If you've been thinking about starting a blog but worried about the time investment, you're not alone. In a world where you can fire off a tweet or a snap in second, the prospect of blogging seems daunting from a time management perspective. But there are smart ways to make it work, and Jackie Allder, director, public relations & communications for The Long & Foster Companies, is familiar with many of them. Writing in the PR News Social Media Guidebook, Allder points out efficient ways to create quality content, excerpted here:
- Always Remember Your Business Goals. First things first, what is your business trying to accomplish? Are you striving to become a thought leader in your industry? Do you want to position yourselves as the customer service organization? Maybe you simply want to become known for your corporate philanthropy? No matter what your company’s goals, they need to be present in all your blog posts.
- Stick to a Schedule. The easiest way to do that is by creating an editorial calendar that you can follow. Whether you work in real estate or travel, software or retail, your industry is likely to have certain seasonal trends. Write all these down and sort them by month. That gives you the first batch of evergreen type posts you can produce. And don’t forget the holidays.
- Act Like a Journalist. Your employees, your contractors and even your clients are the experts you want to interview for your corporate blog. They know your industry. They know your company. They just might not know how to say it. You do! You’re the writer, the communicator, the person who knows the company’s mission and vision and can write it down for the world.
- Ghostwriters Are Your Friends. Let’s face it: You might not have time to write a blog post each week, and your executives certainly don’t have the time to do so. They’re busy working deals, putting out fires and building your business. But they have tremendous knowledge and insight—all of which you can glean from them and share with a talented freelance writer, plenty of whom are available through online vendors. You can also reach out to local agencies for occasional support.
- Repackage and Reuse. Recycling isn’t just for glass bottles and newspapers. Almost all your marketing content—whether it’s an internal newsletter, an executive announcement or a newspaper advertisement—can be repackaged into a blog-worthy post. For example, a letter from your president with his predictions for the year ahead could easily turn into a blog post for the world to see.
- Congratulate Yourselves From Time to Time. These types of blog posts are also great for helping you find new readers. Here’s why: Those employees who were recognized in the blog will share the news with their friends, who might share it with theirs, and on and on. People like congratulating their friends on their achievements. And people like reading about accomplishments, too—all of which they’ll do on your blog.
- Share Everything on Social Media. Your blog is your brand’s sounding board, your own “news site,” and you can (and should) promote that news on social media. Any time you’re writing a blog post, consider how it could be tweeted or shared. An article like this with seven tips to build a blog can easily become seven tweets.
Follow Jackie on Twitter at @jackieallder