Most folks are not creative enough to always have a fresh idea ready to transform into killer content. Unless you happen to be Seth Godin you likely struggle with coming up with enough relevant, helpful, fun content to blog everyday. While you may be an expert on the topics you cover deciding exactly how to approach each blog post, webinar, ebook, slideshare presentation, or any other type of online marketing content can be a daunting task.
But have no fear this will be the first in a series of 10 post I’ll put hear each week on Tuesday to help you fill your backlog with some kick butt content ideas so your well never runs dry.
Content Marketing Tip Numero Uno #1
Get and stay plugged in with industry news. You need to stay current if you hope to provide your followers with relevant, timely content. But how?
Here are 3 easy ways to stay current on news in your market
Here’s what I do, and if it helps HubSpot also recommends.
Subscribe to RSS feeds from bloggers that cover your industry or speak to your target audience.
Subscribe to email newsletters from niche publications that cover your industry, as well as your vendors and even your competitors.
While I’m on this point you can subscribe to this blog over on the right of this page.
Set up Google Alerts for non-branded keywords related to your industry, your products, and your customers pain points.
How do you stay on top of news in your industry? Let me know in the comments section below.
In any given day there are hundreds of things to eat up a sales persons time (regardless of your profession we are all sales people). I learned early in my sales career to keep my focus on revenue generating activity. Back then there were only three:
Customer / Prospect meetings
What was true then is still, some what, true today, but I’d like to replace prospecting with – blogging. According to HubSpot blogging is the second largest social media customer acquisition channel. Linkedin ranked higher but I prefer blogging because it’s a channel that you or your company own and control. Additionally, every blog post ads a page to your website that has SEO value.
Businesses, sales people, and marketers should have a single goal with blogging – to become the person or company that people rely on for information regarding your product, service, or industry. Once your potential customers have given you permission to educate them (via your blog), they will come to you to help solve their business challenges.
I know many people don’t blog because they say they don’t know what to write about. Here are a couple of ideas off the top of my head:
Make a list of the questions you get asked most and blog the answers.
Blog about one of your customers achievements – did one of your clients land a major deal – share the news.
Use an RSS reader to stay up on industry news and comment on it in your blog.
Write a series of ‘how to’ post and when a potential client ask you a question reference your blog post.
Is there a popular book being read by your industry – write a review of the book and email a link to your existing clients.
Last thing – don’t worry about how many readers you have. It could take quite a while for your blog to catch on. I heard Seth Godin say that when he started writing his blog hardly anyone read it. Today, he’s got one of the most read marketing blogs in the world.
I’m always surprised when even a single person Tweets or Likes one of my post. But it goest to show that if you just put your thoughts and ideas out there they will strike a chord with someone. All you need is that one right someone to cause your ideas to go viral.
WordPress can be run on your own server or off of the WordPress server. I run this blog on WordPress on a shared hosting plan from Godaddy.
Typepad charges a small fee for their blogging platform.
Ready – Fire – Aim: Get started ASAP. You really can’t go wrong with any of the blogging platforms mentioned above. Take some time to review them and make a decision and stick with it. Because blogging is the number one thing associated with internet strategy success I think getting started sooner than later is more important than taking a lot of time to contemplate the platform. Besides you can easily start on one and if you’re not happy relocate your content to another platform.
Post regularly: You don have to post everyday but you should post on a regular schedule. This way your readers know when to expect something new from you. If you’re going to miss a post or two, then tell them ahead of time.
Write about topics you know: This can’t be overstated! Don’t cut and paste information from other blogs or articles. Give your readers YOUR original thoughts on information you have first hand knowledge of. As fast as your readers can turn you on they can turn you off – and they will if you’re not authenticate.
Avoiding writers block: These days there’s no shortage of information so, I don’t see any real reason to have it. A good idea is to setup a news feed in Google Reader to provide a study flow of information, and what’s hot topics on your blog subject. You can also subscribe to professional research groups that produce reports on your subject of interest. This is a sure way to stay ahead of others as most bloggers won’t be willing to pay a fee to get information from researchers.
Help another blogger build credibility: Keep two things in mind – You can’t be the source of all the good insight on your topic, and there’s enough business to go around for everyone. So when you read something you think is worthwhile for your audience, mention it in your blog with a link back to the original source. You can even try to have the author write a guest post for your blog, or offer to write a guest post on theirs.
Additionally when you link back to another bloggers blog they receive a notice that you have done so. This is a good way to gain the attention of others in your blogging network. They may begin to read your blog and offer your unique insight to their community of readers.
Share insider secrets – and little known things about your topic: I’m not talking about the equivalent of Cokes secret formula here. For example if you’re writing a blog on sales share the secrets that helped you become successful.
Two are better than one: If you manage a team of people have the whole team or department blog. A team of 5 people blogging, Tweeting, and Facebooking increases the power of your content marketing much quicker than just a single individual making post.
Remember post don’t have to be long. If they are original, and informative, then they can be short, sweet, and to the point – like this one.
Keep score: By monitoring everything with Google Analytics. Could you imagine sports team that didn’t know if they were ahead or behind and by how much. Your blog is the same way. You’ll try things some will work, some won’t but you’ll never know if you don’t keep score. If you’re running WordPress then install Google analytics by Yoast on your site. If you’re running something other than WordPress look for a similar plugin or install Google Analytics directly.