Sunday, 30 September 2012 20:01

Adrienne Lenhoff: To blog or not to blog?

Thinking about blogging? Below are the major topics I discuss with CEOs who are considering setting up a blog.

To blog or not to blog

Do you have the time to commit to blogging? A successful blog, whether CEO- or company-driven, takes a time commitment, not only to allocate to the writing of compelling and interesting topics but to also map out an ongoing strategy of what you want the blog to accomplish.

Consider whether or not you are going to actually enjoy blogging. If you end up considering the blog a chore or burden, you will ultimately abandon the blog.

Before beginning to blog, check out what other CEOs are writing about. There are a ton of lists of CEO blogs that can be accessed by doing a quick Google search, along with reviews of who’s doing it right or wrong — and why.

Done right, CEO blogs help establish a voice for the company, create dialogues with internal and external stakeholders, build awareness and educate about your industry and its trends and challenges and establish you as an intelligent and strategic thought leader.

Blogging frequency

Newspapers are typically published anywhere from daily to weekly. TV news is typically broadcast a minimum of three times daily. To attract readers and grow and retain repeat visitors, determine how fast you want to grow a meaningful readership base.

For maximum growth, many experts say you need to post multiple times daily. The reality is that as a CEO, if you or a ghostwriter is blogging more than one to three days per week, it is a stretch of your time and content commitment.

To ensure your blog doesn’t become an afterthought, map out your blogging topics and posting dates four to eight weeks in advance.

Blogging candor

Social media — whether in the form of a blog, discussion groups or pages on popular social platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and others — is based on the premise of transparency and authenticity. Be timely and candid with your posts.

People might not always agree with what you have to say, so be ready to accept differing opinions. Remember that anything you post is out there for life. Even if later you decide to take the blog down, chances are that posts may have been archived and reposted somewhere else.

What to blog

Your blog shouldn’t be about what you sell. If you do the blog right, it will end up translating to new business. Write about what you know and the platforms and podiums for which you want to be known. Do you have compelling or thought-provoking insights on leadership, lessons learned, industry trends or other topics attractive to your target readership? Get to the point in your blog posts and save fluff and selling for your advertising and annual reports.

Blog posts don’t have to be novels or dissertations. As long as you are publishing content of interest to your readers, they can be short and sweet.

Consider posting some video entries and posting photos to go along with your written word to add variety.

Private or public blog

Are you planning an internal employee-focused blog, or are you planning a blog to be viewed by the world at large, which includes existing and prospective customers, your competitors and the media?

If your focus is to motivate and educate your employees, a private company blog would be most appropriate. Remember that anything you blog whether on a private, public or invitation-only blog has the potential to be republished and shared with others.

Adrienne Lenhoff is president and CEO of Buzzphoria Social Media Marketing and Online Reputation Management, Shazaaam PR and Marketing Communications, and Promo Marketing Team, which conducts product sampling, mobile tours and events. She can be reached at alenhoff@shazaaam.com.

Published in Detroit