So you’ve been given the task of blogging for your company. Yay you! As if you didn’t have one million other things vying for your time each day. You know you need to be producing blog posts every week or every other week, so now you’re wondering how you could possibly come up with that much meaningful content, which you know is critical for many reasons.
The good news is, with just a little bit of advanced planning, and some of these good tips and hints below, you can create and maintain a blog of which your company will be proud:
Always have good blog topics on hand. To begin the process of brainstorming your content calendar, create a list of potential topics. The topics you can pull from usually fall into one of these four categories:
- “Evergreen” topics – blog posts that are factual in nature, and never become dated.
- Testimonial/customer experience posts. These are different types of stories told from the viewpoint of a customer, where you solve a problem, or fill a need. I would make these represent only about 20% of your total blog posts maximum.
- List-making posts. “Top X Lists” are very popular types of content, and easy to read.
- Next, look at the seasonality of your business, and the seasonality of your industry. For example, if your target demographic is predominantly male, then it might make sense to use sports analogies for your blog posts during the fall when football is big and topical.
Find subject-matter experts in your organization. You will want to create a list of potential blog post authors. Even though you are in charge of the company blog post, the burden of creating every single post should not fall specifically to you to “author”.
Think through your organization, who the knowledgeable thought leaders are, and who the executives are that need additional marketplace visibility. Assign them blog posts where they have specific expertise. If they also happen to be writers, then you are in good shape! However, my experience has been that many executives shy away from blogging because they are not strong writers, and perhaps do not know how to format a blog post. Therefore, try this:
Craft the post FOR them, using THEIR words. Set up a 20-minute meeting with that executive who’s authoring your upcoming blog post. Bring your trusty iPhone, and record the meeting, which should be the executive talking casually and extemporaneously about the topic at hand.
After the meeting, listen back to the recording and transcribe it. You now have the text and the verbiage to craft into a true blog post: catchy headline, short sentences, short paragraph, 300 to 500 words. Make sure you keep that executive’s funny colloquialisms, interesting sayings, and verbal mannerisms, as this will make the post be in their own voice.
Pass along your newly crafted post to the executive for their approval, and you are on your way! This is the best possible way to pull written thought leadership out of a savvy executive, even when they don’t have time to blog themselves, or don’t feel confident in their ability to write it themselves.
You will begin to see over time when looking at your marketing metrics the types of posts that resonate the most with your readers, and you can build your calendar going forward on that type of content. In addition, sometimes you will find that the topic is so interesting to your target market, that you will want to write a blog series; that is, 3 to 4 blog posts on the same topic, spaced out over a period of a month or so.
With just a tiny bit of advanced planning and a lot of organized delegation, your company will have a blog full of interesting and relevant posts that will educate and nurture your prospective customers all the way through your buying cycles.