As a freelance writer, creating content for other people’s blogs has been a big part of my project bucket, which in turn keeps me from writing my own blog content, but that’s another story. Do as I say, not as I do! 😀
These are strategies to create blog content that actually helps your business, as opposed to just costing time and money that brings no measurable benefit.
Blogs can boost your search engine ranking and engage your audience in order to maintain connections. Those blogs that reap the benefits of time spent creating content post regularly and often (at least three days a week). This DOES NOT need to be long-worded articles! Read on and I’ll lay out how easy it is to create ‘quick’ content. The best way to ensure that you post often and consistently is to create a schedule and to divide the posting schedule among team members (if you have them), with one staffer coordinating this effort.
To begin with, you could schedule a post once a week. Anything less frequent will not likely gain any traction on search engines. For new blogs, the ideal is to develop and organize your posting schedule, accumulate a month’s worth of content in your queue, and then launch your blog.
Mondays are not a good day for long articles—people are typically really busy on Mondays. Keep your more involved content (articles) for later in the week when people begin to look for distractions as they become restless and look forward to the weekend. The key is to stay in contact with your target audience and to keep your company, business, organization, or ideas on their radar.
A lot is written about the ideal content length with a minimum number of words, the longer the better. I’ve found posting regularly is more important than high-word counts, which is usually the daunting task that keeps people from maintaining a successful blog—so don’t be overwhelmed trying to write long articles, just concentrate on posting quality, engaging content frequently. If it’s a short blurb, write it well, spell check it, make it interesting, keyword it, give it a catchy title. If it’s a pic, make sure it’s great photography and keyword it as well.
Proper keywording content, titles, and tags is important! A lot is written online about effective keywording/SEO. Study it, understand it, use it! It may be confusing at first, but it doesn’t have to be. Once you have the basics down, it will become second nature as you write and polish your content. Here’s a good article to get you started: https://www.wordstream.com/seo
Good photography is really important… Really Important! Post pics with your articles (it’s best for these to be original) and on their own (these should ALWAYS be original) with minimal text. Keyword your pics—your pic title, subtitle, description, and tags need to be designed to maximize your keywording/SEO efforts. I can’t express enough how much great photography will boost your content. If you don’t have someone in the company who is good at this, or who wants to be good at this, this is an area to consider hiring out, but I think it’s best to keep photography in-house for small enterprises. In-house photography saves bundles of cash, and it allows for familiarity, spontaneity, and capturing more content as the event or image idea makes its appearance during day-to-day operations.
Curate Your Own Content
Curate content from yourself. Curating content from others online is an often-used tactic. Although I advocate for linking to and commenting on other people’s content, original content is not only more effective, it’s more ethical in my opinion. If you want to stand out in your space, create mounds of original content! It will take time and sometimes money to produce original content, but once you do, it’s always there working for you, so ensure that you maximize your efforts by reposting and linking across Social Media platforms for each piece of content you create. Make one person responsible for linking and posting your content, or it won’t get done consistently.
Layout is Important
If you’re posting a longer article, break the blocks of content with sub-headings. For most people, staring at a long run of text isn’t very inviting. The world is filled with lazy readers (my hand is up :/) Spacing out blocks of copy make an article look less time-consuming as well… the world is also filled with extremely busy people.
Use Your Email List Effectively
People rarely read wordy emails, they do click on links.
If you have an email list, forgo long emails, just write a brief description (one or two sentences), and link to content on your blog where you offer information in a more appealing way–including a picture to add intrigue to what’s beyond the link is super effective. Don’t send an email every day, unless you want to be Unsubscribed. Send one a week, with a title and link to each blog entry for that week.
Understand the Mind
Understanding human psychology and how people think and behave as the week progresses is key to designing a successful blog posting schedule. Here’s a general observation of where the average person is on each day of the week:
Monday: People are super busy and buried by emails, voice mails, and organizing their week. Any contact with them should be quick and relieve some of their stress. A post on this day should be inspiring but professional (because they’re in business or getting-their-life-together mode). An example of this would be a quick blurb or a picture that shows something exciting and effective that’s going on in your company or industry, or an idea that helps them be more efficient.
Tuesday: People are still busy and in the mode of implementing the tasks they have to complete for the week, so keep it simple, short, and build on (reinforce) your Monday post if possible, ie, on Monday you posted an interesting, quality pic of your shipping center—on Tuesday you post a brief blurb about the value that your shipping system offers your clients or customers.
Wednesday: Although still busy with the workweek, this is the day most people start to think about the weekend and look for distractions. It’s a good day to post something that’s a little longer in length and that requires a little more attention.
Thursday: People are beginning to shut down and will take the time to read or watch something a little more involved that isn’t directly focused on their work load. This is a good day to post a long article.
Friday: This can be a day that some people are racing to finish up their tasks and wrap up for the week, while others are just done and goofing off. Either way, people are ready to move on to a more relaxing and entertaining part of their life. Post something fun, completely mindless, or that fuels their dreams.
Saturday: This day varies a lot among demographics. For some people, it brings a lazy morning of lounging and cups of slowly sipped coffee and brunch, while others are off and running to family activities or home projects, either way, keep it light for the those chilling and for those who are still working or chasing their social tail. If someone has the time and desire to delve into some longer content, they may dig into some content you posted during the week they didn’t get to—if you intrigued them enough with titles and pictures that is.
Sunday: This is typically the slowest day of the week for most people, even if it’s a busy morning of family and church activities, afternoons are often spent relaxing and shifting focus to begin the new week ahead. Don’t interrupt this mode with anything serious or time consuming. Inspirational quotes and beautiful photography are ideal.
Below are some content ideas and an example posting schedule.
Blog Content Ideas:
Product or service profiles
Client Profiles (with their permission)
Original pictures with a minimum of key-worded copy
Joke of the week
Epic fail or success of the week
Video message of the week
Here’s a sample posting schedule:
Monday: Original picture of something going on in your company, organization, etc.,
Tuesday: Short piece that expands on Monday’s picture.
Wednesday: Company news or updates
Thursday: Industry or client story
Friday: Original picture of something beautiful and interesting in your company, industry, or locale
Saturday: Fun and brief employee profile
Sunday: Inspirational Quote
This is my general strategy developed from writing and creating content for a variety of industries over the years. As you can see, I’m not an advocate of a lot of long, in-depth articles. In some industries, I would divert from this. Finance, engineering, some manufacturing, etc., are spaces where people are looking for information-filled and challenging content on a daily basis. If that describes your blog focus, forgo the above, and write your fanny off.