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Corporate Blogging For Dummies®

Book Description

Establish a successful corporate blog to reach your customers

Corporate blogs require careful planning and attention to legal and corporate policies in order for them to be productive and effective. This fun, friendly, and practical guide walks you through using blogging as a first line of communication to customers and explains how to protect your company and employees through privacy, disclosure, and moderation policies.

Blogging guru Douglas Karr demonstrates how blogs are an ideal way to offer a conversational and approachable relationship with customers. You'll discover how to prepare, execute, establish, and promote a corporate blogging strategy so that you can reap the rewards that corporate blogging offers.

  • Shares best practices of corporate blogging, including tricks of the trade, what works, and traps to avoid

  • Walks you through preparing a corporate blog, establishing a strategy, promoting that blog, and measuring its success

  • Reviews the legalities involved with a corporate blog, such as disclaimers, terms of service, comment policies, libel and defamation, and more

  • Features examples of successful blogging programs throughout the book

  • Corporate Blogging For Dummies shows you how to establish a corporate blog in a safe, friendly, and successful manner.

    Table of Contents

    1. Copyright
    2. About the Authors
    3. Authors' Acknowledgments
    4. Publisher's Acknowledgments
    5. Introduction
      1. About This Book
      2. Conventions Used in This Book
      3. What You Don't Have to Read
      4. Foolish Assumptions
      5. How the Book is Organized
        1. Part I: Getting Started with Corporate Blogging
        2. Part II: Mapping Out and Implementing Your Corporate Blog
        3. Part III: Engaging Your Search Engine Optimization Strategy
        4. Part IV: Expanding Blog Posts and Promoting Content
        5. Part V: Measuring Success
        6. Part VI: The Part of Tens
      6. Icons Used in This Book
      7. Where to Go from Here
    6. I. Getting Started with Corporate Blogging
      1. 1. Corporate Blogging from Soup to Nuts
        1. 1.1. Why Blogging Is Different than Your Web Site
          1. 1.1.1. Understanding blogging as a communication tool
          2. 1.1.2. Using blogging as a search engine marketing platform
          3. 1.1.3. Recognizing blogging as an inbound lead strategy
        2. 1.2. Differentiating Corporate Blogging from Personal Blogging
          1. 1.2.1. Putting a human voice on your marketing communications
          2. 1.2.2. Speaking to your audiences
          3. 1.2.3. Writing with a purpose to a blog that sells
        3. 1.3. Defining Key Features of a Blog
          1. 1.3.1. Basic user interface features of a blog
          2. 1.3.2. Basic back-end features of a blog
          3. 1.3.3. Expanding your blog's functionality
        4. 1.4. Recognizing the Benefits of Corporate Blogging
          1. 1.4.1. Booking public speaking engagements
          2. 1.4.2. Publishing opportunities online and offline
          3. 1.4.3. Attracting leads through your blog
          4. 1.4.4. Driving conversions online through blogging
        5. 1.5. Blogging: From Concept to Content to Conversion
          1. 1.5.1. Establishing your strategy and goals
          2. 1.5.2. Picking and training the blogging team
          3. 1.5.3. Identifying platforms and resources
          4. 1.5.4. Compiling search-engine-optimized content
          5. 1.5.5. Monitoring, measuring, and analyzing
          6. 1.5.6. Adjusting strategy or messaging
      2. 2. Laying the Foundation for Blogging
        1. 2.1. Understanding What a Blog Can Do for Your Company
        2. 2.2. Defining a Blogging Strategy
          1. 2.2.1. Assemble your blogging team (and have backups)
          2. 2.2.2. Create a publication schedule
        3. 2.3. Determining Your Blog's Content
