So you’ve decided to dive into the world of social media by starting a company blog. Congratulations! That’s a big step. You realize it makes sense from a business perspective and your plan is to integrate this new tool into your existing marketing activities.
You’ve developed your marketing platform to clearly identify your goals and objectives — the “why” behind doing the blog. You see this as an opportunity to engage with your customers or potential customers and build a dialogue with them on the issues they care about. And you’ve also identified how you will measure your success (the “metrics”). You’re off to a great start.
Whatever the reasons for doing your blog, sticking to a regular publishing schedule will be crucial.
Your Publishing Schedule
Let’s say your plan is to publish twice a week (the same two days each week). You and others from your company leadership team are the contributors and get things rolling. You each write one post every month. Things are going well!
Over time, you’ve begun to build quite a following, others are linking to your blog, the comments are rolling in, and you’re starting to get calls from new customer-prospects. People are actually reading your posts! What a great feeling! It’s working!
But then, it happens. The blogging machine hiccups. Someone’s on vacation this month and didn’t have time to write her post. George had too many meetings and didn’t have time to do his draft. You go into scramble mode. Can we skip it this week? Can someone write a quick draft and get something up there? This blog is becoming a nightmare! Why are we doing this any way?
Time for a Reality Check
Take a deep breath. At times like these it helps to take a step back and revisit why you committed to this in the first place. Pull out that marketing platform. Review it with your blog team. Go through those marketing objectives. Check in on your progress. Take a look at the metrics. What are they telling you? What’s working and what’s not?
Probably the number one reason the blog becomes a nightmare isn’t because you lack topics to write about, it’s because your blogging team doesn’t make time for it. The blog hasn’t become a part of the workday processes. It’s not viewed as a company priority.
Make it a Priority
So how do you get your whole team to make the blog a priority? Well, it always helps to have the CEO on board as a regular contributor. That sends a powerful message to the blogging team. It should also be an integral part of your strategic business plan—not under any one person’s purview, but a part of your entire blog team’s responsibilities.
We also suggest that clients set time aside each day (or week) for writing. Some clients keep a journal to write down potential blog topics or capture links to articles that caught their attention. Others find it helpful to write during the last 15 minutes of each work day; while some may write whenever the moment strikes. Look for ways to incorporate your writing and reflection into your work day or work week. Take a few minutes to jot down those thoughts that you don’t have time to write on at that very moment. Before you know it, you’ll have several potential posts lined up and ready to go! The important thing is to make your blog writing a habit. And that takes time and commitment.
Stick to a Schedule
If you’ve taken the time to develop a regular publishing schedule (and you should), it’s important to recognize the necessity of sticking to that schedule and resisting the urge to skip a post or two. Not only does skipping a post put pressure on your fellow blog contributors, it sends a poor message to your readers.
If you’re doing well, you’ve likely developed a loyal following. But when you start missing a few posts here and there, your followers may begin to feel that the loyalty goes only one way. They think that perhaps the blog isn’t important to you. And if it doesn’t matter to you, then why should they bother to subscribe and read it?
Dropping a blog schedule altogether is another matter. Imagine that you subscribe to a blog and they are regularly publishing once a week or every day perhaps. And then one day they are no longer posting or there is a huge gap between posts. What do you think? Hmmm. Wonder what’s going on there? Are they still in business? Is something wrong? Maybe I should start looking to take my business elsewhere. There are a million ways your readers might interpret a blip in the publishing schedule. Don’t let it happen.
When the Schedule’s Not Working
If you’ve done your best to develop a schedule and it’s still not working for you, you have some options that can help.
Have you considered expanding your blog team? Do you have other employees who are decent writers and have an interest in contributing? Perhaps you have a customer that would welcome the opportunity to be a “guest blogger” from time to time. Expanding your contributors helps ease the pinch of blog deadlines and makes it more manageable from a time perspective.
But the bottom line is this: If you’ve committed to doing a blog — then commit to doing a blog. Commit to a regular publishing schedule. Don’t make excuses. Don’t do it half way and expect it will bring effective results for your company. It’s not a commitment to take lightly. But it’s one that can be fun and rewarding.