I awoke with a start when my dog Tucker growled at the skunk who likes to waddle through our garden in the wee hours of the morning. I checked my iPhone (never far from reach) and brought up my work email. Tara, our Marketing Manager, had sent me an early morning announcement that we had hit our 101st blog post with our Monday “Intranet Knowledge Sharing Day” entry.
101 blog posts … that’s hard to believe. It seems like not so long ago that we were launching our intranet blog, excited to share, but nervous about making a go of it. Fast track a few years and here I am writing our 102 post.
I asked Tara what she thought I should share with you in reaching this milestone. She told me to talk about why we started this blog.
Blogging was a new world to me. Everyone seemed to be starting one. I read a ton about the SEO benefits. It seemed a logical place to start dabbling in Social Media, along with entering the (then) new world of Twitter. And to be honest, it didn’t start out with a well thought out business plan. We just started to write with the idea of sharing what we know and love about intranets. Good content over product hype became our motto. In today’s world this is just common sense, but a few years back there were a lot of blogs out there that just pushed product.
Our Intranet Connections blog grew steadily and organically, and I have the amazing intranet community on Twitter to thank, because without that audience and their support, 101 blog posts would never have been written.
When it comes to writing a blog, there is definitely an art involved. I’ll leave you with a few of my personal favorite tips – most of these are attributed to other people smarter than me
It really is about the title because if it doesn’t grab you, no one is going to bother to read. So get creative and keep it short and snappy.
Active = Action. Use an active writing style over passive.
This is passive: “The use of color can assist with Intranet design elements”
This is active: “Add punch to your intranet design with splashes of color”
Break the Rules
God bless blogs! You can break just about every rule you learned in high school English class. The more casual and conversational your tone is in your writing, the more engaging it will be to read.
Big Words Equals Bad Blogging
OK maybe “bad blogging” is a bit harsh but a general rule of thumb is to comb through your blog post drafts and remove those big professional words that you need a thesaurus to come up with. Less is more. Keep it simple. Dumb it down.
Many blogs use cartoons, images, and video to add a touch of interest that is visual vs. textual. In essence, you want to break up the text because we all have the online attention span of a 2 year old and so short snippets of information, broken up into bite size chunks is a popular format for blogging. Use short paragraphs and short sentences. Add in bulleted lists to emphasize content or points you want to make. Add headers, bolded. But no color coding please.
Writing for blogs can be so much fun. Get creative, break those rules, pretend you’re writing a letter to your best friend. In the end, it’s all about connecting.
Thanks for tuning in – 103 coming up next week.
Our blog posts over the years:
1st blog post: Michigan First CU Case Study
36th blog post: Your Intranet: The Power of Suggestion
43rd blog post: A Day in the Life of an Intranet (5 part series)
100th blog post: Good Intranet Design Inspires