How to get the best out of your blogs
For us at Metropolitan, reading blogs from colleagues sharing their experiences, insights and views from both their work and personal life has probably been one of the best features of our new intranet since it’s launch over a year ago. From a regular Chief Exec blog occupying the widget space, we’re now in a position where in a blink of an eye a blog post can be pushed down pretty quickly.
We’ve read some fantastic insights into the work of our colleagues, but the challenge we are now facing is that some blogs are quite simply not blogs.
So to help our budding bloggers, I put together a few tips to get them thinking (and writing) along the right track.
1) Is your blog content useful?
How useful will your blog post be to your colleagues? Your words don’t have to resonate with EVERYONE, but ask yourself if what you have to say will be useful to at least some people. Think about whether it will solve an issue you and your team are experiencing? Will it make people think? Will it start a conversation? Will it make someone chuckle? Will it teach someone something?
Unless a blog post is useful on some level it’s probably not worth publishing. Be mindful that a factual news item, announcement or departmental update is not a blog.
2) Write conversationally and build your personality
The most effective blog posts are written as if they are being sharing with a friend. They should be informal and written using ‘I’ and ‘you’, rather than in the third person. Share a personal experience or view as this will connect with the reader in a much more powerful way by being real and get the message to stick.
If you’re someone who doesn’t want to be a ‘one-blog wonder’, then you will want colleagues to look forward to your next blog – whether it’s the way you write, share a story or piece of knowledge, or to just start a conversation. So write a blog post that builds momentum in some way and a story with a clear message at the end. Storytelling is a powerful tool and should be used to get your message across. If you are a regular blogger, try to connect your latest blog to an old one; after all, it’s part of your story!
3) Write great headlines
Like any story, the headline grabs your audiences’ initial attention. It can be the deciding factor of whether someone reads a post or not, so the impact can be huge. Get this right and you may end up in the top 10 most viewed list in no time.
4) Build engagement
Great blogs build engagement. They start conversations, facilitate debate, and get the reader thinking from a different viewpoint.
Think about your own experiences of writing and reading blogs. What have been your favourite blogs that engage you?
The great news is that our employees are really taking these tips on board. The content is useful, relevant and enticing, and the engagement from other users is increasing day by day.
An example of one of our more recent blogs following the ‘blogging tips’