So you have a business blog but can’t quite manage to add content on a regular basis, welcome to the club. More and more companies are jumping into the blogosphere to aid their online marketing efforts but as with most things, just creating a blog is not enough to see any real benefit to your company. To really make your blog work for you, you need to update it on a regular basis. So then the $64,000 question becomes, “How do I do that?”. It can actually be simpler than you think. Here are 5 easy ways to keep those cards and letters coming:
- Write what you know
I know it sounds like a simple statement but think about it. When dealing with clients and potential clients, how often do you find answering the same questions over and over again? If you are like me, that answer would be “quite”. So if you are answering things on a regular basis, there must be some value to what you are saying so why not write it down for posterity? Whenever you find yourself repeating an answer that you have given to other clients time and time again, make a note and VIOLA!, you have a topic to write about. Talk to a few customers in a week and you might find yourself with a whole treasure trove of untapped brilliance just waiting to be shared with an unsuspecting world.
- Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar is a simple concept used in marketing departments worldwide but somewhat of a foreign concept to most small business owners. What is it you ask? It is nothing more than an outline to follow for communications each year. It usually refers to content being developed for e-Newsletters, websites and other publications to help plan how to roll out content for products, services and events throughout the year. Once such publication is a blog so why not take advantage of this useful tool and create an outline for yourself for the postings you want to generate? You can sit down and think through anything you have planned for the upcoming year (or even just quarter if you don’t want to get too ahead of yourself) and simply jot down topics that relate to your products, services or events that you want to promote at each time. And then as things evolve, you can evolve with it and simply adjust the calendar to work with any new pressing topics that may be more important that your original. The important thing is to make a plan because once you have that done, you are half way there.
- Contributing Authors
Platforms like WordPress allow you to provide limited access to colleagues, employees, partners, customers or friends so that they can become contributing authors on your blog. If they have something to say on your topic, why not make use of their expertise to help expand your reach. They can login, add their post to the system, then you can approve the content before it goes live. It is a win, win for everyone involved. You give them a voice and they help you by providing different perspectives on things that are important to your clients and potential clients. And if your existing clients are willing to contribute, you can expand the reach of your most effective (and unpaid) sales tool, word of mouth advertising.
- Media Content
Can’t think of anything to say (or you spell like I do)? No problem, why not just give your audience what they really want? Turn on that webcam that came built in to your new laptop and serenade them with the dulcet tones of your industry acumen. Let them get to know the real you (and if you are like me you can share your impeccable comedic timing while you are at it). It is not only an easier way for you to communicate complex thoughts – because lets face it, you are amazing at what you do and sometimes text is just not your medium – it is also the perfect vehicle for potential clients to get to know you before they decide to do business with you.
- Scheduling Posts
The biggest problem entrepreneurs face when it comes to blogging is the time to do it on a regular basis but that kind of commitment is not entirely necessary especially when it comes to platforms like WordPress. One of the most amazing and overlooked features of WordPress is the ability to schedule posts. Now I know what you are thinking, “Great, but what exactly does that mean”, well hold your horses I am getting there (if you haven’t noticed from previous posts, my wisdom is something that trickles out slowly amidst bursts of comedic brilliance). By default any new post is added “immediately”. This just means that at the time you decide to publish, it captures the date and time of that moment and uses it as the time stamp for your posting. What most people do not realize is that they can edit the post time and even set it for a future date so that your post can go live whenever you want. So, “big deal, what does that mean to me and my time, right?”. Well, what it means is you can sit down for an hour or so when you have the time and bang out any number of postings from your list of questions you have jotted down or the editorial calendar you have painstakingly setup and set them to go live over whatever period of time you see fit. Ideally you should be posting at least twice a week but that is a pipe dream for most. But you can make the most of what you have by staggering the release. You can sit down for a few hours at a time and have blog postings that will automatically post to your site over the course of a month or more. Going on vacation? No problem. Schedule postings to go while you are gone and let your site continue to communicate with the search engines and do your marketing for you while you are away. Have a conference coming up or a really big project, no problem just set that crock pot of inspiration to slow and get to work.
So now that you have some ways to get the content out there, you have no more excuses. Share your secret cache of knowledge with the world and build your thought leadership, website influence and customer relationships all at the same time.