Publishing a blog is likely one of the lowest cost, highest impact marketing tools every brand has access to. No matter what you do or sell, it’s a tremendous opportunity to tell your brand stories, help customers, influence and educate readers and enhance your brand edge.
If your blog is built with smart, useful content around your expertise (this means using key words that search engines recognize as relevant in your industry), this will organically improve your search engine results.
A well-written blog can also help position you as an expert in your field. Plus, the eternal visibility online will make your brand easier for news media to discover when they are looking for story sources. Last week a reporter from the Washington Post interviewed me after seeing a blog post I did last year on airport branding.
Writing a regular blog is also a healthy exercise for professional development too. As it forces you to think deeper about your business, connecting with customers and it will improve your written communication skills.
If the thought of writing a blog is overwhelming, here are some tips that can accelerate this valuable marketing and brand building activity.
- Schedule 15 minutes and decide your blog goal. Start with the end in mind as author of Seven Steps of Highly Effectively People, Stephen Covey said so well. Plus, what gets scheduled gets done. Set your iPhone or an alarm to keep you on course. Setting a defined time frame and deadline will significantly improve your productivity. Get clear on what is the one major point you want to make. Don’t worry about crafting the perfect headline, just laser focus on the big message you want your readers to take away.
- In that same window of time, write out three or four sub points to drive that message. Again don’t strive for perfection, don’t over think, just make a list. These can be actions to take, things to avoid, examples, statistics or even beliefs that ground your message position. These content points become your blog’s framework.
- With time between, schedule another 15 -30 minutes to expand your rough content by adding personal experiences, moments of learning, tie your content to something you’ve read or watched or get really creative and incorporate a level of fiction or humor to your point. For me, when I put something down and pick it up again, it’s much easier to spew out good ideas. Often our subconscious is thinking when we are actually working on something else. Now fill in the holes with more content and connect the dots.
- Put your copy aside again. When you pick it up again this should be your last time to spend time on it. Or in my case I turn it over to a proofer/editor.
- Don’t self impose pressure to write a book or a 2,000-word post, some of the best blog posts are short, less than 100 words.
- Do set aside one day a month and jot down blog ideas and batch write three or four blogs. They don’t have to be 100% complete or perfect. But do get clear on the major point or idea you want to communicate.
- Keep a blog idea file on your digital devices or in a paper note pad. So as you think of good ideas you don’t forget about them.
- Do read other popular authors blogs. You will see patterns of best practices and ideas that you can apply to your blog to contently improve it. A couple of my favorites are Copyblogger, Seth Godin, Marie Forleo and Alan Weiss.
- If you use social media as part of your marketing and branding mix, now leverage and repurpose your blogs in these channels.
- If you are not a grammar or spelling whiz (like me) or you think your writing skills are soft, do hire a proofer/editor to polish your posts. They are easy to find online. Here’s a good resource Editing and Writing Services. She has a helpful blog too.