Are you blogging for your business / run a corporate blog to gain mind-share, market-share or profit-share?
And you don’t know what to blog about?
If I had to create a Blogging FAQ( Frequently Asked Questions) on what I get asked most of the time, the top questions would be
1) Why blog?
2) What to blog about?
If I had to answer Why should a business / corporate blog? – The answers are manifold :
(i) To share their views / voice
(ii) To engage / nurture your industry ecosystem by connecting with customers,partners, suppliers, analysts, solution providers, etc.
(iii) To learn yourself and stay updated with market / industry trends
(iv) To generate leads and
(v) To create a brand!
The next question is What to blog about?. In this post, I’m listing blog post ideas for a business blog which can last you for 1 year – if you publish at least 1 post a week.. The key to success is consistency over a long period.For that, focus, plan and a commitment to invest in your blog is most important.
I usually recommend a healthy mix of different content formats on a corporate blog – including blogs, pictures, infographics, video content, etc.
So choose a topic from the list below, decide on the format, and publish publish publish away :)
1) Why did your business / corporate start? What was the idea and how it came to be?
2) The initial phase – Challenges and Lessons. What you learned from setting up your business?
3) The founding team – Who they were and How they came to be? A fun or lesser known facts about the team. It always makes an interesting read if a reader knows a “personal / human” side to you.
4) A timeline which highlights key dates / milestones since inception.
5) What are your offerings (services / products)?
6) Recent innovations in your business / which affect your business – This could be done once in 3 months, so you can have at least 4 posts / year
7) What is unique about your offerings?
8) What difference will your offering make to a customer?
11) An industry timeline – Infographic (How the industry came to be?)
12) Less known facts about your business / industry – – With interesting trivia, facts and figures (well researched and data accuracy is important)
13) Industry survey / trends – Infographic (What all the latest market surveys are saying – for your industry as a whole).
14) Video from your CEO on any topic he is passionate about
15) A blog post on the current trending topic (technology / business / process) and your view on it – Even you do this once in 2 months, you’ll have 6 posts for a year
16) A success story for your business | Who was the client? What was the problem? How you solved it? This could be done at least 2 times / year
17) Lessons learned from a not-so-successful customer project | What was the problem? What did you learn? This could be done at least 2 times / year
18) A Must-Read monthly round-up of 8 – 10 interesting industry articles, news, views, opinions, perspectives – from your customer, partners, competitors | as an online curated resource which anyone can refer to (With 1 / month, this adds up to 12 posts for the year)
19) A Must-Read monthly round-up of 8 – 10 interesting articles, news, views, opinions, perspectives – on life hacks, productivity, getting better at work, general inspiration | as an online curated resource which anyone can refer to (With 1 / month, this adds up to 12 posts for the year)
20) Interviews with Experts – What your industry experts are saying about the future? Even if you do 1 / quarter, you will have 4 posts in a year
21) Choose any topic that is currently trending and get the 3 or more alternate views on the subject. for e.g.: if the topic you are currently interested in is around next generation analytics solutions, write a post with the views of a customer, technology provider, product vendor and analyst. Just bringing together voice from different perspectives can make a truly unique and compelling read
22) A note of CSR initiatives (Corporate Social Responsibility) and what your company is doing towards specific causes
23) 10 reasons why anyone should join your company
24) A post on Marketing – Its relevance and importance for your business
25) A post on Digital – Its relevance and importance for your business
26) A post on Social – Its relevance and importance for your business
27) A post on Big Data – Its relevance and importance for your business
28) A post on Analytics – Its relevance and importance for your business
29) A post on Cloud – Its relevance and importance for your business
30) Your company’s view on “The Next Big Thing that can change the world”
31) Your company’s view on Innovation
32) Your company’s view on changing role of Leadership
33) 10 Must-Read books – for your business / industry, and Why?
34) Open Letter to anyone joining your company
35) 5 – 10 Blogs you suggest anyone to follow to stay updated / relevant in your business / industry
36) 10 – 20 Twitter thinkers / influencers you recommend others to follow and Why?
NOTE: Some of the above may already be part of most company websites, but a blog post is usually more informal and can be written by the CEO / founder/ core team in an anectodal / story-telling fashion.
One of the main reason why any blogger publishes his / her posts is to be read. With the explosive growth of blogs, and the mind boggling volumes of content available online I many times wonder why will anyone read a blog – Be it my blog / your blog?
