Creating and managing a successful business blog can be daunting. Deciding which content should be part of your marketing strategy is easy. The hard part is when you have to figure out who will create that content, how often, and Oh-right! — what am I going to write about?
Many business owners start a company blog with the best of intentions. In a year, it’s a ghost town, outdated posts declaring your inability to keep up with a blog on top of your other work. The thing is: who can blame you? You’ve got a million other things to do.
Obviously, the easiest thing to do is to work with your marketing agency to make sure content is created. However, if you’ve determined that work is best done in house, here are seven ways to make it happen:
- Make a List – Gather your team and brainstorm ideas for blog posts. (And other content if you’re creating video/photos/etc.) Ask them to come up with a few ideas. Start with these questions to guide your brainstorming:
- What questions do our customers ask most often?
- If I were a buyer, what would I want to know?
- Is there something confusing about our product/service we can explain?
- Keep the List Going – Be sure everyone has access to an Evernote or Google doc where the ideas list will live. Ask your team members to contribute at least one idea per week (or your preferred parameter) so that the list continues to grow. Rely on new questions from customers, current events, and random thoughts.
- Map Out the Content Calendar – Put the blog post topics on a spreadsheet and assign due dates for each one, whether it’s every Wednesday or every other Tuesday. If you are having different people write the posts, create a column where you can list the writer’s name. Make sure each person knows to check the spreadsheet and knows when his/her posts are due. Have writers make note of their vacations and rearrange as needed so a post doesn’t fall through because someone is out.
- Put Someone in Charge – Maybe it’s you. But someone needs to follow up with each writer the week the post is due. Then the blog post needs to be published with a photo. If it’s not part of someone’s regular duties, it won’t get done.
- Stick to Deadlines – Once you let a deadline go, it’s easier to skip it and try again next week. But next week is busy so you skip it again. Pretend the blog post is a product or service you are giving a customer — you’d never deliver it late, would you? Once you get into the habit, this gets easier.
- Give Yourself a Break – If the office is empty for two weeks at Christmas, don’t worry about having posts during that time. If post date falls on a holiday, it’s OK to skip it. Just be sure to plan your “skip” days as part of the content calendar.
- Review – Once you’ve been posting for several weeks, take a look at what posts receive feedback on social media. Which posts have more traffic? Meet with your team every month or quarter to come up with new ideas. Use that data to decide if blog entries need to go in one direction or another.
Davis Graphic Design copywriter Jennifer Suarez said it may help to carry a small notebook where you write down random thoughts.
“Creating content week after week after month is a challenge,” Suarez said. “To continuously come up with new ideas, you have to be looking for interesting things around you and thinking about how they relate to your business or customer. As you do this more, you’ll start to see more ideas everywhere you go.”
What challenges do you face when creating content for your business blog? Give us a call if you have questions about content marketing or would like us to handle this part of your business for your company.