Blogging can be a pain, especially if you’re not a writer. But if you can get it done, and do it right, it can be a powerful platform for communication.
A recent study from eMarketer projects that “by 2014, blog readership will rise to more than 150 million Americans.” That would be 60% of the Internet population in the United States. WordPress, which powers many of the blogs read today, actually hosts 11.4 million blogs on their platform. On an average day, according to WordPress, 350,000 new posts are published and 400,000 new comments are left. I guess that means — if you get one new comment a day, you’re almost average. Two comments and you’re stellar.
So, why get involved in all this chatter? Here are seven good reasons:
- Encourage two-way communication. Too much of what we say is in a presentation format, not a conversation. Invite participation and the sharing of ideas that are not yet set in stone. Engage people in the thought-leadership process. And don’t focus on quantity of response. A recent article by Todd Knutson puts forth the 90-9-1 Rule for Ad Agency Social Media. (90% of your audience will read but never contribute to the conversation, 9% will edit by adding to an existing thread but rarely create content, and only 1% are “creators” adding new content, threads and activity.)
- Sell substance and sizzle! Your blog is a site where both friends and newcomers can learn about your organization, experience your thought leadership in the field, and experience the culture of your organization. Provide quality content in an engaging way. Present information with “sizzle.” Throw in unique techniques with occasional humor. Lighten up. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Build loyalty. Offer something of value from your own intellectual capital. Then link it to other authoritative sources with links to white papers, other websites and social media. When you provide people what they need, they become brand advocates and often are a most-effective, unofficial sales team.
- Make friends. Most corporate communication needs to be more formal and institutional. Your blog gives you a chance to add a little color and flare to your persona. Reveal a bit of your personal side. And get folks to think of you more as a friend. That’s the progression of relationship that cultivates Donors for Life®.
- Build a community. People search the web for information and opportunities to act on causes close to their hearts. Blogging can provide an incredible opportunity to build a community of like-minded people. Think outside of your current constituencies. Target audiences that will likely resonate with your mission. Then, welcome them to the neighborhood.
- Link back to home. Writing posts that are relevant to your core business and interesting and entertaining to other bloggers can drive more traffic to your website. Quality back links build your authority on social media platforms as well as search engines that “eventually seep great ‘link juice’ back into your corporate website.”
- Get real. Show off your personality and your people. Involve different staff at all levels in blogging. Open the channels so readers get to know your organization from the inside out. Show your face, share your heart. Be personal. Don’t freak out over a typo. You’re human, right?
Founding Creative Director