Usually they start with the introductory post, otherwise known as the welcome post, inaugural post or more simply, the first post.
Today I’m going to cover some important things to include in this introductory post. As you might have guessed, it’s a great way to introduce your blog, your business, and yourself to your new readers.
The following 10 suggestions have all been used by some of the best business blogs in existence when they first started blogging. Examples are included.
Here we go.
1. Explain your blog’s reason for being
What are you hoping to achieve with your company blog? Perhaps it’s to connect with your customers, to broaden debate regarding your industry, to explain how your services contribute to modern life, or to explore new ways of doing things through the feedback of your readers.
Whether one or a mixture of these and more, weave the reasons into your introduction, like the cosmetics company Mary Kay did in their inaugural blog post.
2. Touch on the philosophy that fuels your business
All businesses have a vision beyond the vital yet obvious goal of making a profit. What is the ethos behind your company? Tell your readers more about what values and desires you have as a business which make you what you are.
The Turkey Hill dairy company for example exude passion about ice cream in their introductory blog post. They love ice cream and you can tell they want to share everything about it by the time you get half way through the post. Show your love for the products or services you offer through your words.
3. Identify who you are writing to
It might seem obvious to you who will be interested in reading your new blog. However, for first time readers, they won’t know whether your blogging will address their needs, regardless of whether they’re interested in your products. It’s your job to succinctly point out who will gain the most from reading and subscribing.
An interior design firm could mention homeowners (maybe in a particular location) looking to spruce up their home with some great do-it-yourself décor tips. Readers will identify with their description and mentally connect.
4. List things you’ll be blogging about in the weeks to come
Before you even began writing your introductory post, you should have formed some kind of blogging content plan. It’s important to have a solid idea of what you want to achieve and how. This might include, for example, ways to improve customer acquisition via email subscription with a particular opening blog post series.
You should know therefore what you’ll be writing about in the weeks to come. Tease your readers with a little preview of what they can expect to read in the next few posts. Mention some of the topics they’ll see next month, or about an exciting regular feature you’ll be implementing very soon.
5. Hint at who you are as an individual
Who are you? If you’re the solo-blogger for your business then it’s important to reveal a little bit about yourself. What is your status in the company? Are you the owner? What is your story? Find a way for readers to emotionally connect with you.
A fine example comes from Bill Marriot, the Executive Chairman of the well-known Marriot Hotel Company. His inaugural blog post, back in 2007, revealed insights into his life, his family, his philosophies, as well as his exploration of modern technology.
6. Unveil your blogging team
If your company blog is going to be written by a team of employees then the first post is a good time to introduce them. You don’t need to go into too much detail. A few words about each blogger, together with a photo or link to their profile page, will suffice.
A good example comes from Freshbook’s first blog post published back in 2006. Six team members are introduced together with a description of what they do, their backgrounds, and what they’ll be blogging about.
7. Highlight something impressive about your business
Business blogging should be focused on the desires and needs of your readers. That doesn’t mean however that you can’t toot your own horn every now and then. The introductory post is an ideal time to drop in a mention or two of some impressive facts regarding your company.
Bill Marriot did it in his first post when he mentioned the opening of “our 3,000th hotel” and the company’s “143,000 associates”. Think about what your business has achieved recently that you’re proud of and nimbly drop it into the welcome post. It’ll solidify your expert credentials among new readers.
8. Tell readers how they can contact you
Communication is one of the main reasons you’re blogging in the first place. It’s therefore important to let your readers know how they can contact you. It’s not just email contact you need to think about but also communication you’ll receive via the ever-important comment sections below each blog post.
Some businesses close comment sections which I think is a big mistake. They miss out on valuable conversations that frequently take place after a well written and marketed post.
If you keep the comment sections then alert your readers to the fact and signal your desire to see readers’ comments, as Disney Parks did.
9. Engage people immediately
You need to encourage your readers to actively engage with you right from your first post. Engagement can include things like newsletter subscription, blog commenting, social media sharing or clicking through to a particular page on your website.
Remember the Mary Kay inaugural post we looked at earlier? At the end of their introduction they asked their new readers to come up with a blog tagline in the comments section. A prize was promised for the winner. That was an excellent way to get readers engaging with the company as it began its blogging journey.
10. Ask a question of your new readers
A great way to get your readers engaging with you in the comment thread is by asking them a few questions. What do they want to read? What inspires them? What do they want to know more about? Ask people directly and you’ll be pleasantly surprised how enthusiastic people are to answer questions like these.
The comments people leave will provide you with some great ideas for future blog posts. A question one person asks is bound to be on the mind of many hundreds of others as well. Asking your readers questions also shows you’re open to communication which is an essential component of a popular business blog.
How to use these suggestions
Your introductory blog post needs to be written in a way that suits your business, audience and personality. As you will have seen from the examples I provided in this post, there are a variety of styles and structures you can employ.
The 10 suggestions I’ve given you today, when woven together in a coherent and focused manner, will give your first post that all important aura of credibility and appeal. It’ll be a great foundation from which to push on with the next series of posts your readers will be eager to read.
Try and include as many as you can and see the impact it makes.
Now it’s time for me to ask a few questions.
Which of these suggestions would interest you most when reading a company’s new blog? What other suggestions would you add? Do you have any good examples of a great introductory post?
Share your thoughts and questions in the comment section below.
I’d love to hear from you.