This blog post is late. Want to know why? Mostly because of poor planning. Writing weekly blog posts to contribute to Roundpeg’s blog is rewarding and fun, but inevitably falls off my schedule. There’s just too much else to do! Calling clients, working on websites, and conducting training sessions often seem more important than blogging for the company. However, it’s something each member of the Roundpeg team is required to do. It’s just as much a part of my job as setting up WordPress on a new website. Doesn’t make it easier.
Your company may have a similar blogging program for employees, or maybe it’s just you writing a post every two weeks. Blogging is a critical part of an active content marketing strategy. It’s the foundation for strong email marketing and social media success. How can you keep on top of this frequently forgotten, but important, activity?
How To Write Better Company Blog Posts
I’ve got four tips from my personal experience to keep you sane, inspired, and on time with your company blog posts.
1. Read constantly
Sometimes, the toughest part of writing a blog post is finding a good topic. One of best things you can do is brainstorm a huge list of potential blog post topics that you can draw from. Then when you’re stuck, you have a pool of ideas to pick from. These topics can be inspired by anything, from recent challenges and triumphs at work to another company’s blog posts and current events.
You need to keep up on your industry’s news and your competitors’ blog posts. Read every day. And when you run out of things to read on the Internet (heaven forbid), read a book. Your writing skills will improve the more you read and write. And when you’ve got skills, asking girls out to prom is so much easier.
2. Keep a regular publishing schedule.
There are five regular bloggers at Roundpeg and we post five days a week. Blog posts are due on Monday so Allison can edit and schedule them for the next week or week after. It’s a simple plan to keep our blog up to date with new and interesting content. However, most small business blogs don’t post every day like we do. Many of our clients only have one person responsible for their website and blog content. If that person is you, try to post at least once a week. A more ambitious schedule will require more time and maybe more people helping you write posts.
Once you’ve got an idea of how much you want to post, use a calendar, either old school paper or a digital planner, to make deadlines. Plan ahead so that you’re writing next Monday’s posts today. You might even try to get two or three weeks out. When you have a stockpile of completed blog posts like that, there’s less pressure and it’s easier to enjoy writing. However, make sure there’s someone to nag you when deadlines pass and your work isn’t done.
3. Write it in chunks.
Whatever you do, don’t sit down at a blank screen and expect to write “Henry VIII” in an hour. You’ll need to work on it, take a break, work on it some more, break, and come back again. Copyblogger.com has a great plan for writing one blog post a week. Try to write the title and a few sub-heads one day, fill in the details the next day and use another day to just edit. I find it helpful to periodically brainstorm a big list of potential blog post topics. Most are junk, but there’s a few golden nuggets every time. Write a little each day and avoid cramming last minute.
4. Repeat yourself.
One of the hardest things about writing is deciding what to write about when everything has already been written about. It gets even harder when you’ve been blogging for several years. You might feel like you’ve run out of new topics. Don’t believe that lie. Your best new topics might be old ones that deserve another shot. It’s ok to repeat yourself, especially if time has given you more insight into a particular topic.
Read your old post and brainstorm new angles to approach it from. Is there a new development in the industry? Are there new tools to talk about? Did time and events prove your prediction was right (or wrong)? At Roundpeg, I’ve written several posts over two years that talk about how to add pictures to your website. Each post has some of the same information, but each presents it with new info or gets it from a different perspective.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your blogging goals, it might also be time to get help. Ask your colleagues to contribute content to the company blog. Call your marketing person and ask about blogging services. Regardless of who’s writing, a regular schedule, a smart writing plan and the confidence to repeat yourself will help your blog stay fresh. The long-term benefits of blogging for small businesses are so valuable, you don’t want to miss out.