If you read this blog often or if you’re a member of the Chamber of Commerce Professionals Group on Facebook, you’ll often hear people espousing the importance of a blog.
For the brevity’s sake, I’m going to assume you’ve finally accepted this advice and decided to jump in, ready to tackle this rewarding way of connecting with your community and beyond.
Before you talk tone, strategy, or guest posts you’re probably wondering…
How Do I Start a Chamber Blog?
You start where pretty much everything does today — with technology. A blog isn’t a blog without the ability to post it to the web. If your chamber website is built on WordPress, you’ll simply go to the dashboard and begin creating posts. Depending on your website you may want to make some design changes and restructure the menu but creating the posts is as easy as using a “What You See is What You Get” text editor box. No coding required.
If your website is not on WordPress, check with whatever system you use. For instance, some chamber management software has blogging capabilities and if it doesn’t you may be able to integrate a WordPress blog in or create a page that links to it.
People who have been blogging for years may have started off on a number of now-defunct or fading platforms, but if you’re starting from scratch today WordPress is the gold standard and most widely used by businesses.
How Often and When
It’s easy to abandon a blog because you let other things get in the way. Treat posts like a standing meeting. Decide on how often you’ll post. Don’t be overly aggressive at first unless you absolutely know you can keep up with the pace. Select something like 1-3 times a week for maximum reach and SEO benefit or once a month as an update. You can always increase it later but if you promise a daily post and then in reality it turns into once every two weeks, you don’t look serious about it.
Once you’ve decided on how often, select your days and stick to them. Establishing a routine will make it easier to maintain and set audience expectations.
Write a Few Posts and Let the World Know
Go live with 3 posts. If you plan on posts with dates on them (that’s an option), backdate two of them accordingly, so they don’t look like they were all posted the same day. The thought behind this is that when you invite people to read your blog and they love one of the posts, there’s more to enjoy.
Get excited about your blog. Tell your members, tell your family, tell everyone by placing the announcement in your email signature, “Check out our new chamber blog!” Invite those you’re closest to to comment and share it to their networks.
Launching a chamber blog is exciting but not nearly as exciting as the first commentary you get on it. Note I said commentary and not comment. Don’t expect a lot of in depth commenting on a blog.
Reading is a passive activity, commenting is an active one.
You can help the conversion by asking a question but most bloggers feel if you’re going to ask the reader to do something, there are probably more valuable calls-to-action, that’s why many have chosen to turn off comments altogether.
Blogging can be incredibly rewarding and a wonderful way to showcase your personality and the amazing things going on in your community. Start taking advantage of this engaging platform immediately.
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