If you want your company blog to thrive, honor these 10 blog best practices
I loved competitive diving as a child, but I didn’t love practicing for the swim meets. I’d whine and occasionally try to use my part-time job as an excuse to get out of practice. Sometimes I succeeded, other times I failed.
When I did make it to team practices, my coach would make me do the same dive over and over and over again – the front flip. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t do a front flip off the board. I could do back flips, easily and with precision, but my front flips were a complete mess. I’d open up too soon, and my back would slam against the water.
So I gave up on the front flip.
I’d practice any other dive repetitively, but I would not continue trying to master the front flip. Eventually, it was time for me to perform a front flip during a diving meet. The pool area was silent – no one would move or speak – and as you can probably predict, I’d flop. My unwillingness to learn would cost me (and my team) points, and I wouldn’t end up winning the diving portion for my team.
Are you wondering why I’d tell you this story?
I want you to understand that you can’t always do just what you enjoy or succeed at when it comes to blogging (or high school diving for that matter). To get that win or have a hugely successful company blog, make sure you’re working on everything you’ve learned about blogging. Excel at SEO, voice, audience engagement, social media sharing, and persona writing, among other things.
You can’t skip one of our lessons and expect your blog’s traffic to skyrocket.
To have a successful blog (or to win at competitive diving) you need to continuously put into practice every lesson you’ve learned until you’ve mastered everything. And once you’ve mastered it all? Well, I’m going to guess you’ll realize all these steps are necessary and keep doing everything anyway.
We’ve discussed all the ways you can incorporate storytelling into your blog best practices, but are you doing it correctly? The following tips will help you identify if you’re achieving all the steps we’ve outlined in the past for you. If you’re skipping any, correct yourself immediately. Even if you don’t see results right away, you need to keep following these blog best practices.
#1 Blog Best Practices: What is your story?
People connect through stories. It’s part of how we communicate, and the stories we choose to share with others are usually selected for a specific reason. Is your company trying to engage or surprise its readers through storytelling or is it attempting to share character or voice? Know why you’re sharing a story with your readers, but be sure to always engage them.
#2 Blog Best Practices: Have you found your voice?
No one will be engaged with your writing if you don’t have an active voice. To know what voice will be best to use on the blog you’re writing for, consider your audience. Sometimes we change our voices depending on the type of post we’re writing. If you can identify your voice, your audience will stick around to hear more from you.
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#3 Blog Best Practices: Who are your personas?
If you don’t know who you are writing to, how will you know what content to share? Creating personas for your company blog should happen before you even begin writing, but be sure to compare your personas to your analytics every quarter, six months, or year to be sure the personas you’ve created are still working for you. Make sure all the posts you publish are speaking directly to one of your personas, or you’ll be speaking to a dark, empty room.
#4 Blog Best Practices: How do you handle a blank page?
There are many ways to kickstart your writing. Consider freewriting or creating lists. Over time, the writing will come easier and quicker, and you won’t need to worry about how to express the content to your readers. Keep in mind, though, you’ll always need to edit your posts.
#5 Blog Best Practices: What is your brand personality?
Don’t be afraid to let a little personality into your posts. You don’t need to share your classified and confidential information with the world if you don’t want to, but you can give sneak peeks into your company culture.
#6 Blog Best Practices: Are you utilizing media in your posts?
Include media in your posts. While words are critical for search engine optimization, people want to see pictures, video, infographics and other forms of media. Be creative and use the proper form of media to accentuate your post. Illustration is our visual drug of choice.
#7 Blog Best Practices: Have you used testimonials in your blog?
Incorporating employee interviews or customer testimonials in your blog is an excellent way to change up your posts while keeping readers interested.
#8 Blog Best Practices: Who is writing your blogs?
You may be the only writer for your company’s blog, but what if you aren’t. Are your different voices diverse enough, yet still similar to company culture? Learn how to write as a team and if you need to hire someone, make sure you hire the best (like us!).
#9 Blog Best Practices: Are you experimenting enough?
Never stop experimenting. While you want to keep a consistent blogging format, you also need to try new content out every once in a while to see if it fits or if it doesn’t. Worst case scenario: if a post never gains traction, use the content to rewrite the post in a way that has worked in the past. See? Experimenting can’t hurt you.
#10 Blog Best Practices: Do your social sites reflect your blogging?
If you aren’t Tweeting your content or sharing it to Facebook, you might as well not even bother posting. Set up a social media schedule so that you can consistently promote and direct traffic to your evergreen posts. Better yet, just follow the schedule we’ve set for you!
If you can follow these blog best practices regularly, your content will thrive online. Some posts may take longer than others to grow, but unlike my dedication to front flips, all posts will work their hardest day and night, to drive traffic to your site via old and new readers.
If you’re still worried about blog best practices, just call us. We’d love to help you plant, maintain, and grow your storytelling marketing campaigns!
Originally published in March 2016.