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Fix Your Lousy Company Blog

There's a right way to blog well for your business

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Businesspeople possess a unique opportunity to be more than just a cash funnel to their customers. A few steps to improve the company blog can work wonders for customer relations.

The next competitor to you doesn’t have to beat you on price if he or she has the customer’s love. In this century, any illusions you still entertain about controlling the customer relationship need to be pummeled from you forthwith.

Fear not, I have a large club full of ideas and a decent reach. We’re going to improve your company blogging today…

You don’t have one? Please get one. Easy free solutions from Google’s Blogger or from WordPress exist.

Committing time to blogging will be a problem? I’m terribly sorry. I don’t have a tissue handy.

See, the time used to blog shouldn’t be viewed as a consumption, but as an investment. You don’t complain about taking money to the bank, do you?

I’m letting you in on a big secret about human nature, one that few people understand well if they do know it. People want to believe in something. Your customers want to believe in your authoritative voice on the topic of whatever it is you have to place in a virtual shopping cart.

They long to understand that in a world of beeps, boops, and boings, someone listens. You are in a business which I expect you understand at least in a nominal fashion. Share that understanding. Yes, the difference between Product Version 1 and Version 1.1 may be nominal, trivial, and pedantic to discuss.

It’s a piece of information you understand. Conveying it through the company blog says "I know these things, I know them well, and you’re a better consumer for doing business with me." People want this, conveyed a little more gently, probably.

The investment you make consists of details, provided through a blog. It’s marketing, brand reinforcement, and an ongoing solicitation to do business with an absolute professional. Provided, naturally, you communicate that way.

Blogging quality ranges from outstanding to "did this person skip grammar and spelling in school" types of bloggers. Spellcheck fixes a multitude of sins, and having a trusted person look at your post to find the stuff spellcheck missed will grab most, if not all, of the rest.

No matter how much work you put into blogging, you’re going to make a mistake somewhere. My personal demon: writing billion for million and vice versa. No idea why, but I’ve done it a couple of times and had it pointed out to me. Sometimes even politely.

This is how you handle a mistake you made, in blogging and I think elsewhere in the business. Acknowledge it, fix it, and move forward to the next issue. People seem to want contrition as much as they want to believe in something. Provide a reason to forgive; fix the problem. Letting a mistake simmer to boiling over the proverbial pot will leave you regretting it.

As for the negative comments you will see at some point, gain what you can from them. The most annoying person in the world may have a valid argument. These days, they expect to be able to express it; worthy complaints merit a decent response.

I can’t tell you how to be interesting, funny, and compelling with your writing. We’re all different, in blogging and elsewhere. Write honestly, authoritatively, and regularly (a post a day, you can manage that), and leave no one the option to claim you aren’t trying to embrace your customers.

Fix Your Lousy Company Blog
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  • http://www.tronline.blogspot.com/ Guest

    I’ve set up a couple of company blogs for friends & colleagues and run into the same problem right at the outset. Regardless of whether its typepad, wordpress or blogger – they are simply not designed for company use. They are designed to be personal blogs – the core concept of blogging.

    For example, if you set up a blog and invite other authors (members of staff), the software invariably treats them as individuals who want to set up their own blog. I’ve had numerous staff members frightened off or hopelessly confused about setting up a contributor login because the first thing they were asked is ‘what they want their blog to look like’.

    Many company blogs fail because a solo blogger can’t maintain the level of interesting posting needed to sustain it. Companies need blog software that allow an administrator (whose personal biography  and blogroll is not plastered all over the front of the site by default!) to easily set up and maintain a hierarchy of contributors (who are not already bloggers using the same software) each with their own biog, avatar and fav films list!

     

  • http://www.ukpetbreeders.com Fiona Tankard

    A great blog David. One gripe I have is that not all blogging software allows you to embed links (eg affiliate links) easily and that is something I am struggling with at the moment.

    It could well be that in a large organisation blogging may be more of a grind than a pleasure. For the smaller business owner or entrepreneur, once you’ve got over the ‘tie me to my chair and don’t let me go until I’ve written something’ part, I’ve found blogging to have some positive effects. The commitment of writing regularly and achieving the goals you’ve set yourself is good for you. It gives you a feeling of achievement. And to be honest, it really doesn’t take long at all to keep a blog updated. Saying that, I am guilty, guilty, guilty of not writing a page a day  and you have spurred me into action!

     

  • http://www.businessgrowth.org.uk Damien O’Dwyer

    Great Blog David!

    Customers do not buy from companies they buy from people. This is why Blogging is so great!

    I can see the point that blogging is hard to keep interesting and many business owners just do not have the time to run their own blog. Microsoft seem to have the blogging system cracked. Each employee is encouraged to have their own blog, no rules are set down apart from the fact that you cannot say in a blog anything you would be discouraged from saying face to face.

    I am sure Bill Gates does not run a blog but most of his staff do and as far as I know it works well. This has, in my opinion, given Microsoft a more "human face".

    The minute you start trying to apply "corporate rules" to a blog takes away the total essence of blogging and its purpose.

     

  • http://www.countrysidebride.com Felicia Gantar

    Great information…I need something to capture peoples attention for Lake Tahoe weddings. I want the public know HOW important it is to hire a professional wedding planner. I will get started on my blog!!

  • http://righthandmann.blogspot.com/ mmanitou

    Consider using a content writing company who specializes in blog content. Doctortext.com has been writing corporate articles for some time (I am aware of this service as my friend’s artificial turf company has had articles crafted by their editors). It’s one thing to post readable material, yet another to captivate your audience and hit the nail on the head.