          1. 2.3.1. Putting your customers and employees first
          2. 2.3.2. Understanding industry expectations of corporate bloggers
            1. 2.3.2.1. Don't spam
            2. 2.3.2.2. Support other bloggers
            3. 2.3.2.3. Give credit where it's due
          3. 2.3.3. Writing your company's blogging manifesto
        4. 2.4. Determining Who Owns Blogging
          1. 2.4.1. Letting leadership define the voice of your blog
          2. 2.4.2. Letting marketing define the voice of your blog
        5. 2.5. Understanding What to Publish on Your Corporate Blog
      3. 3. Deciding On Your Blogging Goals
        1. 3.1. Setting Goals for Your Blogging Strategy
          1. 3.1.1. Defining the target audience for your blog
          2. 3.1.2. Estimating Your Return on Blogging Investment
            1. 3.1.2.1. Evaluating cost per blogging lead
            2. 3.1.2.2. Measuring the value of search traffic
          3. 3.1.3. Measuring conversions to improve your content
            1. 3.1.3.1. Segmenting your traffic by source
            2. 3.1.3.2. Tracking visitors with analytics and Google Webmasters
            3. 3.1.3.3. Adjusting your strategy to increase conversions
          4. 3.1.4. Reviewing objectives and measuring results
        2. 3.2. Identifying Marketing and Promotion Goals
          1. 3.2.1. Building authority in your industry
          2. 3.2.2. Search engine goals for keyword ranking
        3. 3.3. Setting Goals for Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
          1. 3.3.1. Using blogs to communicate with customers
          2. 3.3.2. Leveraging blogs for your organization's knowledge base
          3. 3.3.3. Sharing customer testimonials
    7. II. Mapping Out and Implementing Your Corporate Blog
      1. 4. Using a Domain That Matters for Your Corporate Blog
        1. 4.1. Integrating Your Corporate Identity into Your Blog
          1. 4.1.1. Bringing your brand and corporate identity to your blog theme
          2. 4.1.2. Ensuring that your customers recognize your blog as authentic
          3. 4.1.3. Personalizing your corporate blog with portraits and biographies
        2. 4.2. Using Your Existing Search Engine Authority with Your Company Domain
          1. 4.2.1. Controlling how a domain affects search engine authority
          2. 4.2.2. Using your existing authority to your advantage
          3. 4.2.3. Working to establish authority as fast as possible
          4. 4.2.4. Moving your blog and retaining authority
        3. 4.3. Selecting the Best Domain Structure for Your Organization
          1. 4.3.1. Understanding the pros and cons of subdomains
          2. 4.3.2. Understanding the pros and cons of putting your blog in a subfolder
      2. 5. Choosing a Blogging Platform
        1. 5.1. Determining Your Blogging Platform
        2. 5.2. Budget Considerations When Selecting Your Platform
          1. 5.2.1. Building your blog on a solid infrastructure
          2. 5.2.2. Hiring a blog consultant to assist with your strategy
        3. 5.3. Choosing a Hosted, Self-Hosted, or SaaS Solution
          1. 5.3.1. Advantages and disadvantages of hosted solutions
          2. 5.3.2. Advantages and disadvantages of self-hosted solutions
          3. 5.3.3. Advantages and disadvantages of SaaS solutions
        4. 5.4. Flexibility in Blog Templating Engines
          1. 5.4.1. Balancing SEO and optimal design
          2. 5.4.2. Developing an attractive and readable blog theme
        5. 5.5. Enhancing Your Platform with Plug-Ins, Widgets, and Gadgets
          1. 5.5.1. Installing WordPress plug-ins and widgets on your Hosted WordPress Blog
          2. 5.5.2. Selecting components that drive traffic to you, not away from you
          3. 5.5.3. Testing components to measure performance
        6. 5.6. Expanding Blogging Platforms Capabilities through Integration
          1. 5.6.1. Using a blogging platform's API
