Today blogging is a big part of our marketing efforts. Over the years however we have tried blogging a few times with mostly failure. I personally have tried blogging on a business level in the past with very little luck and then thought I would try to blog on a personal level about one of my passions. Although, I thought this would keep the ideas flowing and I would just keep blogging and that this would be good training for my business blogging when I decided to pick this up again, sadly this did not work either.
I am writing this article because I see it all the time. I just went to 2 competitor's websites and started reviewing their blogs. I was happy to see the on one of the sites, this competitor although they say they do SEO for businesses only had 3-4 articles over the last 3 months. The articles were very short, used no photos and barely used keywords. The other competitor had about 11 articles over the last 7 months. Their articles had no photos, but did a better job of writing interesting, relevant and longer articles. They also used keywords much better.
So this article is not meant to gloat about my happiness to see my competitors struggling, it is about finding out if you are struggling and offer a few tips to help.
For those of you who have not heard us preach about writing a minimum of 1 article a week or better yet trying for 2-5 articles a week, this is our mantra.
Over the last 7 months we have posted an average of 8-9 articles a month.
So how are we now able to write 1-2 articles every week for 6-12 months?
- Well I think part of it is commitment. Part of it is I personally set a goal of no less then 1 article a week. When Thursday and Friday roll around and if I have not written an article yet, I start getting antsy. I hustle to find a good topic and just write.
- I review our website analytics daily to see if things are improving. I know how many people subscribe to our blog, how many people commented on the blog in the last 30 days. I also can view which articles were the most popular over time and try to write similar articles with more information on that topic. I can also view which articles got the most comments allowing me to figure out how to recreate this effect and test new ideas. Don't forget about which articles got the most inbound links from external websites.
- Our blog gives us an area to test new ideas like making offers, polls, asking questions, engagement, video etc. By being able and willing to try new things I am also able to see which things work and have a better understanding of why some things work and others don't. This is valuable knowledge in marketing and blogging it the cheapest way to do testing that we have found.
- Our blog also allows us to set ourselves up as a thought leader on all things branding. When someone reads our blogs and then in a face-to-face meeting quotes our content as their own, we know that we are really reaching people and they understand and believe in what we are saying. This will help you stay motivated to write more often and on a regular basis.
- Lastly, we are able to compare our blog to many of our competitors by just a quick review of what they are doing and saying. You can also use this Hubspot built tool Blog Grader to evaluate your blog or your competitors blogs.
So the key to building a successful blog that you are able to continue writing on a regular basis is:
- Commit to it and build blogging into your weekly habits!
- Use blogging software that gives you good analytics (you can start with Google Analytics, but I would look for something more robust and business goal focused).
- Commit to testing new ideas on your blog. Figure out what is and isn't working.
- Share your knowledge freely. The more quality and remarkable content you share, the more people will pass it on and come back to your blog. You become the resource on your area of expertise.
- Read more blogs and compare yours to others including your competitors. Use Blog Grader (the grading on blog grader are ok, but usually a little skewed so don't get hung up on the numbers).
If you have ever had troubles blogging, please share either what your problems is with blogging or better yet, how you were able to over come your writers block.
If you share a problem you are having I will offer a personalized suggestion or response to try to help you. I invite others to help as well!
Thanks and happy blogging!