We developed CBE’s blog strategy in 2012 and officially launched about 18 months later. What started as a crawl is now getting up to maybe a medium speed. As we reflect back on the journey thus far, below are 10 tips that have worked for us. Knowing these tips in advance would’ve been helpful, so we thought we’d share in case it helps another company launch or improve its blog.
1. Be your authentic self… your content will most often focus on business, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a place to simply be you, as well as mention your personal experiences. Incorporating personal experience into a post can attract a new type of reader, and give your consistent readers some insight into who you are. You might even post solely about a timely or news worthy topic unrelated to your category if it shows who you are.
2. Include links… Support your post with links to other web pages, videos, research, books, articles, social media comments, specific blog posts or presentations that help support and/or illustrate your point.
3. Engage from the beginning… make the title and first two sentences interesting and engaging, tell the reader what you’re going to talk about, what you think about the subject and a teaser to read more.
4. Editorial Calendar is a must… Nothing would get done (timely) if you don’t stay organized with an editorial calendar. When using multiple social media platforms and posting 2x a week for a blog it’s important to keep things organized. This will allow you to do so!
5. Keep discussion open… your post doesn’t require a conclusion. Leave some questions unanswered and ask the reader to engage by answering a poll, commenting or sharing.
6. Make your titles catchy…blog post titles are what catch the reader’s attention. Many times, a potential reader will judge your post by the title alone.
7. Get to the point quickly… it should take the reader five minutes or less to read. Your post should be 150-300 words with short paragraphs and graphics so it can easily be scanned. If you do have a lot to say, break it up into a series of posts.
8. Always use media… There’s more to quality content than great text. Use a variety of media to engage your audience and break up the text (podcasts, video, infographics, images, webinars, etc.). Even a simple video taken on your iPhone can easily be introduced in two sentences and take the place of writing a post.
9. Fine-tune and revise… a blog post is rarely completed in one draft. You may find it helpful to take a post through several revisions and fine-tune the post as you go along. Don’t get so caught up in fine-tuning that you delay publication.
10. Shake it up… you don’t have to follow the same content format for every post. Avoid the rut and explore different types of blog posts to shake things up and keep it interesting – recap a conference or vacation with pictures, record an interview with a colleague, highlight a favorite author/blog and why you like them, or set up a debate with another SME.
There you have it! The ten tips we use every day. We hope you find these useful as much as we have. Do you have a favorite tip to share that isn’t listed? If so, please comment!