There are some big advantages to using a single blogging platform for all of your corporate blogging activities. In this case, I’m going to talk about how to use a single WordPress installation as your corporate blog, but similar tips probably apply to other platforms. Keep in mind that these tips are for corporate blogs, not individual bloggers.
- Gives people a single place to find blogs from the various groups or people within your organization.
- Take advantage of having all of this together on your domain to get better Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your corporate website. Having blogs on sites like blogspot.com will probably have a negative impact on your SEO as people create links to content that is off your domain.
- Centralized management of the blogs to make it easier for people to blog while maintaining branding that is consistent with your corporate branding guidelines.
- You have one WordPress installation, but it can look like a single unified blog with multiple topic areas or it can look like multiple blogs depending on how you want to position it.
Tips for using WordPress
- In most cases, you should be hosting it yourself using the WordPress.org download, and integrate it into the rest of your online presence.
- Replace the built-in feeds with Feedburner feeds to get better analytics on your subscribers and don’t forget to integrate your analytics package to track traffic on your blog.
- Use WordPress categories to separate the different topics into channels and allow people to subscribe to specific topics using the built-in category feeds to create Feedburner feeds.
- Use full names as author’s display names and allow people to subscribe to specific people using the built-in author feeds to create Feedburner feeds.
- Go easy on the plugins. As you add more plugins, the stability and performance will usually start to degrade, and you can end up with conflicts between plugins that generate strange behaviors. In general, if you can do what you need to do with a couple of lines of PHP, don’t use a plugin. For example, I always embed the Feedburner feeds and Google Analytics in the PHP header and footer files, instead of using plugins for those functions.
- Use themes to make your blog look unique and to highlight high profile authors or important categories.
Webtrends is one of the best examples of using existing WordPress functionality to create a really great blog. All of the main functionality they are using is built into WordPress, but they have done some extensive design work on the theme to make it look unique.
- Featured articles at the top of the page provide focus and highlight important blog posts.
- Focused topics: Inside Webtrends, Best Practices, and Industry News. Behind the scenes, they are using categories to create channels or sub-blogs based on topics. Notice how you can get a feed for just a particular topic or for the entire blog.
- Recent Posts: All of the most recent posts regardless of the category.
This is just another view of the same blog as above, but it is focused on their executive bloggers using authors instead of categories to display posts (and feeds) for each of their executives. You might use something like this if you had a couple of high profile people blogging for your company.
- The main blog is linked at the top.
- The most recent post for each executive along with an RSS feed is displayed.
While they are using the default functionality in WordPress, they have some extensive work on the theme / design to make it look the way it does. However, the categories, users, and feeds are all built-in functionality existing in WordPress.
This blog post assumes that you’ve already selected WordPress, so I tried to focus on just a few tips, but there are many, many more tips for corporate blogging and using WordPress.
However, it is important to spend some time upfront thinking about your goals for the blog and the strategic topics that you want to be the focus of your blogging efforts. After you have your goals and strategy defined, then you should start thinking about picking a blogging platform and getting started.
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