Blogging may appear simple from afar, or from within, but it can be pretty complicated when you’re just about to start.
This week we’ve been having several conversations with people who are dealing with blogs and blogging.
The team at A Bigger Voice (in which I’ve played a small role) are about to turn the ABV blog into a team effort (including posts from yours truly), and we’ve been working under the radar for a month to get into the practice of blogging (which I recommend for those of a nervous disposition).
Our conversation about blogging was fascinating, because it showed the sheer diversity in a team of only five people. We have two experienced bloggers, an experienced writer-editor, and two fabulous communicators who write well, yet wouldn’t identify themselves as writers, let alone bloggers.
All sorts of issues come up, such as:
- does a team blog need a central editor?
- how often does everyone post?
- should there be a minimum contribution requirement, in the interests of fairness and equity?
- should every blog post be "on message", or should individual authors be allowed to wander off on their own paths?
That last question is a fairly interesting one … and if the answer is "yes", then you’ll probably need an editor/conductor/cat-herd to spot the recurring themes of everyone’s posts.
If you think that’s complicated, what about the issues of blogging about work-related matters when you work in, say, data security for a very large corporate? That’s just the
issue that came up in discussion at a Tweetup we attended yesterday.
What issues are they facing in big corporates?
- More experienced bloggers are mostly okay, but sometimes they’re actively discouraged from blogging about particular subjects. As long as the guidelines are clear, no problem.
- Others have found cunning ways around the issue, using clever disclaimers. (I was going to link to an example, but found that the site is invitation-only. Another clever way around things!)
- Bloggers in the marketing function struggle to know what content is relevant, and how often to post.
That last point is just the same issue many individuals have when they start to blog with business in mind. What do I say?
That’s the second question you should be asking. The first is, who am I talking to? Get that answer right and you’ll soon figure out what to say – what they want to know.
In fact, that’s ultimately the guiding principle in all blogging – in fact, all communication.
Let’s look at some of those variables that affect you when you start blogging:
- the blogging platform you use
- your own ability with technology – do you pick things up fast? Or do you struggle to learn new things?
- your communication style – are you a writer? Or a talker? A drawer? Or a dancer?
- your audience (and your competition). What do they want to know? How can you give them that information in a valuable way? What makes your blog different?
- your schedule. How often is just right for you, and for your audience. I know every time we post on this blog, our traffic increases. Would we get more visits if we posted every day? And would that necessarily be a good thing for business?
This post has more questions than answers on blogging. I’d like to hear your thoughts on blogging, whether it’s what’s worked for you, or questions you have.
If it’s answers you’re after, you’ll find a few basic ones in the blog page of our social media learning centre . If you’re looking for something more detailed, why not hire us to see how blogging and other forms of social media can help your business.