Sunday, August 5, 2007

Does a Corporate Blogger Work Full or Part-Time?

Do companies need full time corporate bloggers?

I think most corporate bloggers start out as drafted internal employees. Corporate blogging is given as much attention as it deserves, while the rest of the time the employee carries on his or her other tasks. Only if/when the blog becomes a full time job does it get treated as such.

If you're working on opening a new blog for a company, does it need a full-time employee?

It Matters How the Job is Defined

For myself, I think it depends on how the service is presented. Companies that know little about blogging think that a blog post is a half-hour a day's work; what is the blogger doing the rest of the day?

  • I scour the Internet for similar conversations and topics and contribute comments. My name or sig links back to my site, but otherwise I don't go evangelizing.
  • I read blogs and news about the field and competition.
  • I do SEO, site design, blog rolling, blog site submission, and so on.
  • I come up with a few ideas for posts. Then I research what else has been written about the topic. Either I abandon the topic if it's been covered thoroughly already, or I source the material if it hasn't.
  • I check and recheck for spelling and grammar, eliminate useless words and extraneous thoughts, organize the sentences and paragraphs, redo the title and opening sentence.
In addition, I like to keep a backlog of posts, when possible.

That's really only half the story, however.

To really do a corporate blog right, I do a lot of preliminary research about the field in which the company is situated before the blog goes online.

I want to start by opening a blog and site that is of general use to the world, with barely any mention of the company, other than a disclosure about my employment. With the help of employees of the company, and my own experience, I want to position the blog as an expert resource in the field. This can take a lot of time.

I choose a specific niche that is under-represented on the web. I write 1 to 5 posts a day, sized from short to long. Some of them, at least, have to be great posts. Time will pass before I slip in mention and articles about our own products, if relevant.

There's more, of course.

Even so, after the initial set up I think a corporate blogger could do this as a part time job for a new blog.

For me to be a full time employee, the odds are that I have to also contribute based on my other skills: technical writing, programming, product design, or what have you.

What do you think?



Dee Barizo said...

Great post. Most corporations seem to miss the point of blogging. Blogging is about conversation with your customers and industry colleagues. It's about building relationships. I think when corporations realize this, they'll see the long-term value of blogging and invest more into their bloggers.

Yehuda said...

Thanks Dee.

What're your thoughts of full vs part time?


Dee Barizo said...

Great question. I think blogging has good long-term ROI.

If I had my own company, I would hire a full-time blogger. This blogger would have to be skilling in blogging, PR, and marketing. Also, the blogger would have to be very knowledgeable with my industry and my company.