Here are 15 good reasons:
(1) I know you and hence would like to read what you have to say
(2) Because of who you are. You are famous / on the way to the top, and I want to know more about you and be part of your journey in some way
(3) I’ve read you before, and I’ve liked what you had to day
(4) The blog title you chose was awesome! I just had to read it
(5) Someone shared the link with me, and I stopped by to see what this is all about
(6) I’m interested in the topics / subjects you write about, and hence stop by to learn / read more
(7) I had time on hand, and your link showed up. I clicked, randomly
(8) I admire you and want to be like you some-day. If not one-o-one time with you, following your blog is the next best thing for me
(9) I feel like you are speaking to me – so relevant, and contextual. There is some connection here!
(10) I can’t explain, but your words touch deep within
(11) Google / XYZ Search engine recommended you :)
(12) I get answers to my questions
(13) I exercise those gray cells up within when I read your posts
(14) I just feel good reading them. Your words are poetry to my soul..
(15) Just like that!
Why do you read a blog? Why do you read my blogs? Leave a comment to let me know
When I entered the blog-o-sphere years ago, I had no idea where that would take me. Suffice to say, I just took the plunge – There were no real expectations, no real agenda, no real goals. Just some time at hand, an open mind, curiosity, an interest in reading, a laptop, an internet connection and The English language :)
I started reading blogs for a reason. Somehow somewhere I continued reading blogs through the seasons. And today, reading blogs is an integral part of my life, and I guess it will continue for my lifetime (If I have it my way!). Reading a blog enables me to learn, travel, get answers, ask questions, grow, watch others evolve / bloom / blossom, see the world with a new lens, make me feel that I’m not alone, give me clarity of perspective and most importantly, experience life through others experiences
After about 2 years of reading others blogs, I started writing my own blogs. Again, for a reason. Somehow somewhere they extended to a season. And then many seasons. Today, my blogs area an integral part of my life, and I guess it will continue for my lifetime (If I have it my way!). Writing a blog enables me to learn, express myself, get answers, ask questions, emote, connect, grow, share, see the world with a new lens, gain diverse perspectives, truly comprehend things and possibly leave a social media legacy
And I strongly believe that Blogs comes into your life for a reason, season or a lifetime..
When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each blog.
When a blog comes into your life for a REASON . . . It is usually to meet a need you have expressed. A blog can assist you through a difficulty, provide you with guidance and support, aid you emotionally, socially, intellectually, financially or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be.Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, you lose interest in the blogs. Sometimes it is forever, sometimes it is a hiatus. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, and the work is done. And now it is time to move on.
When a blog comes into your life for a SEASON . . . Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.A blog brings you a purpose, phenomenal clarity of thought, an experience of peace, platonic connection(s), sometimes financial benefits too or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done or even thought of. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season. And then the bond is severed. You take the lessons and move on.
LIFETIME blogs and bloggers teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid foundation for life. Your job is to accept the blog , love the blog from your heart, have an open mind without judgment and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and experiences of your life.
All the blog-o-sphere is a stage
And all blogs and bloggers merely players
They have their exists and entrances
And each in their time play many parts
Inspired and based on the original words
“People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.”
People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON . . . It is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be.Then, without any wrong doing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.
When people come into your life for a SEASON . . .Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn.They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
What about you? Have blogs come into your life for a reason, season or a lifetime.. Leave a comment to let me know
I’m a big fan of quotes. And have been all along in my life.. So I wanted to publish a post on great Social Media Quotes that I’ve come across. Here goes!
“Social Media, it turns out, isn’t about aggregating audiences so you can yell at them about the junk you want to sell. Social Media, in fact, is a basic human need, revealed digitally online. We want to be connected, to make a difference, to matter, to be missed. We want to belong, and yes, we want to be led.” BY Seth Godin
“Social Media puts the “public” into PR and the “market” into marketing” BY Chris Brogan
“ATA – be AUTHENCTIC, be TRANSPARENT, be ALTRUISTIC, and you will find enough success in Social Media to have a satisfying career and experience.” BY Nils Monta
“Build it, and they will come” only works in the movies. Social Media is a “build it, nurture it, engage them, and they may come and stay.” BY Seth Godin
“Social Media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you.” BY Matt Goulart
“LinkedIn is for people you know. Facebook is for people you used to know. Twitter is for people you want to know.” BY Author Unknown
“By creating compelling content, you can become a celebrity.” BY Paul Gillin
“The problem with trying to determine ROI for Social Media is you are trying to put numeric quantities around human interactions and conversations, which are not quantifiable” BY Jason Falls
“Focus on how to be social, not on how to do social.” BY Jay Baer
“Content is King, Social Media is Queen; and Together they rule the online world. So be the king and befriend the Queen, or be prepared to be ruled over” BY Nischala
As a writer / blogger, I have found Social Media to be a blessing! Be it Blogs, FaceBook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. – They all prove to be invaluable for any writer..
