By now you should know that your startup needs to be blogging.
You read blogs, so you know the value they bring to your company, your productivity, your need for industry knowledge and personal inspiration. You’re reading here, after all! Chances are, if you’re not regularly blogging, it’s something you know you need to be doing and want to start to incorporate into your team’s workflow.
I probably don’t need to convince you. There is no better way (and no cheaper way) for a startup or small- to medium-sized company with a small marketing budget to establish their brand, deliver thought leadership and insight, and reach potential customers, investors, and employees.
The how-to details can be daunting – where should we blog, how much time will this take, who’s going to take ownership of this initiative and not only write the posts (or draft the best writers on the team) but maintain the editorial calendar and edit the posts?
Those details are important, but be sure you’re focusing on the bigger picture – the three principles that will keep your blog a relevant and powerful marketing tool and make it just plain compelling and enjoyable to read.
Consistency is the most important aspect of blogging. It’s vital to SEO and to the expectations of your readers. The number of posts is irrelevant. Whether it’s once a week or a few times a month, put it on the shared company Google Calendar and treat it as crucial to any other deadline. If your readership can’t rely on you to see new content on a regular basis, they won’t stick around.
2. Company voice.
Consistency keeps your audience checking in, but it’s your unique voice that reels them in. Readers want to know more about your company, so encourage your bloggers to give them a look into your culture. Fight the urge to play it safe – here’s your chance to let the world know who you are and what your company stands for. Be brash without being provocative – written judiciously and intelligently, you won’t alienate readers but instead gain their admiration for your chutzpah. (Provided you stay away from hot-button issues like politics, of course.) A blog without a viewpoint or opinion isn’t worth reading.
Tell it like it is. Dare to be open and authentic. Tell the stories not only of your success but of your failures (and what you and your employees learned from them). Let your readers and future customers see how you make the sausage: the strategies you’ve learned to manage your team, the goals you’ve set, where you struggle. Transparency builds trust.
What are you doing to build valuable blog content for your startup or small business? Tweet to us at @DesignliCo and let us know.