Speak in Your Voice: Tips on Being Socially-Savvy with Your Blogging
Your blog can be a centerpiece for marketing your business, nonprofit organization or association, and I got some great tips from Deborah Brody at the 2013 PRSA Mid-Atlantic District Chesapeake Conference. I’ve followed Deborah on Twitter for a couple of years (@DBMC) and she always has great insights. Her presentation slides from SlideShare are below. Here’s a few tips from her workshop:
Blogging can be a critical part of your communications strategy because it projects your voice to the world. Yet many organizations and companies do not prioritize blogging, even though it improves search engine results, helps them keep their websites fresh, and completely rests under their own control. Unlike working with the news media, blogging places no filters on your message.
Your posts don’t need to be long to be effective. You only need about 300 words to have a solid blog post that says something compelling.
Don’t do only selling. We’ve all seen blogs and web pages that are all about selling product or trumpet only their own services – very few people follow these blogs or view them as useful. Offer helpful information on your blog, without overselling.
Set an editorial calendar and be consistent. Don’t go a long time without blogging. Search engines favor content that is frequently updated. It’s better to publish less-frequently and be consistent, than to fluctuate.
Integrate your blog into your website. Feature your blog on your website and present it in an environment you control. Many of the free blogging sites will run ads on your blog – do you really want to send potential readers to other places or have rival organizations appearing next to your content?
Visuals matter. Photos, videos and infographics make your blog more shareable and create interest. Try to include images if you can but be aware of copyright issues.
Have features on your blog that help people share content. Share buttons are free and easy to install. Make it easy for someone to share what you are saying.
Use email to rss services to create an e-newsletter out of your blog posts. These services are easy to use and will generate an automatic e-newsletter you can send out to interested parties. Brody suggested Mailchimp and there are other services available that do this. I need to check this out myself!
Keywords are important. Use Google Trends to analyze potential keywords and get more eyeballs on your page.
Allow comments. If you don’t allow comments, you should not have a blog. Yes, delete comments that are spammy, inappropriate, vulgar or threatening, but allow most comments to stay. The point of blogging is to converse.
Push out blog content on your social media channels. Send out links to blog posts through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other channels. Drive readers/viewers to your blog and encourage them to share the content if they find it useful.
Do not have your intern blog for you. While your intern can update your blog (with something you write) or find photos for you, don’t trust your intern, your twelve-year-old, or your cousin’s teenager, to craft this important communication for your company or organization. Blogging should be prioritized as the high level communication strategy it really is.
Ami Neiberger-Miller is a public relations strategist and writer. She is the founder of Steppingstone LLC, a virtual and independent public relations practice near Washington, D.C. that provides public relations counsel, social media advice, writing services, and creative design work for publications and websites (portfolio). Ami blogs frequently about media relations, social media, public relations and other issues. She also reviews books on her blog about public relations, nonprofit life, work-family balance and social media practice. Follow her on Twitter @AmazingPRMaven.