Why Blog? There is no better way to be found. It takes little of no money and creates a situation where people searching for you will find your work. The experts call this “search engine optimization” but what it really means is more business for you. Do you know that small businesses that blog receive 128% more leads? The more blogs you have, the better. The biggest problem people have with blogging is that they may write one or two and then, sadly, they go on to the next thing. Effective blogging requires a base of blogs and once a base is created, a continued stream of them. This will solidify you as an expert and will give you a pulpit to espouse your business philosophies, your expertise and showcase your wins and your clients.
How to get started: I went to a new business conference recently and was told to do 30 blogs in 30 days as a method of building the base. Then, a weekly blog is an acceptable frequency. While the “dirty 30” is a colossal undertaking, it does many positive things:
- It lays down a base of information so that people can find you and you look like an expert who has been blogging for a while.
- You become a more natural blogger, the more you do it. It’s like exercise, if you use your blogging “muscle”, it becomes easier and quicker.
- Story ideas begin to come to you, instead of hunting relentlessly for them.
- You become a more avid reader and learn more about your industry, which makes you better at interacting with clients and potential clients.
- You learn that you know more than you think you do. Writing is a way to validate what you know and solidify your thoughts and philosophies.
- It helped me recall personal stories and client case studies that I was able to intersperse into what I had written.
Doing 30 blogs in 30 days, was a difficult undertaking, but not impossible. I began while vacationing in Italy. This gave me plenty of time to read the many online resources that I should have been reading all along. I could not believe the quality and quantity of information that was available from other websites, bloggers and industries. Keep in mind, not all blogs have to be original content. Sharing others’ blogs and articles is a perfectly legitimate way to showcase your expertise, particularly if you attach a comment or point of view. At least one third of blogging content, should be original.
One of the biggest challenges I had, (and still do, sometimes) is finding the blog topics. Here are some methods I use:
- Read as much as possible. I love the apps, Flipchart and Business Insider, where you can choose from industries and categories. There are hundreds of updated articles and blogs posted every day. It’s easy to access on your smart phone, tablet or computer.
- Use a journal or journaling app. I like Day One or Evernote, for instance. It chronicles any ideas I have, photos or news clips that create blog ideas.
- Jot down opinions after reading others’ blogs, articles and white papers.
- Stay focused on current events. I recently wrote a blog on branding and the Republican candidates for president, for instance. It’s a great way to make a blog even more topical.
- Interview people you find interesting, and write it “article style” in the third person. This can include clients, potential clients, industry leaders and other bloggers- all who enjoy the flattery of being noticed and promoted.
- Any time a client, or potential client asks you a question on what you do and how you do it, make note of it. It could be a potential blog post.
- Take note of all client victories and teachable moments.
- Look at your business and divide it into categories. Create a blog for each category. For instance, knoodle does PR, media, digital and creative. I then broke down each into subjects and created blog “buckets” for each category.
- Ask people in your office, what they are reading or what they encounter in business. Network and ask them, too.
- Make sure you have enough down time. Travel is a wonderful way to freshen up your thinking and see what you do through sharper lenses.
When you blog, have a fellow marketer read them and give honest feedback. This person should be able to edit, correct grammar and choose some key words relevant to your industry. This is how Google inevitably finds you when someone types in the same key words.
And being found, is what blogging is all about. Businesses that use blogs receive 67% more leads, according to Hubspot. What’s stopping you?