Although business blogging is a wonderful marketing tool, it's also a real hassle. Blogs are voracious. You can feel like a hamster on a wheel, running desperately fast and wearing yourself out.
Luckily, there are tricks you can use to create content without struggle. Over the years, while blogging for my own and others' blogs, I've learned some tricks. Let's look at five of them.
- Always Be Noting: Write Notes (Thinking Becomes Enthusiasm) - Everything you do in your business, and every customer interaction can become blog fodder, but only if you get into a "noting" mindset. Start by creating a list of situations which could be helpful for blog content research. For example, talking to customers, reviewing customer and other emails, attending trade shows, and checking out your competitors.
Get into the habit of asking questions. Write down the responses, as soon as a conversation's over.
Writing things down generates enthusiasm. Not only does this make your content livelier, it makes it entertaining.
- Set Goals for Your Content, and Content Creation Goals for Yourself - What do you want your blog's content to do for you? Create a list of goals for your content. You may want your content to generate leads, show thought leadership in your industry, or cut down on customer service requests. Write your list, and review it at least once a week.
Also, create a couple of blogging goals for content creation. You might set a goal to blog once a week, for example.
- Big, Little and Fast Content: Test Content Formats - Blogging needn't mean writing. You can post photos, conversations, and short (or long) videos. Alternative forms of content like this can be effective.
You've always got your cell phone camera: use it. You can snap images of your products, your customers, and your physical store if you have one, staff members, your office, the view out of your office window... Anything you like. It's all content, and it all helps.
Google+'s Hangouts are popular with marketers, because it's a no-hassle way to create content, and promote.
Test responses to various forms of content.
- Love Your Archives: All Content Is Inventory - Blogging has a major challenge: that wonderful content you created last week and last month, not to mention last year, hides away in your archives. With luck, it will attract Web searchers. However, algorithm changes can affect your search results, so that a flood of visits slows to a trickle.
Your blog's content is an asset: it's all inventory. Commit to making the most of it. You can re-purpose content in various ways, or come up with custom content -- just think about presenting it in other formats: in a newsletter, for example, or by snipping it up for social media posts.
- Think Like a Magazine Publisher: Create an Editorial Calendar, Get Advertisers
Your blog is a publication, just like a magazine. Take a leaf (pun intended) from magazine publishers, and think of ways you can enhance your content.
A monthly magazine has big cover-worthy articles, which sell the magazine. To emulate this, consider creating a big piece of content once a month, and pushing it as much as you can. You never know, it may go viral.
A magazine also has various sections. You can do this on your blog too. Create an editorial calendar, and then add your monthly content ideas to it.
You might blog responses to customer questions once a month, create a tutorial on using one of your products once a month -- choose the "standard" content you'll create once a month and add it to your calendar.