How often do you update your company blog? How much time do you spend dreading this ritual?
Marketers, particularly in the SMB market, are often juggling multiple tasks at once, and at the end of the day, the prospect of sitting down and cranking out a brilliant blog post is just too exhausting to contemplate.
But keeping up with your company blog doesn’t have to be exhausting business. Blog posts aren’t term papers, after all. In fact, the blog posts that perform the best tend to be the ones that are the easiest to read — think short paragraphs, bulleted lists, and simple, conversational language. They don’t always have to contain a wealth of original thought or expertise, either; sometimes it’s just a matter of providing a little helpful information in the most easily-digestible format possible.
Here are five strategies for producing valuable blog content, with minimal time investment:
Summarize an expert.
Ever come across a lengthy blog post by an industry expert and wish you had the time to read it? You’re not alone; there’s a plethora of valuable content out there that barely gets read simply because it’s not a fast enough read for marketers’ overly-packed schedules. So if you’re pressed for time or lacking in expertise in a particular area, take an expert’s post and break it down into an easy-to-read format (think, “3 Key Takeaways From…”), and be sure to give plenty of credit to your source. For a quick list of blogs that regularly publish valuable posts, check out some of our favorite marketing blogs in this infographic.
Interview a coworker.
It doesn’t have to be your CEO; other departments in your company can be an untapped source of insight that rarely gets written about. For example, interviewing a member of your support team (“what is one of the most common cases of user error you see that can be easily fixed?”) can be extremely helpful for your readers, and can also provide you with ideas for future blog posts. Keep it short (two to three questions), add an introduction and conclusion, and you’re done.
Answer day-to-day questions.
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. We’ve had several blog posts arise from questions such as, “which LinkedIn groups should I join?” (10 LinkedIn groups for B2B Marketers), and, “what are the dimensions for the new Twitter layout?” (A Guide to Social Media Rebranding). If you’re asking yourself these questions, chances are your readers are too, and a quick blog post can become a valuable resource.
As we’ve discussed before, newsjacking is the process of taking a current event and putting a spin on it that relates to your industry or product (see Instagram’s PR Fiasco & Why It Won’t Happen to SMB Marketers). With all of the information at your fingertips, summarizing the topic with a few unique takeaways should be a quick process. Furthermore, these posts, when published quickly, can accumulate an impressive number of shares as readers recognize a relevant topic.
Cover a webinar.
Webinars can be a valuable source of information, but when marketers are already pressed for time, making room in their schedules for these 30 to 60-minute information sessions can seem impossible. Attend a webinar (preferably a 30-minute one if you’re trying to keep your blogging time under an hour) and make a bulleted list of the most valuable information you hear. Fill in the gaps with a quick overview of the webinar topic and presenter, and you have a post.
So if you’re treating your blog posts like term papers (and dreading them like term papers, too), stop causing yourself unnecessary stress. Ease your way into the blogging process by repurposing valuable content that’s already out there (whether it’s a white paper, webinar, or article), and adding a few thoughts of your own. You can create valuable content for your readers and bring valuable traffic to your blog without investing hours into each post.
What’re some ways that you make the blogging process easier and quicker? We’d love to hear from you in our comments.