There was a time when bloggers were scorned.
They were viewed as crass, cynical complainers who couldn’t hack it in the real world and instead toiled away the hours typing on a computer in their mom’s basement.
A lot has changed in the past decade, however, and blogging is now a critical component for promoting your organization as a thought leader in the industry, attracting new customers, and staying relevant among your competitors.
Though some companies may not think such an endeavor is for them, there a wide range of businesses you wouldn’t expect to have blogs that are making a name for themselves by catering to non-traditional blog audiences.
There is a lot to learn from them:
Who wants to read about accounting? That could have been the view taken by FreshBooks, but it has instead dedicated itself to churning out wonderful content regularly — and consumers have taken note.
From list-based pieces like “15 Common Habits That Are Interrupting Your Productivity” and a willingness to broach the topics of the day like “SheEO – Driving Change for Female Entrepreneurs,” the company produces stuff people want to read.
2. Apple Rubber
Writing for a technical audience of specialists, like engineers and manufacturers, can be very challenging. But understanding how to use the right topics, tone, and targeting will allow you to reach any group.
Sites like Apple Rubber do a great job of using real-world case studies, industry trend analysis, and myth-busting articles to engage and inform readers. By keeping their content fresh and looking for interesting angles — like “How 3D Printing is Transforming Space Travel” — they are standing out in an industry not known for producing fascinating content.
Grocery stores offer a basic service: we have a lot of food, come buy it. But Wegmens has been able to brand itself as a family-friendly part of the community with its blog. The supermarket chain has been in the blogging game for years, and while the aesthetics of its site may feel a bit dated, they offer a down-home vibe that appeals to their customers.
With posts that focus on trendy topics like gluten-free eating, coconut oil, and food safety, they not only brand themselves — they also help give shoppers ideas for what to buy.
The construction-equipment giant is also a titan in the corporate blogging world. Their double-entendre blog title, “On the Level,” fits perfectly for the site’s no-nonsense dedication to practicality.
Consumers who look to Caterpillar want to learn how to make and do things better. So articles like “Utilizing Construction Machines for Farm Work” and “Tips to Develop Proper Fluid Handling and Storage Procedures” align perfectly with the brand.
As with Caterpillar’s huge equipment, most people don’t conflate the hulking ships of Maersk with the word “blogger.” But the company uses a modern layout style and an array of information articles to turn cargo shippers into readers.
One of its best attributes is how Maersk smartly peppers in information about itself that might be dull on its own alongside timely content about the Ebola outbreak and the future of oil.
Jon Rognerud and Chaosmap work with Fortune 500 companies, small business and entrepreneurs to create digital traffic strategies that scales up customers, leads and sales. Mr. Rognerud wrote a best-selling book (Buy On Amazon), “The Ultimate Guide To Optimizing Your Website” (Entrepreneur). Connect directly here.