A blog can help business

Fenwick Software decided to launch its blog four and a half years ago. Our reasoning was that if we could persuade a number of our staff members to write posts these would not only help to consolidate our reputation as the most knowledgeable Microsoft NAV partner in Australia, but also provide opportunities to pass on information about all aspects of project implementations; Dynamics NAV tips; stories about and by Fenwick team members; and even the occasional humorous piece.

Our blog posts seem to be well received and we believe that we are achieving the objectives that we set. It’s not always been easy, and we have learnt quite a lot about blogging along the way.
Creating a blog, and blogging successfully, is a significant commitment. If you are considering publishing a blog for your company here are some of the things that you should consider:

  1. Have a clear understanding of why you want to do this and what benefits you expect
  2. Specify the audience you want to target
  3. Set an achievable schedule for your posts
  4. Gain commitment from a number of your people to write posts
  5. Set and agree a calendar for your posts
  6. Don’t expect your staff members to deliver literary gems. Encourage them to write-up their ideas in their own words. Then be willing to invest in editing and proof reading their work
  7. Spend time and thought to create good titles that will appear in search results

Those in the know insist that posts should appear regularly.

Those in the know insist that posts should appear regularly. In Fenwick’s case we post weekly and have not missed a scheduled post in more than four years. We have a pool of contributors who have agreed to write posts according to a schedule. In addition, we have a Blog Mistress, Ruby Usman, who cracks her whip over those who are tardy.

There are differing views on the length of posts. We aim for 300 to 400 words but allow more for posts on technical matters that require more detail. Readers are time poor, it’s better to be brief than lose a reader who sees a wall of text. We edit, re-edit and proof read.

Remember to promote your blog and each post. Make your blog prominent on your web site. Promote each post on social media (Linkedin; Facebook; Google+; Twitter; Instagram etc) with a compelling, one sentence, summary.

Check the statistics provided by your blogging platform (Fenwick uses WordPress) or use Google Analytics or StatCounter to ensure that you are reaching the people you want to, and are gaining the benefits you set out to achieve.

A business blog is a big commitment but can return big benefits.

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Written By Peter R Hill

Peter has been in the Information Services industry for more than forty years with broad experience covering a number of industries working in both Australia and New Zealand. He holds an MBA from LaTrobe University. For seventeen years Peter headed and was a director of the International Software Benchmarking Standards Group (ISBSG) a not-for-profit organisation with a mission of improving the performance of IT through the provision of project history data. He has served on a number of Boards of IT companies. In 2010 Peter became an non-executive director of Fenwick Software. Peter has been a speaker at conferences in Australia, Asia, Europe, Brazil and the USA.   He has had a number of articles published, covering key aspects of the Information Services industry.  He is a past Chairman, Secretary and Fellow of the Australian Computer Society. He is a member of the Committee of Management of Writers Victoria. Peter has compiled and edited five books, including: "Practical Software Project Estimation"  published by McGraw-Hill. In his leisure time, Peter enjoys motor sport and writing.

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