I’ve been working with clients to develop their internal and external blog guidelines. Many of them are blogging for the very first time and several of them have multiple bloggers to help share the blogging load.
Here is a recent draft of internal guidelines that I’ve come up with. I tried to make these accessible, achievable and more motivational than dictating “rules.”
Our blog is our brand – it represents who we are, what we think about, what we believe in. Here are some tips for blogging consistently and compellingly to help build our blog community.
1. Be transparent. No matter what, always be clear who you are. We are not blogging anonymously on our site and we do not encourage our guest bloggers to be anonymous either.
2. Be truthful. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to blogging. We will do our best to check facts, be accurate, and above all, tell the truth.
3. Be yourself. Your personality should show through in your blog posts. Since we have multiple authors, find a niche that you can call your own and be conversational.
4. Share your excitement. The best blog posts display your emotions. If you are frustrated, blog about it but provide solutions. If you are excited about something, don’t be afraid to show it. Successful blogs are not dispassionate and unbiased.
5. Be kind. Even if you are being critical about a software product, a service or a company, do so in a respectful way. Make sure your criticism is constructive.
6. Don’t cut and paste. The best way to blog is directly into the blog publishing tool and you can save your drafts until you are ready to publish (On Typepad, for example: Pulldown menu on right side of post reads: Posting Status. Choose Draft.) Otherwise, if you do cut and paste from another document, make sure you paste it into the Edit Html page (On Typepad: one of two tabs at top of your post – the other default one reads: Rich Text).
7. Link strategically. You should try to link out to at least one other site in every post. This could be an example of the point you are making, another article or blog post on the site or on another site that you are referencing, or a site containing supporting information, resources or applications.
8. Ask questions. You should try to pose a question at the end of every blog post to encourage dialogue. Make your post provocative so people want to comment on it.
9. Add comments. As a blogger, you are the start of our blog community, however, you can also contribute comments. Read your fellow bloggers’ posts, and find meaningful ways to continue the conversation.
10. Spread the word. Look for ways to talk up our blog by linking to it in your email signature file, by Twittering links to interesting posts (including your own), by putting a link in your Facebook status, and simply by talking about it.
What do you think? What key points am I forgetting?
If you would like to use this as a template for your own guidelines, please credit The Social Media Mama. Thanks!