Posted March 12, 2007 7:21 am by with 8 comments

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What advice would you give to a corporation just starting their blog?

Here’s mine:

Dear New Corporate Blogger,
You’ll have a fine line to tread as you embark on your new job duties. Remember that most blog readers (65.7%) read for entertainment, and only 12.3% read for work. Very few people are coming to your blog to hear about how your ISO inspection went and how happy you are that everything is safely in document control in triplicate. Readers want to be entertained.

Does that mean every post should be linkbait or Diggworthy? Not necessarily. Sometimes the entertainment value in a blog doesn’t come from the subject of the post but the way it’s written.

Write about how you felt being grilled on the minutiae of your procedures. Tell how it reminded you of the second grade play where you got stage fright and forgot your lines. Tell how you think there should be a better system for getting ISO certified and how ISO is killing the earth. Give your opinion that global warming is all because of ISO. (Man, don’t you wish you were blogging about ISO now? There’s like four free post ideas!)

More free advice:

  • Before you start, strive to create a “blogging culture” and generate internal support for your blog.
  • You must sound like a normal human, not a press release. Tell how you feel and what you think.
  • But you must also be very careful what you say.
  • Write about the industry; don’t just tout your products.
  • Really engage with conversation with your readers.
  • Link to other sites–yes, even though this might send visitors away (the horror!)
  • Don’t “go negative” all the time. It’s ugly.
  • Post regularly and at the very least once a week.
  • Good luck!

—From one blogger to another

Now it’s your turn: I couldn’t think of a better way to wrap up the series on corporate blogging last week than to ask for readers’ input.

What draws you to the blogs you read? What would you recommend, as a blog reader and/or blogger, to help corporate bloggers just starting out? How can a corporate blog be professional yet entertaining and still leave readers with a positive impression of the brand/product?

  • The blogs that I tend to read regularly are those that are informative, yet at the same time are written well and with some entertainment value. I’m not going to spend my time reading lengthy articles written in legalese, but I will read an informative, well writted article with some personalization in there, after all that’s really what a good blog post should be – a conversation with the reader.

  • My 2 cents… the only “corporate blogs” I’ve ever read were very non-corporate in style i.e. Matt Cutts and Robert Scoble and never overhyped their own products. To me the main benefits were 1. keeping up with technology changes, and by doing so 2. being as productive during the day as I can.

    The best corporate blogs I’ve seen are written by folks with the right authority, the right insight, and have a good writing style in order to create a destination on its own. They don’t over-moderate the comments because they are busy people, and they don’t get crazy when someone gets negative with them.

    I am guessing some companies don’t want to pay someone with a high level of knowledge to write all day.

  • Andy,

    I’m going to be lecturing on corporate blogging this week, locally. With your permission – and with credit where credit is due, I’d like to utilize some of the references and information you’ve put together. I’m going to be working on a handout for the event (Thursday) – a link to your site will be on it as a resource!


  • The most important thing I look for in blogs are tips or information I can use. I like them short and informative. I don’t mind a corporate blog letting me know about new products as long as it doesn’t sound like a press release. Personality is key. I want to read posts by real people not the HR dept. Too stiff or rigid means I’m bored.

  • The content has to be relevant to my interests. Hopefully well written, and personal.

    Heather Hamilton’s blog at Microsoft is a good example of a corporate blog where Heather personalizes her content.

  • What I feel is that such cooperate blogs must meet somewhere in between of being professional, yet also personnel with their audience. When this barrier is breached, they can start working on the content and interactivity with their clients. However, it is neccessary for them to consider what is the purpose of the blog in the first place. To inform customers about their products? Company updates? Problem solver?

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