With apologizes to Kevin Costner, who somehow found success following the unrecommended “If you build it, they will come” strategy in the movie “Field of Dreams,” creating a great looking blog will not draws readers. The key is content.
Strong content draws in new readers, who are using Google, Technorati and other means to search for subjects they are interested in. Strong content also builds loyal readership. Once people have found your blog, you want them coming back.
So if you’re starting a blog, what subjects should you write about? First, you’ll need to take a step back and determine what type of audience you are trying to attract. If you are hoping to share your message with K-12 teachers, for example, then you’ll want to write about subjects that are of interest to them. Possible subjects may include how to instill character in students, tips for developing lesson plans, etc.
One you have determined your audience and what subjects you are going to write about, it’s a good idea to think of your blog using a newspaper model. That is, create an editorial calendar and strategically think about what content you are going to share and when you are going to share it. In thinking again about an education blog, you may decide to write a few entries about field trips. On Day 1, you might want to discuss how to come up with field trip ideas. On Day 5, the subject could be how to work field trips into lesson plans. And on Day 10, you could write about how to take the knowledge gained during a field trip back into a classroom.
After you have a focus and a plan in place, it’s time to begin the writing. Great blog ideas often bomb due to poor writing. If you’re going to be an expert on a subject, you don’t necessarily need the skill-sets of an F. Scott Fitzgerald or Bob Woodward. However, you’ll have to show some competency. And what you write must be well-developed and worth sharing. Give readers something new that they may not have thought about before. Give them a reason to read and comment on your posts.
Finally, you’ll want to be “linky.” In other words (or at least words you can find in a dictionary), put links in your blog whenever possible. If you’re citing another blog, throw the URL into your post. If you are writing about the U.S. Department of Education, make the words a link. It’s a great way to grow your blog.
By creating great content, you will build credibility as an expert source for people interested in your subject and, in turn, your organization. You not only will reach your key stakeholders, but you will find a new audience that’s interested in the same topics.
Other posts in this series:
Corporate Blogging 101: What to Consider Before You Blog
Corporate Blogging 101: Choosing the Right Blogging Software
Corporate Blogging 101: The Importance of URL and Blog Title