I was just catching up with my Inc. reading and came across the final article from Joel Spolsky in the March 2010 issue. I can always tell when something has lit a fire under me when I start talking back to the article (or TV or computer monitor, etc.) as I’m reading it.
In this article, Let’s Take This Offline, Joel talks about the “right” way to blog. He’s absolutely right in saying write to your audience and not just post press releases and company updates. The articles that get people reading are the ones that provide something useful to the reader – not the ones about yourself or your company. That is true.
However, that doesn’t mean you never post about yourself or your company. Your existing readers want to know about you and how you do business. In almost every case, you get your readers to you by offering them something tangible. You keep them reading by showing a little personality, showing there are real people behind the company, providing a little insight into how you work and run your business, AND continuing to offer those tasty tips & tricks that got them reading in the first place.
If you launch a new product, announce it on your blog. Your readers are your customers and potential customers. They may not know about your new product any other way. Many people subscribe to a company’s blog but not their newsletter and vice versa. Don’t assume your newsletter (or blog) reaches everyone – announce big news in both places.
There’s a happy medium in blogging. Don’t give away the farm and don’t get too personal. Find what works for you and your readers and stick to it. Your readers will appreciate consistency.