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8 Sure Fire Principles For Effective Business Blogs

Jul 5, 2008
Blogging started off as a fun way to share about yourself and showcase your personal passions. Now it is becoming more common to use blogs as tool in business to further your marketing or public relations strategy. There are ways to do this well and there are certainly pitfalls to avoid when using Blogs.

The following 8 principles of blogging strategy will help to ensure that your blog never crosses over from good to ugly!

Principle 1: Blog Responsibly

Make sure that employees do not reveal sensitive information about your business in your company blogs. Your competitors could (and probably will) read your blogs and the last thing you want is your secret strategy being leaked to them before you have even launched it to the public.

Principle 2: Know thyself and thy blogging

Make sure you keep up with the world of corporate blogging and recognise the changing face of the times. For example, the 'traditional' blog consisted of written posts of ideas, questions, notes, which would then be commented upon by various other bloggers and users. Nowadays the scene is changing and blogs are becoming much more creative, adding elements of multimedia including audio and video

(General Motors' blog is a great example: http://fastlane.gmblogs.com/).

Principle 3: Know thy enemy blogger

There are some incredible blogs out there doing very innovative stuff and one of the best ways to make sure your company becomes one of them is to 'creatively emulate'. Do what Cory Miller suggests and 'study the great blogs and learn what makes them great'. This will not only inspire you but also give you great strategies.

Principle 4: Blog effectively

Get clear on when a blogging strategy is effective and when it is not the most optimal approach. Thomas Nelson Publishing recommends that employees host company blogs themselves rather than hosting at the company level. This strategy creates separation between the company and individual blogs. However, especially in a smaller workplace, it may be better to allow employees to blog directly on the company site as it projects more of a 'family feel'. In this instance, employee education as to what is and isn't appropriate would be a necessity.

Principle 5: Blog with Vision

Keep your eyes on the broader picture when blogging. Where is blogging heading? What are the future trends? How can your business take advantage of them? When you do this and implement new strategies, you can be leader not a follower in the world of blogging.

Principle 6: Blog with Depth

The 6th principle is to blog with depth. This means to blog with your marketing strategy and purpose firmly in mind. Remember, a blog is there to serve your marketing and overall business strategy and is only a tool to do that- it is not an end in itself. When you look at it from this perspective you will know what to do, what not do, and what to definitely avoid.

Principle 7: Keep note of blogging details

The more attention you pay to what is happening on your blog, the more effective it will be. It's just like a pot plant - the more energy and attention you give it, the better it will grow.

Principle 8: Avoid blog overuse

Blogging is a tool among OTHER tools. It has its uses and its abuses. It also has its limitations. You should be aware of this fact, and recognise that a good thing pushed to the limit cans turn into a bad thing. There are other avenues that are still just as effective as blogging and should be implemented alongside the blog itself.

Understanding the Good, The Blog and the Ugly is about realizing how to get the best out of your company blog and avoiding any negative consequences. When you follow the 8 steps to effective blogging you will be off to a good start.

It is important to lay down rules for your employees in how to represent the company when blogging under the company's name. If you do not do this you could open yourself to libel and defamation law suits in the blink of an eye.

Many people set up their blog with a free blogging service such as www.blogger.com. I suggest that you use your own domain to operate your blog using Wordpress or Movable Type. This gives you much more power and flexibility when creating your blog.

http://www.wordpress.org http://www.movabletype.org/

Both of these services provide plenty of supporting documentation. You'll be stepping into the blogosphere before you know it...
About the Author
About the Author: Christopher B. Marquis is behind Australian Blogs, a 'clearing house' of information on the Australian Blog & Podcast scene. Visit the site for more great blogging strategies and information.
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