In the last few months several startups have asked me how to approach corporate blogging. Judging by the frequency of requests, Gartner was right in suggesting that corporate blogging is rising up the "slope of enlightenment" and about 2 years away from widespread mainstream adoption. The road to enlightenment has been a long one. In the past ten years we've learned that company blogs should not be press releases, sales pitches or plagiarized quotes from Dale Carnegie. You reach enlightenment when you learn to respect your readers. If you want someone to bookmark or retweet your posts, then give them a useful resource. Below are a few approaches you can take to increase the dialogue and comments on your blog.

1. The Operations Blog: Many company blogs focus on the internal workings of the startup and how teams have managed to increase efficiencies. For example, marketing teams have dissected their efforts, COO's have talked about their transition to cloud services and HR teams write about their employee wellness plans. Sometimes your story along with links to useful vendors is a great resource for others.


2. The Veteran / Inspirational Blog: This type of post is best suited to the second time entrepreneur, agency founder or well-established investor. It often offers stories about the climb to a position of power as well as some of the lessons learned along the way. If you're attempting this approach you should already be in a position of mentorship for others. You want people linking to your article in the hopes that they're revisiting it as a point of inspiration.

3. The Prediction Blog: Both the iPad and Google Buzz have been huge news stories in the last few days. Your little corporate blog isn't likely to outshine the stories from major tech blogs and media outlets, but you can provide some relevant predictions for your specific industry. For example, if you're a consumer facing web startup with a real estate focus, you could highlight the use cases for Buzz and its geo-locational features.

4. The Research Blog: If your company deals with large amounts of anonymized data or your startup specializes in analysis or monitoring, then the research blog is a good way to aggregate your findings and pinpoint trends. The best way to write this post is to summarize key findings and make suggestions on how others might adapt. If you're not confident in your recommendations then you can ask for quotes from industry veterans. This method is often used by analysts and real-time monitoring startups.

5. The Community / Advocate Blog: This type of blog only really works if you have a large number of stakeholders who need your support and direction. Planet Mozilla is a great example of a resource that focuses on internal events; nevertheless, these internal events help thousands of open source developers contribute to Mozilla projects. If you've got lots of 3rd party developers, designers or contributors, this may be a good option for you.

6. The Coolhunter Blog: This blog is perhaps the toughest one to pull off because not only do you have to be confident in your ability to spot emerging trends, but you also have to make sure that the trends are relevant to your community. On-demand manufacturing site Ponoko does a great job of showcasing design while inspiring community members to build their own pieces.