Social Media - Start Here!, I mentioned that two obstacles to successful corporate blogging were fear and time. Today I want to focus on the time issue.In my post a couple days ago,
I first got into blogging because of our corporate blog. I know for many of you it was probably the other way around.
The team was hounding me to let them start a corporate blog. I wasn’t opposed to it, but I knew it was going to a time intensive effort. I couldn’t afford to add a full-time person to the team so we were going to have to make-do with the people we had – and they had other responsibilities they still had to meet.
I made them work for it by telling me how a corporate blog would help us meet our goals. Eventually, they won me out by showing me how we could increase our media exposure and increase our search engine rankings.
I started my own blog as a “sandbox” for the corporate blog. I wanted to understand blogging and, in my estimation, the best way to do that would be to roll up my sleeves and try it out.
Of course, like my team, I suffer from not having enough time to write. (Note: I’ve since gone independent so I am now blogging with a purpose. This helps me find the time in the early morning, middle of the night, or whenever my muse decided to pay me a visit.)
My goal was one post per business day. For companies, I recommend slightly less as it gives your audience a chance to participate in the conversation before the topic changes. But, to be effective, you still need to be doing two to three posts a week. And that can be tough when you have a day job and a fickle muse. So, how do you find easy ideas?
Read other blogs and create links from your blog! I read blogs like others read the morning paper. I love it when blog authors allow me to have the blog content sent to my inbox, but even if they don’t, I have my favorite blogs set up on my Google homepage. Just by reading the blogs I get great ideas for the business, but I also find blog entries that I think are ideas my own readers would also appreciate.
For example, just this morning I ran across this blog post from Chris Brogan, a blogger who writes extensively about social media. 50 Blog Topics Marketers Could Write For Their Companies. Chris manages to come up with fifty great ideas for corporate blog topics that most marketers could write about in their sleep.
I could write my own blog post linking back to his blog post. Which I am doing right now, of course, but the point is that his blog post could be the main topic of my post. I could add my own ideas to his ideas. For example, his ideas are inwardly company focused. I also recommend writing about best practices whenever possible to add another dimension of value for your reader.
In fact, most of the blogs I read are best practices blogs focused on my profession –marketing. I also read sales blogs since the sales teams are my main customer. If I were in a technical field such as selling and implementing software for healthcare providers, and this was the audience I was trying to reach with my blog, I would try to find other blogs about the industry and read them daily. Whenever something happens in the industry or you find a best practice advocated by someone, create your own post, link back to the original post, and add your own thoughts and ideas. Clearly, this works best if you are not only reading your competitors blogs, as you may not want to create link backs to their blogs.
This benefits me because I can find an easy topic to write about when my energy and ideas are flagging. In the case above, it also benefits Chris because I have promoted his name and blog and potentially increased his readership. By creating the link back I’ve also potentially increased his search engine ranking.
This is clearly a win/win and makes regular blogging much less difficult than trying to think up fresh ideas several times a week.