          2. 5.6.2. Automating and routing content through integration
          3. 5.6.3. Differentiating your feed from your blog with integration tools
      3. 6. Regarding Time, Resources, and Content
        1. 6.1. Using External Content Resources
          1. 6.1.1. Winning back time with ghostbloggers and professional content writers
          2. 6.1.2. Purchasing topical content to enhance your blog content
          3. 6.1.3. Hiring industry bloggers to write for your blog
        2. 6.2. Owning Your Content
        3. 6.3. Exporting Content to Import It to Your Next Platform
        4. 6.4. Protecting Your Content
          1. 6.4.1. Securing your corporate blog from hackers
          2. 6.4.2. Backing up your content regularly
          3. 6.4.3. Monitoring your blog to ensure it's up and running
        5. 6.5. Providing Legal Protection for Your Blog
          1. 6.5.1. What to do when your content is stolen
          2. 6.5.2. Including all the required legal components
            1. 6.5.2.1. Writing your blog's disclaimer
            2. 6.5.2.2. What you need to know about privacy
            3. 6.5.2.3. Understanding Creative Commons and Copyrights
            4. 6.5.2.4. Writing your blog's Terms of Service
      4. 7. Working with Your Blogging Team
        1. 7.1. Deciding Who Should Blog in Your Organization
          1. 7.1.1. Choosing the best bloggers
          2. 7.1.2. Recruiting bloggers: You'll be surprised at who gets the results
          3. 7.1.3. Marketing with your bloggers
          4. 7.1.4. Setting expectations with your blogging team
        2. 7.2. Planning Your Content Strategy
          1. 7.2.1. Planning topics, owners, and timelines
          2. 7.2.2. Developing backup content strategies
          3. 7.2.3. Planning content for weekends and vacations
        3. 7.3. Developing an Education Program for Your Bloggers
          1. 7.3.1. Informing your bloggers of their responsibilities
            1. 7.3.1.1. Developing blogging policies for your team
            2. 7.3.1.2. Writing employee guidelines for social media
            3. 7.3.1.3. Providing transparency while protecting intellectual property
          2. 7.3.2. Setting the vision for your bloggers
          3. 7.3.3. Balancing autonomy, individualism, and expectations
        4. 7.4. Monitoring Your Bloggers' Performance
          1. 7.4.1. Balancing content versus traffic and conversions
          2. 7.4.2. Using analytics to monitor specific bloggers
          3. 7.4.3. Dealing with poor blogging performance
        5. 7.5. Motivating and Rewarding Your Bloggers
          1. 7.5.1. Moving a blogger from behind the keyboard to in front of the podium
          2. 7.5.2. Developing a performance-based rewards program for your blog
          3. 7.5.3. Recognizing bloggers without breaking the bank
    8. III. Engaging Your Search Engine Optimization Strategy
      1. 8. Making the Most of Search Engines
        1. 8.1. Understanding How Search Engines Find Your Content
          1. 8.1.1. Building your robots file to allow search engines permission
          2. 8.1.2. Publishing a sitemap that directs search engines properly
          3. 8.1.3. Setting content priorities in your sitemap
          4. 8.1.4. Implementing canonical URLs in your post pages
        2. 8.2. Using Keywords Correctly
          1. 8.2.1. Using page components to emphasize important keywords
          2. 8.2.2. Evaluating keyword competitiveness
          3. 8.2.3. Finding long-tail keywords that drive relevant traffic
          4. 8.2.4. Researching keywords
        3. 8.3. Improving Your Blog's Keyword Content
          1. 8.3.1. Adding keywords to meta descriptions
          2. 8.3.2. Modifying existing posts to increase their search engine ranking
          3. 8.3.3. Optimizing your content for local searches
        4. 8.4. Registering Your Blog with Search Engines
          1. 8.4.1. Verifying your blog is located and indexed by search engines
