One of the overarching themes of all the articles and posts on blogging is to make sure that you are producing useful content. Whether the author is talking about constructing an editorial calendar or finding content, the main message is to make sure that you’re writing about a topic that is useful or informative to your readers. Sometimes we start off blogs without thinking about the concept all the way through– here’s one way a company I interned for gave their blog a facelift.
Two summers ago, I interned for startup Lab42, a market research firm. I worked primarily on communications and marketing, which meant that the weekly blog fell into my hands. Lab42 pools its respondents from social games, blogs, and applications; as someone who’s always been interested in social media, I decided to capitalize on this part of Lab42’s brand identity, blogging on topics like Instagram and live-pinning. While this was a good start, it wasn’t exactly tailored to Lab42’s offerings, and didn’t tell readers too much about the quick, professional research we were able to conduct.
After an in-office workshop on blogging, we decided to give the blog a much-needed facelift. Here are some lessons learned throughout the process:
- Find your value Figure out what you can offer your readers that no one else can (or almost no one else). There are tons of blogs about using social media, but not too many about conducting your own market research… that’s where we found our niche.
- Leverage your experts You have smart people in your company… use them! You could assign blogging responsibilities to a different team member every week, or at least have them give some input on content and posts before they go to press. And don’t forget about guest bloggers!
- Have a point person While you do want to leverage everyone on your team, blogging is still a branded tool. A marketing or communications person should be responsible for making sure posts are contributing to the overall brand.
- Have a variety of content Solid, writing-heavy posts are nice, but you can post other kinds of collateral. Lab42 produces really great infographics, so we used the blog as a home to post those so that we could link to them later, like this SuperBowl infographic. We also posted information about events we were hosting.
- Use an editorial calendar They really do help! A half-hour brainstorm session with your team could be all you need to fill one out for a month or two. You might not have all the ideas hammered out, but at least you won’t be scrambling when Blog Day comes.
- SEO is everything SEO is especially important on blogs, where you’re able to update content often. Even just skimming a few articles online will help you learn how to link and keyword your way to success.
Now, the types of blog posts you’ll see at the Lab42 blog are informative and tie straight back to their service offerings (good example: Infographic Best Practices: 3 Ways to Shape Your Story). Have you ever gone through a transition period with your company blog? How did it go?