No business is too small to overlook the benefits of maintaining a business blog.
We know, we know, easier said than done, right? Particularly for SMBs with limited time and resources, the prospect of brainstorming, writing, editing, publishing, and promoting content on a regular basis can seem more than challenging — it can seem impossible. And we really do understand: after all, we started the Pardot blog back when we still had a one-woman marketing department. So we’ve compiled the following four resources to try to simplify the blogging process — from idea conception to distribution and promotion — for marketing departments operating in a perpetual time crunch.
Use Free Tools to Aggregate Ideas
Yes, Google Reader is long gone, but the concept isn’t. Check out feedly and similar alternatives to learn how you can set up a stream of highly relevant content from your chosen resources.
If you’re like me, the most daunting part of blogging (hands down) is deciding what to write about. The four free tools in this 90-second video can change that. By setting up an RSS reader that can stream content from your top chosen sources, containing relevant keywords, you can have a wealth of content ideas and inspiration waiting for you when you sit down to write.
Blog posts don’t always have to involve in-depth insights — sometimes they can just answer a simple question. Be in-tune to little issues that arise throughout the day. If you’re asking yourself these questions, chances are your readers are too, and a quick blog post can become a valuable resource.
Sometimes the best blogging ideas are sitting right under the same roof—your coworkers in other departments see many different aspects of your business and are chock-full of ideas you’ve never thought of. Keep in mind that your coworkers are busy; if you shoot out an email asking for blogging ideas, you’re unlikely to get a response. But if you send a personalized email to an individual (“Hey Jane, what are 2-3 of the most common support questions we’re hearing these days and how would you briefly answer them?”), or ask for a quick interview…well, add an introduction and conclusion and you have yourself a blog post. Get more ideas for quick blog posts here.
Curate & Outsource
Give your curated content a voice. Be intentional about the content that you choose. Does it fit a certain theme? Can you group all of the content you’re collecting under a common umbrella?
If you look like the woman in the header image of this blog post, it might be time to redistribute some of the content burden. Remember, not all of the ideas on your blog have to be your own brilliant insights. It can be just as helpful (more so, even) to bring together the ideas of others. So curate content from other sites and add in a few of your own insights, or invite guest bloggers to bring a new perspective to your blog — while cutting down your own workload. Learn more in this post.
Still unsure how to get started? Sometimes the best way to make a task seem less daunting is to organize your strategy, and our Business Blogging Handbook can help. With worksheets, checklists, and tip sheets like the one below, the handbook can help you optimize and execute your blogging strategy for best results. Be sure to check it out, and let us know your own thoughts on simplifying the blogging process in our comments section.