Can You Manage A Blog?

earvacuumOuch!  I’m really bummed that I didn’t patent the idea for that ear vacuum that you see on TV (just $19.95!).  Not that I’m particularly plagued by ear maladies, but I’ve struggled with occasional unwanted vacuuming of my brain for years. It happens when I’m ready to write.

It takes two cups of coffee before I can even think about a blog post. For me, the best time to write is morning, sometimes very early morning, before the fog settles on fifty plus year old brain cells.  But occasionally, there’s a hum that increases in volume and eventually drowns out  my wonderful and unique ideas for the weekly blog post.  It’s the idea vacuum that sucks the creativity right out of my cranial cavity.

A wonderful idea, but can you handle it?

If you own or manage a small business, especially in the B2B sales arena, adding a blog to your marketing program is a good idea.  It provides regular, fresh content for your website and you can share the information via social media.  If others also share your blog, your SEO rankings will benefit from the links. Website traffic will go up and hopefully, lead generation will increase. All good reasons to write a regular post and to use a blog as a major component of a content marketing effort. But can you handle it?

In today’s marketing environment, consistency counts for a lot.  In fact, consistency of execution is probably more important than the amount of money you plan to spend.  With a blog, not only does there have to be some continuity in the message topic, but also in the quality of the message and the frequency of publication.  This kind of consistency is certainly important to the success of outbound marketing efforts, but it’s absolutely critical if you’re going to try content marketing. Topic consistency just makes sense.  You wouldn’t write about party dresses if you’re marketing legal services.  Quality is a little tougher.  Basically, your audience may give you a couple of breaks, but if you bore them consistently they won’t be back.  Which brings us to frequency, and potentially a big problem.

“How much do I have to write?” is a question that should be top of mind to any small business owner or manager who is considering a blog.  Here’s the answer(s) to the question:

  1. Enough
  2. More is better.
  3. Unless it’s bad, then more is too much.



Don’t bite off more than you can chew

Yes, there’s a frequency threshold below which blogging doesn’t make any sense.  If you’re only going to write once a quarter, just skip it.  Your frequency is so low that no one will remember your last post or even that your blog exists.  Regardless of how amazing your content may be, you won’t get any attention with this kind of sporadic publication schedule.

Can you write a monthly blog post that’s interesting and that people look for?  If you promote it well and frequently over the course of the month, this may be enough.  Is a bi-weekly post better? Almost definitely, because there will be some recollection among your audience of your last post, and if you write really well, they’ll be expecting the next one. Can you do more?

Difficult and left untried

One of my favorite quotations about Christianity is from G.K. Chesterton, who pronounced this pearl of wisdom, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult and left untried.”  Chesterton was certainly right about Christian discipleship.  It may seem a bit odd to apply this insight to a topic as comparatively trite as a marketing blog, but the point is that anything worth doing requires discipline.

Practical Advice

Remember, both consistency and quality are important. To be effective, writing must become a routine exercise that you practice and improve, very much like morning devotions, physical training, or any other skill that you want to perfect.  Here are some tips:

  1. Set aside a regular time and a place where you can concentrate – away from the phone and interruptions.
  2. Collect ideas – for years, I kept a spiral notebook in my shirt pocket.  Now it’s been replaced by the Notes app in my iPhone. Another great tool is Evernote, which lets you clip and categorize articles from the web and record more detailed notes.
  3. Prepare a publications calendar – Keep a separate Google Calendar with a schedule of publications and topics.  The one I keep changes around some, but I try to plan for at least a month out.
  4. Outline first – Get your idea flow on paper, even if it’s in sentence fragments.  This is the best way to keep the idea vacuum from sucking your brains away.

Last Tip:  Find some help

A weekly or bi-weekly blog can be a valuable part of your company’s content marketing strategy, but taking on the task by yourself is not for the faint of heart. Here’s some good news, though.  You may not have to do it all alone.  Are there a couple of writers in your organization? Ask them to write one post each month. It will give your blog some added flavor and your readers and customers may appreciate a different perspective.

You may also be able to source writers from within your industry.  Many bloggers are very receptive to guest blogging gigs, especially if you have some traffic on your website that can give them exposure.  Finally, there are freelance writers and folks like me who can help with the writing task . . . that’s a topic for another post, though.

Wanna Talk Marketing?

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