          2. 8.4.2. Identifying problems in Webmasters and how to correct them
          3. 8.4.3. Monitoring your ranking and how you are being found
        5. 8.5. Putting Your Business on Map Results for Regional Searches
          1. 8.5.1. Registering your business with local search on Google, Bing, and Yahoo!
          2. 8.5.2. Adjusting your location on the map to ensure customers can find you
          3. 8.5.3. Promoting your entry with customer reviews
          4. 8.5.4. Using your entry to publish and offers
      2. 9. Writing Content That Drives Search Engine Traffic
        1. 9.1. Writing Post Titles That Make Searchers Click
          1. 9.1.1. Avoiding link baiting
          2. 9.1.2. Getting traffic from the search engine results page
          3. 9.1.3. Formatting page titles with post titles
          4. 9.1.4. Using keywords effectively in page and post titles
          5. 9.1.5. Repeating yourself and reusing material
        2. 9.2. Using Keywords in Content to Get Indexed Properly in Search Results
          1. 9.2.1. Using the correct balance of keywords and content
          2. 9.2.2. Finding synonymous keywords and phrases
        3. 9.3. Driving Home the Message with Images and Diagrams
          1. 9.3.1. Using alt tags effectively for image searches and keyword placement
          2. 9.3.2. Using representative images for improved comprehension
          3. 9.3.3. Effectively sizing and formatting images for your page
        4. 9.4. Formatting Your Posts for Better Comprehension
          1. 9.4.1. Considering the importance of whitespace
          2. 9.4.2. Using bulleted and ordered lists
          3. 9.4.3. Sizing paragraphs for easy scanning
        5. 9.5. Writing High Converting Content
    9. IV. Expanding Blog Posts and Promoting Content
      1. 10. How to Blog without Writing
        1. 10.1. Spotlighting Other Experts with a Guest Blogging Program
          1. 10.1.1. Finding industry bloggers to guest write on your blog
          2. 10.1.2. Trading posts with other blogs and requesting permission to guest blog
          3. 10.1.3. Soliciting industry experts to reach their audience
        2. 10.2. Promoting Your Customer's Voice for Maximum Impact
          1. 10.2.1. Writing effective customer testimonial blog posts
          2. 10.2.2. Automating customer testimonials directly into blog posts
          3. 10.2.3. Promoting vendors and partners to build your authority
        3. 10.3. Keeping Your Content Alive with Comments
          1. 10.3.1. Using comments as a measure of engagement
          2. 10.3.2. Moderating comments to add value and avoid spam
          3. 10.3.3. Deciding whether a third-party comment service is right for your blog
          4. 10.3.4. Encouraging employees to comment
        4. 10.4. Incorporating a Multimedia Strategy to Add Personality
          1. 10.4.1. Leveraging audio technologies for audible learners
          2. 10.4.2. Incorporating video for increased engagement
          3. 10.4.3. Hosting options for audio and video
      2. 11. Marketing and Promoting Your Blog
        1. 11.1. Using RSS to Syndicate Content
          1. 11.1.1. Syndicating content to your corporate home page
          2. 11.1.2. Keeping static pages fresh with syndicated excerpts
          3. 11.1.3. Aggregating RSS into server-side pages
        2. 11.2. Getting Engaged in the Blogosphere to Attract Attention
          1. 11.2.1. Using a feed reader to organize and follow industry blogs
          2. 11.2.2. Interacting with other blogs through guest posting and comments
          3. 11.2.3. Respectful dissent to attract and build readership
          4. 11.2.4. Responding effectively to negative criticism
        3. 11.3. Integrating Your Blog into Other Social Media to Expand Your Readership
          1. 11.3.1. Using URL shorteners
          2. 11.3.2. Syndicating your blog in Twitter
          3. 11.3.3. Syndicating your blog in LinkedIn and Plaxo