So How can Social Media really help a writer / blogger?
One of the best ways Social media can help any writer / blogger is for research. Research is an integral part of the writing / blogging process; and most writers / bloggers spend time in active research on the internet. Searching in Blogs, or on Twitter using specific Hashtags, or even simply following an expert on a specific topic on Twitter can significantly simply your research process and reduce effort!
Most writers / bloggers need a periodic dose of inspiration to bring out the best pieces of creative output. We all have different triggers / things which inspire us, and Social Media provides it in abundance. The only pre-requisite is you should know what kind of things inspire you (quotes, pictures, emotions, others experience’s, etc.) and you should know the fastest way to get your dose of inspiration on Social Media. trust me! Its there everywhere – Blogs, Tweets, Pinterest, etc. etc
Many times, a write / blogger needs ideas – On the topics to write about, how to articulate, how to take the story further – And you just can’t seem to move ahead. Again, Social Media can come to your rescue. Sometimes reading totally unrelated articles fuels your imagination (I don’t know how the brain wiring works, but it does!) and propels your forward, Sometimes reading a tweet gives you food for thought, Sometimes a picture / infographic does the trick, and sometimes it is a blog post which gives you that killer idea! Sometimes it is your own past Social Media activities which trigger new ideas and thoughts :)
4) Easy access to samples of other writers / bloggers
Many writers / bloggers like to read samples of what other writers / bloggers have to say. It can be for very many reasons – To get exposure to alternate styles of work, to gauge audience sentiments, to figure out tips, tricks and best practices of the trade, or simply because they enjoy others work. Again, Social media provides easy and instant access to sample the work of other writers / bloggers
5) Promotion & Marketing
Sharing your blogs / writings has never been more easy, efficient, quick and global as it is today. Any blogger / writer can share their work at the click of a button. So Social Media can aid significantly in Promotion & Marketing
6) A Social Network
Writing / Blogging are lonely activities. It is just you , your thoughts , your words and your tools (Whatever hardware and software and systems you use!). So many writers / bloggers do like to have social interactions with others – After all, it is a basic human need! And the best part of Social Media is you can converse at any time you wish to, and with anyone who is willing to converse with you on any Social Media channel (Be it Twitter, FaceBook chat, etc etc). This virtual social network sometimes is a blessing for most writers / bloggers.
7) Writing / Blogging Groups and Communities
The other good thing about Social Media is the presence of online Groups and Communities. They exist on almost all channels (FaceBook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Google+, etc.) and are formed by individuals who have common interests on specific subjects. Such groups usually share knowledge, information, request for reviews, provide feedback, support, encouragement and many times, also help in Promotion & Marketing of your work. You can join one / many such Groups and Communities, based on your personal interest, the time you are willing to invest and the personal value you see from them. But if you join the right Groups and Communities, you can benefit enormously by learning and interacting from fellow writers and bloggers.
What do you think? Leave a comment to let me know…
We all go through phases when we feel low. Sometimes we know why, sometimes we can’t put a finger on it…
And yet the one thing we all know is that the sooner we beat the blues, the better for us.
And from personal experience, I can say that Social Media can help lift your spirits.. Here are a list of ways that Social Media has helped me
1) Read a blog that makes you laugh or inspires or makes you forget the blues. For e.g.: I check this blog Worth a Read, and always find something which is an instant mood lifter
2) Login to FaceBook and look at the photos of friends and family. Most people tend to upload only the good pictures, fun moments or interesting events. So you get to see the “good slice of others life”; and it usually changes your mood
3) Pinterest – You will always find something to laugh about or something which will amuse or interest you on Pinterest. Click here for one example
4) Twitter – Go through the tweets of random people or someone your know or someone really funny, and your mood will instantly change. For e.g.: Check this list of 25 Twitter Accounts to Make you Laugh. And at least one of them will cheer your spirits
Has Social Media helped you beat the blues? If yes, leave a comment to let me know HOW?
Blog Name: ARKarthick.com – Awesomeness
Started in : Mar 2010
Run By : A R Karthick (Entrepreneur, Blogger, Photography/Designing/Social Media – Enthusiast. Humorous, Creative & Positive Thinker. Love to be a Friend & Seek/Share Awesome Things!)
What I personally like about the site?
1) Awesome Content – In the blog-o-sphere, content is definitely KING, and Karthick’s blog is a winner all along. While he writes many posts himself, his choice of Guest Posts is also excellent!
