An acquaintance of mine recently reached out and asked if I had any tips to share about how to blog for your business. I was surprised with how quickly I managed to come up with some recommendations. He used them in a Skillshare class and said the response was good. Here they are below, for anyone who cares about writing for company blogs. I think they should be applicable to many industries, from web products to consumer goods and more. Let me know what you think, or if you have any additions.
- Be a thought leader. Don’t just brag about your business or product. Your blog is not a sales vehicle, it’s a confidence/loyalty booster. Obviously, you should share news and product updates but you can do more for the days or weeks in between. Find articles and news related to your industry and share it, with commentary and/or highlighted sections. Don’t focus on specific sites either for all your links. Think about bigger, more abstract news (like legislation, data research, trends, etc) and interpret what it means to your audience. Skillshare’s blog does a great job at being a thought leader in the field of education.
- Tell stories. They humanize your company. Whether you’re struggling to meet expectations or not, specific stories about what you’re working on and why it’s important will keep your customer’s attention. If you are able to glean stories from your customers or users, all the better. A great example of personal stories from employees comes from my friends of Keen.io. And a great example of leveraging user content can be seen at the Kickstarter blog.
- Be a resource. People are coming to your blog to know more about your company or product. Share best practices, tips, use cases, anything you can think of that might be helpful. If it’s obvious to you, it’s probably not to someone else and worth writing about. Keep them quick and digestible. I did this for Twitter’s Media site fairly consistently.
- Be humorous, but don’t be too clever. Your company should only be trying to make funny internet videos if that’s in your DNA. Have fun with your stories, but don’t try to be a comedian, just let it come naturally. Good examples of company blogs with personality: the Twitter blog (the early years, 07-09, when Biz Stone wrote most of the content are particularly ripe with humor), and ThinkGeek.
- If you’re at a loss for content, turn to the web. Search for news articles, or try to find an answer to a question you (or your customers) have. Look at places like Quora, Twitter, Kickstarter for ideas of things to link to or write about. Remember to attribute your links. No one likes a content thief.