Last week I learned that PayPal, the financial transaction company, has a business blog. It was interesting to me because PayPal is one of the biggest companies in the world and I hadn’t really thought to check and see if they had a blog or not. It was even more surprising to see that the blog has been around since 2007. It turns out that PayPal was one of the originators of business blogging.
It was a pleasant surprise and today I wanted to examine the blog in a little closer detail to provide some insight into ways you and I could learn from their blog and apply it to our own.
Observation #1: Current Trends
PayPal’s latest posts include updates on current trends. Here is a sampling of those articles:
- Black Friday PayPal’s Biggest Mobile Shopping Day to Date
- Thanksgiving Eaters Say “Pass the Tablet”
- PayPal Data Shows That Holiday 2012 started September 30th
This is a classic type of business blogging. PayPal provides some insight into the latest trends affecting it and its customers and they provide some insight into how that will affect those customers. It’s a service really. PayPal addresses an important trend and then tells people how to react. That is useful blogging at its finest and something every business blog can do in its own industry.
Observation #2: Company News
Your customers are always interested in what’s happening with your company. People want to be part of a winning team for the most part so if you have news to announce a company blog is the perfect place for it. This is what PayPal did with one of its latest posts:
That’s a great announcement because it shows that PayPal is expanding to help customers.
Additionally the company had another announcement about something good they were doing for an institution:
Anytime you’re involved in something bigger than yourself and your company it’s great to announce it to your readers and customers. You can encourage them to join in and be part of what you’re doing to help out society.
Observation #3: High Frequency and Shorter Posts
It appears that PayPal is taking the approach to blogging to have high frequency (4-6 times each week) while focusing on shorter blog posts (300-750 words). Now, those posts aren’t Twitter-short, but they’re fairly short compared to the trend of epic content.
Word count is important, but not for the sake of word count. The topic comes first. If you find topics that are important for your audience you can have a word count that is not as high as other blogs.
One of the blogs I admire is TechDirt. The site has relatively short posts, but the posts cover topics a certain audience cares about the author addresses the issues by providing relevant and useful commentary. The posts are shared like crazy in social media and the site is hugely popular.
The point is there are many different ways to handle the word count of your content. You have to try them out and see what works for your audience.
PayPal has been blogging for years and it seems the strategy is working otherwise I’m not sure why they would be going on their sixth year of blogging. It’s interesting to look at just these couple quick observations and realize that most business blogging is the same. You can use these same strategies to build your own business blog that will bring you traffic, leads and sales.