2) Wide range of topics – What I like about Karthick’s blog is that he posts about a wide range of topics – from Social Media, to Blogging, to Life, to Entrepreneurship, etc. So anytime of the day, and any kid of mood you’re in, you will find something that you will like
3) Guest Posting on the blog – Personally, I have published guest posts on several sites across the globe. And by far, the most pleasant experience has been with Karthick [ No wonder I posted so many guest posts on his blog :) ]. He is open on the topics to blog about, reasonable about expectations from you, gives great feedback / comments & suggestions and more importantly, he ensures he communicates with you on important aspects of the post (Its not like you are in for a big surprise when you finally see your post! OR You don’t know when your post has gone live!)
4) The Blog Readers – Any blog has 2 important sides – One is the content creator (or those who publish content) and Two is the content consumer (or the blog readers, i.e., You and Me). And Karthick has a fantastic reader base – truly diverse, truly global and truly nice people. People who encourage you based on what you write, people who comment on your blogs, people who connect and engage about a specific topic and people who generously share on Social Media networks
5) He posts regularly – At least once a week, and mostly on Tuesdays between 3 to 4 PM.
6) User experience is good – Easy to navigate, Easy to share on social media, Easy to find content on specific categories, Easy to search for content & Easy to leave a comment
What I wish could be DIFFERENT?
Hmmm… I had to think real hard to come up with anything here.. but as a blog reader, well
(1) More Content I guess – I mean who does not like to read amazing content more often? We all do! So would be great if there are 2 posts every week (Though as a blogger, I know that 1 post a week for 3 – 5 years is itself a great achievement) especially when you have a full-time job as well!. But then, one can never really have enough of good things right?
On that note, here’s wishing A R Karthick many many many more years of successful blogging :)
In life, I’ve seen several types of make-overs
Make-overs of houses
Make-overs of wardrobes – clothes, footwear, accessories
Make-overs of physical appearance, i.e, the face (usually a hair cut, hair style, make-up, etc. and sometimes permanent solutions like surgery too)
Make-overs of weight (usually unimaginable weight loss in a short duration)
Make-overs in relationships…
Given that I am so entrenched into blogging, I can’t help but draw a parallel of everything to blogging. As I mulled over this, I wonder if anyone could offer Blog Make-Over Services (Both for individual bloggers and corporate blogs)?
Aimed at transforming your blog at 2 levels
(1) A new and improved layout : New colors, images, template, fonts, etc etc etc – which appeals to general masses. In many cases, this change will probably be welcome by both the blog owners and the blog readers too!
(2) Content make-over : To help you create and publish compelling content in a continuous and consistent fashion; and also maintain the content for decades to come
I don’t know if anyone provides blog make-overs, but I sure do think that there could be a market out there for such services?
What’s your view? Would you like your blog to be given a make-over.. Leave a comment to let me know
I entered the blog-o-sphere in 2008 primarily as an avid blog reader. In 2009, I started my own private blogs in which I used to write occasionally. In 2010, I shared my blogs with a few friends and family; and received very encouraging feedback and response.
Almost all of them suggested that I should make my blogs public and write more seriously simply because they said I wrote well & everyone enjoyed reading my blogs and always had one / more compliment for me. The more important feedback was that the topics I wrote about had universal appeal. And rightly so!
So as of date, I have a 12 year old girl from India reading my blog, a 20 year old college student from London who follows my blogs, 30 year old professionals (primarily part of my own personal network) who look forward to my posts, a 40 year old American CXO reading my blog, a 50 year old entrepreneur who comments on my blog, a 60+ famous writer who says he loves reading my blog and a 70 year retired teacher who enjoys reading my blogs – So age no bar!
Profession no bar (And trust me! My blog is read by students, teachers, IT professionals, media representatives, homemakers, entrepreneurs, writers, and authors, CXO’s, etc.) and of course! Location no bar! (India, America, Europe, etc. etc. etc.)
So obviously I’m doing something RIGHT. Anyways that’s not why I am writing this article. But over the recent past a lot of people are asking me “OK! You write a BLOG… So what NEXT?”
Hmm… Good Question and Honestly, I did not have a befitting response until I looked around to see what other successful bloggers have done beyond blogging. In this post, I am listing my observations and views on what you can do after you’ve started your blogventure.
Here are 5 things you can do beyond blogging…
1. Write a Book
Most successful bloggers seems to have authored / co-authored a book at a time when their blogs were at the top! This seems fairly logical because writing a blog for a long time really improves your thinking skills, your writing skills, your observation skills and your own self-discipline; All of which are absolutely essential to write a book! There are several differences between a blog and book primarily in terms of the topics you can write about, the publishing process and the feedback process. Nevertheless, a BOOK is a possible option for any blogger!
