Even as a content writer, I’ve always been a little on the fence about blogging. My hesitation with it is the same hesitation many of my clients have: Do I have the time and resources to continue to feed a blog? Guess what? You do! But it’s going to take some thought and planning before you even head down that path.
Start by asking yourself “why should I blog now?” Some reasons you might consider:
- It’ll help other marketing efforts. Support your tradeshow efforts with blog posts leading up to them and after them. Feed your email newsletters with blog posts. Venture into social media with ease with a well-populated blog. The uses for a blog are endless!
- You can educate people. If there are concepts or topics that don’t have a home on your website, a blog is a great place to store this information. Explain a theory, a product’s uses, or an industry trend to your audience.
- “Fresh content” without a blog is hard to accomplish. It’s not always easy to continue to add new content your website, but we all know that Google loves fresh content. A blog is your answer.
- Ramp up SEO. Outside of being a great answer Google’s call for fresh content, your blog can help with SEO efforts. Focus your blog posts around keywords of your choosing, whether they’re the ones you’re having difficulty ranking for or they’re your big money-maker keywords.
- Show your personality. Not every blog post has to teach your customers something or has to offer ground-breaking information. You should also highlight things that make your company special. Simple things like employee spotlights, philanthropic efforts, awards won, interesting things happening around the office, etc., add to the personality of your company, which might not be apparent anywhere else on your website.
Before You Blog, Make a Plan
Once you’ve determined that a blog is the right choice for your company, it’s time to figure out how you’re actually going to get this done. Here are some other things you want to consider before you even build your blog:
- How to host and update it: The harder you make it to update your blog, the less likely your team is to actually participate. A platform like WordPress is a good option because it’s nearly fool-proof once you get it set up.
- Who is going to blog: It might sound picky, but it really irks me when I read a blog post written by “admin.” Each blog post should have an author associated with it and try to recruit people from all areas of your business in order to give your blog a variety of voices.
- Make a blogging commitment: I recommend that my clients commit to at least a blog post a week, but doing more than that is probably a good idea. Whatever blogging frequency you choose, make sure your team knows and make sure you stick to it.
- Create an editorial calendar: If you have an overall marketing plan or know when new products are being released, this can set the stage for your blog’s editorial calendar.
- Topic generation: There are going to be topics you know you’ll address on your blog, like new products, but I highly recommend having a list of “evergreen” topics that can be written about at any time. The best way to get this list going? Have a good old fashioned brainstorming meeting and determine how often you’ll have these meetings.
- Designate a blog owner: Someone’s got to keep everyone on track. This person should be responsible, dedicated to the idea of blogging, not afraid to nag your authors, and ready to pinch hit when necessary. They’ll own the editorial calendar, organize brainstorming meetings and assist blog authors along the way.
Now ask yourself again: Do I have the time and resources to continue to feed a blog?