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In our first post How to Create a Simple and Effective Content Marketing Strategy, we outlined a strategy for using the “big three” (website, blog and social media) to drive your content marketing efforts. In our last post, we went over how your website should function in your content strategy (Content Marketing Part 2: What Your Website Should Tell People). Today, we dive into what may be the most important part of your content marketing—your blog.

“Companies that blog have 55% more website visitors.”
-Hubspot statistic

Establishing Your Content Publishing Platform

Blogging is a biggie. This is where organizations usually need the most help and have the most questions. This is also the area of content marketing greeted with the most skepticism. A lot of business professionals and executives hear the word “blog” and immediately cringe. It has a negative connotation, conjuring images of tweens blogging about Bieber or hipsters blogging fake news stories.

But we’re not talking about that kind of blog. In fact, you can do away with the name “blog” altogether if you want. Think about it instead as your “content publishing platform”. Whatever you want to call, having one is a necessity. There’s no better way to distribute original content online than by having a blog (or a content publishing platform). Every organization should have one.

What organizations should have a blog? All of them.

Blogs are one of your greatest content and SEO tools.

Why Blogs Are So Important to Content Marketing

The reason blogs are so important is they give your organization a huge SEO lift. Different blog posts will turn up in Google searches based on topics people are searching and they will lead people to your content and your business. Years after you publish a blog post, search engines will still be directing people to it if the post is keyword relevant. So definitely make blogging a top priority.

Once you get your organization on board with blogging, a whole other can of questions springs open. The first question being—what do we blog about? The next question is usually how often should we blog? We’ll answer those questions today. We’ll also let you know how to maximize the effectiveness of your blog, and make it something people are drawn to read and share with friends.

TIP: Your Work Can Be Your Content
Use everyday ideas to create posts—what are some challenges/ questions/ problems you are facing at work? How did you solve them?

What Should You Blog About?

Write about things you know about. Show people your knowledge and expertise, the reason you do what you do, and why your organization exists.

  • What you do (the product or service you provide)
  • What your audience needs (information they may be seeking)

Main Blog Post Types

Not sure how to get started writing? Try these three common types of posts:

  • News – Discuss current or hot topics in the news related to what your organization does
  • Tips/Advice – Tell people how to
  • Definition – Explain terms or concepts

Examples

Insurance Agency

  • News – 3 Things Super Storm Sandy Can Teach You About Insurance Coverage
  • Tips/Advice – 5 Ways to Make Sure You Get the Best Price on Auto Insurance
  • Definition – Just What Is Umbrella Insurance and Why Does It Matter To You?

TIP: Keep a Blog Idea Document
Throughout the life of your blog, there will be times when ideas for posts come easy and times when the well runs dry. That’s why it’s a good idea to jot down ideas whenever they pop in your head. Having those ideas will come in handy later on. Trust us.

How Often Should You Blog?

This is a common question organizations usually ask. It’s also a tough one to answer because it depends on your resources. If you have the time and personnel available to blog everyday, do it. But most organizations don’t. The key is to be realistic in your goals and create a schedule you can stick to.

  • The more, the better (but it can be more challenging than you think)
  • Establish a consistent schedule (and stick with it!)

    Ex. Once a week, twice a week, every two weeks

Additional Blogging Tips and Best Practices

There’s more to attracting readers than just your content. Follow these tips to optimize your blog for maximum engagement and effectiveness:

  • Include an eye-catching image with every blog post
  • Keep content short (4-6 paragraphs) and focused on the topic
  • Create headlines for your posts that draw people in
  • Lists and How-to posts are always attractive to leaders (ex. 10 Ways To Get More From Your Personal Insurance)
  • Include meta data with each and every blog post
  • Most importantly – don’t be afraid to get started!

That’s it’s for today, friends. In the next post of our content marketing series, we’ll tell you how to develop content for the last of the “big three”: social media.