Blog Design and Writing.

  • Brand expression: Integrate your brand look and feel into your blog using a custom theme designed specifically for your brand. You’ll look professional and readers will more easily recognize you. Just remember, your blog doesn’t and shouldn’t look exactly like your website because its purpose is different. Consider your corporate blog your brand’s outgoing sister who makes friends easily.
  • Use standard blog interface design principles: Increase usability among blog readers by sticking with what they know and use:
    • Incorporate the topical tags and categories for quick sorting.
    • Include relevant links to other related sites or blogs in the sidebar.
    • Customize your CSS to choose a highly readable font and size.
    • Include your authors’ names.
    • Above all, keep it clean and easy to read.
  • Be unique and useful: That’s the goal. Your brand is about more than product details or specs. Open a dialog with actual buyers of your brand and be prepared to learn, expand and be surprised.
    TIP: Also be prepared for any negative brand feedback. You can moderate reader comments so they don’t appear right away but avoiding negative posts will look bad. It’s also likely to result in brand bashing on other non-moderated forums that you don’t control. It’s best to address criticisms openly and up front in this brave new world.
  • Become a better writer: Communicating in writing is completely different than oral presentations or interviews with a trade journal. Keep your sentence length under control and use the active voice. Additionally, be aware of non-disclosure agreements and financial regulations that guide what you can write. And if you’re uncomfortable writing, you can always have a ghostwriter express your ideas.
  • Be real: Skip the company mission statement and other corporate-speak on your blog. This is about having real conversations with real people. Authentic conversations incorporate everyone’s personalities and engage at a level not possible if you write blog entries in the same voice as your annual report. Writing in the first person helps to naturally encourage authenticity.
  • Have a plan: Most blogs close down in three months. You can ensure the longevity of your blog and readership by enacting an annual editorial plan along with allowing the spur of the moment posts. Make sure the topics planned reflect your company’s product releases, are integrated with your PR releases and have specific people assigned to handle writing and posting.
  • Think like an analyst: Set up a Google Analytics account to monitor your blog and ensure your blog template is search-engine optimized.

— by Julia Moran Martz

Explore posts in the same categories: Branding, eMarketing

4 Comments on “Blog Design and Writing.”

  1. lazerus Says:

    So… who is the author of THIS post? It’s one of your “Use standard blog interface design principles”: “Include your authors’ names” is a bullet point. I love it when bloggers blog about blogging! Keep up the good work!


  2. […] This  kind of post is always interesting to me. Someday, I’ll figure out why, but for now suffice it to say that when you claim to be an expert about something, at least follow your own rules. The article (a self-referential metablog which attempts to give you some rules for making a good blog) instructs the blog writer/manager to: […]

  3. Julia Moran Martz Says:

    Jeff,

    Thanks for pointing out that the authors on our blog posts are disappearing! You’re absolutely correct, this should never have made it to prime time.

    I take full responsibility for this problem. While the authors do show up when the posts are on the blogs’ main post page (home page) they are disappearing when the posts are viewed via archive or individually. Due to your notice of this mistake, we’ll be reviewing the WordPress theme we’re using and are planning to change it. In the meantime, we are instituting two fixes: the addition of a “read by authors” feature in the sidebar and the addition of the authors’ names at the end of each article.

    This brings up another issue: the value of WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org. We chose to use the hosted/free version for our newsletter in order that our smaller, more budget-conscious clients see the options available to them without buying into a new ISP that’s WordPress compatible. And therefore, this problem also highlights one of the limitations of using the free version: no access to the template code that controls the authors.

    Thank you again for pointing out this problem.

    -Julia

  4. Jeff Lazerus Says:

    Hi,
    After reading my original reply and post on my own blog, I came to realize it was a little harsh, especially considering your issue with wordpress.com. I am familiar with some of those limitations, that’s why I am hosting a wordpress blog on my own domain. Anyway, my apologies for being so blunt, thanks for the correction, and again, thanks for enriching the blogging universe! Keep it up!


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