I was in a new business meeting the other day and suggested that starting a company blog had the potential to increase visitors to the company’s website. We all know (don’t we?) that Google rewards dynamic content so posting regularly will eventually boost your rankings.
Why Blogs are Abandoned
The designer I was with said “Oh, no” that won’t work. I couldn’t blame him. He had designed websites and blogs for a number of clients and within a short time the blogs had been abandoned.
It’s a commitment to write a weekly or twice-weekly blog. Who will write the blog – someone inside the company or will we outsource it? What will we write about? Where will our ideas come from?
These are legitimate questions, but I believe it is a lack of will and commitment from top management that is behind the failures.There isn’t a plan in place to keep the blog going and building momentum.
Tips for Bloggers
So, if you, or your company, have abandoned your blog here are some steps to take:
- Make a commitment. Decide that you want to increase traffic to your website by x% within six months, or whatever benchmark you want to establish. A blog will help you do that. Static websites don’t cut it.
- Choose categories, or “buckets” of stories. Suppose you’re an accounting firm. You could decide to write about how to finance your retirement, tips for cutting taxes, and estate planning. Over time you could add more buckets.
- Assign responsibilities. Like any other marketing activity, you’ve got to allocate the necessary human and financial resources. Identify content experts in the company as sources for information the writer will need. Think carefully about assigning revenue-producing employees to write. They will usually find an excuse not to do it – I have a client calling, or I need to go to a new business pitch, etc. Better that they supply the writer with the facts she needs. Let accountants be accountants. Let writers be writers.
- Build an inventory of posts. Set a launch date for your blog and then prepare a schedule of posts for the first three months. Write your launch post and at least four other posts from different categories before you begin publishing. The first day, have a launch post that introduces your blog and why you are writing it. At the same time, publish the first four (or more) posts. Why? Because a single post will look like an orphan all by itself. The posts will contain great content and encourage readers to subscribe.
- Offer an incentive. Give readers a reason to subscribe, such as a special report, or something free that would otherwise cost them.
- Solicit guest posts. Ask clients and other experts to write guest posts. You will get backlinks to their sites (another SEO boost) and provide your readers with differing points of view.
- Post to social networks. Now that you have a blog you can automatically distribute new posts to social networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. You will be reaching new audiences who may visit your website and decide you’re a company they would like to do business with.
- Repurpose the content. Turn your blog posts into articles, slide shows and electronic brochures. You will be leveraging your investment and distributing your content through other communications channels.
Beat the Competition
It’s true that many companies have abandoned their blogs. Shame on them. They are missing out on a great opportunity to establish the company’s authority on topics of interest to clients and prospects.
Most people still get their information about a company from its website. Your blog will serve as a sort of Pied Piper, luring in readers searching for valuable information to improve themselves and their businesses.
Why not have them come to you and not a competitor?
- The benefits of business blogging: Part 1 (marketing.yell.com)
- 12 Business Blogging Shortcuts for Time-Crunched Marketers (hubspot.com)