It's hard to believe, but five years - and 100 posts - ago, the Lewis Public Relations team started on a journey to bring public relations thought leadership and news to our corner of the Internet. User-generated content has changed over the years, but it's just as relevant, if not more so, than it was in 2010. In our first posts, LPR focused on major agency and client news releases and media coverage. (Our very first post on June 14, 2010, linked to my comments to USA Today about the BP oil spill.) Since then, our approach to blogging and user-generated content has evolved.
To commemorate our 100th post, here are five blogging tips that we've picked up along the way:
- Blog with frequency. Building a blog audience is a lot like cultivating a relationship. It takes time, and you have to commit to investing in conversation. Starting out, we posted once a month...sometimes once a quarter. Today, that simply isn't often enough. In the past few years, we've upped our game and share new content at least once a week. It keeps our audience engaged and encourages us to stay current and fresh.
- Give an inside look. Many professionals are used to staying behind the scenes, but audience like to see behind the curtain. Regular blogging - with photos and videos - gives a peek into your culture and team. It's content the audience can't find from anyone but you.
- Brag a little. Our most popular posts come from sharing our team's and clients' successes. We work hard to get great results, but too often we hesitate to make it known. Did you get mentioned by a great media outlet? Share it! Did one of your team members learn from a fantastic professional development session? Ask them to relay what they learned. Your audience is interested.
- Use your keywords. Search engine optimization are three dirty words to many writers, but it makes sure your content gets the attention it deserves. It's important to know your keywords and weave them into your titles, tags and content with finesse. This can be tricky, and it puts even the most skilled wordsmith to the test, but the results are worth it.
- Track your progress. Blogging brings highs and lows, but tracking your progress gives incredible insight into what your audience likes...and doesn't like. We track our blog readership weekly and use data to understand the type of content our readers want. We've found that posts with public relations insights, results and photos from inside our agency do very well. Your audience may like something different. Watch for patterns and blog accordingly.
Five years ago, we set up a blog to post big news every once and a while. Today, we have a robust platform to engage our clients, colleagues and friends in a dialogue about our industry and our agency.
Photo by William Allen via Flickr