Many successful bloggers I’ve seen get into Training Services. So what do they train about? Well, anything that has a market demand right from “How to create a Successful blog?” to “How to lead a balanced life?” – As long as you know something, have put it into practice, have created a repeatable model to replicate the “success mantra” – You can create training program! And then with technology, you have several options for the delivery mechanism – from the age old class room training to self-paced e-courses / modules which anyone can access anytime online. Of course, they charge for this; but every session comes with some freebies – So if you’re lucky you can get access to a wealth of best practices free-of-cost!
3. Pursue a New Hobby
Interestingly from my personal observations, most bloggers start off with blogging as a hobby. Once they achieve some level of success and mastery, they definitely explore a new hobby, which combines their blogging skills, and the new hobby in pursuit. Classic examples are Cookery blogs or Photography blogs.
4. Consulting and Advisory Services
Again, many bloggers get into paid consulting and advisory services through or because of their blogs. It could be services on marketing, blogging, writing, social media, branding, training, etc. Again, as long as there is a market, these have potential. The big plus is that you can reach to potential customers through your blogs and if anyone connects with you for leveraging your services, they have some idea about your strengths and what to expect!
5. New / Alternate / Additional Job / Employment
Again, a pleasant discovery was that most bloggers appeared to have either
(a) Changed jobs after they started blogging – I mean why not? If you are a good blogger and are able to successfully articulate your point of view on one / many subjects for a long period of time it means that you know the subject, you understand it from more than one dimension, you think and you find time to write (which means you have some internal self-discipline and motivation!). Aren’t all these invaluable skills in any job market? In some cases, the new jobs and employment were in the same field but with more than one additional benefit (monetary and otherwise) and in some cases they were a complete career switch (So for e.g.: An entrepreneur turned to an author) AND / OR
(b) Had additional employment avenues because of their blogging efforts. So either a paid blogging avenue or an enhanced personal brand due to their work being published in one / more blogs of global repute.
And last but not least, of course DO CONTINUE BLOGGING!
So… what do you think I / anyone can do after they’ve written a blog?Leave a comment to let me know…
Originally published @ http://www.arkarthick.com/2012/11/05/beyond-blogging/ ; Edited and re-published here
I often wonder if blogs have a brand…And I am using “brand” in the most basic sense of the word – As really something which “truly distinguishes your blog” for others.. As I mull more on this, I can’t help but think that every blog has a brand of its own.. So what are the key aspects which determine the brand of your blog
1) Your Blog Design
The first thing which anyone really observes when they visit your blog is the overall design – The most important parameters being the colors, template and layout, font style, font size and the overall menus. If you are a serious blogger, you absolutely need to get this right! If you can do something exclusive here, then good for you. If not, it should still be appealing to the general eye!
2) Your Blog “About You”
Again every brand has a “persona” and in the blogging world, your persona is what you say about yourself. You have the full freedom to paint the picture of yourself you want. The most important thing is to be honest, short and sweet & of course positive. If you can keen this section really “unique” and interesting, it will go a long way in enhancing your blog’s brand value. A picture of yourself is an absolute MUST!
3) Your Blog Content
“Content is King” and “Content is Queen” and “Content is everything” in the blog-o-sphere. So update your blog content regularly, keep it fresh, interesting and ensure that there is some take-away from every post of yours. Ultimately, your blog content is what creates, builds and maintains the brand image of your blog. And you got to continuously work on this as there is no dearth of content in the online world!
Again, every blog you publish has a part of you! Your thoughts, your emotions, your experiences, your imagination, your views, your opinions, your articulations, your perspectives, your analysis, you comprehension, your conclusions. There is a little and lot of the real YOU in your blogs. Your blog is eventually your baby – your creation. And your offline brand definitely influences the brand of your blog. NOTE: This is more relevant for well-known personalities / offline celebrities as they already have a strong brand image in the real world ; and some of it translates to the blogging world. For e.g.: Amitabh Bachchan’s Blog (Bollywood Actor and Superstar)
5) Everything else on your Blog
And then there is everything else you do on your blog which influences the brand image. The menus, pictures, videos, links, ads, etc etc etc
Nevertheless, branding is really about perceptions and how your readers perceive your blog is what makes all the difference. A little bit of thought, a dash of creativity, a pinch of positivity and of course, lots of dedication is what makes all the difference in the long run.
On that note, Happy Blogging