Whether you've decided to select a blogger within your company, or are outsourcing to a freelancer, the issue remains that you still have to actually pick a blogger. You've got to choose somebody who's going to be personable and honest, with a unique perspective on your company and, of course, the ability to string a sentence together.
But do not fret. Like any other job opening, it's just the matter of finding the right person. Here are some things to look for when you're hiring a blog writer.
Imagine walking in to a store and the first salesperson you see greets you typically. They answer questions if you ask, but seem kind of aloof and cold. They do not go out of their way to help you find things, nor do they seem interested in making sure you get exactly what you're looking for. Is this the kind of person you'd be interested in buying from again?
Now, imagine you walk into a store and the salesperson greets you enthusiastically with a "Hey! How ya doing? What can I help you with today?" They're brimming with ideas and suggestions, but listen thoughtfully when you tell them what you need, and know exactly where to find it in the store, along with other things that fit with what you're looking for. When you leave, they wave and ask you to come again. How would you feel about shopping at that store again?
A good blogger will be someone who can write with personality. They'll come across as friendly and approachable without being pushy. They'll be able to engage the readers who come to your blog not only with the intention of giving them information, but with the intention of giving it to them in such a way that they want to return again and again.
A grant of the English language
Obviously, the first point in a blogger's job description is the ability to write. If you've spent any time at all on the Internet, you've probably come across writing like this: "hay guyz wuts up? U suxxor." That's not the image you want projected for your company, so that's not the kind of person you want writing for your blog.
The writer you choose does not have to be the next Tolstoy, but that writer should be able to put together a few interesting, informative paragraphs that do not look like a 13-year-old fluent in leet speak wrote them. If you have a decent writer whose grammar and punctuation are not the best, give them a copy of Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" or even the AP Stylebook.
There are tons of resources out there for picking up the technical side of writing, like the difference between "affect" and "effect" or "what" and "who's." Copyblogger is a blog that regularly discusses some common mistakes writers make, like in this article . These can help any writer build their knowledge on the finer points of grammar, spelling, punctuation.
Knowledgeable, or willing to become so
If you wanted information on how to pick a wedding dress, you would not go into a computer store, would you? By the same token, if you're in the wedding industry, you do not want to get a blogger which life revolves around Apple computers. A business blog is supposed to provide information about your industry and insight into your company, and someone who has no interest in either will not be able to do that.
The writer you hire should already be knowledgeable about your company and industry, or at least is very willing to become so. You want a writer who can provide good information and commentary to your customers about the topics that they interested in, without looking like they just ran a search for "wedding dresses" and slapped a post together in five minutes.
Meshes with your company's image
If you're hiring someone to design your website, you're going to look for someone whose style works well with your company's brand and image. If you're hiring a salesperson, you're going to look for somebody whose sales philosophy matches your own. Likewise, if you're hiring a blog writer, look for somebody who writing style fits with the image you want for your company.
If your company is kind of laid back, then you'd want a writer whose style is more informal and conversational as opposed to someone who's very structured. Make sure to ask for writing clips and read them before you make a decision.
For more information about blogging for businesses, check out this article: Eight Mistakes That Are Killing Your Blog [http://www.xeal.com/blog/index.php/marketing/2007/10/16/blogging_101_eight_mistakes_that_are_kil].
Consider your blogger like another salesperson. Like salespeople, a good writer will keep readers and customers around, whereas a bad writer will anger them and drive them away. Find the right writer for your blog, and you'll find that you have an excellent addition not only to your website, but to your company.