          4. 11.3.4. Integrating your blog into Facebook profiles and Fan Pages
        4. 11.4. Promoting Your Posts through Social Bookmarking
          1. 11.4.1. Understanding social bookmarking and its impact on search and traffic
          2. 11.4.2. Automated posting to social bookmarking
          3. 11.4.3. Guerilla marketing and social bookmarking
        5. 11.5. Combining E-Mail and Blogging for Better Marketing
          1. 11.5.1. Using advanced e-mail service features to automate content to e-mail
          2. 11.5.2. How to automate RSS to e-mail with MailChimp
          3. 11.5.3. How to automate RSS to e-mail with ExactTarget
          4. 11.5.4. Driving e-mail readers to your blog
          5. 11.5.5. Promoting e-mail subscriptions on your blog
          6. 11.5.6. How to automate RSS to e-mail with FeedBurner
    10. V. Measuring Success
      1. 12. Imagining Your Blog as a Sales Funnel
        1. 12.1. Using Your Blog as a Sales Funnel
          1. 12.1.1. Optimizing conversions from the search engine results page
          2. 12.1.2. Understanding rank and its effect on traffic
          3. 12.1.3. Using Google Webmasters to identify search engine placement for keywords
        2. 12.2. Measuring Engagement and Conversions on Your Blog
          1. 12.2.1. Understanding bounce rate and its effect on your blog
          2. 12.2.2. Measuring trends versus instances
          3. 12.2.3. Comparing your analytics to industry results
          4. 12.2.4. Differentiating traffic sources and business benefits
            1. 12.2.4.1. Optimizing sales and retention strategies for direct traffic
            2. 12.2.4.2. Optimizing acquisition strategies for search engine traffic
            3. 12.2.4.3. Optimizing strategies for social media traffic
      2. 13. Directing Your Readers through Calls-to-Action
        1. 13.1. Understanding Why You Need Calls-to-Action
        2. 13.2. Designing Calls-to-Action That Readers Will Click
          1. 13.2.1. Finding images that draw attention to your call-to-action
          2. 13.2.2. Keeping it simple; writing call-to-action content
        3. 13.3. Measuring Click-Through Rates on Calls-to-Action
          1. 13.3.1. Implementing onclick events and campaign codes for tracking
          2. 13.3.2. Building goals in analytics
          3. 13.3.3. Tracking and reporting calls-to-actions
        4. 13.4. Testing and Improving Your Calls-to-Action Click-Through Rate
          1. 13.4.1. Understanding A/B testing versus multivariate testing
          2. 13.4.2. Implementing simple A/B tests with your calls-to-action
          3. 13.4.3. Analyzing results and optimizing calls-to-action
          4. 13.4.4. Targeting calls-to-action
        5. 13.5. Dynamically Displaying Calls-to-Action to Increase Click-Through Rates
          1. 13.5.1. Increasing click-through rates with relevant calls-to-action
          2. 13.5.2. Integrating third-party ad serving systems for your e-commerce blog
        6. 13.6. Understanding Where Readers Click on a Web Page
          1. 13.6.1. Laying out your blog's content to impact retention and conversion
          2. 13.6.2. Implementing heat-maps to monitor where readers click
          3. 13.6.3. Figuring out what elements are important
      3. 14. Leading Your Readers through Landing Pages
        1. 14.1. Designing a Landing Page That Closes the Conversion
          1. 14.1.1. Designing the path from a call-to-action to a landing page
          2. 14.1.2. Checking out the elements of an effective landing page strategy
          3. 14.1.3. Knowing your landing page goals and tactics
          4. 14.1.4. Laying out your landing page
        2. 14.2. Narrowing the Focus with Your Landing Page's Content
          1. 14.2.1. Understanding how much information is enough
          2. 14.2.2. Trading information for benefits to capture inbound marketing leads
            1. 14.2.2.1. Providing downloads for registration
            2. 14.2.2.2. Providing whitepapers for registration
