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"We have a blog but we hardly ever post anything on it."
If I had a nickel for every time we've heard that line from a frazzled marketing manager, well, I'd have a lot of nickels. More nickels than I'd know what to do with.
Most of the time businesses put a blog in place because they know it's a best practice, they've seen their competitors do it, or one of their friends told them they needed one.
They manage to scrape together a few posts in the weeks following the launch, but it doesn't take long for their efforts to fizzle out. Maybe they started with 3 posts a week, which quickly shifted to one post a week, and at this point they haven't blogged since sometime back in January.
The thing is, the concept of business blogging hasn't fizzled out, and it's not going to. It's still just as effective as it was when you decided you had to have one, if not more effective.
If you're ready to get back on the saddle, we've identified 7 ways to help you dust off your forgotten blog and pick up where you left off.
Determine a Realistic Frequency
By identifying why your business blogging efforts dropped off the first time, it will be much easier for you to right your wrongs.
We've found that most of the time marketers simply bite off more than they can chew in terms of frequency right off the bat. As a result they come to the realization that they can't keep up, and then they just stop trying.
In order to avoid this type of drop off, it is imperative that you hash out a plan for posting that aligns with a frequency that is realistic for your particular business.
Maybe you have 5 team members that can contribute to the blog, or perhaps it's just you. Whatever the circumstances, take the time to determine how long it takes you to complete a quality post, and how often you'll be able to contribute on a weekly basis.
With Trello we can create "cards" for each blog post which can be dragged and dropped into different "boards" depending on where they're at in terms of completion. This type of system makes it easy to see what we are posting, when we are posting it, and how far along we are in the process.
Provide Unique Value
Blog content doesn't have to be limited to just written words on a page. If you're looking to breath new life into your underutilized business blog, consider exploring new formats, mediums, and visual considerations.
SlideShare is becoming increasingly popular in the marketing industry because it serves as an alternative way to present your audience with information. In fact, the slide-by-slide concept makes it a particularly attractive platform for storytelling and they can be embedded right into your blog post to provide readers with a refreshing change of pace.
One of my favorite usages of this medium comes from the industry influencer, Doug Kessler. His SlideShare "The Search for Meaning in B2B Marketing" is the perfect example of the effect an alternative medium can have on the meaning people derive from content.
Aside from SlideShare, consider implementing videos, images, or surveys to spice up your written content and get more out of your blog.
HubSpot recently published the article "Which Mad Men Character Are You?" which included an interactive quiz. This type of creative spin provided their readers with an opportunity to engage with the content, which is ultimately what we're all striving to achieve, am I right?
Adjust Your Tone
I recently sat in on an inbound marketing assessment with a prospect who had been struggling with the same issue I addressed in the introduction to this article.
She had managed to squeeze a few blog articles out of her C-suite executives, however they weren't driving a lot of positive results because they weren't resonating. They were unnecessarily long, really complex, and they didn't speak to the needs of their buyer personas. In fact, I'm pretty sure they didn't even have buyer personas in place at all.
In order to achieve resonance, you have to be sure that you are employing a tone that is appropriate for your business while incorporating an engaging element. This is a process that should involve everyone that is responsible for creating any form of content for your business, as it is important that everyone is well-versed in the type of language they should be using.
If you're having trouble getting a handle on an appropriate and workable tone for your business, consider thinking of your business in terms of an actual human being. Would they be buttoned up or casual? Would they talk with enthusiasm or would they have a more serious demeanor?
The goal is to communicate your message through an approach that feels authentic to your brand. Do what you can to hold on to a human element. The more conversational you are in your approach, the easier it will be for readers to remain engaged.
Reevaluate Your Promotion Strategy
While you may have thought your work was done once you hit the publish button in the past, in actuality that's when the work begins again.
A post-publish promotion strategy will help you to extend the reach of your content and drive even more valuable traffic back to your website.
For example, you can extend the shelf life of your article by crafting a series of social media post to accompany the article. Personally we've seen a lot of success from posting our articles to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, however it is important to be conscious of the language you use on each platform.
Twitter works especially well for blog post promotion because users and constantly seeking out new, informative information. Due to the pace in which it moves, don't be afraid to tweet an article more than once, but do your best to switch up the verbiage. Keep it quick, simple, and engaging.
While Facebook is a platform that should be used for more personal interactions, you can still publish blog posts if you position them correctly. Keep the language conversational and avoid anything that sounds pitchy. Feel free to incorporate an image, as images have the ability to catch the attention of people as they scroll through their feed.
Considering some time has past since you've launched your business' blog by now, consider the benefits of a redesign. Does the look and feel of your blog align with the message that you are trying to convey? Does it look professional?
The harsh reality is that your blog visitors decide whether or not to stick around based off the impression they gather during the first 3-5 seconds after landing on your page.
If your team is equipped with qualified developers and designers, sit down with them and walk through the blog together. By discussing what you want to get out of it alongside their capabilities, you can restructure your blog so that it performs better than before.
Even small changes like adjusting your color scheme so that it better aligns with your branding, or reducing the number of fonts used to ease readability have the ability to improve your blogs performance and the likelihood that visitors will choose to stick around.
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