Once you’ve decided that a blog will serve your communications needs, it’s time to do some planning. The blog fairy – a cousin of the tooth fairy — is generally too busy to make content appear magically, so you’ll need to give it some thought.
Think about your audience(s),the subjects that interest them and the messages you’d like to convey to them or the information you’d like to disseminate. Instead of using the space to directly advertise products or services, consider offering useful advice or fresh ideas. If you provide interesting content, your readers will see you as an enjoyable read or a good source and they’ll be more tempted to return to your website.
Start your ideas flowing by creating an editorial calendar. This is nothing more than a chart displaying the publication dates for your blog posts and the topics each post will cover. It may look daunting, but brainstorm with your colleagues and you’ll have the calendar filled in before you know it.
Think about natural markers, such as seasons and holidays. There are bound to be topics that suit particular times of the year. For example, since my blog generally focuses on language, in advance of Valentine’s Day, I might write a post exploring pickup lines today and in the past. Quirky, but interesting.
Writing concisely is better than being verbose, especially in today’s world of short attention spans. Try to keep the length of your posts from 300 to 500 words. You can always break a topic into portions and run them consecutively, rather than overwhelming your readers.
Even though blogs are language-based, readers are attracted to images, so try to include at least one with each post. There are sites that offer free photos, such as Pixabay and Freeimages; the photos may require attribution, but it’s worth the “price”!
Finally, don’t forget your spell check feature, one of a writer’s best friends online. Nothing will hit a wrong note with your readers like spelling errors.
Take the blogging plunge and enjoy the results!