I’m not as young as I think I am.
There, I said it. Now if only I believed it. Instead, I still think that I can just wake up, dig out my Insanity Workout DVDs, and start cross training like I did in my 20s. The truth is, that’s no longer possible. Either I’ll collapse in a pile of sweat ten minutes in, or I’ll pull a muscle five minutes before that only to limp my way back upstairs to the showers.
I can’t hit the gym (or my garage) hard right now because I haven’t done any form of exercise for nearly 11 months now. Once my son arrived, I just stopped being active. Fitness active, that is. I’m now busy chasing him around and snatching him up before he tumbles down the stairs, but those bursts only last about five seconds at a time. Then it’s back to the couch I go.
The harsh reality is that if I want to get back into working out, I need to start low and go slow. Ease back into it and slowly build up my endurance. I’ll be more likely to stick to it that way and less likely to injure myself in the process.
The same goes for your company blog. Here are five steps to follow to get it up and running, without pulling a muscle in the process.
Before you begin, take a look what other communications you and your team regularly produce. Do you have a monthly newsletter? A weekly email blast? Some recurring communications piece? Take a look at how that’s currently going. See if it’s a strain on your team as its structured today or if you have the bandwidth to add another collateral piece to the mix.
And if you don’t have an ongoing communication that you currently create, consider creating one under the radar. Design a mock piece, set a deadline, and cue up your writers and designers. Do a few trial runs to find the gaps in your system. Find out how much you can manage and where your breaking point falls. And then step back to explore what adjustments—internally or externally—might need to be made in order to get your company blog off the ground.
This seems obvious, and it is…until other work obligations and deadlines distract you from setting them. Before you hit “Publish” on your very first blog you need to outline what you’re trying to accomplish by spending your time creating this content. And make those goals SMART. Meaning, make them:
Once you do launch the blog, be sure to set a check-in date on your calendar to see how things are going. Examine what’s working well and what’s falling apart. Are you reaching your deadlines? Is your staff surviving or are they neglecting other duties to accomplish these new ones? Set the date to ask these questions at the very beginning. If you don’t, you may never do it.
You need to keep your company blog well hydrated at all times. In other words, you don’t want to launch your blog, write five great posts, and then start scrambling for new content. You need to have a deep reservoir of great blog ideas, as well as a list of resources ready to explore for future content. You also need to have a group of writers your trust at the ready. They can be internal staff or outside designers and writers, but you should vet them. You may not need them regularly, but they should be ready to assist when needed.
Finally, take some time each month or quarter to see how your company blog’s going. Take a look back at those goals you set. Are you reaching them? Are people reading what you’re writing? What changes and improvements can be made?