There’s a lot to be said for asking questions, and this is one that comes up quite a lot. In very simple terms, blogging is an ‘easy win’ for all stakeholders, so the answer to whether or not one should blog is a resounding ‘yes’.
What do I mean by ‘easy win’? Well, it means that for everyone involved in the process of blogging, the process of blogging is easy. If that sounds a little circular, let me peel the orange and reveal the segments.
The blog orange requires several segments (yeah, let’s labour that analogy), at the very least this includes; an idea, a writer, a reviewer (ideally), and a publisher (again, ideally). Layer on top of that an SEO person to identify the long-tail keywords, and then we’re good to go. We’ll get on to ideation later, let’s start with why blogging is easy for the writer.
The blog format is, without question, the most flexible and accessible style of writing (in a marketing context) you could hope to encounter. Other styles and formats, such as technical articles, white papers and even infographics, should really follow a style guide; things that can or can’t be done, things they should or shouldn’t be. A blog, on the other hand, can break all the rules that apply to these other writing styles.
This makes it easy for the writer, because they can apply their own preferred style. Do you like writing in the first person and using lots of exclamation marks? So do I! Let me at it! Prefer to write in the third person and objectively? Many people do, and often find this approach much more comfortable.
The point here is that you can find an example of a blog in every style conceivable, and none of them can be considered ‘wrong’. Of course, if you’re publishing on a corporate website, there will be corporate guidelines somewhere saying what you can and can’t claim on behalf of the company, but as long as you stick to those rules then you really are on the “write” track (sorry, I couldn’t resist).
Blogging is easy for the writer; Tick! Writing is easy for the reviewer? Well, let’s consider who will be reviewing your blog. It’s likely to be a group of stakeholders with specific boxes to tick. Is it legal, honest, decent and true? In fact, those boxes apply to everyone, whatever you write and whoever publishes it, even social media sites. Again, if you know what these are before you start typing, you’ll be fine. What is its purpose? This is where we start getting into the essence of blogging so let me quickly explain why blogging is an easy win for publishers.
Publishing a blog on your own website should be easy, if you’re using a modern content management system. You may be required to have your blog reviewed before making it live, but the point here is that almost all sites today are geared up for this kind of dynamic publishing; it’s actually what gets Google out of bed in the morning. The more often you publish new content to your site, the more search engines will like you.
And here we are; what is the purpose of a blog? Ultimately, from a content marketing perspective, a blog exists to help drive traffic to your website. I’m talking exclusively about blogs hosted on your corporate site. At Publitek, we write a lot of blogs for clients; some go straight to the client’s website, some are placed in key media outlets. In the case of the former, the intent is almost entirely about inbound marketing; getting customers to engage with your blog, on your site, and hopefully stay around for a while afterwards.
There are a number of ways you can go about setting the topic for your blog, and some of it will depend on the persona you are targeting. As a general rule, if the topic is something you’ve found in the news, you could benefit from increased searches for that topic, but you will also be battling against everyone else with the same idea. To help amplify your newsjacking story, use social media and PPC to kickstart virality and aid SEO.
Conversely, you could choose a topic that never goes out of fashion, something that is relevant to your industry and is always a source of great debate at the coffee machine, this is called evergreen content. If your industry happens to be at the cutting edge of technology, which is where Publitek spends a lot of its time, you could combine the two and get the benefit of both. For example, right now, 5G is never far from the headlines, so if you have something to say that others aren’t, you’re off to a great start.
If the subject is suitably big and important to your company, then you will probably come up with a lot of ways you could blog about it. If that’s the case, consider mapping them out using something like this:
This layout can help you to plan your blogging network with a centre pillar post, subtopics in the next layer, blog post ideas in the next, and then as many layers as you need. This map can then be used to structure your blog to make it search engine friendly.
There we have it, blogs are a relatively easy win for all concerned, and that includes the reader. Short or just simply to the point, blogs can be consumed quickly, without labouring over tough concepts. And when they hit home with the right reader, they can be a great way of getting people to the top of the sales funnel.
If you would like to find out more about why Publitek knows so much about this stuff, please request a call back.
Philip Ling, Content Manager, Publitek