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More Practical Tips For Starting A Corporate Blog

Jason Falls raises some great points in his post, "Practical guide to starting a corporate blog."

1 Define an editorial purpose.
2 Determine who owns editorial responsibility.
3 Determine who your writers are.
4 Determine how often you will post.
5 Decide how you will generate ideas.

Jason raises some great points.

I was wondering how I could add to the list, and then I recalled my blogging assessment process that I've used with clients and companies in my book on "Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging." The assessment or audit was briefly outlined, here's a brief overview.

Audit the community

-Gives overview of most important issues discussed in the community
-Gives you a sense of the volume of posts in the community
-Gives you keywords and topics that need to be covered
-Understanding of the culture of your community

Audit of your company

-Gives you goals and will tie your communications strategies to the blog's content strategy
-Research keywords for search engine optimization
-Understanding of who can blog in your company
-Ask the difficult questions about blogging culture to see if you are prepared to live in the new culture of blogging

Develop a plan for results

-Define what will be success based on your goals
-What will you need, in terms of people, time, and resources to success, based on the audit of the community
-Will your company be able to work within its blogging community's culture? If not, are there expectations the company can set that don't meet the community's culture but will satisfy them the company is being transparent?
-You have a justification for investing resources to meet your blogging goals

The question of time is one that comes up all the time in chatting with corporate blogger's and newbies to the field. It's a topic I've spent a lot of time thinking about, and even considered writing a joint article with a number of people in the field on Facebook.

Here's an overview of the some of the issues we discussed in the Facebook group you should consider about time and corporate blogging:

How much time does it take to blog?
- Keyword analysis
- Time it takes to monitor the community discussion
- Time it takes to write an article
- Time it takes to monitor comments in blogs and forums
- Time it takes to conduct blogging outreach

Why the time spent will produce results
- The benefits of blogging in terms of time described by each step taken in running an effective blogging campaign
- Examples of blogs that beat the competition because of the time spent
- Adrants/Adfreaks

Are there ways to reduce the amount of time it takes to blog?
- Split up the blogging tasks among several people
- Consider multiple author blogs
- Consider short-term blogs.

Why don't you ask yourself how can I make enough time to blog?
- Distractions of office life
- Nature of American business culture and the quick fix

However, this list doesn't address Jason's important point about what is the number of posts you need to write. I think it's a matter of looking at the volume of posts in the community, and that volume should tell you a lot about how many posts you will need to write to engage the community. This post from 2006 from my old Blog Survey blog at Backbone Media gives a more detailed overview.