In no particular order (I’m truly feeling random today – early concalls tend to do that to me) here are some great links for business blogging. First, the mantra: Sun Microsystem’s blog policy:
Advice By speaking directly to the world, without benefit of management approval, we are accepting higher risks in the interest of higher rewards. We don’t want to micro-manage, but here is some advice.
It’s a Two-Way Street The real goal isn’t to get everyone at Sun blogging, it’s to become part of the industry conversation. So, whether or not you’re going to write, and especially if you are, look around and do some reading, so you learn where the conversation is and what people are saying.
If you start writing, remember the Web is all about links; when you see something interesting and relevant, link to it; you’ll be doing your readers a service, and you’ll also generate links back to you; a win-win.
This is not only a must read, it’s a must print and tape right beside my computer so I am reminded not to shoot myself in the foot by blogging. Read it, know it, live it…
Then there’s some good tips on business blogging at Better Business Blogging:
How to identify a potential company blogger
In deciding who should blog, I would probably suggest that you consider someone who :
- has a passion for what they are writing about
- ideally enjoys writing (also it helps if they are good at it)
- has expertise in the area (and ideally a good general knowledge base)
- is a good listener and is open to feedback (including criticism)
- is familiar with blogs and how to present yourself in them
Then there’s Sue Polinsky at DownloadSquad.com posting on Business Blog Bungles:
Difficult domains. Get an $8 domain with meaning and resolve it to your blog. Although it’s tempting to get a free blogger.com or wordpress.com blog, your link will never be your own (and you’re subject to the slings and arrows of the ads, layout and other stuff free providers can do). Self-hosted blogs are slightly more expensive but you can customize the design and use your $8 domain name to stand out from the rest.
Sue’s got a great point in that…I’ve been asked by several people of late to help extract them from the world of Blogger, and get them onto their own domain, because they’ve actually become quite successful at blogging. Best to own your own pond than to swim in someone else’s ocean…
Then of course no list on business blogging is complete without a post from Mike Sansone over at Converstations.com:
I’m often approached by people trying to take shortcuts into the blogosphere:
- We’ll post once a week
- Let’s turn off comments
- We’ll create one voice and byline (“The Blog Squad”)
- We don’t have time to read other blogs
- I don’t want us pointing out to other sites
- We don’t want to blog – but we know we should
If you want your business blog to succeed – work hard. You’ll extend your voice, broaden your customer base, develop loyalty with current customers, and synchronize your communication.
There’s no easier path to failure than any one of the items on his list. You might want to have a look at all Mike’s posts on Business in this link.
The first decision is whether to allow comments at all. There are many reasons not to, but absolutely none of them are as strong as the reasons why you should allow comments. Yes, there will be idiots who leave dumb comments. There will be trolls (people who deliberately leave nasty comments to incite you). There may be spies from your competitors. There will be unhappy customers.
Then there’s Mary Schmidt on How Do You Write an Outstanding Blog Post?:
1. I read (a lot) – everything and anything. From other blogs to the back of cereal boxes to right-wing pundits’ so-called books to out-of-print classics. This gives me food for thought and blogging.
2. I write (a lot) – for every post you read, I’ve written another four or five…and have 20 to 30 drafts, most of which never make the cut. (No, no, you don’t have to write this much – I enjoy writing and it’s also beneficial to my “day job” where I write a lot for clients.)
3. I seek new experiences – rather it’s “discovering” a back road in New Mexico or a new museum – it’s all good for potential blogging insights.
That ought to give us all a little food for thought for the day. Whether you’ve blogged for years, or you’re just thinking about getting started, there is plenty to consider amongst those posts.