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Jan10
10 Steps To Creating A Successful Corporate Blog
In yesterday's post, I promised that I would return to the subject of the amount of time and effort required to produce an effective business blog.  Today I want to explore that subject a little more by sharing ten tips on how to make a successful corporate blog (I'll deal with personal money-making "business" blogs another day).  These tips are not meant to be comprehensive; rather, I hope that you think about these ideas and use them to help you jump-start a great company blog.

1.  Identify your strengths.  Think about what you do best.  What interests you most?  You will find it easier to write about the things tahat you find most interesting, and those who visit your corporate blog are more likely to engage you in conversations if they can tell that you are passionate about your topic.

2.  Think of a domain name.  Do not settle for a BlogSpot account or some other free blog hosting option.  Spend a little money and get your own domain name.  This gives you a little more uniqueness and people are more likely to respect your site.  Make the name as short as possible, easy to spell and easy to remember.

3.  Claim your blog at Technorati.  (Learn how.)

4.  Register your corporate blog at popular blog search engines and directories.  Feedster, IceRocket, Daypop and PubSub are fine options.

5.  Choose a good blogging platform.  Movable Type, Wordpress and TypePad are three of the most popular blogging software solutions.  Give 'em a whirl and see what works best for you.  (I use Movable Type, and it does the job just fine.)

6.   Get some design help.  You may know a lot about business, but you probably need some good suggestions when it comes to blog design (unless that happens to be your specialty).  (On that note, yes, I'll have a nice logo for this site soon.)

7.  Be creative.  Do not simply mimic another successful company blog.  Think about what makes your products or services unique.  For examples of corporate blogs with unique flavors, look no further than Stone Creek Coffee and Stonyfield Farms (those two just popped into my head at the same time - I wonder why).  Notice how these blogs have unique designs and color schemes that complement the products they offer.

8.  Make a plan.  Trust me I know from experience that if you do not start your blogging day with a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, you are likely to suffer from CRAWIHCO syndrome (chicken running around with its head cut off). 

9.   Talk to people.  Nobody expects you to learn how to blog on your own.  Search the web for company blogs that are similar to  the one that you have in mind.  Try Technorati's Blog Finder, IceRocket and Google Blog Search for starters.

10.  Learn by reading other blogs.  RSS is a heaven-sent gift.  It means you can pull content from any blog (well, any RSS-enabled blog - nearly all blogs offer an RSS feed) and receive instant notification whenever the blog is updated.  Once you have found a blog that you like, look for RSS feed subscription buttons and use them to pull a feed into any news reader you like (My Yahoo! and Bloglines are two of the most popular options).

If you have any questions about these tips, please don't hesitate to ask them.  Business Blog Wire is a place for conversations about professional blogging, and I welcome all of your comments, insights and feedback.  By the way, thank you for reading my humble posts.

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