Blog, How To — January 8, 2013 10:39 — 2 Comments
Four steps to starting a business blog in 2013
It’s January, and this year that’s got to mean more than pulling out your list of warm sales leads from December and trying to resurrect them as revenue opportunities. This is the year to sell what you’ve got by showing what you know, and your blog is how you’ll do it.
Now is the time to start your business blog. Don’t look at me like that – I promise you, finding your blogging voice is going to be less painful than you imagine, because you’re going to follow these four easy steps…
1. Find someone who knows about publishing
I help executives start blogging, but I’m not just saying that because I’m hoping you’ll call me. In marketing predictions for 2013, experts are already advising that companies who want to boost their marketing by generating quality content should work with somebody who knows about publishing — be that a former editor, ex-journalist, public relations pro or other publishing professional. These people have the skills to help you brainstorm what you can write about and get it onto your blog, on a regular basis. You need somebody who can help you figure out what your message is, nail it down, and write about it succinctly.
2. What are you hearing in the market?
If you’re struggling for topics to write on, use your business meetings as a source of inspiration. What insight or detail about business in general did you gain from your last meeting? You don’t have to spill your customers’ secrets. But after a good meeting, your mind is probably on fire with insights and realisations that could be fodder for your next blog, if written about in a high-level way. Mining your business meetings for blog ideas works because those meetings tap into what you know about and what you’re good at. That’s exactly the subject matter that should be on your blog. Remember, your blog is your vehicle to show what you know, and establish yourself as the authority that customers will prefer to purchase from.
3. What’s the best thing you’ve read this week?
Write down three to five sentences about why you felt the writer was spot on or off the mark. (Don’t just summarise what that person wrote and rip it off for your audience: that way lies disaster and copyright infringement.) Your paragraph, with a link to the writer’s original piece, is a quick and easy blog post, and builds your reputation as a thinker, a spotter of good content, and a regular blogger.
4. Make an editorial calendar for the next six months
Your calendar is just a list of six topics, one for each month. Yes, I know that the blog gurus say you should blog with greater frequency, but we’re taking baby steps. The goal is to write an insight piece just once a month. If you’re following step three above, you will quickly be able to double your output to a fortnightly blog once you get into the flow of things. When I was editing dot-ie magazine (does anybody else remember it?) we had to maintain an editorial calendar, as advertisers and PR pros were always asking for our future features list, trying to spot an opportunity to plug their client or service. An editorial calendar doesn’t have to be a straitjacket, but it’s there to focus the mind. If a new topic occurs to you, you should go with that instead of what you had on the calendar – your inspiration will show in your writing.
Search engines, journalists, customers, competitors — they will all hold you in higher esteem by the end of 2013 if the coming months see you establish a regular business blog. For insights on the platform we’d recommend, see Ralph’s earlier post below on WordPress and the most useful plugins for it.
Latest from the blog
- How to get started with your white paper
- How to use hashtags on Twitter
- Four dos and a don’t for promoting your content
- How to be anonymous on LinkedIn
- The 10 Commandments for keeping your email inbox empty
- How to schedule posts using Hootsuite
- How to improve the photos you share on Twitter
- How to send Facebook updates to friends and family only
- Why should you create status updates on LinkedIn?
- How to post photos to Facebook from your phone