A corporate blog, in fact, any term that incorporates the word corporate, carries connotations of boring.
Don’t get me wrong. The fact that so many companies have realised the potential of a blog to boost their online presence (and search engine optimisation), cement their status as experts and as an excellent customer service tool is fantastic.
However, when populating their blog, many companies fall flat on their corporate faces. You see, they appear to lack the ability to write with clarity on subjects their readers find interesting. Instead, they publish dense, content-heavy, jargon-filled nonsense. And then wonder why no one is reading their formal, overly technical drivel.
I’m here to show you another way to blog that will have your readers perched on the edge of their seats, waiting for your next post.
The following 12 points will help you create and maintain an entertaining and engaging blog that people will want to read.
12 ways to make your corporate blog readable
- Keep it personal
Despite what you think, a corporate blog should be personal. After all, it is a person writing the post, so make sure your personality comes through.
Writing your post in the second person (like this post) will help you connect with your reader because that is what you want to do. A blog post that simply talks at the reader won’t be well received, but if you write to your audience, it becomes much more personal.
Of course, to write to your audience, you have to know who they are, so make sure you do your research first.
Don’t, whatever you do, write in technical jargon. Your post has to be easy to read, and that means leaving all technical terminology out. If it is absolutely necessary, make sure you define it clearly so everyone can understand.
One of the keys to writing a good blog post is to use simple language and plain English.
Most people read blogs during their coffee break, so make sure you keep them relatively short. Somewhere between 400 – 1000 words is ideal. If you think your post is likely to be longer than that, split it into two separate posts.
It’s a sad fact, but even after slaving for hours over your blog post, people are unlikely to read every word you write. That’s why making it scannable is essential. You can do this by using effective headings, subheadings, bulleted lists and short paragraphs to help your reader dip in for the information they need.
Above all, your posts have to be interesting and relevant to your reader. Make sure you write something that will be of use to them and add value to your relationship.
- No awards
I mentioned earlier that you need to keep your language plain and simple. You are not writing an award-winning novel; it’s just a blog post to impart a useful tip or bit of information to your readers. The last thing they want is to have to sit and decipher your incomprehensible language.
They won’t be impressed by big words, so keep it simple.
- Strong headings
As with every form of writing, your title must be strong and compelling enough to make them want to read it. Likewise, your opening paragraph has to grab their attention and pull them in.
If your post is weak in either of these areas, you’re unlikely to attract readers.
- SEO (search engine optimisation)
Yes, it’s those horrible initials again. If you want your posts to be found, you have to use SEO techniques. Include your keyword in your heading and subheadings. It will also need to be in your body text (along with associated words and terms), but not to the extent that it makes it unreadable.
- Show don’t tell
The underlying aim of your blog post will be to show how extraordinary your company is. But coming straight out and telling them you’re the best thing since sliced bread is not the best way to do it.
The best way to highlight your company’s greatness is through case studies, examples and your knowledge.
You can keep your blog fresh by mixing up its content. If you just constantly churn out industry news, it will get boring. Instead, offer articles on manufacturers, customer interviews, industry news, happenings within your company, top tips and how-to articles.
Blog posts are always enhanced by appropriate images. They can also act as an enticement to get people to read your post.
But make sure they are relevant and of good quality.
- Call to action
After spending (potentially) hours writing your post, make sure you make the most of it by adding a call to action.
It could be something simple as a request for comments, a link to sign up for your newsletter or white paper, or it could be a ‘call now for more information’.
You would never send out a sales letter without a call to action, so why waste this opportunity?
You see, corporate blogs don’t have to be boring. Make sure you understand who you are writing to, keep your language simple and make the blog look attractive (by using subheadings, bulleted lists etc.).
Your blog is an essential sales tool and should be given as much importance as your main website and other sales materials.
The final word
Does all that sound like hard work?
Does your company get its subject matter experts to write posts? If so, you have come across the issue that I talk about in my article Subject Matter Experts Should Never Be Allowed To Write Content. That’s why many companies entrust their article writing to professional copywriters (just like me). They can create original content from research and interviewing subject matter experts. It’s an efficient way to run a corporate blog and maybe something you should consider.
Sally Ormond, professional copywriter and corporate blogger.