Creating a successful blog takes more behind-the-scenes planning and preparation than you might initially imagine. If you get it right, a successful blog can bring numerous benefits to your organization.
Whether you’re new to blogging, new to your company or are just refreshing your current strategy, building a dedicated readership and an online library of great content takes time and effort. Of course, the actual writing is where most of the work takes place, and it's also where people tend to struggle most.
With that in mind, here are five tips for writing remarkable blog posts, courtesy of Katie Kemerling, chief content officer at Ervin & Smith and a contributor to PR News' Book of Social Media Strategies & Tactics Vol. 1.
Don’t rely only on the marketing team, the social media strategist or the writer. Relying on one person or team to produce content will leave the blog feeling one-dimensional. Explore all departments of your company for ideas. Your CEO could be blogging, setting a positive example for colleagues and building credibility as a thought leader in your industry. Anyone who can create a personal connection with your target audience should have a blog assignment sheet in front of him/her.
Engage in "brainwriting". If you have a group that’s too large for brainstorming, you’re crunched for time or you truly want to capture the power of introverts, try brainwriting. Rather than asking people to volley ideas around (such as in traditional brainstorming), participants write a particular question, problem or goal on a sheet of paper along with three ways to address it. After five minutes, each participant passes his/her paper to the person on the left, who reads the ideas and uses them as inspiration to add to these ideas or jot down new ones. After 30 minutes of this sequence, you’ll have hundreds of ideas.
Create a content roadmap. This grid should provide a snapshot of the company’s product launches, events and promotions so that you can integrate blog content with other business activities. It should also include external events, holidays, commemorations and industry tie-ins. These often are logical windows for relevant content.
Encourage your team to submit any and all ideas. Set up an email account such as email@example.com or a simple form on your Intranet portal so employees can funnel their ideas, experiences and thoughts for the blog to you.
Maintain an idea tracker. This can help you manage your now-abundant blog topics and content ideas. Wunderlist and Evernote are great tools for teams to share and catalog ideas. Don’t forget to use analytics to track top performing posts as well. This way, you’ll know which topics resonate with your target audience and generate the most quality leads for your business.
For more PR writing expertise, join PR News at our Writing Boot Camp on April 21 in Washington, D.C.
Follow Katie Kemerling on Twitter: @ktkemerling
Follow Brian Greene on Twitter: @bw_greene