Content marketing has been a tried-and-true digital marketing practice of businesses large and small for over a decade. And although the content marketing world is full of experts, you don’t need to be a seasoned journalist or a C-level marketer to produce corporate blogs that attract qualified buyers to your site.
But what does it take to ideate, produce, and publish blogs that actually move the needle for your business?
We’ll show you. In this guide, you’ll find all the info you need to launch a content marketing program at your company, including the roles and responsibilities involved, the results you should expect, and the associated costs of producing corporate blogs.
What is Corporate Blogging?
Corporate blogging is a promotional writing activity commonly associated with inbound content marketing. It includes the ideation, creation, and distribution of blogs to a company website. The purpose of these blogs is to build brand awareness, provide thought leadership, and encourage trust from a business’s potential customers and other important stakeholders.
Unlike personal blogs, corporate blog topics typically address topics related to an industry or professional occupation. Due to the professional nature of these publications, the readers of these blogs include potential and current customers, employees, partners, journalists, and investors.
Maybe we’re stating the obvious here, but the biggest difference between personal blogs and corporate blogs is their intended outcomes. While personal blogs act as an online diary or medium for narrative storytelling, corporate blogs are primarily concerned with establishing brand messaging, educating potential customers, and driving qualified traffic to a company website.
How Much Does a Corporate Blog Cost?
Launching a quality corporate blog can be a significant investment—expenses can range anywhere from a few cents per word to five-figures per month for a fully outsourced content marketing agency on retainer.
Depending on how you decide to run things, there are several different variables that can affect the price you’ll pay to launch a corporate blog at your company.
Agency, Freelancer, or In-house Team
Labor costs will be the most significant expenses associated with your corporate blogging investment. If you’re unsure where to source your talent from, you should start with one of three options.
Agencies will typically be the most expensive option due to the overhead associated with specialized roles such as writers, editors, account managers, and content strategists. However, agency work can scale up and down depending on your budget and business needs.
Agencies are also a great option for teams that want to take a hands-off approach to their corporate blogging initiative—the typical agency has a systemized process, built-in quality control, and years of content marketing experience to lean on.
Freelancers are the most affordable option due to the minimal overhead costs. Freelancers can also offer years of specialized corporate blogging experience while delivering high-quality content for your business at an affordable price. However, teams interested in hiring freelance writers must be mindful of the hidden costs of working with freelance writers.
To leverage freelance talent effectively, you need to have a process in place for managing content deadlines, editing work, providing feedback, and ensuring all of your content gets published on time—this work is usually done by a dedicated content manager or similar full-time marketing or communications employee.
In-house content teams can range in price depending on the roles you hire and the years of experience per employee. Smaller companies may only require one individual content marketing manager who oversees a few freelance writers, while larger organizations may have a fully staffed content team with dedicated writers, managers, editors, videographers, and more.
If you want to own your corporate blogging operation internally, an in-house team is a great option. You can also outsource additional work to agencies and freelancers as your corporate blog grows.
Subject Matter Expertise
For highly regulated industries such as finance and healthcare, hiring subject matter experts to create and/or review your content will add to the price you pay per article. For instance, if you need a medical professional or lawyer to validate your content, $500 per post is likely low. In short, the more specialized the writers and experts you hire, the higher the cost.
Article Word Counts
The length of your articles can be a big determining factor in your monthly corporate blogging costs. Most agencies and freelancers charge different rates for short-form pieces that are less than 1,500 words and long-form articles that are greater than 1,500 words.
For example, let’s say you only publish long-form articles. If each long-form piece costs an additional $300 and you’re publishing four articles per month on average, you’ll spend an additional $14,400 on corporate blogging per year.
While longer, in-depth blog articles can be well worth the investment, you should factor in your average article length as you set up your corporate blogging budget.
How Much Should You Pay to Launch a Corporate Blog?
Sorry to say this, but the short answer is it depends.
The long answer is that it varies based on how you factor in the number of deliverables you need each month, your industry/sector, and the hidden costs associated with editing, publishing, and managing your company’s content.
If you’re interested in calculating your monthly costs based on compensation, Superpath’s Content Marketing Salary Report states that the average full-time content marketer earns $95,958 annually. Similarly, dedicated content marketing agencies can range anywhere from $5,000 per month to over $30,000 depending on the scale of your corporate blogging operation.
Advantages of Corporate Blogging
While launching a corporate blog requires dedicated monthly investments, the benefits can far outweigh the costs over time. Some of the eventual results you can expect from launching a corporate blog at your company include the following:
1. Increased Brand Awareness
Launching a corporate blog allows you to own the narrative around the problems in your industry and how your products and services address those problems.
As you continue to publish content and maintain an active online presence, your audience and buyers will start to identify your brand as an industry leader or expert. This increased level of visibility and brand awareness can streamline your entire sales process due to people’s familiarity with your company.
2. More Qualified Leads
By publishing content related to the key problems in your industry, you’ll increase your chances of attracting qualified buyers to your company website—this is where the real advantages of corporate blogging start to reveal themselves. Even if your readers aren’t ready to buy when they first reach your company blog, they’ll start to understand your brand and product as a thought leader in the space. This can lead to future conversions when your prospects are ready to make a purchase.
