Google announced that on June 1st, 2013, Google Reader will be deactivated. My co-worker and I were shocked since we both relied on Google Reader for our morning blog reading routine, so the idea of transferring our favorite ones to a new RSS reader, well…we felt slightly overwhelmed.
Then it dawned on us, over the last few years we’ve been subscribing to blogs and never taking the time to clean out the reader closet. I mentioned to her that some weeks, I don’t have much time to read blogs and I’ll log on and see I’m over 300 posts behind. Being 300 posts behind was sort of ridiculous. We both agreed that instead of it stimulating our brains and inspiring us daily, it actually made us anxious. We decided to turn this Google Reader be-gone opportunity into a blog closet spring cleaning. It was time to unsubscribe to blogs we never read anymore and keep subscriptions to ones that continue to add valuable content.
So what does this have to do with you and your brand? If you currently have a company blog, here are 5 pieces of advice to keep in mind in order to avoid being unsubscribed to:
1. Ask yourself: does this relate to my target market?
Your goal is to start a conversation based around your brand. You want to share content with people who are willing to share your content for free. The ones who will share are those who are the most interested in your brand. Write a post as if you’re talking to the individual consumer. You want to engage people as if you’re talking to them personally. If your reader finds your content relative, they’ll share it, and you’ll attract more readers.
Treat your blog as if you’re giving a presentation. Would you host a keynote and then walk away from your podium before the Q&A session starts? If you’re going to write a blog post, you must be prepared to respond to comments. If you don’t respond, readers will be less motivated to engage with your blog. Don’t push the publish button and walk away from your craft – stand next to it. Be willing to stick around for questions and comments.
3. Quality over quantity
It’s important to blog consistently. However, when it comes to posting relative content, remember to set realistic goals each month. How much time and help do you have preparing content for each post? It’s a good idea to start small, and then gradually write more as time permits. Don’t just publish something because it’s been a few weeks since you last blogged. Readers will only share and comment on a post that obtains shareable content. Keep in mind that each rushed post that is irrelative to your brand will overshadow and discredit your most valuable content.
4. Ask questions
Engage your readers by asking questions. It opens up conversation and people enjoy giving their opinions when asked. Better yet, when someone does respond to a question, respond to their answer with a positive approach. I recently asked a professional on LinkedIn a specific question. It ended up leading to a very informative conversation. A single question can really open the doors to a great discussion. It’s also a great strategy to conduct research on your target market.
5. Avoid “Me, Me, Me”
One of the factors that lead me to unsubscribe to a blog was the all about me blogger. It was really all about them and not about the reader. When you’re blogging for your brand, it’s important to put yourself in the reader’s shoes. As you write, think what key points the reader can take from your post. Place yourself in the consumer’s footsteps before you start typing away.