In short – yes, your organization should be blogging.
But before you rush off and get started, lets look at when, how, why and what to blog.
First it’s a good idea to check blogs in the same field, sector, area of interest you have.
You’ll also want to spend some time thinking about who your audience is, there’s no point writing for the wrong audience. What can you offer that will be of interest to your reader?
Make yourself a promise before you read this – planning will go a long way towards making your blog the success you want, but don’t over plan – it will only slow you down.
OK. Here we go, here’s a few pointers.
1. Listen and research. What are others blogging, saying about you, your sector, then think about where what you want to blog about fits. There’s a range of tools you can use to help you work this out – start with Google Blog Search and Google Reader will help make it easier for you to keep tabs on what’s happening and it will also enable you to read and comment regularly. Don’t forget that Twitter Search will also help you find content that ‘talk’ about your field.
2. Do you know who you want to talk to with your blog? Not everyone you want to talk to, who you want to share stories, information with is interested in what blogs can offer – research who your audience could be, do this the same as you would with any facet of your organization’s communication strategy. It’s not a one size fits all.
3. Do you know who your ideal reader is?
Why would they want to read you’re sharing?
Are you offering anything they can’t, don’t get somewhere else?
4. Why are you blogging? There will be a range of reasons, and maybe you need need to convey your reasons by having different people, different ‘departments’ involved in your bog to cover they “whys”
Are you blogging to tell your story?
What do you want to achieve – understanding, support, supporters, money?
5. Can you write it all yourself, or are there other who can do it too – or better
Some people can do it all – but in reality, most can’t. You need people who are good at research, building a readership base, and who know when is the ideal time to blog – using outsider can help, but the time it take you to talk to them about your goals, the purpose of your blog is taking away time that you, or someone else in your organization could be doing some fabulous blogs.
If you can’t do it all yourself, and most likely you can’t – think about the qualities you want from someone who can do it. Do they like to write, do they know what your ‘story’ is, do they know who to write that conveys your message, your story? You need to ‘hire’ someone who might do blogs for you the same as you would for any other position in your organization.
6. Don’t do it all yourself, you want others to offer suggestion on what makes good content for you
Grab some people together, brainstorm ideas on what could make good content. Are you wanting to only use your blog posts to gain help, support, is it to gain comment on issues your organization is involved in, is it to share stories from the battle lines? A group will help you and take ‘content pressure’ off you.
7. When will you blog? It’s true that the more you you post blog content, the more you’ll be read.
But do your supporters, your subscribers want to hear from your everyday? Do you have the resources, the content to do it daily?
Post on a regular, once a week is good, 2 – 3 times a week is even better. But, weekly is better than nothing.
When thinking about your blog, your content and frequency – bare in mind that blogging isn’t only about the writing, it’s much more than that. You will also need to read, research and write. Maybe blogging is the new 3 Rs.
Whatever, whenever and how you blog, have a purpose, a team (at least to discuss content) and have a calendar.
So should you blog – HELL YES.
If you have other pointers on blogging please share them, what’s worked, what hasn’t – when is a good time to blog, when isn’t? What should or shouldn’t you blog about?