Blogs are de rigueur for most brands and organizations. However, due to the overwhelming number of blogs it’s a challenge to make sure your blog posts are getting read among your stakeholders.
Take Tumblr, the microblogging platform, which has more than 243 million blogs. With tens of millions of blogs being churned out, it begs the question: Who has time to read them?
But blogs are not going away, and the onus is on PR managers to craft blogs that can build awareness, boost visibility and, however circuitously, add to the top and/or bottom lines.
Indeed, 61 percent of consumers have purchased products or services based on a blog post, according to Ignite Spot.
With that in mind, here are several questions to ask before you start writing, along with the answers, compliments of Tim Haran, senior manager of social media at USANA.
> What is the purpose of my blog?
Connect it to business goals. Everything you do has to come back around to your overall strategic mission. Your blog should be a centerpiece for driving the content that furthers your business goals.
> What makes my content interesting?
Find a voice and topics that set you apart. Every industry or product has something that makes it unique. Find your niche and use it to differentiate yourself from the competition.
> How do I obtain evangelists for my blog?
Interact regularly with readers and remember to take the good with the bad. Responding to all comments, regardless of their sentiment, will show readers and potential evangelists that you're in it for the long haul.
> How can I be authentic in my blogging?
Value honesty and transparency above all else. A blog offers unique capabilities when it comes to digital communications. This is the place to offer your readers foundational knowledge and information that comes in units larger than 120 characters. Use your blog to offer this important service in an honest and transparent way and your readers will reward you.
> What is the best way to spend extra time on headlines?
Write several potential headlines and weigh each against each. If available, look at your past headlines and evaluate which were the most successful, then try headlines mimicking that format. Also, try out the EMV (Emotional Marketing Value) Headline Analyzer.
> How can I create easily absorbable content?
Always keep your sentences short. Distill your information down by using common language and avoiding jargon where possible. It is especially important for blogs to incorporate eye-catching images that can serve as a focal point to a post.
What other questions would you add to the list?
Follow Tim Haran on Twitter: @timharan
Follow Matthew Schwartz on Twitter: @mpsjourno1