March 28th, 2011
by Amy Dunn
Is Your Business Blog Suffering from Neglect?
Web marketing is about creating a relationship. Blogging supports relationship building in that it creates a conversation. Blogging serves a number of web marketing purposes simultaneously- The McGraw Hill 36-Hour Course: Online Marketing
Having found myself in a recent “blog rut”- I decided to take some of my own advice and searched for some “self help” tools to break free from my rut. By now, most of us understand the benefits of blogging:
- Blogs allow you to set the voice and tone for your brand
- Blogs are a huge driver for search engine optimization.
- Blogs boost “credibility, visibility and sellability” – thank you @Webtherapist
- Blogs create a community for your brand
- Blogs allow you to take customer service to a new level
I know, I know- we get it! Blogging is really vital to Online Marketing and we need to do it. Yet, so many of us put this on the back burner. We are so focused on the numerous and overwhelming tasks that build up day to day, that many well meaning marketers simply abandon their blog all together.
According to a 2008 survey by Technorati only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days- that means roughly 95% of blogs have been abandoned and neglected! If your blog has fallen under such misfortune, it is not too late to rescue it and bring it back to life!
Here are some ideas to get started:
#1 Reframe the task at hand. Would you blow off your advertising campaign or a customer service request? Of course not! Blogging must be a priority. Denise Wakeman has great tips in her article, 6 Ways to Constantly Produce Quality Blog Content: “I suggest reframing the challenge from “I don’t have time to write on my blog” to “I make time to market my business.” In the context of your business, blogging is a marketing tool.”
#2 Create a list of questions most relevant to your customers- and answer them! Many business owners have found that this technique creates an endless supply of content that will not only serves as a customer service tool, but brings new leads to their site! Here are some good ones to use:
Utilize “Dear Abby” Article Template. Got this tip from Ezine Articles: Pick a question that requires the answer of a full article of about 400-750 words. Use a personable voice and your expertise to navigate the problem and offer a solution.
Here are some additional questions that will generate some killer blog posts from Chris Brogan
1. What challenges are my potential customers facing? Do I have any advice for them?
2. What have I read lately? What points were interesting? Can I add more to it?
3. What bugs me? Can I write about another way to approach it?
4. Who do I admire? Can I write something about them that explains how to emulate those traits?
5. What has the potential of helping (hurting) me or my community in the coming months? Are there possible ways out of it?
6. What kinds of tools are missing from my environment that would help things along?
7. Which companies or parts of an industry might benefit from my ideas?
8. How do other industries compare to what my community is thinking about?
9. What kinds of thoughts will inspire my audience to contact me (or support a cause, or buy my product, or support my interests)?
10. What do I want to know that I can ask my community?
#3 Schedule your writing time. Set aside some time each week when you are most likely to think creatively (for most of us- that time is the morning before the day gets away from us). Most experts recommend we post 2-3 times a week in our blog to build interest, so schedule an hour or 2-3 times a week to devote to your blog.
#4 Reuse & Recycle your content. I cannot stress how useful this tip is! Look through some your emails or company memos that you have written and I will betcha you will find some excellent talking points you can simply cut and paste and turn into a blog post! Use content from articles and newsletter posts; Find one of your favorite blog posts from the past, and republish it with a fresh update!
Got some blogging tips of your own? Don’t be selfish! Lets hear them!