Today I read “How to tell people about your new business blog” on SmartBlog for Social Media. The post by Brook Howell gives new blog owners a lot of great ideas on how to drum up interest in their new blogs. She covers everything from integration into your main website framework, to press releases, to social sharing, and more. All important tasks to address when launching your business blog, but my favorite tidbit is her advice to “hurry up and wait” before any massive announcements about your new blog. It’s my favorite because it’s important but difficult. Clients especially hate the idea of “waiting” — they paid for all this darn content marketing stuff, and they want it promoted! However, much like in other endeavors, patience is a virtue! “Hurry up and wait???” Maybe you’re thinking that it sounds a little counterintuitive to be patient in the internet age. After all, we live in a world of “instant information.” There are, however, some great reasons why Howell is absolutely right about waiting.
- You have to have more than a couple of posts so that you are more likely to appeal to a variety of customers and prospects who may visit your blog.
- You have to show that you’re committed by demonstrating your blog isn’t simply a shiny new object that you will ultimately neglect. One month of blogging is a hint that you mean business with your blog.
People who land on your new blog before you have been at it for at least a month will be disappointed and underwhelmed to find only one or two posts. Howell recommends waiting a month or so to build up a good 8 – 12 posts so that your audience will have something to read and share. More choices mean a greater likelihood a reader will find something worthwhile to him or her. Now you may be thinking, “You expect me to write HOW MANY posts per month???” Nobody said business blogging is easy. As one who writes posts for clients’ blogs every week, I know how tough it is to write my own blog posts. Your day job can get in the way of your blogging efforts. However, there are ways to pull together enough content to make your new blogging venture a success. Here are just a few ideas for you:
1. Repurpose Existing Content for Your Blog
You may have case studies, white papers, videos, decks on SlideShare.net, or other evergreen content lying around out there. What better way to take some of the edge off that first writing assignment than to cheat a little! You could create a post that introduces your Slideshare deck — and then embed the deck right there within the blog post. You could write an executive overview of a white paper and include a download link to the full white paper. Unless your business is brand new, you should have existing content that you can tweak or feature in a blog post.
2. Share Success Stories on your Blog
Did your team just finish a major product enhancement? Has one of your clients experienced a major productivity gain thanks to your product or service? Maybe you’re employees did a community service project together? Your blog is a great place to share successes with your customers and potential customers. Be sure to respect client and employee anonymity if they prefer not to be specifically mentioned, and always make sure these stories are genuinely highlighting the people and their wins. It’s a way to underscore your company and brand strengths without sounding like you are hard selling.
3. Create Tutorials on Your Product or Issues Related to Your Offering
People are always looking online to learn “how to” tips. Wufoo.com does a great job of sharing pointers and tips on their blog. Maybe your offering isn’t quite as technical as a web form — Wufoo’s service offering. There are still “how to’s” out there that you could address. If you sell shoes, talk about tips for foot health, running safety, etc. Maybe you own a daycare center? Offer tips on “educational games you can play at home with your child.”
4. Provide Lists and Checklists
Lists and checklists are always a crowd pleaser! These types of posts are easy to write, easy to read, and easy to understand. They also get lots of reader comments going, especially if you ask them at the end, “What are some of your ideas?” Not sure what topic to choose for your list? Try top ten uses for your product. You could also curate a “top five articles” list featuring links to industry stories of the week — be sure to include your commentary. You could even make a funny list like “top ten things you never do with our product.”
5. Get Blogging Help
Before you get all “here comes the sales pitch!” on me, I do have a few ideas that don’t involve spending money on my services. Don’t get me wrong — I want you to consider hiring Jackson Marketing Services for your content marketing efforts! You just might want to know what other options you have first. Here’s my short list.
|Use a service like MyBlogGuest.com to find guest bloggers to help you create content.||This saves you from having to do all the writing on your site. You get help in promoting the post because the author likely will post it to his or her social media outlets, too.||While I’ve seen great guest posts from these services, I’ve also seen some not so great ones. You spend a lot of time reading, proofing, and corresponding with guest bloggers when you open the guest blog flood gates. In some cases, you may also receive posts that are just written for link building purposes, and this could have a negative effect on your blog and credibility. You have to be vigilant if you go the guest blogging route.|
|Draft a management/employee blogging team.||Here again, you are saved some writing time. You also know that your employees may be “closer to the action” to be able to put together some great stories.||Some people are just really crummy writers. Did you hire Jane to develop software code because she really knows how to turn a phrase? No, you hired her because she really knows how to develop software. Making it a job requirement isn’t really fair. Making it voluntary isn’t necessarily fair either. You could end up having hurt feelings over edits and stories when your aspiring employee blogger turns out to be not so great.|
|Hire a dedicated blogger.||This saves you from having to write stories period. Assuming you’ve hired a quality writer, you can rest assured that you’ll always have great content to feature on your blog.||Good writing isn’t always cheap. Hiring a full-time or part-time employee may not be possible with your current budget. Plus, you will add new HR and management duties to someone’s workload.|
My recommendation is that if you know for sure you’ve got a great team of decent communicators who have time and willingness to blog, start there. Get those employees or managers involved in blogging. If that doesn’t quite pan out, then consider either outsourcing the task or hiring an in-house resource. This outsourced or in-house person can interview team members and develop posts from varying perspectives. Or, this person could act as your editor and help improve the work that your staff produces. There are plenty of ways you can work with a content marketing resource like me. Let’s get started on a consult today!