Coming up with content for your company blog should be easy, right? After all, no one knows better than you just what your business is all about, and blogging is a great way to tell your story. You should be able to come up with a handful (or two handfuls) of topics at the drop of a hat, and riff on those topics at will. Yes sir, content is easy.
Except… it’s not.
It takes time and dedication to continually create content that’s relevant and readable. In the course of an average workweek, time to create content can be at a premium. You may have a fairly good idea about the types of things you want to share on your company blog, but the demands of each workday push content creation further down the list. How do you get from a roster of ideas to published content?
If you absolutely can’t make the time to continually create content, you can try your hand at binge writing, and knock out a whole lot of content in a relatively short time span. Fortunately, there is a formula you can follow to get started.
1. Determine your topics
You know your business best, and you know the kinds of questions you get from customers. Make a list of topics that answer those questions that educate customers about your industry, and/or which provide helpful information that makes their lives easier. If you’re thorough, this should be a lengthy list. At LT, we call this our Spark list
2. Focus your topics
Once you’ve gotten a pool of ideas, take some time to gather similar ideas together. Maybe you’ll have enough to do a series on one topic. Maybe you’ll have related topics about a segment of your industry that others aren’t talking about. Whatever you have, you should be able to plot out a content calendar well in advance. The calendar will also help keep you on track for the writing and publishing of your blog content.
3. Outline/sketch out your thoughts
Once you’ve determined what your course of action needs to be, you can begin to outline your ideas for posts. Take one idea at a time and outline the major points for them. Spend a little time on each outline and organize it with a logical beginning, middle, and end.
4. Fill in the blanks in between
Now that you’ve gotten your ideas outlined, stitch the outlines together with content. Make your secondary points. This is where the writing takes place.
Let your ideas rest, at least overnight. You’ll need a clear eye to focus on the next step, and to get that clear eye, you need a break.
This is where you take the posts you’ve written and polish your thoughts. Grammar, spelling, and punctuation all count, as does the clarity of your content. Make sure your content makes sense.
Once everything is ready to go, schedule it to post. Your schedule doesn’t have to be iron-clad, but it does need to be consistent.
Yes, it’s something of an effort to do content this way, but it also frees your schedule for the day-to-day tasks that were getting in the way of creating content. And you may find that having a pool of content to pull from takes a lot of pressure off from the process of creating. Once you get ahead, with a little effort, you can stay ahead.
You may be wondering if this sort of effort is really worth it, and the answer is yes. A company blog is in many ways a central feature for your marketing efforts. For starters, it’s a way to add perceived value in the eyes of your customers, particularly since a blog can help initiate conversations. If your customers come to view you as an expert in your industry, your business will reap the rewards of your trustworthiness. Additionally, consistent content, properly optimized, is good for SEO, which helps you to rise above your competition online.
Social Media is Your Friend
Once you have content posting consistently, don’t ignore the added power that social media can provide. Good content has the potential to be shared again and again, so encourage reposts and retweets among your social networks. And as you get feedback from your audience, do your level best to respond. Consumers appreciate knowing there’s a living, breathing human behind a brand.
Please note, however, that all of these wonderful benefits hinge upon a single idea: content. If you’re not creating content for your company blog, you’re denying your business the potential to expand its sales and marketing efforts. While it’s true that creating content can be something of a Herculean task, spending a bit of time to create a block of content all at once can make the task more manageable.
Do you have a method or process to create content for your company blog? Let us know in the comments!