Preparations Before Starting a Corporate Blog
The Difference Between Corporate and Private Blogs
Habr is the largest blog platform for tech specialists in Western Europe. Hundreds of thousands of people come here every day, hundreds of IT companies run corporate blogs here. It is important to remember that our project is a self-regulating community, which means that the success of a corporate blog will largely depend on the ability to present information well and interact with the audience.
Before doing anything, it is important to draw the line between a personal account and a corporate blog:
Personal account — you sign by your own name and everything is under your own responsibility, you are not associated with the company and don't select a corporate blog from the hub list. This though does not mean you can do whatever you want — all the tips below will be useful for both private authors and experts.
Corporate blog — in this case you will post materials as an employee of the company, not as a private person. You are broadcasting the experience and the outlook of the company, speaking on its behalf — all your statements will be perceived as statements of the company, so you bear increased responsibility for every single word. Remember this and be discreet and correct in any, even the most unpleasant, situation.
Decide who will you write for
Habr is a community of IT professionals. The most technical publications are welcome on the platform, they usually "contain code". The audience of the project is demanding, active, lively and ready for discussion, so that's all readers want from you:
industry expertise and knowledge;
useful content and lack of direct ads;
willingness to communicate;
willingness to solve customers' problems here and now.
Study the core topics and popular publications
The project consists of thematic sections — hubs — sort of shelves for users to split the content. Everyone who signs up on Habr can optionally subscribe only to hubs of personal interests and read only dedicated content — thus, each hub has an audience.
Each publication should be tied to some hub(s), otherwise it will be left without attention. Putting information in the wrong hub leads to a mess. So study the hubs to understand which one suits you best. Also see examples of publications in each of the hubs (especially top publications within the hub) where you are going to contribute — to be aware of what type of the content is written there and how the users react to it.
Check your competitors
Persumably one of your competitors is already blogging on Habr. Even if your rival's already "picked all the cherries", do not get upset — you can do better. But still spend time studying the activity of your competitors:
how long have they been blogging;
how many people are involved in blogging;
how often do they publish their content;
what topics have they already covered, did they go in details and what quality did they manage to reach;
how the audience reacted to these materials, which publications have been scored the highest;
what did the audience write in the comments under the publications, did they ask any questions;
how the company responded to users' feedback.
There are mistakes in some publications — look for weak spots in the competitors' content, draw conclusions and try to understand how to do better and not make the same mistakes. Analyzing this information can help a lot. If you do not know what to write about, just look at what publications of your competitors were rated especially well — if you offer a better coverage of the same topic after a while, most likely it will also be positively rated by the audience. And vice versa: if some topics are downvoted, feel free to remove them from your content plan.
Select the target
Decide what goal you want to achieve by blogging. Raise product or brand awareness? Share the experience of solving certain tasks? Hire tech specialists in the company? Please your self-respect and get to the top of the rating of companies? Understanding the answer will help you build the right content strategy.
As a homework
Read the help section
It's useful to learn about the main mechanisms of Habr: types of accounts, invitations, karma, rating, voting and other. All this is covered in detail in Help section.
Study the FAQ for companies
It is located in the admin panel of your corporate blog — you will find answers to many questions that are not in the "general" reference section.
Try to make a beautiful publication
Sometimes users forgive some mistakes for a beautiful design — if they see you put heart into the publication they will willingly upvote for the publication and the author's karma, and will be more loyal in the comments. And in general it is much more pleasant to read beautifully designed publication than a "TL;DR" unformatted text. Recommendations for the design of publications you are written in separate section.
Always feel free to contact our managers via firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance in maintaining a corporate blog or any questions about our projects.