Whether you sell light bulbs, bicycles or business cards, run a hotel, a travel agent or a window cleaning company, a company blog is a quick and easy way to keep your website updated. A blog plays an important role in marketing, branding, public relations and search engine optimization. It can wear a lot of hats and make tasks such as link building and social media marketing easier. Because of this, most web site owners know the power of a blog and the majority will start with the best of intentions to keep the blog updated and current.
However, regardless of how niche or varied, interesting or otherwise your area of business, there comes a time when you may lack the creativity needed to write a new post. If you sell light bulbs for example, how much can you really write week in week out on this topic, and still keep each post interesting, informative, unique and engaging?
While at first sight it may seem simple to set up a blog and put up a post every now and then, creating a blog that actually adds value to your online marketing campaign is a lot harder than it first appears. When your blog starts to flag and goes weeks or months without being updated, it can do more harm than good to both your business reputation and your search engine optimization efforts. There are tips you can use to stop your blog becoming stagnant, regardless of whether or not you introduce a new product every day or just once a year.
1. Schedule Posts
Every organization experiences peaks and troughs in customer activity. When you’re going through a slow period, you can easily write up a few new blog posts and schedule them to appear later in the month. This gives you breathing space when you anticipate you’ll be busy with orders or will be out of the office on vacation and means the blog won’t suffer just because you’re tied up with other things. Think of scheduling like you think of your Tivo box – just because you aren’t in to watch something, doesn’t mean you want to miss it. The same is true of blog posts – just because you’re busy with other things, it doesn’t make blog maintenance any less important.
Most of the popular blog platforms will allow you to set the day and time you would like the scheduled posts to appear. This means you can upload the content, create the links and tag the post then automate the publication so it doesn’t get overlooked when you’re busy with other concerns.
2. Use Proven Content Ideas
At the beginning of this year we published a series of articles entitled ‘130 Plus Content Marketing Ideas for 2012’. Set over four parts, it contains dozens and dozens of compelling content ideas – all of which can easily be adapted to fit any style of blog. Suggestions include recruitment posts, questionnaires, lists, trends, question and answer sessions, guest blogs, ebooks, jargon busters, research and development, staff profiles and more.
3. Set up Google Alerts
A quick and easy way to keep posts topical is to blog about news events. You can easily keep abreast of industry and competitor news by setting up Google Alerts. When a story is released based on your keywords, it will be sent directly to your inbox. You can then quickly write a post in response or use the story as the basis for your own report on the subject, saving time on background reading.
4. Spread the Responsibility
Often a blog will be the domain of the marketing or online department but there is no law that says it has to be this way. Spread the responsibility for updating the blog by empowering a member of each department (for example sales and customer services) to write a weekly or monthly post. Quite often they’ll be in the best position to generate relevant and interesting ideas as they’re on the front line dealing with clients. The post can be sent to the marketing or online team to proof read and optimize before being posted to the blog if need be.
5. Invite Guest Bloggers
If all else fails and you simply can’t think of enough ideas to keep your blog updated, a guest blogger can do the hard work for you. Inviting guest bloggers to post on your site is a great way to diversify the thoughts and opinions you present, allowing for much more of a well-rounded resource rather than simply creating a sales blog. It also allows you to connect with other industry insiders and can be useful for link building as the guest blogger will likely promote their involvement on their own blog.
Invitations for guest bloggers don’t have to be restricted to bloggers in your own industry. Compatible industries can also provide a fruitful pool of candidates as can your own client base and even local or regional figures.