            3. 14.2.2.3. Providing case studies for registration
            4. 14.2.2.4. Providing Webinars
        3. 14.3. Capturing the Right Amount of Info on Your Landing Page
          1. 14.3.1. Requesting the right amount of information
          2. 14.3.2. Integrating your landing pages with your CRM
          3. 14.3.3. Using third-party form solutions to capture information
      4. 15. Measuring Success with Analytics
        1. 15.1. Implementing an Analytics Solution That Works
        2. 15.2. Translating Statistics to Improve Your Strategy
          1. 15.2.1. Tracking visits and visitors
          2. 15.2.2. Tracing site references and visitor traffic
          3. 15.2.3. Measuring pageviews and bounce rates
          4. 15.2.4. Evaluating overall performance
          5. 15.2.5. Assessing visitors' language and platform needs
        3. 15.3. Translating Traffic Sources to Opportunities
          1. 15.3.1. Viewing traffic sources
          2. 15.3.2. Calculating social media as a referral source
        4. 15.4. Observing Trends and Opportunities in Reporting Data
        5. 15.5. Setting Goals in Analytics to Measure Conversions
          1. 15.5.1. Capturing click events in Google Analytics
          2. 15.5.2. Developing custom reports for conversion tracking
        6. 15.6. Determining the Value of a Blog Post for Your Company
          1. 15.6.1. Measuring lead-to-close ratios with sales
          2. 15.6.2. Measuring leads coming from your blog
          3. 15.6.3. Measuring conversions from blog to landing pages
          4. 15.6.4. Tying it all together — estimating the sales value of your blog and each post
        7. 15.7. Monitoring Shortened Links with Third-Party Applications
          1. 15.7.1. Setting up backtweets to alert your company of mentions
          2. 15.7.2. Monitoring shortened links more effectively with bit.ly
        8. 15.8. Measuring Your Feed's Consumption and Number of RSS Subscribers
          1. 15.8.1. Setting up your blog and its feeds on FeedBurner
          2. 15.8.2. Modifying your blog's theme to integrate FeedBurner
    11. VI. The Part of Tens
      1. 16. Ten Ways to Promote Your Blog
        1. 16.1. Publishing Posts on Your Home Page
        2. 16.2. Publishing Your Blog's Link in E-Mail Signatures
        3. 16.3. Promoting Your Blog in Business Cards
        4. 16.4. Publishing Posts to Twitter
        5. 16.5. Publishing Your Blog in Facebook
        6. 16.6. Publishing Your Blog in LinkedIn
        7. 16.7. Publishing Posts in Company Publications
        8. 16.8. Promoting Your Blog in Other Blogs' Comments
        9. 16.9. Publishing and Distributing Your Corporate Blog in Print
        10. 16.10. Submitting Your Blog for Awards and Recognition
      2. 17. Ten Ways to Grow Your Audience
        1. 17.1. Buying Visitors with Pay-Per-Click
        2. 17.2. Paying for Blog Reviews
        3. 17.3. Commenting on Other Industry Blogs
        4. 17.4. Trading Posts and Guest-Blogging
        5. 17.5. Promoting Other Blogs
        6. 17.6. Driving Traffic from Social Media
        7. 17.7. Link Baiting Traffic to Your Blog
        8. 17.8. Holding Promotions and Giveaways
        9. 17.9. Offering E-books, Whitepapers, and Case Studies
        10. 17.10. Syndicating Your Blog Everywhere
        11. 17.11. Integrating Word-of-Mouth Widgets in Your Blog
      3. 18. Ten Ways to Reignite Old Content
        1. 18.1. Promoting Old Content in New Blog Posts
        2. 18.2. Promoting Old Content in Other Blogs' Comments
        3. 18.3. Reviving Old Content with New Comments
        4. 18.4. Modifying Post Titles
        5. 18.5. Modifying Meta Descriptions
        6. 18.6. Modifying Content with Keyword Enhancements
        7. 18.7. Removing Dates from Blog Posts
        8. 18.8. Submitting Excerpts to Social Networks
        9. 18.9. Tagging Content and Building Tag Clouds
        10. 18.10. Promoting Internal Search on Your Blog