Because writing is such an integral part of public relations work, those in the field often make terrific bloggers. But good, crisp writing – and the inspiration that drives it – is only part of what makes a blog well-read and shareable. There are some do’s and don’ts that can make the difference between a blog that “talks to itself” and one that is a must-read. Take a look at the tips below to help take your blog to the next level.
Do blog with a purpose. Sure, many professionals feel they must have a blog now to be au courant. But there is nothing compelling about a blog that doesn’t have a consistent point of view, a distinct voice, and reason to be. Start by focusing on the ideal reader for the blog and that reader’s key interests, problems, and needs. Then, identify the top areas where you can lend expertise, insight, and opinion. The area in between is what your blog should cover.
Don’t try too hard. Wordiness, cutesiness and “high-priced” phrases need not apply. Start with simple posts that impart advice from your personal experience. The best are plain-spoken but well-crafted, easy to read but with a specific audience in mind. Remember, 99 percent of people will skim your post, so agonizing over every word is probably a waste of time.
Do give practical advice but don’t preach. Readers often look to business blogs for actionable advice that they can use in appropriate situations – in language that doesn’t “talk down” or preach. Avoid “kiss-of-death” phrases like “you should” or “always remember to.”
Don’t shy from provocative copy. In the right situation, taking the controversial or contrarian point of view is often exactly right for a blog post. don’t be reluctant to continue a conversation already started by someone else in the industry, particularly if you have something to add to that person’s post, or if you disagree with their view. Just be sure you link to the post in question and that you maintain a respectful attitude. A professional blogger will welcome the attention and the conversation.
Do create an editorial calendar. Treat your blog like any professional publication with a calendar that leverages seasonal activity and time periods. But don’t let the calendar limit your creativity; leaving room for what’s going on in the news and popular culture keeps the blog fresh and relevant. If you’re stumped for ideas, we like this blog post topic generator.
Do learn from bloggers who do it well. Get a good blog roll of your own encompassing other PR bloggers, B2B bloggers and just general interest. Gene Marks, who pens “Main Street Mornings” is a good example. As evidenced here, great blogs can translate to mainstream media as well.
Do follow some basic blogging rules. These include getting to know the right keywords to help encourage search; avoiding lengthy posts that no one will read and linking back to your own website where applicable. Got the basics down? Then get creative and start blogging.