I don’t know why I used camelCase in the title. I must be losing the plot.

Anyway, here are 5 tips for corporate blogging. I’m not much of a blogger (in spite of being in the top 100, I really am NOT), and I tend not to write about blogging, but blogs often ARE the first steps and a small part of building a social network, so I really should pay more attention to the how-tos. Heh.

Five Getting-Started Blog Questions

  1. What will the blog be about? The blog’s theme should be consistent with the company’s product or service lines, but tangential enough so the blog isn’t solely about things the company sells. A blog that only exists to link to its e-commerce site won’t get far in the blogosphere. (more here)
  2. Who will blog? Company blogs can be written by employees, non-staff, or brand evangelists (i.e., passionate customers). If the blogger is outside the organization, make it clear the blog is sponsored by your company to avoid negative press about ghost-blogging. (more here)
  3. How much time will blogging take? Daily posting is ideal, but a couple times a week is sufficient. The higher the posts’ quality, the less frequently you have to post. If each post takes 30-60 minutes to write, that’s one-five blogging hours per week. And when you’re first getting started, it’s a good idea to allocate an equal amount of time to commenting on other bloggers’ blogs. Total blogging and commenting time is about 10 hours a week, unless there’s a cumbersome post approval process. If the legal department must preview each post, rewrites and disclaimers could add some 30 hours per week to the timetable. (complete cos I loved the last line)
  4. What will blogging cost? Many blog services are free, but no-fee blog services aren’t optimally designed to maximize keyword visibility and link popularity. A corporate blog should represent the company in voice, design, and brand. It should be built on a solid strategy and planned to deliver maximum benefit to the company’s e-commerce Web site, while not appearing to be a corporate tool. (more here)
  5. Will blogging really help? If the blog is optimally created and maintained, with a transparent, sincere voice and a commitment to using it to build relationships as well as links, then, yes, it will help. How much? That depends on how much the company is willing to invest in developing relationships with customers and prospects in the blogosphere. The only time blogging can really hurt is if the bloggers are insincere and dishonest and ignore their audience, or if your company has a god-awful online reputation in the first place. If you’re in a war of attrition over your company’s online reputation, it’s going to take a heck of a lot more than a simple blog to fix the mess you’re in. (complete cos I loved the last point)

There’s heaps more in the article.

Blog Business Summit also has a nice little paragraph:

One of the big questions people have about starting a business or corporate blog is, will this take a lot of my (or my employee’s) time? This cartoon from BLaugh might be (okay it is) extreme, but it strikes to the heart of the matter.

And you want my honest answer? Will blogging take too much time? No. It won’t really. Not if you don’t let it. Writing a blog post only takes as long as writing an e-mail. Catching up on RSS feeds? Well if you don’t have 700+ like me, few minutes. Moderating comments and trackbacks? Five minutes a couple times a day, at most.

Think about how much time you spend in a given day doing things that don’t add value to your business day. Think about how much of an edge you can have if you get the news and information at your fingertips via RSS. Think about the time you can save by posting something to your blog that you’d have to send out in a mass e-mail that might not be read or just dumped into a spam folder.

So, now do you think blogging will take too much time or do you like writing newsletters and press releases that don’t get read?

I’m not convinced Aussie CEOS should blog. We don’t have a culture of precocious children who are taught public speaking in primary school, nor do we worship CEOs a demi-gods. Let’s face it, name a CEO who has personality and charisma in Australia the likes of Steve Jobs or even John Chambers of Cisco. And nope, Sol Trujillo doesn’t count, he grew up in the US of A. But just because we want our CEOs to be running the company, not indulging in chatty blogs, doesn’t mean someone shouldn’t be blogging in the company. NB: I also think that most Australian CEOs are hopeless at articulating and delivering their vision for their company. I sometimes wonder if they have a vision. Letting ’em loose on a blog where all they do is gas on about beating the opposition would be… well, let’s say… detrimental to the image of the company.

One last point on how much time it takes to manage comments on a blog…
…. you should be so lucky.

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