Marc L. Goldberg | Cape Cod Times
Setting up the blog: There are free options for blogging such as WordPress and Blogger. Investing in a domain name — internet address — and hosting service helps marketers retain control over their blogs. Before beginning a blog create a content outline of topics by date so any research you need to undertake can be done without undue pressure when posting in a timely manner. Once the blog is up and running you need to keep it active by posting new content on a regular basis so followers will receive it when expected. If not, they will move to another resource. Create a content calendar so you know that, for example, every Tuesday morning you need to post the week’s blog. Use your social media posts to create awareness of your blog — and new posts — to your target market. One advantage of blogging is that it can add incremental income streams by making offers of products/services or information products that are not in your mainstream of business.
Create a plan: Planning out your blog topics ahead of time and maintaining a writing and posting schedule is step one. Without a content calendar or blogging plan, you’re doomed to let blog writing take a back seat to your day-to-day tasks. Set aside two to three hours each month to write. By creating time to write while also putting a limit on the time you dedicate to blogging, you’ll be better able to stick to a schedule and not over or under-commit. Plan to stay a month or two ahead to avoid a time crush when it is time to write your posts.
Look to your customers for topic ideas: If you receive frequently asked customer questions, then each question is a potential blog post. Blog content should be informative and helpful to your reader. If you can provide helpful content that you already know your customer is looking for, the blog post becomes much easier and less time-consuming to write.
Pay attention to what others in your industry are saying: Blogging is one way for you and your brand to stay relevant in your marketplace. Use your blog to speak as an expert in your field, react to the events occurring in your industry and contribute to discussions on important topics. Not only will you be creating more content to help your website rank higher in Google search results, but you’ll also begin establishing your brand as a voice of authority and expertise in your field.
Share customer success stories: Customer success stories are considered blog post gold. They give you the opportunity to celebrate a customer and, by association, celebrate your business’ contribution to that success. Customer stories often take less time to write since there’s no need to create content out of the blue. Just call your customer and let them share their story. As an added bonus, you get one more touchpoint with a happy customer.
Delegate blogging responsibilities: Being the voice of your company’s blog does not mean you have to do it all. Engage other employees in the blog writing process or bring on a freelance writer or marketing agency to take some of the burdens of monthly blog writing off your plate. Relying on others to help is going to make it much easier to keep your blog updated with smart content.
Make your posts easy to read: In today’s culture people don’t necessarily want to read, they want information. According to Tim Soulo, Ahrefs, Most people would rather watch a YouTube video than read an article to access information, make your blogs easy to read. Use short paragraphs, break up long sentences, use formatting like bolding or underlining, then read your blog out loud to identify areas where your content doesn’t flow.
Create intriguing headlines: David Ogilvy, author of Confessions of an Advertising Man, commented that five times as many people read headlines as read content. So, make the headline the most crucial piece of your content, but you don’t want to be writing, “clickbait”, you want to create valuable, usable content.
Get feedback on your blog: Have a team of readers who will give you feedback on your content, style and calls to action. If you can get constructive feedback before publishing, you will find that you will get more results from the blogs. Ryan Holiday, the best-selling author advises, “If you want exceptional work, you need to get input from another person.” It might your spouse, significant others, social media communities or groups, or even co-workers.
Build your own contact and email list: If you are using social media platforms solely to distribute your blog, you stand the chance of having it removed with no notice. So, create your own email contact list. Get subscribers. In order to do that you have to generate traffic and offer something of value.
Promote your content in online communities: Let your social media posts be the vehicle that drives readers to your blog content. Give a snapshot of what to expect by reading the entire blog. You might think about joining groups that have an affinity to your business objectives so they can feed your blog interaction.
Become a guest blogger: Connect with other marketers where you can be a guest blogger to feed your own blog readership. When readers see you on associated websites, they will follow the links to your blogs. If you are a once-a-week blogger, then spend some time each day preparing your blog. Write it. Put it away. Wait a day or two and reread it. Have others read your blog to get their comments, then finalize so you are prepared each week without “cramming” to finish the content.
According to Si Quan Ong, Ahrefs, “Blogging is hard work. You need to publish consistently, promote your articles (blogs), network and more.” But you are not alone since most bloggers go through the ups and downs of achieving your outreach marketing objectives.
Contributed by Marc L. Goldberg, Certified Mentor. Sources: 7 Blogging Tips for Beginners (That Actually Work), Si Quan Ong, 2021, Marketing@Ahrefs. For Free and confidential mentoring in outreach marketing using blogs, contact SCORE Cape Cod & the Islands. www.capecod.score.org, email@example.com. Download your FREE – Tips from SCORE eBook, Vol II, http://www.amazon.net/dp/B08QPR7G35.