Jennifer Osborne wrote a terrific blog post on the usefulness of a blog strategy. I thought the post was interesting for several reasons:
- No. 1, it seems that she has some of the same challenges that we at Blog Content Provider have.
- Her answers to frequently asked questions are some of the same answers that we give to our clients
- And, thirdly, since she deals specifically with the question “How to sell your client on a blog strategy,” I thought it would be relevant for our blog because we have resellers who could benefit from this information as well.
Jennifer answers the following questions in her post:
- Why would I think about implementing a Blog Strategy?
- We have always resisted a Blog because we’re not sure anyone would read it. Who wants to read an online diary about plastic products / rugs / or the petroleum industry
- That makes sense but I’m also worried about running out of ideas for posts. My biggest concern is the potential resource requirement that a Blog might create.
These are all great questions and deserve thoughful answers. Jennifer does a good job on her blog, but I’d like to take a stab at it.
1. Why should anyone think about implementing a blog strategy? Well, first, let’s distinguish between implementing a blog and implementing a blog strategy. A blog is simply throwing up a blog and getting started writing. Some people can do that, but I don’t recommend it. I think you need a strategy. That is, you need to define your blog’s purpose and make sure every blog post you write goes to fulfilling that purpose. If you want to use your blog, for instance, to drive traffic to your website, that’s a different strategy and requires a different way of writing than using your blog to take newsletter subscriptions or to sell site memberships. Define your purpose and the strategy usually takes care of itself.
2. Who wants to read an online diary on (the most boring subject in the world)? This is often the most often asked question and reveals a fundamental misunderstanding about what a blog is for. It’s true that blogs started out as online diaries, and many people still use them that way. But businesses have started using blogs as marketing tools. A business blog is as much an online diary as a brochure is a love letter or a TV commercial is an after dinner visit to the neighbor’s house. These are tools for marketing your business. A blog has many useful marketing tactics to include better SEO, mass communication with your customer base, receiving feedback on your products and services, and many more. It can be one directional (that is, you talk and they listen) or it can be bi-directional (comments encouraged). Some blogs are quite useful in assisting a client’s website rise in search engine rankings for their keywords. Let me ask you this: If you could see your website rise from Page 10 in Google for only one of your important keywords all the way up to Page 1 above the fold, would it be worth it? For most businesses it would, and for most business that is entirely possible just by implementing a blog. In fact, we have done just that for several of our customers, not only for a single keyword but for multiple keywords.
3. OK, so how do you get ideas for blog posts about boring topics? Well, it isn’t easy. But it is possible. It starts with identifying your most important keywords. If we know what your top 10 most important keywords are then we have a month’s worth of blog posts just by coming up with three ways to write about each keyword. Most keywords, however, have hundreds of ways they can be written about. Even on the most boring of topics. For instance, let’s take restaurant furniture. Now, there’s a topic that just gets people jumping for joy. But did you know that there are hundreds of different styles of restaurant furniture and as many different ways of arranging it effectively for a pleasant dining experience? When it comes to blogging, no topic is too boring. Restaurant owners need to learn how to arrange their furniture and they need to know the different types and styles of restaurant furniture available. So let us tell them.
Commercial blogging is here. I don’t think it is going anywhere. Not only is there a human audience for every topic under the sun, but the search engines are dying to feed off of the content that you deliver them. You might as well brace yourself for the feeding.