In this two-part series, I analyze the steps for planning and implementing a corporate blog. The first article, on planning a blog, examines the key decisions on subject, mission, audience targeting, market survey, blogger selection, securing a corporate champion, and making the "go" decision.
This second article, on implementing a successful business blog, dissects the steps of selecting development tools, working out a content plan for launch, making a debut, developing a style and personality, handling responses, monitoring consumer discussion on your subject, and enjoying the process.
Herewith, nine tips for implementing and launching a blog.
Tip #1: Select tools/location/hosting service
Most bloggers use online services to create and publish their blogs. All the services provide the necessary tools to easily create a blog, write regular postings to it, and make your blog postings available for viewing on the Web. The following are the most popular services:
- Blogger (www.blogger.com) is Google's free blogging service.
- LiveJournal (www.livejournal.com) from SixApart is a free blogging service, largely used for creating personal journals.
- Typepad (www.typepad.com), another service from Six Apart, is used by many business blogs.
- Movable Type (www.sixapart.com/moveabletype/) provides more advanced site design and development capabilities.
- WordPress (www.wordpress.org) is a personal publishing platform for bloggers who want more sophisticated features.
Instead of creating a blog within one of the free public services, many companies host employee business blogs on their Web domain. Examples:
- Sun Microsystems: blogs.sun.com
- General Motors: www.gmblogs.com
- Microsoft: www.microsoft.com/Communities/blogs/PortalHome.mspx
Homegrown blogs require substantial technical support from a company's IT department.
Placement in search engines, links from other blogs, and publicity are the key methods to generate visits to your blog.
Take the first step (it's free).
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