Blog posts continue to become an incredibly important form of content marketing and a key piece in many marketing strategies. On top of its value as a marketing tool, it’s also surprisingly easy to do and the only real cost is the time of the person writing it.
Most marketers know that blogging can have a huge benefit to essential things like SEO…. and in turn traffic… and in turn conversions and/ or sales, yet despite this, many organisations still don’t do it regularly.
The typical small business owner or entrepreneur may have dabbled with writing some content when first building a website or when they were setting up social media accounts, yet once that’s done, content creation can often fall off the radar.
The 2 most common reasons/ excuses for not blogging tend to come down to firstly, it takes too much time to do and secondly, they don’t know what to blog about. Whilst admittedly content creation can time, if you plan your approach you’ll be surprised how efficiently your writing becomes and how quickly you can create great content.
So how can you build a programme for yourself and your business that allows you to create regular, high quality content without having to dedicate hours and hours each week?
Let’s say that you decide to create a short post of maybe 500 words to write an education post that’d relate to your organisation. Well why not agree with yourself that from Monday to Thursday each week you’re going to come up with 2-3 possible ideas of interesting features.
Maybe it’s a top tips feature, perhaps a “how-to” guide or perhaps just a general news piece related to your business or your industry. Then on Friday morning, start the day 30 minutes earlier than normal and write out those articles; having had several days to think about them you’ll find writing comes much more easily!
If you take the time to think of the ideas – and you can do that without specifically dedicating time to it e.g. whilst you’re going about other jobs = it’ll be a lot easier when you actually sit down to write. Even a relatively slow typing speed can do 30-40 words per minute, which means that technically you could write a first draft of that post in about 10-15 minutes.
15 minutes to create a really valuable asset that can benefit your website, your Facebook, your twitter, your SEO and many other things as well…. Pretty good right? Now you’ll usually spend more than that going back over it and cleaning it up and correcting errors, changing sections and adjusting the format but the more you practice this the easier it becomes.
Now let’s look at a few of the key methods that can be very easily followed to get you blogging on a regular basis with the least amount of time, yet with the most amount of value.
When it comes to writing a blog post there are typically 5 types of blog style which define the purpose of the content, as well as the expectations of the typical reader:
- The perspective article. Quite simply this type of blog post will be usually straight forward text oriented feature aimed to give your perspective (or compile other peoples) into a resource on a specific subject. Think of the last newspaper you read or news website you visited. A lot of the content on these are perspective pieces, aimed at giving an overview or information on a particular topic that is believed to be of interest to its audience.
- The “How To” Guide. A very simple, yet very valuable piece of content to the audience, this blog post is designed to give the audience a guide or tips on how to do a specific task. This very part of the book you’re reading could be considered as a how-to guide blog. The chances are if you’ve created your own business, or you’re thinking about doing it, then you’ve got knowledge on a subject or topic that a good deal of other people haven’t. Even if you’re knowledge on it is relatively low, if you’ve got passion for a subject you can turn that into something that can really create powerful content for the reader.
- The List or “Top 10” style post. This type of content has become even more commonly used in recent years due to both the desire for easily absorbed content from audiences and also the way SEO operates. An example could be something like “The top 10 best ways to write a blog” or “The top 5 reasons to visit London”. These types of features can be surprisingly easy to write yet often create really good traction with an audience. Think of some of the recent websites and articles you’ve read on the Internet or across social media and I’d be surprised if you hadn’t engaged with a fair few of these yourself. Maybe you even shared them with your social media connections and friends?
- The “Slide Share” or “Photobook” style post. This type of blog post will tend to utilise imagery as a key element of the content and will be displayed in a way that often has much less text within it and uses the imagery as the primary display – the audience will tend to click through captioned images on a specific subject. More often than not this style of content creation actually relies less on writing loads of text and utilises the images themselves to draw more engagement. Perhaps you’re an avid cook and have created some fantastic dishes recently. You could turn that into a great blog post with something like “My Favourite Dishes of the Week” and post half a dozen photos in in a slide share style, with brief descriptions or even recipes alongside them.
- The “News Jacking” blog post. This type of post is quite simply designed to capitalise on a current prominent or relevant news story and augment it with further information or add your own perspective. The key fact to remember with this type of post is that time is truly of the essence and speed of delivery e.g. how quickly you publish it in order to capitalise on the time of the news story, is essential. Let’s take a topical 2018 example with Bitcoin which, whether it’s understood or not, is something that’s held the news a lot over the last 18 months. Most of the news surrounded it’s seemingly ever-growing value during 2017, until all of a sudden the price dropped massively and began to drop and drop. With this type of blog post the value would be to use the noise from this story and maybe turn it into a blog post with your own insights or perhaps just a summary of what happened. This can be great for getting short term momentum and audience engagement but it’s worth noting that these types of post tend to have a shorter shelf life than others.
There’s no right and wrong choice of which type of post is the right one, but ideally you want to try and create a good balance of different styles and formats. Keeping your content varied as well as valuable can be a great way to keep your audience interested.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, to give it a go and each time you write and spend more time practicing creating content, the easier it becomes and the more your writing will improve and gain polish. Even if you’re not the most confident writer I promise with a little time, thought and planning you’ll be able to create awesome articles that offer enormous value to your audience and your outreach.
You can read more tips, guides and strategies like this in The Entrepreneurs Marketing Manual; available in both Kindle and paperback formats on Amazon now.