The Art of Blogging in Four Simple Steps
Marie Rourke, originally published for SmarterMSP
In the late 1990s, what began as a way for people to keep an online diary of happenings in their personal lives blossomed into what is now referred to as “blogging.” Largely fueled by the decline in print journalism, organizations of all sizes, from Fortune 100 companies to start-ups, saw blogging as a way to harness the power of the online journal to share ideas, promote thought leadership, and communicate with key stakeholders about their businesses in ways they never could before.
Today, while there are thousands of blogs to be found online, organizations of all sizes still struggle when it comes to filling the content funnel, and IT solution providers and MSPs are no exception. While there are those who are very good at providing weekly, or in some cases daily, updates, many are hard-pressed to come up with bi-monthly or even monthly posts. We know that limited time and resources are what keeps organizations from creating timely and relevant blog content, and this is especially true for SMBs.
The fact is, while blogs are a great way to grow your business and communicate with key stakeholders including employees, customers, and vendor partners, without regular updates and fresh content, the blog can quickly become irrelevant and may drive traffic away from your website and to that of your competitors.
Regardless of whether you’re a novice or experienced blogger, or simply strapped for time and resources, there are four simple things you can do to ensure that your blog is dynamic, relevant, and drives interest in your business.
1. Don’t supersize it.The beauty of a blog post is that it doesn’t have to be lengthy. We’re all on information overload, so brevity is always welcome. For example, three to four short paragraphs with your insights on an article you read in a trade magazine, a new development with a vendor, or a trend emerging in your industry is often all it takes to position yourself as a thought leader.
2. Use images when possible.Infographics, for example, are awesome for blogs, and your vendor partners may have images that you can repurpose for your blog. Adding a paragraph or two of your perspective to introduce the infographic helps you to demonstrate your breadth of knowledge and insights on the topic at hand, and shows how the content is relevant to your audience.
3. Repurpose content.Infographics aren’t the only content that can be repurposed for your blog. Many vendors offer syndicated content services or encourage their channel partners to leverage content they provide. Take advantage of materials that are already available to ensure the relevancy and timeliness of your blog.
4. Socialize.Once you’ve created content on your blog, share it on your company and personal Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, or other social media channels. By socializing your blog, you’ll drive more traffic to it and ensure that your key stakeholders are aware of the new content. You can also repurpose blog post to fuel your company newsletter. And, don’t forget to offer a subscription feature on your blog so your audiences are notified right away when new content is available.
Above all else, keep it simple, real, and relevant.