A Simple Content Strategy for a Business Blog
After a decade of blogging the question how often you have to post still remains unanswered or rather you get as many answers as many bloggers you ask.
Personally I’ve found out over the years that you need at least two posts a week to keep a blog alive without losing a significant part of your audience after a while.
The challenge of blogging regularly
To make a blog grow you need at least three posts a week according to my own blogging experience since 2003. Blogging three times a week can be quite difficult.
I have found out as well although initially I never had “writers block” or something. In most cases there is so much other “real” work that you have no time left to keep your blog up to date.
Other tasks like calling clients etc. may seem to have a higher priority in the short term. A dead business blog especially one that already had an audience once and lost it due to inactivity is really tragic though.
Ideally you set up a content strategy with the blog as the focal point of it.
The business blog is the most important part of your content strategy. Without a blog there is no connection between your onsite content and social media.
This way your site and social media profiles do not pollinate each other. You need your blog to make your main site content succeed on the Web.
When you finally create that infographic, video or white paper you have a regular audience to announce it to.
Ideally these people are your ardent followers and brand evangelists who are glad to share your exceptional piece of content then.
To get and to keep such an engaged audience you need to feed it regularly.
Many people think that you need to churn out super high quality content pieces all the time and each one has to be a hit, get a lot of shares etc.
That’s not true, you need a so called flagship post from time to time and regular solid posts regularly.
In my case many if not most of my most popular postings with my subscribers are those least shared on social media? Why is that?
Regulars beat causal drop-in visitors
Your regular audience already knows the basics and needs advanced insights. The social media audience in contrast needs lowest common denominator articles which are easy to read and understandable for as many people as possible.
So you need to make sure to post at least three times a week to stay on top. A post on Monday/Wednesday/Friday would suffice then. You can for example post
- a guest post on Monday
- a flagship post on Wednesday
- a curated list on Friday
so that your readers can read the linked resources over the weekend. Another way to deal with the 3 post rule can be
- a question post on Monday
- an announcement post on Wednesday
- a weekly column on Friday
You may ask what a question, announcement or column are:
- A question post is one where you try to interact with your readers by asking a question they should reply to. You want to incite a debate for example.
It works only in case you already have a regular audience of considerable size (at least a few hundred regular readers) as only one in hundred people use to comment.
- An announcement could be anything ranging from an event, a piece of exceptional content you have published on your main site, to some changes to your products or services like additional features for example.
- A column is just a recurring post dealing with the same topic or written by the same person in the same style.
A few years ago I have written a “Twitter Friday” column on another blog. So every week I would analyze the latest Twitter developments or present some new tools etc.
Building an audience by making people happy
It’s still not that easy. You need to set up a time schedule or even an editorial calendar to make sure you write and publish those three postings. Also you need some additional time for research.
As you see even though I know all of these options I still haven’t managed to published that regularly or in such a structured way. I may improve a bit in the near future though.
Now you might argue that this is just a weekly schedule and not a strategy.
What is the strategy about? The strategy is to gain an audience and keep it happy until you need its support.
Otherwise you will have to resort to cold mailing strangers to get the word out about your exceptional piece of content.
With a stable blog audience that supports you there are no tedious outreach efforts. The people are glad to spread the word. Simple, isn’t it?
* Creative Commons image by Montecruz Foto