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Lots of companies benefit from having a blog. For some, it’s a friendly, accessible way to say hi to devoted fans, curious onlookers and likely a few haters and skeptics. For others, it’s simply the way they communicate important messages. The role of public relations professionals in this chatty puzzle is to help companies build, shape and fine-tune their public voice. In fact, many PR campaigns aren’t complete without a blog strategy. But building a client blog from the ground up can be daunting. So where do you begin?
Start, With Help
When it comes to picking out a blog platform, there are certainly plenty to choose from, but Jeff Davis, who runs the content services team at San Francisco-based PR firm LaunchSquad, generally points clients towards WordPress, a mostly-free, open-source platform. Davis also makes another point: When you’re just starting out, don’t go DIY. “If you’re building something strategic for a client, even if it’s small scale, hire a WordPress developer to handle set up, find the right plugins and design a nice UI. It can be fairly inexpensive and is critical to building a blog that will work the way you need it to quickly and effectively.”
With a bit of help, WordPress’ initial set up process is simple and fast, and yet it offers a huge range of customization and configuration options. And with thousands of plugins, there is one that will satisfy any need that you can think of, often for free. For those who are coordinating blogs for multiple clients, WordPress also offers admin features for easy management across the board.
Optimize, But Not Too Much
According to Rich Brooks, President and “Chief Blogging Officer” at Flyte New Media, your SEO practices should have a very simple goal: rank high in search results for the things that your client’s customers are looking for. He recommends starting with a keyword analysis service like Raventools, WordTracker or Google Adwords’ keyword tool.