Over dinner, my wife, Kelly, and I generally try to avoid work-related topics because they end up being one-sided and, essentially, not very engaging for the spouse who isn’t doing the talking (see #1 below!).
Last night, though, was an exception.
Kelly works for Hospice Care of South Carolina, one of several terrific hospice organizations servicing the state. Hospice Care of SC faces many of the same challenges non-profits do when it comes to making the public aware of their brand and the great benefits they offer. To help with this, last fall HCSC started a their Caregiver’s Blog in an effort to reach out to nurses, aids, family members, etc. and answer questions people might have about their hospice services.
And so the question came up about some simple strategies I would offer an organization like Hospice Care of SC when it comes to using their blog to build awareness and encouraging folks to engage in conversations. While it’s tricky to guarantee doing “this, that AND that” will magically turn a “monoblog” into a continual conversation that develops a life of its own, there are a few simple strategies you can follow to make sure your blog is better positioned to receive readership and feedback:
- Understand that a blog can humanize your company or organization. Press releases and newsletters contain spin and do not appeal to readers who want discussion-related topics they can participate in, current news that’s pertinent to them and even opinion-oriented pieces they can comment on.
- Blog often. Search engines adore new content. By blogging, search engines see your website is updated frequently and not collecting dust.
- Build relationships! Find authoritative sites, even other bloggers, willing to either link to or subscribe to your blog. This will show readers you are trusted and may also help your SEO efforts. In the same way, do your part to contribute to other on-line communities, particularly those in your field of business.
- Take polls, ask questions and reply back to folks who leave comments. Blog posts should be crafted to initiate conversations with readers. By encouraging feedback you can learn how to make your organization stronger and show that you value your readers’ input.
EVG Content Marketing VP