As part of a content marketing mix, blogging is subject to the changing tides of the SEO seas and the fickle fashions of digital marketing.
Keeping up with the trends in blogging alone can be a daunting task for someone who’s already snowed-under with daily business responsibilities. Here’s 7 ways to make blogging for your business much more manageable.
Delegate to Colleagues
You could either delegate one of your many business tasks to free-up time for blogging, or delegate the blogging – the choice is yours.
Admittedly, it’s difficult to entrust the online voice of company to someone else. But involving your entire business, working towards shared blogging aims, is a fantastic way to gather new perspectives and enable your audience to engage directly with your whole team.
Manage Your Time
Regular weekly blog writing could be achieved by arranging to work from home one morning, or getting to the office an hour or so early, before the day gets underway. Or, if you prefer, book one day per month to write several blog posts. Throughout the month ahead, gather together ideas and links to relevant supporting info, so your dedicated day isn’t spent procrastinating.
Experiment to find what works best for you, then prioritise your strategy within your business schedule. You don’t necessarily need to be too rigid in your routine; make blogging part of your daily consciousness. If you come across an idea, person or news story, you can blog about it while it’s fresh in your mind, or at least make a note of it and assemble a list of topic ideas for future reference.
Review your Content
Perhaps one of the reasons you’re struggling to blog is that you’re not exactly sure what to blog about. Blogging isn’t just company news – you can draw inspiration from wider industry news, blogs and publications; online forum discussions; networking events; and social media.
The key thing is to keep in mind your audience, and your business aims. So, every time you blog, consider who your target audience is and what would interest them – and what would you like to achieve from each blog post? By all means, apply your own personal interests to your blog too but always relate them to your business or industry and keep in mind what your audience would want to read …and share.
Seek Extra Support
One of the latest SEO trends is guest blogging. SEOmoz has published a fantastic ‘ultimate’ guide to guest blogging and we highly recommend you have a look at it if you get chance. Guest blogging campaigns do require a little effort but they open up valuable industry networks and can offer the occasional break from blogging yourself.
Guest bloggers bring expert knowledge, new perspectives, fresh content and their own followers, so it is a strategy worth following even if you’re not struggling for time. You could even outsource your blogging to professional writers occasionally. Guest bloggers don’t necessarily need to have their own blogs – they could be experts, colleagues, peers or even customers.
Don’t be afraid to reach out and invite people onto your blog – your business relationships and your blog will improve as a result.
Use and Re-Use
If you come across a blog post or online news you think would interest your audience, you could opt to discuss the news or post on your blog. Simply add your own perspective and link to the article itself. It’s a really quick and easy way to create a filler blog post if you’re struggling for time, but isn’t recommended for frequent use as these are usually much shorter posts.
You can also do something similiar with your own posts. For example, if you have a good archive, you could post a compilation of posts under the same theme, with a short introduction about why the selection would be of interest to your audience. And while we’re on the subject of re-using, why not re-use other corporate communication on your blog?
Are you always answering the same customer issues? There’s a blog post. Have you just sent out a press release? There’s another blog post. Have you launched a product and produced a user guide? There’s a third blog post…
Mix Your Media
Are you a really slow, two-fingered typist? Is this putting you off blogging? How about using speech recognition software? Or why not consider video, photographic or audio posts? By adding metadata to your media, you can keep the hungry search engines fed without necessarily limiting yourself to words alone.
Why not try a few different options and see what works for you and your audience. Are you always taking photos – perhaps a purely photographic post might re-ignite your enthusiasm? And we’re not just talking glowing sunsets shot by a professional photographer! You could photograph close-up sections of engine parts and have a guess-the-part photo competition. Think creatively with media and make it work for YOU.
Keep Calm and Blog
Weeks have passed and you haven’t blogged; your subscribers will unsubscribe, Google will cast you out of favour, the end is nigh… Don’t panic! The reality is, RSS feed readers are jammed with blog posts, and not everyone will faithfully read and comment on your every blog post.
There are very few loyal subscribers who would ditch you just because you took some time out from blogging. Yes, your ranking might slip a little. But we’re guessing you’ve been inundated with work anyway, right? Try to blog again as soon as you can but, in the meantime, don’t let it become the nagging spouse you’d rather avoid – instead, the newly-wed you’re looking forward to coming home to, as soon as you clear the To Do list.
A final word of caution though: there are only so many times you can neglect a newly-wed before you’ll become newly-divorced!