If you ask any PR practitioner out there about their favorite part of the gig, you’ll get a variety of answers. Some will suggest pitching, others will note reporting but most will say writing.
There is something about being able to put a story you want to share into words that is completely satisfying. Be it sharing the climax or securing a reporter’s interest with a golden pitch, it’s the writing of your story that is going to make or break your efforts.
Yet, how strange is it that many PR pros don’t think they are capable of blogging? If you have a story to tell, and the ability to write it, you can blog. And oh, by the way, you can teach your clients to do the same. Here are a few tips on how to get started:
1. Crowdsource ideas — You have an audience based on the industry or passions mutually shared. All you have to do is ask: What do they like? What do they want to read? There’s a start right there.
2. Find your style — AP-style to be technical. Creative writing or a more traditional prose. Whatever you or your client fancies, the Web has room for you. Keep it consistent and you’ll keep your audience’s interest.
3. Do your research — Without having sources to back you up, it’s an editorial. And without having clout in your space or a client with a certain following, no one asked for your opinion. Good research makes for a good foundation.
4. Numbers take time — If you are a number hoarder, blogging is going to be a struggle for you. It takes a while to develop an audience and get them to routinely visit the site and bookmark it for easy navigation. Be patient. If you write it — and promote it — they will come.
5. Be consistent and committed — Without either one, forget it. Both you and your client have to schedule time and stick to it. Your audience demands fresh insight, not to visit your blog in two weeks only to find no new content.
6. Great headlines create appeal — Did you know that 80 percent of all audiences scan headlines for interesting content first? Without a headline that captures attention and summarizes a story, it’s an exercise in futility. In other words, it don’t matter.
7. Be generous — If you are a hoarder of what you learned in the industry, two things: People won’t respect it or reward you for it. An expert should show off their expertise. Also, no one likes hoarders. Grow up.
8. Categories are not tags — Your categories should generalize what your blog is about. The tags illustrate, explain, and provide search terms about each post within the category.
9. Trust is earned — If you want that coveted routine reader, it takes a little bit of time. By citing sources, giving credit, quoting information that’s borrowed, and having great editorial that ties it all together, they will come around. After all, you are here now. (And thanks for that!)
10. Content without time — Time-specific content is important to capitalize on certain trends and search. However, content that is evergreen is always a good thing. Like, say, “top tips for beginning bloggers.”
You or your client can do this. And if you need more encouragement, just holler.