Image via andrewchenblog.com
If you’ve ever spoken with any of us here at Browser Media, there’s a good chance you would have received an ear bashing about the potential rewards that regular blogging can offer.
A well managed blog can act as a fantastic marketing channel, it gives your site a heartbeat, injects some personality in to your brand and can even offer some pretty impressive SEO benefits. But that’s a different discussion, because recently we have discovered that there can also be some great internal wins.
Historically our blog has been managed by one person (with occasional exception) who has been wholly responsible for creating content and generally managing the blog’s upkeep. But more recently we’ve been testing a new way of doing things, by encouraging everyone in the company to get involved. After all, it is a ‘company blog’.
Firstly, to share the load, because as any blog manager will know, coming up with fresh content isn’t always easy and can prove a time consuming process. The more people involved, the lighter that load becomes.
We also wanted to diversify the content we publish. Not because what we had was bad, but it’s easy to get caught in a routine way of doing things, which just isn’t the way we roll. We, as a company also offer a number of different services, and every member of the team brings with them unique experiences and skills.
We thought it was important to share that diversity with our readers, and also show the outside world that there are personalities behind the posts.
One of our main objectives was to introduce a sense of pride and ownership throughout the team, to get them to ‘care’ about the blog, if you will. Those who blog regularly will recognise the sense of achievement gained when a piece of content is received well by the audience. We thought it was important for everyone to experience this.
Of course, encouraging people to take time out of their busy day to write for the blog presents some minor challenges – “what the hell do I blog about?” and “when am I going to find the time to do it”, being common responses.
To some, blogging may seem like an inconvenience, but build it into the weekly routine and it soon becomes second nature.
There’s also a danger that ‘forcing’ people to write blog posts could lead to a library of last minute, re-hashed news pieces. To avoid this situation we encourage employees to write about things that genuinely interest them.
To help keep things organised we created a collaborative blog calendar, which everyone can access in order to share content ideas for future posts. It’s also here where we record statistics about each blog post.
One of the most effective ways to encourage the team to write ‘quality’ content was to introduce some light hearted competition. For every piece of content posted on the blog, we record the number of reads, comments and social shares it receives and announce the winners in our internal meetings. Not only does this make people want to create good content, it also provokes thought about future posts and what might, or might not appeal to readers.
Two months in and we’re seeing some fantastic results. Our traffic may not have doubled, and we haven’t won any awards yet, but we’ve noticed a huge shift in attitude.
Rather than having to be chased for content, people are now asking when their next blog post is due and throwing ideas around well in advance.
People are taking an interest in the traffic passing through the blog, checking regularly for comments and perhaps most interestingly, sharing their posts religiosly on social networks (something that never happened before).
Although blogging may not win you any business, or major recognition, there’s much more at stake. Consider diversifying your blogging efforts, you may be pleasantly surprised.