Blogging is one of those time consuming marketing activities that can either boost your marketing efforts, or significantly hinder them if not executed effectively. Natalie MacNeil, speaker at Social Media Breakfast Waterloo Region on May 29th, discussed not only the importance of blogging but the importance of not blogging if you don’t have the resources. My previous blog on “What to do with Social Media Analytics” touched on how to keep track of your social media efforts, such as blogging, in order to get the maximum benefit. If you haven’t yet started with blogging (or have and you’re debating whether or not it was a good idea), take a look at some of the advice passed on from Natalie. Although Natalie’s presentation focused more on personal branding and blogging, the tactics provided do apply to businesses and I have reformatted them to reflect this.
Build your brand and expertise. Utilize your blog to build your brand and your expertise by providing relevant and educational information related to your industry and your clients/prospects. If you sell B2B services, you shouldn’t be blogging to reach the B2C market; there’s nothing wrong with diversifying your content, but your blogging content should reflect your company’s expertise.
If you can’t keep up with it, let it go. Starting a blog and reaping the benefits may sound great but if you don’t have the resources to keep it up, you’re only hurting yourself. Put a strategy in place before you start. For example, tell yourself you will write every Monday and Wednesday and post a blog every Tuesday and Thursday – and do it! Put guidelines in place when it comes to the layout of your blog: 500 words or under, 75 character title max, include keywords, tags, meta tag descriptions and at least 3 external links in your content.
‘Everyone’ is not a niche. Find your reader base by targeting a niche of people that will reap the benefits of your expertise. Saying that you will target ‘everyone’ will only leave you targeting no one. Your content needs to be written for a particular audience; when you write for everyone your content loses its cohesiveness and consistency.
Do you have a ‘starving crowd’? In her presentation, Natalie referenced copywriter Gary Halbery and his idea of a targeting a ‘starving crowd’ with your content. Are there thousands upon thousands of blogs about ‘tips for startups in KW’? Go back to the niche idea and find a crowd that is starving for a particular type of knowledge and education; perhaps it is Startup help for young entrepreneurs out of Kitchener Waterloo.
Build a mailing list. Although your mom and family might love to read your blogs week after week, you need to start reaching your starving crowd from the beginning. Spread the word to your social connections, via Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, etc and provide them with a call to action on how they can reach your blog.
Here are some additional tips that were added during the Q&A portion of the presentation:
- Before you start, write about 100 blog topics to get yourself ahead of the game
- Bring in guest bloggers for some variety once you’ve established your presence
- Utilize WordPress as a CMS tool to effectively manage your content (a tool we’ve found very useful)
- Your newsletter can have snapshots of your blog but there should be some additional information provided
With vast experience and expertise in blogging, social media and starting her own empire while in her mid-20s, it was great to listen to Natalie’s presentation and learn how this Kitchener-Waterloo resident effectively built her professional brand. If you’re interested in starting your own blog but still on the fence about taking the plunge yourself, feel free to reach out to me and see how our team can help.
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