Blogs are great things. They give businesses the opportunity to add fresh content to their websites and share their expertise while building thought leadership. But the downside of blogs as anyone who’s ever had to manage one knows all too well, is they can be hard to maintain consistently week in and week out. Yet, a blog’s success relies on doing exactly that.
Unfortunately, many things get in the way of creating a powerful, successful blog including writer’s block, lack of time and lack of buy-in from colleagues. These challenges all limit productivity and value of the blog suffers.
The good news is that you don’t have to flounder. Here’s your guide through the best ways to overcome these challenges. By doing these things you’ll keep your blog current and full of relevant content that is valuable to your readers which in turn drive more traffic to your site, converts leads and positively impacts your bottom line!
So let’s go get it!
Create a written blog strategy. Whether its part of the your full content marketing strategy or a separate document, writing down a strategy can help gain buy-in from others and keep the project on track. Include the business goals associated with the blog project, how often the blog will be updated, who will read the blog (target audience), who is responsible for contributing to the blog and topics that the blog should focus on.
Be realistic, don’t try to post every day if you know you don’t have the bandwidth or the budget to post that often. It’s more about quality than quantity. Search engines are penalizing pages that are short on content, so posts should be 500 words at a minimum.
Here’s an example of a basic strategy, glee’s blog’s goal is to share expertise in content marketing by posting once a week about content, strategy, social media and occasional glee news and updates. The blog provides fresh content for social media posts and a reason to invite those communities to visit the website regularly. I don’t always achieve the once per week posting, but at least I know what I’m aiming for and that pushes me to make blogging for myself a priority.
Maintain an editorial calendar. This is probably the single most important thing you can do to break through writer’s block and maintain consistency in blogging. Planning out a few months in advance makes it so much easier to post quality content regularly because you’re not struggling for a topic all of the time. You should use the blog’s focus topics from the strategy and include a mix of evergreen and trending topics in your calendar. The calendar can be updated either quarterly or every 6 months.
Pull blog topic ideas from real life. Where do you get ideas for your editorial calendar? From your daily work life. Turn the questions you hear most from customers into answers in the form of blog posts. You can also get topic ideas from your industry’s news and trends or from things you have learned along the way.
Curate content into new posts. Not every post needs to reinvent the wheel or cover an entirely new concept. It’s more than ok to add content curation to the content mix. Curating content from experts in the industry while adding new thoughts or expanding on those ideas is an effective strategy and cuts down on writing time. Read more of our insight on content curation.
Vary content formats. Each blog post does not have to follow the same template. By varying the formats that you use, whether its a list, an infographic, a video or other, you create interest for your readers and also, quite frankly, for yourself as you write. Be creative not only in language but in images, style and format.
Hire a ghostwriter. Just because you’re not a natural writer doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a blog for your business. But if you’re not a natural writer, blogging probably falls last on your priority list and when you do blog, you’re dissatisfied with the results. This is where outsourcing is absolutely critical. Professional writers will adapt to your blog’s tone and style, making each piece sound just like you while creating clearly thought out pieces.
Hire the best writer you can find rather than one that has just comes from your industry. It’s easier to learn about an industry and what makes it tick than to write compelling copy. Great writers learn and write for a variety of industries. They’ll work with you to research topics and gain insight into the topics that make you an expert. They’ll base their fees on hours, per post, or per month depending on your needs.
Invite guest bloggers. Not every idea on your blog has to be yours. Take a little pressure off yourself or fill weeks you’re on vacation with posts from guest bloggers. Aligning yourself with complimentary industry partners expands your blog’s reach to their audiences and adds content that enhances your overall content. The guest blogger benefits too because they get to share their ideas with your audience. (This strategy works well for a reciprocal relationship where you post something on their blog as well.)
Need more help with your blog? Glee can help you write or strategize to make your blog an effective tool in your marketing portfolio. Contact us for more information!