April 8th, 2008 | 6 MIN READ

Corporate Blogging: Tips for Writing Your First Blog Post

Written by author_profile_images Linda Bustos

Linda is an ecommerce industry analyst and consultant specializing in conversion optimization and digital transformation.

Corporate Blogging TipsI was recently approached by my former employer and friend for some tips on writing the first blog post for a corporate blog. This company blog is written by members of the team and announced to a mailing list of previous and current clients, prospects and business partners so the first post really needed to set the stage for why the company has ventured into blogging, what topics will be covered and an introduction to the blog authors.

I asked a few experts in the blogging world to share their thoughts on what makes a good first blog post:

Jeff Quipp from Search Engine People

  • Tell a little about each of the people who will be blogging: a brief profile, what their expertise is, pictures, etc. You want readers to connect with the bloggers.
  • Talk about the breadth of subjects that will be covered along with reasons why they should read your blog. How is your blog different from all the rest? What benefits can they expect from reading it?
  • Begin to set expectations about frequency of posts and themes (Friday Funnies posts, Monday Modelling etc).
  • Explain how they can subscribe in feed readers or via email.
  • Build anticipation by including a list of upcoming posts to pique interest and get them coming back.
  • Ideally your first post will also discuss something truly new within the industry to kick-start subscribership.

Jeff QuippJeff Quipp is president of Search Engine People, a leading search engine optimization and marketing services company. Jeff’s an expert in social media marketing, linking strategies, web site usability and visitor conversion processes.

Mack Collier from The Viral Garden

In reality, the first post is probably going to be there more for the benefit of the bloggers themselves than the readers, since you likely will start with little or no readership, as almost all blogs do.

I would clearly spell out exactly why you are blogging, and what you hope to accomplish. Again this will be for the blogger's benefit as well, they can return to the post to stay focused. Also make sure the readers know that they are ENCOURAGED to contribute, and point out how they can comment or email their comments. It wouldn't be a bad idea to introduce the blog's writers in the post as well.

From the reader's point of view, I would want to see this from the first post:

1 - Who you are
2 - Why you are blogging
3 - What will you be blogging about
4 - How I can leave feedback

Do that and you'll be off to a great start!

Mack CollierMack Collier is a social media consultant, and author of The Viral Garden, a blog focusing on marketing and social media. Known for his ‘community-first’ approach to blogging and social media, Mack focuses on teaching companies how they can use social media to excite and engage their customers, as well as better understand and market to them.

Mack is a requested speaker and has advised companies of all sizes on their social media strategies, from small businesses and startups, to companies as large as Dell and Microsoft.

Sample First Blog Post

Michael Brito, social media evangelist at Intel Corporation has provided a personality-packed sample first blog post for your inspiration:

Raise the curtain for our new “insert company name” blog

Clap. Clap. Clap…Hello and welcome to the new *blank” blog. Here’s where you’ll find the latest & greatest news on everything about *blank” – from cool product/service updates to interviews with *blank” employees (yes, there are wildly interesting people running around here starting with me of course).

Plus you’ll see *blank” fans/reader in the spotlight with our weekly member profiles. Along the way, we’ll try to make this blog a touch more interesting to read than your refrigerator’s user manual.

So bookmark this blog, email to a friend/colleague or add our RSS feed, and let’s pump up the volume on news at *blank”. And of course, we’d love getting your feedback on *blank” and this blog — and what you want to see discussed (and showcased) in the future.

Until next time friends…

*blank” blogger

Michael BritoMichael Brito is a social media evangelist at Intel Corporation and writes frequently in his social media marketing blog.

Stand Out

There's no template for your first blog post, but there are several things in Michael's sample you should make note of:

1. Headline is creative - doesn't rely on "Welcome to our {company} blog." It shows pizzazz.
2. It starts off with a hello and welcome rather than "We" -- it's talking to the person.
3. The first paragraph cuts to the chase about the focus and content of the blog - what the reader can expect.
4. Uses humor.
5. Asks for the signup - a bookmark, email subscription or RSS add and invites user feedback
6. Enthusiastic tone
7. Not long-winded
8. Signed off by a person, like an email

Further Reading

I hope this post gives you encouragement to take the plunge into corporate blogging if you haven't already. Last week Justin Palmer covered 6 reasons you should have an ecommerce blog. You will also enjoy James Chartrand's contribution to Copyblogger that helps you choose a blog tagline.

And be sure to submit your blog to the RSS feed aggregators listed in 153 Places to Promote Your Blog to expand your content's reach quickly.

10 Quick Tips on How to Start a Blog

A final note, Michael Brito also offered 10 Tips for Starting A Blog. Keep in mind that #10 is not suited for online retailers, you may want to consider #10 as "merchandise" - including your products in your blog posts.

1. Identify your target audience. In other words, who do you expect to be reading your blog? And, whoever that may be, be sure to write in a way that identifies with them.

2. Research your competitors. Do they have a blog? What are they writing about? What is their tone? It’s okay to copy what they are doing….well, not like plagiarism or anything, but you understand.

3. Establish an Editorial calendar. Make sure your editorial calendar is up to date with ideas for the blog for the next two months out. This will ensure adequate and timely posts without having to stress out at the last minute.

4. Use Wordpress. It’s very easy to install and manage. Plus, there are a ton of plugins you can install to make life easier for you.

5. Optimize the blog. Make it convenient for your readers to subscribe via RSS, bookmark (Digg, Delicious, Stumble), and email to a friend. This will help your content travel across the internet with no real effort on your part.

6. Participate. Join social networks (MyBlogLog, Facebook, etc.) and use services like Twitter. This will help gain more readership to your blog.

7. Be transparent. Don’t fake it till’ you make it. Be real and speak with an authentic voice. You will build credibility and establish trust with your readers.

8. Respond to comments. Blogs are meant for conversations. Be sure to respond to most if not all comments left on the blog.

9. Build Community. Focus on growing and nurturing the community first, then monetize.

10. Monetize. This should be done after the blog has been established with a sizable community. You can monetize with Google Adsense or join a publishing network, etc.

Looking for more ecommerce tips? Check out our video ecommerce tips (updated weekly) or our Twitter stream @elasticpath (updated daily).

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