It is generally understood that blogging can, for a variety of reasons, greatly benefit a company or organization. It undoubtedly increases your exposure, can improve member engagement, and can be a great avenue for keeping people in the know and in touch with your organization.
That being said, merely having a blog does not guarantee that it’s going to do the things you want it to do. Blogs can be hard to start up, but even harder to continuously improve. Improving it, however, is one of the most important keys to operating a successful blog. Here are some tips to help you freshen it up.
Update it Regularly, and Often:
You don’t want your blog to look neglected or sporadically flooded with content. Try and keep new content flowing out at least once a week so that your readers will know to check for new posts, and won’t be disappointed if they don’t find one there. Don’t feel like you need to post more than once or twice a week; too frequent updates can feel cumbersome over time and lead to less quality work.
Don’t be Afraid to Be Personal:
One of the best things about the blog is that it enables you to speak directly to your audience in a far less formal way than a newsletter usually allows. Take full advantage of this, and make your posts seem as if they were written for your members, not just other business professionals (unless, of course, your blog is for an audience of business professionals). High quality material and writing does not always require an uber-professional voice. You can even use “I” and address your audience directly, even if your college writing instructor told you not to. In the blogosphere, you certainly can, and should. For more on this, check out the Huffington Post’s article here.
Have a Clear Purpose:
Before you start writing (or before you post again, if you’ve already launched your blog), clarify your own purpose in having one. Sure, you want to connect with your members, but what do you really want them to get out of reading what you publish each week? Are you writing to share updates on your company/organisation and keep them informed? Are you writing to share industry tips? To share interesting and relevant news stories? Make sure that you have your purpose in mind as you write; this keep you focused and help you decide what to write and what to leave out.
Make Sharing Easy:
If readers like what they see, they’ll likely want to share it with others (thereby spreading your brand name or cause—free marketing at its best). This is great! Be sure to make it easy by adding a plugin to your page that allows readers to share the post directly to their social media accounts.
If the purpose of your blog allows, you might consider enabling readers to directly engage with your work and with each other in the comments section of the blog. Unless it seems distracting or inappropriate, this can be a great way to create a conversation and to also give you a sense of how readers are interacting with your content.
Victoria Michelson is a freelance writer for Wild Apricot, but she spends most of her time running races to support local nonprofit organizations in Boise, ID.