up in search engines.
The six commandments of a good blogger
Before publishing the article, the blogger must consider whether the content meets the corporate objectives. He must step into the shoes of the reader and make sure his message is clear and meets the six commandments of a good blogger (which are ultimately the same rules taught in Communications and Journalism courses).
- What is the product / service / story? Is the message clear?
- Why is the message conveyed and does it deserve to be read?
- Who does the message relate to? What audience does it address?
- Where is the message relevant?
- When can the product / service / story be used? At what point is it useful?
- How to take advantage of the product / service / story? How will the product / service / story benefit the reader?
Finally, a professional blogger will end his article with a call-to-action, inviting readers to comment and share their opinions on the topic, to initiate the conversation and exchange.
Blogging: the backbone of a campaign of influence in social media
More than ever, professional blogging is an essential and unavoidable activity in branding and the backbone of a successful influence campaign on social networks. Effectively managed, a corporate blog can be a powerful tool for company branding and personal branding.
With the addition of social media, a blog is the most-effective way to reach and communicate with the reader. A blog on a website, and posted through the various social platforms, will initiate and maintain a personal relationship with the reader. Ultimately, the success of the influence campaign will still depend largely on the quality of the relationship that will result. In fact, this is the principal reason any professionals should be blogging.
Do you agree with the six commandments of a good blogger? In your opinion, should we consider other elements to create and distribute a great blog post. Share your experience as a blogger and your comments with our readers.