How to Run a Successful Corporate Blog
If you’ve ever had a blog, you know the feeling of excitement that comes with hitting the “Publish” button on a piece of fresh content. It’s like a Leslie Knope dance party.
That feeling dissipates quickly when you remember two things. 1. Creating that blog took a lot of work and 2. You have to do it all over again to create the next one. Cue Leslie Knope stress-eating waffles.
Run a Successful Corporate Blog: Table of Contents
Should You Even Run a Corporate Blog?
The potential ROI of starting a blog for your company is alluring. Let’s look at three important data points:
- 57% of marketers said that blogging has brought them new clients (Source)
- Brands that blog produce 67% more leads per month on average than those that don’t (Source)
- 80% of people online interact with blogs at some point (Source)
These stats could make any business leader or marketing team want to launch a blog immediately. But before you take that step, you must do some crucial pre-work.
Get clear on the goals you have for your blog.
In other words, ask yourself and your team: What do we want our blog to accomplish? Or as my former boss used to say, when you think about running a successful blog, “what does success look like?” If you don’t do the work of defining the ideal outcome of your blogging efforts, you could end up making a decision that hurts your company.
For example, let’s say you want to run a corporate blog that drives a significant amount of revenue. You look into the resources required for running that type of blog and realize you don’t have those resources in place. In that case, it might be best to not run a corporate blog right now.
But let’s say you choose to launch the blog anyway–without having all of the resources you need. Doing this may cause your team to burn out, not deliver on other projects and have to stop blogging altogether. Plus, halting your blogging efforts suddenly because your team can’t handle the workload can hurt your SEO, brand image and the sales you were hoping to make with your blog.
Here’s the deal. Before you take the plunge and launch a blog, identify what you want to accomplish with blogging in the first place. Maybe you want your blog to bring in leads that become paying customers. Maybe you want your blog to raise awareness about your company. Or maybe you want your blog to attract top job candidates.
Getting clear on your desired goals and resources needed is crucial in making the smartest decision for your company. This blog can help make that decision easier.
What Every Successful Corporate Blog Needs
Regardless of what you want your accomplish with your blog, you need a designated team to run and maintain it. Why? Two main reasons.
First, you set your blog up for maximum success when you create a team with designated roles. When your team knows exactly who is creating the content, sourcing images, proofing, loading it to your website and promoting it, the work is more likely to get done and get done well. Alternately, a team without much direction may end up deprioritizing blogging efforts in favor of more urgent tasks, or tasks that are more directly tied to revenue.
Second, creating a designated team demonstrates your seriousness about running a corporate blog—and that you expect your team to take it seriously as well. Too often, yet understandably so, the company blog is one of the first projects that marketing and business leaders eliminate from their ToDo list in favor of other tasks. This is because blogs yield positive results over time, rather than quick transactional work that leads to revenue immediately.
A successful corporate blog features high-quality content on a consistent basis, which compounds over a period of time. 85% of companies that use inbound marketing, such as blogging, see results within seven months. When you create a blog team with defined roles, processes and parameters, you send a message to your own team and to your whole company that the corporate blog is a priority for the long haul.
Key Roles Roles On a Successful Corporate Blog Team
When deciding how to staff your blog team, return to your goals. The results you want from your blog can help you determine not only the type of people you need, but the level of skill those people need to have.
For example, maybe you want to make your blog an important part of the buyer’s journey. That means your blog will be responsible for generating organic traffic and bringing in leads that are likely to convert.
For this type of blog, you’ll need a team with high bandwidth and advanced skills. That might mean you hire new staff or freelancers, or rewrite job descriptions so that your top workers are available to launch and run the blog.
On the other hand, maybe you want your blog to gain attention for your company from a wider audience, promote your work culture to top job candidates and/or keep current current customers engaged with your brand.
Since these goals are less tied to leads and sales, a team with intermediate skills and a bit less bandwidth can launch and run your blog successfully. This might look like using your interns and adding blogging responsibilities to your current staff.
Did you know Hey Sarah can run a successful corporate blog for your company?
Meet Your Corporate Blog Team
When I help brands launch and run a successful corporate blog, I typically recommend that they designate the following roles for their blog team:
Writer/Content Strategist: This is the most important role on your blog team. This person is responsible first and foremost for content creation. Ideally, you writer can conduct impeccable research on subject matter areas, find root sources of statistics, interview subject matter experts and more.
