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Date posted: December 24, 2014

The September issue of Inbound Logistics features my case study on Paragon Software Systems’ route planning tool, which provides dispatchers at Poultry producer, George’s Inc., with more shipment control and better visibility.

Date posted: December 9, 2014

Another New Year on the threshold— time for resolutions.

This practice has been going almost forever— the Romans began each year by making promises to the god Janus; the Babylonians began each year by promising to return borrowed objects and pay off their debts. We thought we’d extend the practice to those managing corporate blogs (who certainly need to be resolute in keeping their blogs relevant and fresh for the year ahead) by putting together a list of tactics that should help them in keeping on task in the months ahead.

Here are our ten New Year’s resolutions for corporate blog managers:

  1. Post regularly. Seeing a corporate blog that hasn’t been updated for weeks or months immediately raises questions about the seriousness and credibility of the blog— and the company sponsoring it. Establish a publishing pattern and stick to it, with weekly posts being the minimum frequency.
  2. Create an editorial calendar.
    Sketch out what topics you’d like to speak to over the course of the year. Establish a structure based on these topics and stick to it. This will help you post regularly and establish a desired profile among those reading your blog. If you’re having trouble generating topics, there are tools like PostSource that can be leveraged.

  3. Establish metrics to measure how your blog is performing. There are useful web analytical tools to help you in this, most prominent among them Google Analytics, but plenty of others like Woopra or Clicky.
  4. Focus on quality content.
    While posting regularly is important, it’s just as important to post quality content. Not everything is worth blogging about. Content should be fresh, informative— and appeal to the readers you are seeking. Not all contributors in your organization will be good writers; consider retaining professional writers or editors to help them polish posts.
  5. Avoid marketing lingo.
    Those who read blogs are tuned into commercial content— and turned off by unvarnished promotional language. Always speak to the needs of the reader; they want to understand something new, something they can relate to, something that helps or benefits them. They don’t want a sales pitch.
  6. Spend time on titles.
    Typically a reader will move into your post or onto something else based on the title of the post. Be bold, straight to the point, arresting, and understand that a good title leads a reader into the story— it doesn’t tell the story. Use keywords in your titles for SEO.
  7. Go home.
    Use your website homepage to push your blog. Corporate blogs are often buried at the bottom of a page or somewhere with low visibility. Understand how you can leverage the website to raise the profile of the blog.
  8. Remember, it’s not the number of visitors that come to your blog— it’s how engaged they are. In today’s image-centric world, paying attention to graphic presentation is part of this.
    Use images, illustrations, videos, and infographics— understanding your audience will have high expectations regarding their quality.
  9. Sharing posts on social media channels will drive up awareness of your blog among those who don’t go straight to the blog for content.
  10. Take your medicine.
    Never remove comments, and respond calmly to any criticism that comes in response to a post. If readers sense a blog is being censored, they will be less likely to engage in discussion. (Of course, removing profane or inappropriate comments is something that can be done in terms of keeping the community a civil one.)