Blogging has come in and out of favor as the nature of content marketing continues its evolution. It gives some people the ick as their minds gravitate toward cringeworthy social media trends like the “I’m just like you but richer” mommy bloggers. It angers some people, as companies and individuals position themselves as “experts” on topics they know little to nothing about (we see you, mediocre home-chef recipe developers). And it bores others, as writers across the globe create subpar content in their fruitless efforts to claim a coveted top 10 ranking for their target search terms.
Before you add those anecdotes to your notes document that you plan to use when convincing your boss that abandoning your blog is the right strategy, continue reading. Giving up on your blog would be throwing out the baby with the bath water, and we don’t waste around here. Instead, you need to dig deep and put some serious thought power into your content strategy. It will be fun (or at least I’ll have fun sharing with you how to do it)!
Evaluate the competition.
There is a lot of competition out there, with more than 600 million blogs nestled into the nooks and crannies of the internet. But when you compare that to the billions of websites that exist, you realize that the blogging community isn’t as large as you thought it was. Get specific when searching for blogs – find the companies and outlets that share your expertise, topic themes and geographic service area. What do they do well? What do they do better than you? Where do you shine in comparison? Use this analysis to inform plans, carving a unique niche into your corner of the blogger-sphere. Distinguished content that serves audience needs is the ultimate goal when you’re striving to create more impactful blog content.
Focus on content AND use cases.
If a blog is posted to your website and no one reads it, does it make a difference? Unlike the tree in the forest, there is a clear answer here: no. Indexed blogs in Google can take years to appear in organic search results, and even longer to move up the rankings. In the meantime, you need to tighten your bootstraps and start self-promoting. Consider which channels are at your disposal. Social media and email marketing channels are the obvious first places to go, but how can you get creative with your distribution channels? Sharing a QR code at a festival booth could be one option. Dropping into your team’s email signature is another. You might be able to share with an industry association for some cross-promotion. If you are good at what you do, you may be able to convince a college professor who teaches a class in your specialty to use it as part of their coursework. Every use case you outline will not only help you shape your content (no cap, writing to impress college kids is hard) but will add to your clicks and impressions.
Develop a style.
If you’ve read to this point (thank you!), you’ve probably noticed that I write with a certain style. A little glib, a touch encouraging, hopefully slightly giggle-inducing. If you read any of the other blog posts I’ve written for Obsidian, you’ll find a similar tone. That’s my blog style, and you can create your style, too! Whether you’re the lone author for your brand or one of several contributors, having a unique style can distinguish your work and cultivate loyal followers. Building a style can be tricky – people can be quick to mock brands for trying to be too trendy in their content. So it’s better to stay true to your brand than to try and glob on to trends in your writing.
And now I’m wondering if I should apply my advice to my earlier use of “the ick” and “no cap”…
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
Quality over quantity, always. In content creation, reducing your output and focusing effort on high-quality pieces often produces better results in the long run. For your blog, that might look like writing a great post and updating it regularly, ensuring that your data points and recommendations are adjusted as your professional landscape changes. That could also manifest as pulling posts from several years ago back to the fore on social media. And there may be a cool opportunity to dig deep into the archives and comment on your predictions from years past. The main takeaway here is that your blog should be a living, breathing thing. Use it as a reflection tool, posting new content while pulling old material from the archives and adding new perspectives to it. You spent a lot of time developing it – it’s worth spending a little more time to help it flourish.
We’ve come to the end of this blog, and hopefully, you’ve got some ideas on how you can refresh your blog or your opinions about professional blogging. If you see the value but don’t want to do the writing yourself, there is good news. Obsidian can come in and write your content – so fill out this form and connect with us about a partnership!
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