In PR, you’re often tasked with a variety of projects that extend beyond media relations.
You have to simultaneously be a journalist, social media expert, event planner and more.
Frequently, running a client’s company blog also makes the list of to-do’s, but while most PR pros can map out a content strategy and promotion tactics, many don’t fully understand the deeper logistics that go into blogging.
From SEO techniques, to strategically responding to blog comments, to making sure the blog doesn’t overstep legal boundaries, here are some important factors to address to make your client’s blog a success.
You likely know the basics of SEO by now — incorporate keywords throughout your client’s website and messaging to boost your search engine ranking — but there are probably some blog-specific SEO tactics you’ve missed.
In fact, the two most overlooked places for keywords are with pictures and webpage descriptions.
Make your client’s blog photos work for the site’s SEO by adding keywords in the title of the picture, as well as the alt description.
Search engines will pick up these keywords when someone is looking for a specific picture, boosting your chances of getting found.
The blog description is another hidden way to plant keywords. Meta descriptions are what pop up under the title in the search results. Relevant descriptions can increase the chances of your website being clicked, which signals to search engines that your content is worth displaying higher. Aim for descriptions that are 150 and 160 characters long -- anything longer than that will be cut off.
Do you respond to negative comments or only the positive ones? Engage the trolls or turn off comments all together? There are arguments to be made for a variety of comment strategies, but no matter what side you fall on, you’ll need to put a blog comment procedure in place.
There are a few reasons for this: It sets expectations for your client — you now have a policy you can reference to explain why you didn’t respond to an obvious troll. It also allows you to set expectations for your community. If your policy includes removing any offensive comments, share that piece publicly. This helps you remain transparent, and prevents accusations of deleting unfavorable feedback.
Remember, whether positive or negative, comments are an important part of writer-reader interaction. They’re a clear indication that your writing struck a chord and they offer valuable insight into what content works and what doesn’t.
One more thing: Google likes comments – by having an active comments sections you show search engines that your blog post is relevant and regularly updated.
While you don’t need to have law school-level legal knowledge, you’ll want to have a basic understanding of the legal do’s and don’ts for your client’s blog.
Knowing which photos you’re allowed to include, whether or not you can quote someone else’s work and how to protect your client’s ideas will all come into play during the blogging process.
Two things to familiarize yourself with are Fair Use and Creative Commons.
The Fair Use clause is what allows you to quote experts, books and other sources in your blog. Snippets of copyrighted work can be used for commentary, criticism, reporting and teaching, as long as you credit and backlink to the source. That said, if the original owner of the fair use content requests to remove their content from the blog, it’s better to respect their wishes out of good faith.
When it comes to imagery for your blog, Creative Commons is an alternative to buying stock photos. Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that enables sharing of creative work through use of copyright licenses that clearly communicate the rights that authors have over their work. Just make sure to only use the images with a license “to modify and commercialize images.” Of course, the safest thing to do would be to use your own pictures exclusively, so you may want to expand your skillset into photography and design.
“Blogger” may not be at the top of your resume, but with these three tips, you can make sure your client is getting the most bang for their blog.
Natasa Djukanovic is the CMO of Domain.ME, the international tech company that operates the internet domain ".ME." She's spent her entire career at the intersection of social media, leadership and technology, and is constantly trying to figure out the secret to being in three different places at the same time.
Photo via Pixabay