Instructions for Making the Best Company Blog on the Internet
I’m the founding designer at a startup called Replay. It makes software that lets you record websites so you can collaborate and debug with others. Here’s our website:
We’ve been working on a strategy for making a company blog with content that other people might actually want to read. Which is a tall order! Most people have no interest in blog posts, changelogs, or release notes. So how can we share content that’s genuinely interesting to people? For starters…
Focus on content that’s genuinely interesting to people
No one wants to read a dry, self-congratulatory press release. But the internet is full of interesting behind-the-scenes stories that are genuinely interesting. Here’s a story about how Steve Jobs’ micro-managing led to the original Mac calculator. And here’s a story about how Audion, one of the first MP3 players, almost became iTunes. And who can forget How Not to Pitch a Billionaire, the first episode of the Startup podcast, which features audio of one of the most awkward pitches ever? These are all classics, and stand on their own. Speaking of which…
Make the stories stand on their own
Most people don’t read blogs linearly anymore. Good posts get shared around, and those posts are read as stand-alone content. So each post should be interesting in its own right, and possible to be read in any order, and without any context.
Showcase a range of voices with a unifying tone
It’s a good goal, despite being devilishly difficult. In a perfect world, you’d hear from different roles in a company because they represent different viewpoints. For example, at Replay we’ve been writing posts that deal with technology experiments, growing culture at a young company, and behind-the-scenes looks at the design of new features.
Value the audience’s time
Someone reading your article shouldn’t feel like they just wasted their time. Not every article can be great, but you can at least try to bring value to everything you publish. Maybe you’re bringing a new perspective, or maybe you’re sharing a trick you learned. You shouldn’t just be talking for the sake of talking. It’s a waste of time, and worse, it’s boring.
We’ll be kicking things off soon and we’ll be doing our best. See you around!