3. Improved SEO and Domain Rating
Corporate blogging and high-quality content are essential activities for improving your SEO rankings. By publishing high-quality, search-optimized content on a regular basis, Google and other search engines will start to index your blogs in their search results. By earning top-ranking SERP (search engine results page) positions for key web pages on your company site, you increase the chances that your prospects will organically discover your solution and become paying customers.
4. Increased Trust with Your Audience
Your corporate blog is the one piece of owned media that your company has complete creative control over. While social media platforms, review sites, and internet forums are all effective channels for building your company brand, you can’t effectively build a brand on those channels alone.
A corporate blog allows you to share your company’s perspective on challenges that are unique to your industry, giving you the opportunity to build trust with your audience and prospects.
5. Educating the Market on Your Solution
Most of your prospects aren’t going out of their way to educate themselves on your solution. It doesn’t matter how many trade shows you attend or cold emails you send—oftentimes the best way to educate the market on your solution is through simple content creation.
You can do this by answering questions related to your industry on your company blog. Then, once users find your blog, you can introduce your solution to them organically without resorting to aggressive outbound tactics or spending money on paid advertising.
6. Work Cross-Functionally With Your Sales Team
If you don’t have a dedicated product marketing team to create sales-enablement assets for your sales representatives, launching a corporate blog is a great way to begin bridging that gap.
As you make your initial list of blog topics, you can use your sales team as a source of inspiration. Ask them what questions regularly get asked during discovery calls and start producing content around those subjects. Not only does this ensure that your content stays relevant, but your sales development representatives (SDRs) can use these blog articles to assist in their customer outreach.
How to Start a Corporate Blog
Although launching a blog about your personal hobbies or interests is pretty straightforward, corporate blogging is a little more complex than just registering a domain and publishing content. Like many other corporate initiatives, starting a company blog can quickly get tied up in red tape if you don’t have a clear plan for launching your publication.
Here are the steps you need to take to make launching your company blog more manageable.
1. Add a Blog to Your Website
The easiest way to start a blog is through your existing company website. Many of the best blogging platforms and web hosts like WordPress.com or Webflow have simple options to add a blog. Just a few clicks can get your blog up and running.
If your current website doesn’t support adding a blog, we recommend installing WordPress.org on your domain. Unlike the hosted WordPress.com option, WordPress.org gives you full control and ownership to customize your site. For SEO purposes, make sure to host your blog on a subdirectory (yoursite.com/blog) rather than a subdomain (blog.yoursite.com), as subdirectories pass more link equity from your main site.
Regardless of the web hosting platform you’re using, be sure to look into any plugins, templates, or themes that can be useful for building your blog page. Leveraging pre-built blog templates can save you countless hours on developing a custom blog page so you can spend more time publishing content to your site.
2. Pick Topics to Target
Before you start writing individual posts, you need to think about the topics your audience wants to hear about. Good topics will align with your industry, the services you provide, and relevant questions that your prospects will be looking for. You can find answers to these questions fairly simply by setting up meetings with current customers or members of your sales and customer success teams.
Another way to come up with topic ideas is through the lens of SEO. While you still want to ensure that your content topics stay relevant to your target audience, you should also conduct keyword research to see if your chosen topics are actively being searched on the web. If you want to conduct keyword research for your blog, look into tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Ahrefs to discover blog topics with high search volume and low competition.
3. Brainstorm Blog Posts
Once you have your topics nailed down, you can start listing the individual articles you want published on your corporate blog. The best way to ideate these blog posts is to combine your keyword research with common customer questions and relevant industry news. You can then expand on these topics and decide what you want to write and publish.
The last step during the ideation phase is to prioritize your topics. If you don’t prioritize the articles that will have the biggest impact on your business, you could spend months spinning your wheels and flushing your content marketing budget down the drain.
4. Build a Content Calendar
Now that you have a list of blog topics at the ready, you need to put a publication calendar in place. A good content calendar will map out your blog posts two to three months in advance. This quarterly calendar helps keep your content team organized and makes it easier to promote and repurpose blog posts across channels.
5. Assign Content Creation
If your company lacks dedicated writers, you’ll need to source talent to write your corporate blog content. Again, if you need writing talent, you can get it either by paying a dedicated content marketing agency, hiring freelancers, or recruiting an in-house content team to manage your corporate blog.
Once you’ve sourced your writing talent, you should provide your writers with branding guidelines that cover your company voice, tone, required formatting, and any other relevant editorial rules. These branding guidelines ensure that your content is consistent across your corporate blog—even if you’re working with multiple writers at one time.
6. Stay One Month Ahead
If you’re serious about turning your corporate blog into a powerful customer acquisition channel, you should strive to have at least one month’s worth of blog content queued up and ready to publish at all times. Life happens. Writers miss deadlines. Tech issues occur. However, maintaining a four-week buffer allows you the flexibility to keep a consistent publishing engine running.
Corporate Blogging is a Commitment
Before you start working to launch your publication, keep in mind that corporate blogging is a long-term play. It could take 6-12 months to start gaining traction and building a qualified pipeline. That said, as your blog grows, the effort you put in now may turn into the most reliable source of qualified traffic for your company website.