A Blog Routine That Works
Last week we directed you towards an article from Social Media Today that spoke about the type of content blog readers want and that drives the best and most engagement. This information is all very useful and nice but not unless you first have a blog routine you follow. Knowing what kinds of information your audience wants to read is one thing but managing it all in an orderly and timely manner is another. To have a successful blog, you must also have a successful blog routine. Here's a peek into what our blogging routine looks like. Hopefully your company follows something similar.
Brainstorming and Gathering
At the beginning of each week, we brainstorm a list of ten different topics we think would make good blog topics. It's important to do this because you never know when you're schedule will get hectic or inspiration won't strike. With a list on hand, that's updated or added to weekly, you'll never be short of ideas.
If your own pure ideas aren't enough to fill up a list, check out some other blogs or news sites. Set up a RSS feed so that all of this relevant information can easily be found in one place. We like Google Reader. Spend a little time at the beginning, and maybe even the middle, of each week to collect topics and articles that catch your eye. Add those topics to your blog list, and create a new list for the articles you like. Utilize Google Alerts or social media sites to see what people are talking about. Then, dive into your web analytics to see what articles or content on the site receive the most interest. Come up with a few topics associated with those top traffic getter's as you know that will intrigue your readers more.
We like to reference articles from other blogs that we think our readers would enjoy. By compiling a list of such articles, we can easily write up a quick summary and link back to those posts without any fuss. You may also want to make a list of articles that you'll use as research or support for other topics you write on. Creating these different lists may sound overwhelming, but if you dedicate at least one day a week to research and gathering, writing your blogs will become 20 times easier.
If you blog, you know how to write well. Hopefully. However, even the best writers can become stressed over writing all of the time. You must constantly pour out content that's relevant to your company, helpful to your readers, and interesting enough to provoke engagement. It's a lot to conquer. That's why a schedule can help ease your mind. By knowing what you must write and when, you'll spend less thought and time sorting that out during your writing process.
Decide when certain types of content will be published to your blog. For instance, maybe you'll post summary articles twice a week and a blog from your topics list three times a week. You can even dedicate certain days to particular topics. Every Tuesday could be devoted to highlighting a member of your staff, for example, or you might call every Thursday "Throwback Thursday" and rediscuss an old topic your blog has covered before.
However you choose to organize your weekly blog format is fine. Just make sure you do it. You won't believe how much stress you'll save yourself from knowing exactly what you need to have done each day. If you don't like sticking to such a uniform plan, then leave yourself some leeway to switch things around during any given week.
Now it's time to proof your work. After all, everyone can spot a typo and you don't want your readers getting caught up with that over the content. Proof the article yourself, but also send it to someone in your office to proof as well.
It's time to post the blog. Make sure to use a proper title which is supported by your body copy. For more reference you can read here.
One of the most important aspects of blogging is sharing. If you don't share your blogs, then your posts probably won't get read. With so many different options, though, even the process of sharing needs its own chunk of time. Whether it's a couple of times a week or at the end of each week, you should decide when your blogs will be shared.
In terms of social media, where do we begin? There are so many different sites and profiles your company is probably maintaining that just thinking about posting your blogs to them can be nerve-racking. The good news is that you shouldn't be sharing every blog post or sharing your blogs on every social account you own. Sites like Facebook and LinkedIn are good places to send your blogs out frequently. Users tend to drift to these sites for heftier content and appreciate posts with links. As far as other social sites go, you should make some considerations before you even post any blog.
Does your blog post have a great photo in it or an especially visually-appealing image? Pin it to your Pinterest account. Maybe your post covers a topic that's popular on Digg or Reddit. Post it there. The right article placed in the right subcategory can gain your blog a lot of traffic, which ultimately means more traffic to your website in general. Look through industry forums, answering questions and add a link back to the blog post for more information. You may also have some key influencers already on your blog. By this we mean people that consistently share your content with others multiplying those posts' exposure tenfold. Contact these people. Post a blog on their wall, or mention them in a tweet. Make sure your latest post is on their radar if it wasn't already.
So, that's our basic blog routine, and it makes quite the difference. Taking the time to organize your blogging methods can really streamline your efforts and save you a lot of time and heartache. Test it out for a week. See what works and what doesn't, and make adjustments from there. You're guaranteed a better night's rest with a little more organization to your day. No more blogging nightmares.
Does your company follow a blogging regimen? Is it similar to ours? Please share.