Having an active blog is the fastest, easiest and most cost-effective way of populating a website with regular, unique content that drives traffic. Given this fact, it’s surprising how so many businesses allow their blog to drop to the bottom of the priority list.
In a typical scenario, the business will start off with an ambition to have regular blogs, newsletters and social media content. However, as time goes on and people get too busy, one or two of these activities will start to lag behind – until you get to the point where you suddenly haven’t posted anything for weeks or even months.
So – whose fault is that?
And how can we prevent it from happening again?
Troubleshoot your blog process
For a small or medium-sized business, there are generally three options for creating blog content, all of which have their own unique benefits and challenges. Which of these sounds the most familiar to you?
1. The Marketer
Putting the Marketing Manager or Marketing Assistant in charge of the content often sounds like the most logical approach for a small or medium-sized business. After all, they know the key messages you want to focus on, and they’re well versed in brand voice and visuals.
However, as most marketers will testify, the marketing function is an incredibly broad role. A small business marketer is required to quickly shift tasks and wear a number of different hats. One minute they’re planning events, the next they’re doing branding or planning advertising campaigns, followed by managing the website and running customer surveys… It’s a complex role. Adding weekly in-depth content writing to this list of tasks can be completely unrealistic.
2. The in-house expert
Some businesses depend on an internal topical expert to provide the bulk of the content – sometimes in collaboration with the marketer. This is a brilliant approach… In theory.
The expert will of course have the qualitative input that you may want from a good blog piece. Perhaps the person is a visionary, a thought leader, an entertainer. The blog can be the perfect place for them to build their online following and create influence, giving the business a more ‘human’ face.
However – being an expert often means you are likely to be pulled in a number of different directions. You’re needed everywhere. You’re inherently busy. There will be times when all you manage to scribble down is a few notes and ideas – far from the well-structured content piece your readers want.
3. The outsourced writer
Plugging in an external resource to help with content creation is often the first step to building a long-term blog strategy. Having a constant resource available to focus on the content means that a business can allow their blog to survive through busy periods and times of change. By having access to a blog creation specialist, the marketer can be more efficient with their time – and the in-house expert can spend a bit longer on their thought leadership posts without pressure. (Many content specialists are also skilled in taking their rough notes and rapidly transforming them to coherent blog posts.)
Still, having ‘content on tap’ is of course never without risk. This approach does require a collaborative mindset, with some project management and quality assurance. There needs to be a defined contact person in the business who can review and publish the content once it’s handed over by the writer.
The perfect blog storm
So – it’s clear that neither of these approaches is perfect in its own right. However, the first two are the ones most likely to cause a blog to fizzle out over time. Some of the best regular industry blogs are a result of a series of collaborations – where one person is in charge of the blog deliverables while also having access to a number of dedicated resources that keep churning out relevant content every week, every month, every year. A business should have always aim to have one single point of responsibility, but they need to also invest in making them as successful as possible.
Take your blog further
We’ll be diving deeper into the anatomy of a successful content strategy here in the blog during the autumn, where we’ll be touching on the topic of blogs in more detail. But for now, take a step back and think about your own blog initiatives and what has made them successful or unsuccessful in the past. Where did you fail? What would you do differently today?
It’s well worth taking the time to build the engine for a solid, dependable content machine.
Your revenue will thank you later.