Finally, your writer must have plenty of time to write. High-quality, well-researched blog posts take time to create. This is especially true if you want your blog to drive leads and revenue. Longform blogs of at least 1,200 words–posted on a regular basis–perform much better in SERPs and in engaging readers than short blogs.
SEO Strategist: Your writer can find great keywords and create action-inspiring copy. But there’s a lot more to blogging than that. The SEO strategist on your team works on both the front-end and back-end of the blog. They not only advise on the actual content of the blog, i.e. keyword research and use of headers, but they can also ensure the blog is structured for high rankings. This includes tagging images, improving header formatting, monitoring competitor content, creating blog categories and more.
They can also track the performance of your blog via tools like Google Search Console and SemRush. With that data, they can advise your writer on blog topics, keywords, word count and use of images/videos. I would recommend an SEO strategist to any brand looking to gain leads and revenue from their corporate blog.
Graphic Designer: Let’s face it. Stock images just don’t cut it sometimes. Even the good ones leave something to be desired. And the data supports that. More than 40% of marketers said that original graphics performed the best with their audience. That’s why a successful corporate blog team includes a graphic designer who can create customized images for your blog.
Your blog graphic designer doesn’t have to be a full-time staff member. Someone from Fiverr or Upwork with a strong portfolio would work. An intern is a great choice as well. When filling this role, look for people with strong skills in Canva and/or Photoshop (particularly for a revenue-driving blog) and the ability to receive and make changes based on feedback.
Examples of Original Images Your Blog Graphic Designer Can Make:
- Team/office photos
Web Developer: Finally, behind every engaging, valuable blog is a great web developer. Web developers make sure your blog loads quickly (site speed matters a lot) and works properly. If you want your blog to drive leads and revenue, hiring an advanced web developer with plenty of bandwidth is crucial.
The developer your company already uses may be a great option. You just need to make sure your current developer can work well with your blog writer and SEO strategist, and provide active input on how to improve the blog from a technical standpoint. Along with fixing glitches and making straightforward website updates, a great developer for a revenue-driving blog will monitor the user’s journey and find ways to improve it–from landing on the blog, to downloading a lead magnet, receiving emails and making a purchase.
On the other hand, if you want to run a successful corporate blog that raises brand awareness, Google rankings and conversions will not be as much of a priority. Therefore, a web developer with intermediate skills and/or the current web developer your company already uses could suit your needs. For this type of blog, your web developer will focus more on making the blog look great and run smoothly, fixing glitches and making edits as needed.
How to Run a Successful Corporate Blog With Lean Resources
If you want to run a successful corporate blog and don’t have the resources to build a designated team, blogging can still be an option. Here are a few ways to do that:
- Rely on interns and/or contractors. You can find fantastic, affordable writers, SEO strategists, graphic designers and web developers on online marketplaces such as Fiverr and Upwork. Many skilled people on these sites don’t charge a ton of money for their services, and you can hire them on an as-needed basis. Interns are also a great option because they’re affordable and motivated. If you have the time to manage and coach them, they can produce great work for your blog.
- Reduce posting frequency. Hubspot found that publishing 2-4 blogs/week generates the highest amount of traffic and conversions. But you can still see results from publishing 1-4 blogs/month. Furthermore, particularly for teams with the goal of gaining brand awareness rather than traffic or conversions, frequency doesn’t matter as much as consistency. This is a much more sustainable schedule for teams running lean. It allows you to get comfortable with blogging and gives you time to create a plan for bringing on more resources when you’re ready to ramp up your efforts.
- Feature your internal staff and customers. One of the biggest challenges of blogging is identifying new ideas for content. You can make this easier on yourself, especially if you don’t have a full team, by featuring your colleagues and customers on the blog. For example, collect all of your customer testimonials and turn them into a blog post that features more detail about each customer and what your company helped them achieve. Additionally, if you have a customer service rep who’s great at solving problems, interview them about regular customer questions or challenges. Turn your rep’s answers into a blog post that helps your customers solve their problems. Your rep can also send customers the blog during chats and emails.