November 10, 2015
So businesses are constantly hearing that “content is king,” so creating a company blog is the next step. Relevant content, frequency of content, and different content types are all very important when it comes to create a content strategy. Guest blogging is also at the top of the list for many businesses as a way to increase visibility and draw people to the website and blog. While this is all great (and necessary), it stops here for the majority of companies.
However, if you’re looking to take your content strategy to the next level, there are actually many other blogging platforms out there that can help you improve your visibility as a brand through content sharing and publishing. You just have to know how to get involved and which platforms are worth your time.
Below are some of the top blogging platforms online as well as a few reasons why and how they can work for a business’s content strategy:
Medium is one of the most popular blogging platforms in recent years despite the fact that it’s been up and running since 2012. The founders of Twitter and Blogger, Evan Williams and Biz Stone, created Medium, and it definitely have some cool features. For example, readers can go through and highlight pieces of text and leaves notes and comments right there in the piece. You can connect with authors, follow publications, and the best part is that anyone can publish content on absolutely any subject. Oh, and did I mention it was free?
How to Use it for Business: Even if you don’t want to write original content all the time, you can upload some of your blog articles easily to the platform. Start connecting with those who leave comments on your pieces so that you can make connections. You can also start a publication, which allows others to add content to your publication (think of it more as like a folder full of writing from various authors). Starting a publication can help you earn visibility without actually having to write every single day, and it’s a great way to build a community. Below shows what a publication looks like. Most publications are general, like the one below, so I would recommend doing the same for a company publication. You being the editor is enough to gain that visibility and those connections:
This is one of the only platforms on this list that isn’t free ($8/month minimum), but you will get your own domain name if you sign up for an account annually. You also get to choose your own template that will work on mobile and on desktop and you won’t need to know anything about coding or design, so it functions much more like your own personalized blog as opposed to just a platform where anyone can offer content.
How to Use it For Business: This is definitely a more advanced option; so some businesses stick with this as opposed to a WordPress blog. In other words, if you want to use this for business you should use it just as you would a blog on your website—publish frequently, publish relevant and engaging content, and keep the content easy to read with bullet points and subheadings. This is a great place for long-form content. Below shows a screenshot of the first process in setting up your account. The platform takes you through the process and only takes a few minutes:
If you’re familiar with Evernote, this will be a very easy platform to work with. It actually turns an Evernote into a blog, so all you need to do is connect your two accounts (Postachi.io and Evernote). It’s free to use and you can “tag” your notes as “published” to make your Postachi.io blog public. There are themes you can choose from as well as the option to name your blog and your URL. Extra: You can also connect your Tumblr account for even more automatic syncing.
How to Use It for Business: Create an Evernote that is relevant to your audience and let the platform do the rest. You can change the title of your posts to make them more compelling as well as shorten the URLs, and of course you can comment on other Postach.io blogs to help improve your visibility on the platform. Below shows how easy it is to make the connection:
Believe it or not, Ghost is actually the product of a Kickstarter campaign that ended up raising $300,000 back in 2013. Ghost is free if you download and install the platform yourself, which you can learn more about on the homepage, but it’s definitely one of the best alternatives to a company blog on WordPress and even boasts the tagline “Just a blogging platform.” It publishes open source, which means you can modify and share all of the content you produce. It’s considered one of the easiest platforms to use and fastest as far as load times go, it’s responsive, and is easy to customize.
How to Use It for Business: Similar to Medium, Ghost aims to be simplistic and let you focus on content without other distractions. You can use this platform for your business as a supplement to your blog or as a replacement. All of the data about your Ghost blog will be pulled into one dashboard so it’s easy to keep track, and this is definitely the place for long-form content, so don’t be shy! Below shows your dashboard for the platform. I just got started today, so you can see there is a “Welcome Page” as well as one post I have written. On the left-hand side you can also see the ability to add team members.
Don’t forget that LinkedIn also has a publishing platform where you can start building a reputation. The content will be shown on your LinkedIn profile and will show up on the LinkedIn feed for your followers, so it’s an excellent way to get your content in front of a targeted audience.
How to Use It For Business: We actually wrote an article here dedicated to this exact topic, but in short LinkedIn is a great platform for you to publish content about your niche. It’s not quite as creative as some of the others on this list but again, it’s targeted and extremely valuable in terms of improving credibility. The more informative your content, the more likely people will be to connect with you on LinkedIn and then start seeing your updates. As you can see below, you can simply click the “+Write a new post” to get started and your post will appear right there on your profile page.
Last but not least, this is probably a platform you’ve heard of before. Tumblr was actually sold to Yahoo for over $1 billion, so it’s a big deal and it definitely has the readership. Currently, Tumblr has over 217 million blogs and over 420 million users according to a Expanded Ramblings report. The platform is definitely a place for micro-bloggers and has a very young audience, but aside from the huge user-base it makes it easy to connect and favorite different posts.
How to Use It for Business: Historically, Tumblr posts are best if they are short and humorous, so gifs and infographics are great. It’s also a good place to post to frequently (even a few times per day), but again it won’t be too difficult because it’s not a blogging platform for long-form content. Create short little videos and anecdotes and start building a community, so it’s a good supplement to your company blog.
You’re probably thinking that it is tough enough to manage one blog let alone several, so this question is bound to come up. The answer to this question is, of course, it depends. It depends on the company you’re running and your audience, and it depends on the blogging platform. If you give a few blogging platforms a try and realize that you get more engagement on a blogging site as opposed to a blog on your website, this might be worth it for you in the end.
However, the vast majority of businesses will still want to have a blog on their company website for SEO purposes. This gives you more material to rank, more material to index, and more material to offer readers already visiting your website and wanting to learn more. Most blogging platforms, therefore, are used best when it compliments a company blog.
Do you use any of the blogging platforms mentioned above? How do you make them work for your company, and do you still have a blog on your company website? Let us know what’s working for you in the comment section below.
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