Start blogging!

Recently I went searching for blogs about exploration and mining written by the companies themselves. The result? Slim pickings.

While there are thousands of blogs talking about exploration, mining, commodities, investment, minerals, resources, mergers & acquisitions… there are very few written by the explorers and miners themselves. Anglo American has Our Views and Barrick promotes its responsible side via Beyond Borders but global giants like Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton don’t appear to be blogging yet, and neither do many junior companies. Industry service providers, on the other hand, are active with blogs like Geosoft’s Exploring with data and Quantec’s news blog.

Corporate communications – from the global mining companies to the junior explorers – tend to be quite formal, and usually involve media releases loaded with disclaimers, massive annual reports, internally-produced glossy magazines and often out-of-date fact sheets.

DSC_6612So, why aren’t they blogging?

Obstacles (or excuses!) to starting a blog usually include:

  • Not enough time
  • Social media is too fast, informal, risky
  • Finding content, what do we write about?
  • It’s a different writing style
  • What’s the point?

Here are my five reasons why exploration and mining companies – of all sizes – should ditch the excuses and start blogging:

  1. Build a community. Blogging starts and maintains a conversation with new and existing partners, clients, investors, employees and the wider industry. A regular blog builds up a network of followers by providing them with interesting content relevant to your target audiences. Your followers become ‘regulars’, reading, responding and sharing your content in a way that isn’t possible though the traditional media.
  2. Your voice, your way. Every blog post you write promotes your business, your people and your achievements in your own words. Articles written about your company by a magazine or newspaper journalist may reach a wider audience, but they are filtered through an editor with different priorities. Your blog means you are the editor.
  3. FREE(ish) advertising! Each new blog post is fresh, creative web content that will drive visitors back to the website you worked hard to design and maintain. Each post is ‘fodder’ for social media, able to be posted and shared on LinkedIn or Twitter.  And every ‘share’ and ‘like’ builds your profile with search engines, increasing your chances of rising to the top of search results.
  4. You DO have enough content, time & writers. Blogs posts can be anything, from news and events, achievements and announcements, discussions about your company’s unique skills and expertise, to discussions about issues relevant to the wider industry. Gathering a team of individuals within your company (and keeping a freelance writer like myself on hand) to plan and compose posts spreads the load and produces a range of content to appeal to a wide audience.
  5. Hone your message. Writing and receiving feedback makes for better communicators within your business, and increases the knowledge and profile of the people researching and writing each blog post. Individuals within your company become known, and are recognised at conferences and meetings, increasing your overall profile and building a community, both online and off.

So, is your company ready to start blogging? To be successful you need to think about why you are blogging and who you’re trying to reach.  What is your niche?  Identify who the writers are in your company and draft a schedule of content.  Think about how you are going to share the content too, and where you will direct all this new traffic. Is your web site up to date and ready for the task? Are you using social media?

Don’t be overwhelmed! Find inspiration from blogs you enjoy reading, and dive into the blogosphere headfirst.

Contact me to discuss how I can help craft and communicate your key messages via a blog.