Storymoja Africa was voted the best Corporate Blog in this year’s BAKE blog awards. Juliet Maruru helps shed some light on the organization as we seek to understand what it does and how blogging contributes to its bottom line.
Tell us about Storymoja Africa and why the organization felt the need to run a blog.
Storymoja is a publishing house. The company sources for, develops and publishes manuscripts by East African and International authors. On the side, a very large side, Storymoja is concerned with promoting a positive reading culture in the country. It is for this reason that Storymoja also runs the Storymoja Festival and Start a Library.
In 2009, we set up the writers’ blog as a space for writers we were working with to put up their shorter works. We discovered that it was also a wonderful way for us to scope for new talent.
How has having a blog helped you achieve your objectives as an organization?
The blog has helped us encourage writers to produce more content, share their work and grow as writers. While we do not lay claim to these writers’ talent, we are pleased to have hosted material by writers such as Okwiri Oduor, Linda Musita, Dominic Otianga, Alexander Ikawah and many others.
How do you go about generating content for your blog?
Content on our blog is generally writer generated. Occasionally we put out a call out or an announcement, but most of the content we publish comes from writers who participate in the monthly writing activities on the blog.
How is running a corporate blog different from an individual blog; which in your opinion is more challenging?
Running a corporate blog is much easier than running a personal blog. A corporate blog has a predetermined voice, goal and strategy. This may be true of a personal blog, but often these aspects change with the personal and professional changes in the blogger’s life. It can be challenging to decide whether to align those changes to the blog or stick to the original goal of the blog.
Has winning the 2015 BAKE blog awards for Best Corporate Blog influenced your readership in any way?
Yes. More people are aware of the Writers’ blog and are interested in working with us.
When is it a ‘bad blogging day’ at Storymoja?
This is more of a good bad thing. Occasionally we receive way more content than we can handle. Since the blogging / social media team is made up of all one of me, it can be hard to sift through all entries. The problem comes in when it takes too long to get back to everyone and they get frustrated waiting for a response.
How do you define a good blog?
A good blog is one that connects with the target audience, manages to keep their interest and add to the audience target.
What metric do you use to measure the impact a blog post has on your readers?
Do they like/dislike the post enough to:
a. Comment on it.
b. Share with their friends
c. Talk about it on social media
If you had to keep one of the two: Your blog or your website, which of the two would you keep and why?
The website. Because I could potentially make space for the blog on the website.
Is it the ‘e-books revolution’ yet? What does that mean for blogging.
I’d say more of e-content than ebook, but definitely yes, ebooks are making their mark on the world. Blogs still have their space in terms of faster production, shorter content and more transient emotional connections.