So You Want to Blog… Where Do You Start?

shutterstock_171929309By now, your boss is all over you to craft your company’s blog. After all, 76 percent of B2B and 72 percent of B2C marketers leverage blogs as a chief content marketing vehicle, according to the Content Marketing Institute’s 2014 benchmark studies. And here’s why:

  • Blogging is now the number one method for increasing site traffic, surpassing SEO
  • Companies that blog at least 15 times per month get five times more traffic than companies that don’t
  • 77 percent of all Internet users read blogs

Now comes the real challenge. Where the heck do you begin? Who will create the content for your blog? What will you blog about? And how often?

Before you rush to call in sick, let’s review the critical components needed to get your blog up and running—and your boss off your back:

  1. Choose Your Platform: Where you host your blog is critically important as it will play a pivotal role in your SEO and day-to-day blog maintenance. Some platforms come at a steeper cost and others are completely free. WordPress, HubSpot and Drupal are obvious fan favorites but there are also options like Blogger and Tumblr. Before picking your hosting platform, weigh the pros and cons of each—for instance some have advanced design themes and editorial calendar functionalities while others boast a multitude of plugins and widgets.
  2. Determine Where Your Blog Will Live: All too often companies purchase a hosting platform, start cranking out their first blog and then are left with the big question of “Where will my blog live on my website?” Reverse the second and third steps and find a home for your blog before you ever craft content. Display your blog prominently and proudly on your homepage. For starters, make it a section header in your top navigation bar or a visual call out. Then create a quick links button that leads to your platform and place it on every subpage. At the end of the day, your blog needs to pass the two-second test; visitors must be able to find it instantly without having to excessively scroll.
  3. Decide What You Will Talk About: The goal of your blog is to strike a fine balance between thought leadership pieces and company-centered collateral. After all, you don’t want your blog to seem too me, me, me. Before you put pen to paper, develop a comprehensive editorial calendar that includes a healthy mixture of industry- and company-specific blog topics. Vary your topics and story types (for example, embrace a mix of hard news, Q&A and evergreen pieces) and leverage current events and pop culture references whenever applicable.
  4. Choose Your Authors: The person who oversees your blogging platform may not actually be your best writer. So as you build out your blogging strategy, identify those within—and outside of—your organization who can craft that rich, SEO-driven quality content that you need. Worried your in-house team can’t cut it? That’s what content marketing strategy vendors are for! You can team with a third-party provider, like Content Boost, that will assume the onus of blog copy creation for you. This option is so attractive, in fact, that 47 percent of companies are now outsourcing their content needs to a third-party content strategy vendor, according to Eloqua’s “State of Content Marketing 2014.”
  5. Get It Up-and-Running: Now that all the moving parts have been sorted out, it’s time to get your blogging engine up and running. Go live with your new platform, spread the word via email marketing and social media accounts and start collecting blogging metrics from day one. Remember that blogging is a labor of love. It requires patience, innovation and dedication. Much as you wouldn’t run in a marathon without training, companies are wise to hold off on blogging until they have the manpower and strategy to keep it running.

Feeling exhausted by all you have to do? Then reach out to the team here at Content Boost to see how we can be a part of that puzzle today!