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Before I get into what this blog is about I think it might be better to tell you what this blog isn't. First, I won't be discussing why you should be blogging, I'll take the fact that you are reading this as a sign that you already know you should. Second, it won't be a technical how -to-manual of setting up and maintaining blogging software. In this post I will take it for granted that you have already decided to blog, and that you already have blogging software, whether it's hosted or self-hosted. Now that we have gotten that covered let's get right into the meat of this post.
It's important to note that when I refer to establishing a corporate blog, I am referring to blog that is written by multiple people within the business, not just one person whose job it is. Always remember, a business that blogs together, thrives together (more tongue-in-cheek but you get the point!).
Step One - Establishing A Goal
What is going to be the goal of your blog? I know that your end goal is going to be to generate leads but how will you accomplish that? Are you going to use it as a pass through to another site, such as a dealerships retail site or are you going to use it to generate leads right on the blog? Here are a few questions to ask yourself when establishing the goals of your blog:
Here are a few more goals to keep in mind, while you're establishing them:
You could even drill down your goals further and set traffic goals, click-throughs to your website or even conversion rate (readers vs. the number of people that perform an action such as submit a lead or sign up for your newsletter). Always remember that when you set goals to make them specific, realistic and timely.
Step 2 - Develop A Set of Keywords
Traffic is important. Wow, that was an understatement, but is the reason for step number 2. In order to get the kind of traffic that will equal sales (buying cars, service, or parts if you're a dealership) you must write for the audience that you are seeking. In order to do that look no further than the questions that your customers ask of you and take a close look at what interests them. Once you do that take a look at Google's Keyword Tool, it will tell you how many people are searching for a specific keyword, it will even let you know what the competition level is on specific words.
Step 3 - Map Out Specific Topics and Create An Editorial Calendar
Now that you have established a set of keywords, both long and short it's time to create topics out of them. For instance if you found that "auto repair in Denver" had over 4,000 searches per month (it does I looked) then you might consider writing a blog post titled something like, "5 Things You Need To Consider BEFORE Searching for Auto Repair in Denver."
Make your list of post topics as long as possible before you start writing, always adding to it so that you never run out of things to write about, thinking about things to write about, here are a few places you can go to find topics:
After you have your list of topics it's time to put a date to them and schedule when each topic will be posted, this will serve as your editorial calendar.
Step 4 - Pick Blog Authors
Now that you have an editorial calendar along with a list of topics it's time to choose who is the best to write them. Using the example post title above, and if you're a dealership or an auto repair shop, who would be best suited to write it? A service adviser maybe? How about the service manager or even a service tech? On your editorial calendar put the name of the person writing the post next to each topic.
Step 5 - Set Writing Guidelines and Stick To Your Editorial Calendar
At the onset its import to put certain writing guidelines in place such as length. While it's hard to say how long a post should be, because if you ask me I will say as long as it needs to be to get the point across I will say that you should probably keep your posts to a 300 word minimum. As always, spelling and grammar is important and as I mentioned above its good to have one person in charge, don't worry grammar doesn't have to be college English level good but it should be well written. Along with length also talk font type and size, it's important that the formatting remain consistent. A few other things to think about.
Following this simple 5 step process you can have a corporate blog up and running in no time that will create word-of-mouth, increase repeat customers and generate you more traffic than you ever thought possible. Your blog is the center to your social media strategy and is a very important part of any online marketing strategy.