In an increasingly digital marketplace, it seems every business has jumped on the corporate blog bandwagon.
Some companies are clearly excelling at this and developing a following, and reaping the benefits of blogging. Others, for no lack of good intentions or enthusiasm, are not so successful in this space. If you are in the latter category, you are not alone.
While it’s common for companies to use their current employees for blogging, it can bring mixed results, for a couple of reasons. What these companies save using internal resources can end up costing them in terms of blog content quality, readership, respectability and results.
As an extension of a brand’s online presence, blog content should be held to the same standards companies have for their other marketing efforts, offline and online properties. And some companies simply don’t have the internal resources to consistently create this level of content.
We have included a few key questions below to help you determine if your company is equipped for blogging, or if you should consider outsourcing your blog.
People tend to underestimate the amount of care, feeding and man hours that go into a blog. Blogs are now so easy to implement and affordable that companies may be diving in because they can with a limited understanding for the resources that are needed to maintain a successful blog over time.
You may already be struggling with this issue. Publishing the recommended baseline two to three posts a week can be tough for an employee saddled with other primary responsibilities. Creating good blog content with limited time can be even more challenging.
However, if your staff is unable to commit to at least two solid posts per week, you might want to consider outsourcing your blog writing to a reputable professional who can easily manage this sizable, but important, workload.
Employee bloggers are likely very knowledgeable of the company brand, products and services, and may even work in the marketing department. But do they possess the sophisticated writing skills needed to blog successfully?
While blog training can help bloggers bone up on Best Practices, it is no substitute or a solid writing foundation. This training has the most impact on those who have already mastered the fundamentals, because, ultimately, the best bloggers are great writers.
So ask yourself, is your staff blogger consistently able to deliver at least 200 words worth of relevant, optimized and, importantly, interesting content? Or are your blog posts often thin, resembling a social media post in depth and length?
This is a common problem. While it’s extremely important to keep your blog current, you also want to ensure your posts are blog appropriate, written intelligently, on par with your other corporate communications, even if the blog carries a different tone, well optimized and geared to your target audience.
If your blogger is unable to write in this capacity, you should consider outsourcing your blog content. You can continue to leverage this employee’s engagement with the corporate blog moving forward. Their company knowledge will make them an ideal subject matter expert, who can collaborate with the external blogger to brainstorm blog topics, and proof outsourced blog posts for accuracy and quality assurance prior to publication.
Blogs often start off with a lot of enthusiasm, steam and ideas behind them that can dwindle over time. Even the most successful professional bloggers grapple with coming up with blog post ideas sometimes.
A blog content calendar can help by giving bloggers a chance to plan ahead and brainstorm with other employees to cover popular topics that are important to their audience, while allowing space for current topics that will likely arise. A blank screen can be very intimidating, and having post topic ideas nailed down ahead of time can free the blogger to concentrate on simply writing the blog post content.
With that said, creating a blog content calendar also requires time – time that busy employees may not have, or could be dedicating to tasks closer to their wheelhouse.
Thankfully, blog content calendars can also be outsourced if time and/or ideas are scarce.
Whether you decide to outsource your blog or keep it in house, it’s important to see it as an extension of your brand, and to ensure it carries the same professional presence your other online properties possess.
While it might be tempting and seem more cost effective initially to manage your blog in house, if your employees don’t have the bandwidth or skills needed to represent your brand professionally, manage the additional workload well, or create content with the frequency blogging requires, outsourcing your blog may be a very viable time and cost effective option for your company.