We are big fans of blogging at ClickDimensions. After all, what's not to love? Blogging allows us to share our marketing knowledge with others, improves our SEO, and gives us great content for social media and our monthly newsletter.
If your company is ready to take the plunge into blogging, but you aren't sure how to get started, let these five steps be your guide:
1. Outline your objectives. In the opening of this blog post, we discussed a few of the reasons why ClickDimensions blogs. So, ask yourself this: what do you want to get out of your blog? Whether it's lead generation, connecting with customers or establishing your company as an industry thought leader – or some combination of all of these or other reasons – defining your mission upfront will help you stay the course and make blogging-related decisions with those goals in mind.
2. Decide who will write. At ClickDimensions, blog writing is a responsibility shared by a few different teams. Our marketing success managers each write one post per month, our marketing team contributes weekly posts and even our CEO gets in on the blogging action. This works well for us because it helps distribute the workload and allows us to offer our readers insights and knowledge from throughout the organization. Take a look around your company and make a list of departments or individuals that can contribute content that will help you meet your blog objectives.
3. Determine frequency. Blogging can often seem overwhelming because of frequency alone, but setting realistic expectations and goals is key. After assembling your blog writing dream team, take some time to think about how often you can realistically expect each person or department on that team to contribute content based on workloads. Also, be sure to consider your audience's perspective on frequency – would daily be too often, but weekly not often enough? And remember that you can always start out on the less frequent side of things and then blog more often as you get into the swing of things.
4. Brainstorm content. "What are we going to write about?" That's likely a question that you've asked yourself at least a thousand times. It's also often the question that prevents many businesses from blogging in the first place, thinking that they simply won't have enough material to cover. Take the time to brainstorm article ideas, and ask the blog writers you've identified or other key players in your company to join you in that process. Common questions received by your sales or customer service teams are often a good place to look for blog topic inspiration, as are trends impacting your industry. Once you have a list of topics, use a spreadsheet to create an editorial calendar so you can see how long your initial topics will last once your blog launches and so you can assign deadlines to others.
5. Plan to publicize. It goes without saying that creating awareness of your company's blog is key to its success. But how do you create that awareness? Loyal customers are often the most loyal readers, so tap into your existing database with an email that announces the blog to customers and encourages them to subscribe. Once you have subscribers, you will also want to set up an RSS to email connector, so you can send blog updates via email to your subscribers at a frequency of their choosing. Social media is also a great place to get the word out about your blog and share your blog posts. And plan to publicize your blog internally as a resource that sales, customer service and other teams can use to educate and connect with customers and prospects.
Once you have these steps completed, or even while you're working on some of them, you will also need to pick a platform (WordPress and Typepad are two popular options) and a URL (blog.yourdomain.com and yourdomain.com/blog are the most common choices, and your IT team can weigh in on the pros and cons of each).