Go with a good thing, right? If you read yesterday’s blog, I tried giving folks a booster shot in the arm about why you actually want to blog and how it’s not for teenage girls dishing on boys. That’s why people watch Gossip Girl. You’re establishing a presence and, if you do it correctly, people will remember you. There’s more than one way to establish a presence, though. Dean Duncan Jones here at TM is very much about the in-depth nuts and bolts of how things work and why people should do things, essentially establishing himself as an expert in that area. I go for sharing information and making suggestions, but wrapped more in personality than being cut and dry.
That being said, the end goal for blogging is still the same; interaction with your readers while also growing your readers. To accomplish this, there also some common rules we follow regardless of whether it’s Dean, myself or anybody else in the office. The first is a big one; editing. Nobody likes to do it and I blame high school English teachers for this one. Not only did they get us to hate writing, but these sadistic people then made us rewrite what we already hated writing in the first place. The process is still the same now, but the end result these days is far more satisfying.
Most people like to do things once and the goal of a business tends to be to do something right the first time. The same does NOT apply to blogging. Business owners don’t write a letter to their employees, customers or other business owners and not proofread or edit it. They get their thoughts down, the meat and potatoes of what they want to say, then they start to shape it into the tone of how they want to get their message across. Once that’s done, they check for typos and other grammatical errors. One way I’ve found that works for me is to print the letter or blog out, have it sitting in front of me with a pen and read it out loud. You can catch so many more errors and potential flubs that way!
And if you’re someone with poor grammar skills, that’s okay. Hand a copy of your blog off to a member of your staff who does have a solid grasp of how the written language works. Learn who you can go to so that you can get consistent feedback. Best of all, when you see that you’re making the same mistakes again and again, you’ll catch on and stop making them.
Why do you want to go to such lengths? Because you not only want people reading your blogs and suggesting others read them, too, but you also want them to leave comments. Wouldn’t you rather read “Wow, great information! Looking forward to finding out more in the near future.” than “Your first paragraph is one long run-on sentence and you spelled your own company’s name wrong. Seriously?”? Don’t laugh. It happens.
Musicians play music, composers compose, plumbers plumb and oil companies have disasters that they point fingers at everybody else about, but when you’re representing your company through a blog, you’re going to have to look and sound like you know what you’re doing. If I can, you can, too.