A blog is an amazing tool. It can provide a direct connection to specialists as well as an arena for discussions on limitless subjects.
While in the past, organizations had to conduct costly research to find consumer opinions on their products or services, they can now view such results with just a few clicks: For Free.
That last reason gets some in trouble.
The power in hosting a company blog is in the value that you can create through interactions with your audience.
But how can you cultivate meaningful interactions? And how does one gather a community online?
Find a focused topic to write about.
To find the focus of your blog, start with why you want traffic.
Answering this question allows communicators to create meaningful content for their audience.
A focus also gives opportunities for organizing your content in interesting ways, such as fixed-gear-biking company Eighthinch’s photo Friday. In this post they gathered interesting local content that their national audience is interested in and blogged about it.
Linda Lam, a classmate of mine, recently found her focus in blogging about Eugene’s food scene. Her posts include easy to digest information about her favorite spots and the unique dishes they serve.
Effectively creating content requires that there is a focus of the blog. Beth points out that this is also a key element in building a community.
Work towards community building.
After finding a focus, it is important to work towards community building in your content.
Valeria Maltoni’s Bridging the Content-Gap addresses this issue in detail. She suggests curating information as one of the ways to encourage community building on a blog.
Linda’s blog is a great example of this in action. In creating localized content, she has also created a place for readers to gather and discuss the best places to grab a bite.
It is important to keep this in mind to create content that is both timely and relevant for your audience.
Commit to an online presence.
If your organization decides that a blog is the right way to communicate with its audience, then committing to an online presence will be key.
Taking care of a community is a large and important job of the communicator in the digital landscape.
Your organization must be prepared to equip a staff that can efficiently handle the aspects of content creation and community development.
As Valeria pointed out: “The other misconception is that because many of these tools are free, it’s all upside. That all you need is set up a few sites and get traffic coming your way. Follow the advice for the implementation above and you could end up hurting your reputation.”
If a blog is the tool you choose to utilize, a deep commitment on behalf of your organization will be key.