So. Here we are with the end of the year fast approaching. (How is this even so? They sure weren’t kidding about time accelerating like a wild run away roller coaster the older you get. Ahem.) I’m guessing keeping your company blog updated was one of your business New Year’s Resolutions way, way back in January. It was certainly one of ours. So. How did you do?
I’m happy (amazed) to say we had one of our most prolific years ever. (Although I promise I’d still be writing this if we hadn’t.) And this is good. As that was The Plan. Things did get a little off track lately. But we did well considering. Considering what? Well, considering that blogging is plain time consuming. Right? It just is. Many of our clients have blogs on their websites, and most of them tell us they just don’t have the time to get to them. We get it. So here are some thoughts from US on how we had our Best Year Ever that might help you to get your blog moving. And also some thoughts from heavy hitters out there about whether you should even bother.
Strategy for keeping your blog updated
Share the load.
Simple right? Don’t make one person responsible for all the content. There are six of us, so we assigned everyone a week on a rotating schedule. Every 6 weeks or so, it was someone’s turn to come up with another post. This also helps keep your blog diverse. With both developers and designers coming up with topics, we were able to reach a wider audience, while at the same time exposing our designer readers to development related issues and vice versa. It’s all interconnected, people!
Put it on the calendar
Make it a work item. Just make it part of the routine. If it’s up there, it’s impossible to ignore. Behold the power of pester. Works for children and calendars.
Just start writing
Have a vague idea, or even a what you are sure is a bad idea? Doesn’t matter. Stop agonizing. Start working on it. Research it, look for supporting arguments and examples, you’ll either be able to flesh it out or you might wander off in a whole new direction. This is a solid tactic I employed when I used to write for the newspaper. Just write. Sitting around thinking can leave you feeling blocked, but you don’t have that luxury. Write! Something will start to happen. It will.
OK. So now I guess you want to know – is it even worth doing?
It really is.
But it’s going to take longer than you (or I) are hoping for you to start seeing benefits. (But this is true of so many things, right? I know we all want everything to be instant. But it just doesn’t work like that. Yeah – I agree. It’s a shame, but there you go.)
According to Joe Pulizzi, self-proclaimed poster boy for content marketing and founder of the Content Marketing Institute, it’s going to take 12 to 24 months for you to see results from your efforts.
Yeah. That’s longer than I wanted to hear too. But this is why commitment is vital. You have to start AND you have to keep going. Read the full piece here: B2C Marketers Need to Give Content Marketing Time for more insights on the value of planned, sustained content marketing.
All right. Say you’re committed to blogging in 2017 – hey – start planning out your strategy now then you’ll be ready to hit the ground running come January. Upcoming trends you should be aware of? What changed for blogging in 2016 while you weren’t? Here are a couple we have found.
1. SEO and Email Marketing to drive traffic
Research shows growing use of SEO (+11%), email marketing (+23%), influencer outreach (+25%) and paid services (+93%) to drive traffic.
2. Longer posts
Although the vast majority (58%) of posts still fall in the 500-1000 characters category, the other 42% have arguably gone LONG. Good SEO requires relevant, in-depth content. The good news is you can post less frequently. That’s a win.
3. More Visual and Audio
Our brains love, and are engaged by pictures. Use them. (I know – why haven’t I? The designers are busy right now.)
4. Guest blogging
This should be music to your ears. It’s another opportunity to share the load AND broaden your audience base and increase exposure. It does work.
1. No Comment
Have you noticed no-one commenting on your blogs? Yeah. It’s not you. It’s the new thing, as in, it’s just not what we do anymore. So join the pack and close your comment threads and channel reader engagement on the social networks because that’s where it happens now. Plus – no more crazy Spam to wade through: “Good !|Cool! I love your this bolg.” Although, this one is just a little bit charming.
And here are some favorites from a long list: Top 3 Content Marketing Trends for 2017 and Beyond.
A lot of brands will give up on content marketing as they are not seeing short term results. This can be a great thing for anyone who is playing the long game.
People are inundated with information. They will continue to click away from anything that is not easy and convenient to read.
More niche content – with the escalating arms race, and the massive volumes of content being created on a daily basis (2+ million blog posts per day), it’s getting more and more expensive and time-consuming to create content… people will direct their focus towards narrower niches, personalised content, more targeted channels, where they’ll get lower volume but higher quality engagement.
More than ever we will need to be “human” in our marketing as fans want to know the people behind the brand.
Live video, live video, and live video.
So. That’s the round up for those of you still on the blogging fence. If you decide to do it, DO IT and KEEP DOING IT.
And let us know if you do – we’d love to read what you have to say.
And if you don’t, well. We’re a little bit envious.