Recently a friend asked me a question that any business that begins blogging will have to answer; What should your first post be about? That first post is terribly important, because it sets the tone for the blog, not just for the readers, but for the writers as well.
From the reader’s point of view, I would want to see four areas covered in your first blog post:
1 – Who you are. Tell me about your business, but also introduce me to the blog’s writers. Share pictures. The more information about yourself and your business that you are willing to share, the easier it will be for me as a reader to trust you. This is very overlooked by many businesses but we want to see pictures of the people that work for your business and more importantly, those that will be writing for the blog. It helps us identify and connect with them!
2 – Why you are blogging. Possibly the most important question you can answer, because it will force you to spell out your intentions to your audience. And as always, consider your audience when answering this question, ask yourself, ‘Why would someone come to this blog, what would they be looking for?’ Hint: They won’t be coming to your blog so that you can market to them. Maybe you want to share your thoughts on your industry with your readers, or maybe you want to teach them how to do a certain set of skills that tie into your business. Another way to think about this is to ask yourself ‘What’s in it for the reader?’
3 – What will you be blogging about. Answering the above question makes this one much easier to answer. Will you be blogging about your business, or perhaps the lifestyles of your customers? Spell out the content on your blog so that I know what to expect when I arrive. And remember that this will also serve as a ‘bookmark’ for your writers to keep them focused on what the goal of your blog is.
4 – How I can leave feedback. Tell me how I can be involved. Can I leave comments? Do you encourage comments? What if I want to email you? Spell out exactly how I can contact you, and don’t be afraid to encourage feedback, and even disagreement. In fact this would be a good place to formally spell-out your comment policy, which again can serve as a reference tool for your writers as well. But do everything you can to make sure that my feedback is appreciated, and encouraged. If possible, give readers ways to contact you online (such as an email address) and offline (such as your address and phone number).
If your first post contains these elements, I think your business blogging efforts will be off to a fine start!