Inbound Marketing Blogfor Manufacturers and Healthcare Companies
How To Blog Consistently For Your Business
By now you should know that blogging is no longer an option for your business, that is if you want to attract high quality traffic to your website. One of the biggest challenges businesses face when maintaining a business blog is consistency with volume of posts and content.
To me there are 3 aspects to this challenge:
- Commitment to consistency (60%)
- Content development (20%)
- Accepting the long term effect (20%)
Commitment to Consistent Blogging
Even though this is the shortest part of this post, it may be the most important aspect of how to blog consistently for your business.
I'm not referring to commitment by the strategy folks telling their team to blog. I mean commitment by the entire inbound marketing group. I believe it's about 60% of the challenge businesses face with blogging.
We often say here that we turn "shoulds" into "musts". Things you should do get pushed to the bottom of the list when you're busy. Things you must do are never left undone.
Paying your employees is not a should. It's clearly a must, so you do it without fail on a consistent basis. Billing your customers is not a should. You must bill them to keep the doors open.
When you, as a team, make the decision that blogging is a must for your business, you will do it consistently, without fail.
Even if you don't readily read blogs, you should have a pretty good idea that to blog consistently, you need a consistent content development effort. No content = no blog posts.
This becomes a challenge for businesses that are just getting started with blogging. They have the classic, scratching your head while you think of something that doesn't suck moment.
It should NOT be this way!
Here are a few ways to make content development and new content ideas less of a challenge.
Buyer Persona-Buyer's Journey-Content Map
You have defined your buyer personas and their buyer's journeys right? If you haven't, you only have yourself to blame for your content development drought....
With your personas and journeys defined, you can look at each stage of the journey for each persona and brainstorm content that would be relevant.
For example, when your persona(s) is in the awareness stage of the buyer's journey, what types of search queries do they use to pinpoint what their problem is?
Now, what content should you develop that will help this best buyer and help you show up in search results for those queries?
Apply this methodology to each stage of the buyer's journey and you will have a hefty batch of content ideas!
Form A Brainstorming Group
Even if you are the sole person responsible for writing content for the blog, you are likely NOT the only person at your company. If you are a solopreneur, you can probably still find willing parties to help brainstorm content.
Look around your company for people that deal directly with prospective and existing clients or customers. These people will be tremendous assets when it comes to educating them. They will know what all prospects want to know. They will know what all customers wish they knew before the sale.
Once you establish this brainstorming group, set a regular meeting with them (once a month or every other month) to brainstorm new content topics. If you leave each session with 10-20 ideas, you can probably turn them into 15-30 blog posts.
Write Content That Supports Your Lead Generation Content
If you are practicing Inbound Marketing, you should have a strategy for lead generation. Often, you will be generating leads by providing high value content in exchange for website visitors' email addresses.
What content can you write that is a good gateway to your higher-end lead generation content? You may even want to pull themes or content directly from the high value content to entice website visitors to convert.
Re-Use Existing Posts
If you've been blogging for a while already, look back a year or so and see what you wrote. Chances are pretty good you can write an update to an older post. You may want to rewrite an older post with a different emphasis and title.
WARNING - Do not just copy and past an old post and publish it as new. You will be watering down the SEO value of the content and may actual get penalized by Google for having duplicate content.
Another way to re-use existing blog posts is to turn them into a different type of content. For example, you may want to take a data-heavy blog post and turn it into an infographic.
You can also take a blog post and make a video out of it. Or do the opposite and make a written post out of a video.
Always Be Reading & Listening
For some reason, consistent business blogging is easier if you consistently read other blogs. You will find that you have tons of new ideas and perspectives from which to write your own posts.
You don't have to read blogs specific to your industry, but I highly recommend trying to find some to model and get ideas from.
Similarly, the act of listening with a mind towards content can yield a tremendous volume of blog posts. When you are in a meeting, try to keep content in the back of your mind. If appropriate, jot down your ideas.
Have A System To Quickly Jot Down Content Ideas
I find that blog post ideas come to me all the time... when I'm not sitting down to write a post! That's why it's so important to have a way to capture these ideas before they're gone.
If you are a smartphone carrying member of society, there are tons of apps you can use to quickly take a note. I highly recommend Evernote for this and task management.
If you are a pen and paper type, keep a small writer's notebook in your pocket. Or at least a pen to write on anything near by, including your hand.
Some people prefer a recording device. The bottom line is, you need to be able to capture your ideas as you have them.
Outsource Some Content Development
If you simply cannot make content development a priority at your company, you need to outsource. Often companies are hesitant to do so because they fear:
- The tone won't reflect their culture
- The expertise will be missing
- It's something else to manage
- It will add additional expense
The most common outcome when businesses start outsourcing their content writing to us is:
- A huge weight off their shoulders
- More professionally written copy
- Outside the box thinking on topics and formats
- A larger SEO impact
- A bigger return on investment than having their own staff write
When you outsource some or all of your content development, you act as the editor. When content is produced, you read it, suggest or make edits, and we publish and promote it for you.
Every company is different, and you may have a great writing staff on hand already. If you don't, outsourcing some of your content development should be a consideration.
Accepting The Long Term Effect
Finally, a huge challenge that many new business bloggers face is the acceptance that there are very rarely overnight successes with blogs. That is, a new blog typically doesn't add value immediately without pay-per-click advertising or some major promotion.
The reality is, you may find yourself writing consistently for some time before you start seeing major gains in traffic. This can cause skepticism and impatience, which in the absence of commitment, will lead you to stop before the effect starts to take hold.
If you go into your blogging with commitment and an understanding that the reward will not be gained in the short term, you will succeed.
Over time, your blog posts will start improving in search engine ranks. You can help this process by promoting your content through social media and other tactics.
Blog posts are long lasting in value when they start to gain search traffic. More search traffic usually leads to more inbound links and social shares, which continues to build on the rank of your blog post. Because they are in blog format, they never go away and will add value to your content marketing for years to come.
Blog Consistently For Your Business
Hopefully the ideas above have given you what you need to blog consistently for your business. The fruits of your blogging labor will be so sweet when they start to grow!
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