Prepare. Post. Publish. Promote. How to Blog.
In our last post we discussed the importance of creating an editorial calendar. Now that you have your calendar together, it’s time to write some content. The best way to generate content is to blog. And of course, EVERYONE is blogging. A blog allows you to:
- position yourself as a subject-matter expert
- tell your brand story
- promote your products and services
- improve your balance sheet by increasing the value of your company’s goodwill
The key to blogging is packing a lot of information into bite-sized pieces. No need to write a full dissertation. A typical blog post is about 500 to 1000 words – about one to two pages in length. Drafting one to two page posts every day is a lot of work, but no worries, we’ve got you covered! Below are tips that will help make the blogging process less daunting.
- Use your editorial calendar to build content
- Remember, monthly themes sit at the epicenter of your content creation process
- Identify information that will trigger a prospect to want to hire your firm
- Organize your thoughts
A great tool to use when mapping out your blog content is The Epic Blog Planner By Regina. Since its launch back in 2014, bloggers have been raving of its functionality. The Epic Blog Planner comes equipped with a calendar and urges you to write in pencil, just in case you change your ideas.
Write your posts in bulk. Set aside a day to write your posts ahead of time, based on your editorial calendar. It only takes, on average, two hours to draft a quality post. Yes, two hours!
- Draft content
- Edit and proof your work
- Curate appropriate images to complement your post
- Schedule the post in your platform (WordPress, SquareSpace, Wix, etc.)
- Create social content to promote the post
Decide how often you want to post during your initial planning stage. I suggest blogging once or twice each week. However, your frequency depends on how often you want to engage with your audience. For example, if you decide to post on Mondays, that translates to four blogs a month, sometimes five.
Choose the day you will work on your blogs and draft two posts on that day each week. Two posts each week keeps you ahead of schedule and ensures that there’s always fresh content for your blog. It also helps to have a backup plan for the weeks when you don’t have time to write. The more acclimated you become with the process, the more posts you can create.
You’ve brainstormed your ideas and posted your blogs. Now, schedule them for publication. Managing your publication flow should be a part of your communication strategy. I recommend using a simple excel spreadsheet that outlines:
- Monthly Themes. Use your sheet tabs to add the monthly theme from your editorial calendar. This keeps the foundation of your content organized.
- Brief Descriptions. Jot down your headlines, keywords and sematic searches (keyword phrases) to assist with processing SEO. This allows your target audience to find you.
- Schedule. Set aside at least forty-five minutes to identify when you will write your posts and when they should be published. Also, include file names of any images to be used for each post.
- Identify Social Channels. Determine the social platforms for your posts. Your Instagram audience may respond differently to what you post on Facebook or Pinterest. Know when people are active on the platforms of choice and optimize scheduling times accordingly.
Once you’ve prepared, posted and scheduled your posts for publishing, it’s time to promote your work. This is why identifying your social channels are important. Knowing who and when to promote is vital. For example, blog posts are typically read on Mondays and Thursdays.
When sharing your posts via social media, the best times to post are:
- Twitter: between the hours of 1 PM and 3 PM
- Facebook: between 5-8 AM and 2-5 PM
- LinkedIn: 5-6 PM and 7-8:30 AM.
Knowing when your audience is online and what they’re thinking keeps you in the conversation.
Blogging doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Create a system to manage your content and stay on task. Be sure your content adds value. Don’t be afraid to include a call to action. Your audience wants to be engaged and they want to know who you are. The last thing you want to do is spend all of your time blogging and not reaching anyone. Be the pulse and pre-plan your engagement.
Another tip from your Marketing Mama,