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How Much Do You Hate blogging?

Ah, blogging.  Some love it.  Some hate it.  It can be a big chunk of time even for people who enjoy writing.  If it’s done well, it can show off your expertise.  And if it’s done poorly, it will be just another time drainer.  Here are some suggestions for developing or improving your blog strategy.

Content

Make sure you don’t get caught up in promotional content.  People may come across your blog in an internet search, having never heard of your company.  If they don’t know who you are, they won’t be interested in your new product line or expanded services offering.  What they will care about is quality how-to articles and best practices.   Provide information, not a sales pitch.

Don’t get too cute.  You absolutely want to show you have a human side and even a sense of humor, depending on your specific industry.  For example, an entertainment brand will probably want to have a little fun while a legal practice should keep things serious.  The point is to make sure you have posts that are related to the type of work you do and make sense for your industry rather than including random comics or jokes just to get attention.

Get some help

Absolutely enlist other people to contribute to your blog.  When I talk to small organizations that want to start a blog, I strongly encourage them to invite other staff to participate.  It’s good to get some extra assistance, especially if you plan to blog regularly.  You may simply run out of ideas or be stretched for time so it makes your blogging life much easier to have other people involved.  If you have the resources, offer incentives to your staff, such as gift cards for a certain number of posts or “blogging team” t-shirts.  There are small things you can do to recognize the contribution of your team and get them excited about participating.

It’s okay to go outside of your organization for freelance help.  When you go this route, definitely ask for writing samples to get a feel for the person’s style before they write on behalf of your brand.  When reviewing their past pieces, read their previous posts with the mindset of learning something.  Are they providing quality content or are they simply doing a lot of keyword stuffing in hopes of tricking the search engines?  If this is your first time working with an outsider, it may help to provide them the topic and some bullet points while they are becoming familiar with your industry.

Promote it

So many channels and so little time.  You can absolutely post your blog across multiple channels, but I discourage people from blasting the same things at the same time across all channels.  That defeats the purpose.  Instead, spread out the repurposing of your content over time.  Also, change the content up a bit when you share on different channels.  For example, if you have a post with a top 10 list about something, you might want to share #3 on your Facebook page on Tuesday and #7 on Twitter on Saturday.  That way, you’re not simply regurgitating the same exact thing across all channels which will annoy your users.

Hopefully, your readers will do some of the promoting for you and it’s easy for them to do so if you provide share links at the end of each post.  If you’re writing good content, you’ll see the share counts go up over time which is great feedback about what you’re writing.

You could also play around with paid posts a bit on your channels.  See if the user activity on your site changes if someone reaches that post organically or through a paid promotion.

Turn your content into white papers and webinars

Reuse your content in a totally different medium.  Over time, you may have a dozen posts on a certain topic.  Can you re-organize that content into a white paper?  If so, that’s something you might want to print out on heavier paper and bring into client meetings when you’re working with someone more ‘old-school’ who prefers paper over digital.

Is there enough content there for a webinar or a podcast?  Perhaps you can organize related posts into a single how-to webinar.  This is a chance for you to showcase your expertise without extensive work since the content has already been produced.

Figure out a schedule that works for you

I’m so impressed with people who write these long technical posts every single day.  That’s not something I could pull off which is just fine.  I write on a schedule that’s doable for me and doesn’t stress me out!  The “industry standard” may be totally different than what you can manage.  Talk about this with your team.  Can you develop a quality best practice piece every month?  Then monthly it is.  Do you have a larger committed team that can make it happen every week?  Weekly is your ideal schedule.  It’s quality, not quantity that matters.

Blogging is not for everyone and it is not for every business.  However, if you are ready to add blogging to your marketing mix or need to revamp it, consider some of these tips.  Happy blogging!

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