Like it or not, your organisation is probably harbouring a blogger.

But this isn't necessarily a bad thing if you're after some cheap marketing, because once you've exposed them, they can be harnessed for profit.

Suspects include anyone with an obvious high regard for their own opinions, individuals known for composing lengthy but pointless memos, staff who loiter by the coffee machine hoping to get into an argument, and people who work late for no apparent reason.

I know what you're thinking, but before you out every Virgo in middle management, the genuine article will also need expert knowledge in their given field, as to be successful you can't blag a blog.

The thought of employees spewing uncontrolled communication onto the web is probably going to prematurely age your public relations director and prompt your lawyer to renew his subscription to Yachts and Yachting.

However, there is nothing more powerful in search marketing terms than having regularly changing text on your website.

Your Google ranking will soar if you let the bloggers, who are effectively online columnists, loose on your site.

There are a few safeguards you need to put in place.

You should first set out your company's "corporate blogging policy". It should perhaps start with a "no nudity clause" and work down to what suits the ethos of your organisation.

Last year, Delta Airlines had a little too much blogging success when flight assistant Ellen Simonetti jumped to prominence when her anonymous and mostly fictitious online travel log, "Queen of the Sky", attracted the wrath of the airline's executives.

Although tame by internet standards, pictures of Ellen posing in her Delta uniform caused so much turbulence in the blog-o-sphere they had to fire her.

Successful corporate blogging needs to be a little more focused on informing, rather than entertaining customers.

A good corporate blogger should be honest and forthright. They shouldn't just keep blogging-on about the company and its products, but should show understanding and passion for the subject.

Humour is important too. Tough if you're an insolvency practitioner or undertaker, I know, but for success you want readers to forward your blog on to colleges and friends, to expand its readership.

If you can't unearth a private blogger and turn them into a corporate one, then why not create one? You must have an expert, on something, somewhere within your organisation. Make him your corporate blogger.

Most corporate websites are, in the main, bland online brochures. Blogs offer companies the chance to present a more human face and start more natural conversations with customers.

So winkle your bloggers out of the corporate cupboard and instate them on your home page. They may court controversy but will definitely bring in the traffic.

* Chris is managing director of Internet consultancy WebXpress. His articles can be found at