For an average company blogging is hard to start. It’s good to remember, it is very much a volume sport. The more your post, the better you succeed. Thus it’s important to invest time and energy into getting your process as smooth as possible.
There are essentially three reasons why volume matters and why you should get your blogging engine running as smoothly as possible.
In social media you need to have something new to share every day. You can promote each of your posts couple of times and entertain your followers with curated content, but if you write new content only once a month promoting the same piece every weeks starts to feel like a stuck turntable (if you can still remember those LP-records).
There are quite a many keywords to cover. The competition is hardest in the few top keywords in your field and it may even be impossible to get to first page on Google in any of those. Actually the quality of traffic is also the poorest in those top keywords where people are using very common keywords without any limiting keywords to filter out irrelevant content. The real game is to be found outside the top 10 keywords in your industry. The problem is that the search volumes are also lower per keyword. You need to cover dozens and dozens of keywords to get found by your potential customers. That does not happen with couple of blog posts. But if you are posting every week for 3 years, then you have over 150 posts to get you search traffic. And that is something your competitors cannot easily take away from you.
My Finnish blog is still generating 3 times as much traffic than our English blog howtobe.loyalistic.com although I post there about every 3 months or so now whereas we posts almost weekly in How To Be. But having 200 posts to catch traffic from the population of 5 million Finnish speakers is still a lot better than <20 quality posts from the almost 1 billion English speakers (as 1st-3rd language).
By blogging often you learn and that learning leads to higher quality posts, better understanding of your audience and smooth writing and publishing process.
On the other hand, if you blog seldom, every time is a struggle. Quality is so and so. And it takes lots of time and effort away from the daily business.
A customer needs an average 7 touches to build familiarity to you, your company and the product. By posting seldom, it take forever to get there. By posting frequently you create much more reasons to communicate and provide value. Thus pushing leads within your funnel forward. Each touch is also a data collection point. More touches means you know a lot more about your lead when it’s time to sell.
But how often is often enough?
Some research has been done on the subject, but it really depends on your business and competition so I don’t even give your the links. There are so much more there than the posting frequency: e.g. quality, type of offering and industry and how much effort is put on each post (the cost).
Neil Patel and Brian Dean are both gurus in this field. Yet Neil Patel posts very long post every day, some 7 posts per week. And Brian Dean goes with much, much more leisured schedule with 32 posts so far. Actually here is Neil Patel’s post about how to find your posting frequency as an example of his posts. Try to do that every day of the week, and run 3 successful businesses on the side. Not necessarily a realistic role model.
Maybe the question is better answered not on how often should you post, but how often can you post to make it a routine. My suggestion is to aim for weekly schedule. That forces you to make it a routine: make it a standard weekly goal, discuss it at your weekly meetings (if you have one), publish it every friday at noon (or whatever your day and time is). Sometimes you miss it. But if you keep trying you’ll make it happen every normal business week excluding holidays and such.
If you settle for every two weeks or every month, there will always be something more important to do and the blog post won’t get done.
Repurposing e.g. a presentation to a post
Blogging is so much easier if you do not have to always start from scratch. And one great way is repurposing. If you have done something already, why not to write it as a blog post.
Let say you were speaking in an event, and are thinking of uploading your slides to Slideshare. Great idea, but don’t stop there.
Now write a summary of your presentation as a blog post and embed your slides from Slideshares to your post. Then promote the blog post, not your slideshare deck directly.
There are three reasons for this:
Firstly, you give added value to the slides with your written notes.
Secondly, you are driving traffic to a media you own, and not LinkedIn, who owns Slideshare. With luck, some of the new traffic will subscribe your newsletter, blog or download one of your ebooks.
And thirdly, you do a favor for your blog followers and newsletter subscribers. It’s so much better to send your subscribers to your blog to enjoy your slides than to Slideshare where they could get distracted by all the other content.
And the same applies to videos. If you do a video, or get videoed when presenting, don’t just promote the YouTube share, embed it to a blog post and promote that instead.
Secret to super efficient blogging, start with an ebook
Blogging takes lots of effort. Especially getting started with new post. Sometimes it’s easy, but often you experience writer’s block. I have sometimes spend first two hours on crafting few opening sentences before getting the post to start right. That kills productivity.
There is a better, a super efficient way. Write an ebook, and split it to blog posts.
If you are reading this on a blog post, you are actually reading something that was first written as an ebook, then split to many posts.
Starting a post is always difficult, but then you keep going and going. Other angles will pop up to your mind and it’s hard to stop. This is especially true when you are writing introductory posts that help customers learn new things. As an expert, it’s really hard to crystallise everything from the subject to a page or three. So you keep on going.
Writing an ebook’s first draft is likely to take you only twice as much as an average blog post because both tend to have the same very unproductive beginning.
If you do your writing right, you can split each chapter as a separate blog post. Copy-paste the whole chapter or leave something out. That’s up to you. But you can easily copy-paste 6 posts out of an ebook.
The real bonus of this approach is that you are actually creating all the content once from social media to blog to ebook, and instead of traffic, you are actually generating leads with this effort. So you get everything at the same time. Super!
Let me give you an example from one of my ebooks (a Finnish one, so I don’t share it here). I split it to 6 posts, promoted each 2-4 times to all my social channels and by monthly email newsletter. It provided 1,5 months of weekly posts from work that required a day or two total. It also generated over 300 high quality leads. I am still owning 30-50% of relevant Google search result pages 2 years after. Not bad.
The ebook method works especially well in the mid-funnel, that is when you are educating your audience into the subject. Most marketers are too busy attracting new audiences with top-of-funnel posts or convince them with bottom-of-the-funnel stuff, dropping many mid-funnel to search help somewhere else, e.g. from you.
This is going to be introductory content where you are sharing just a fraction of your expertise, so no need to sweat with research or fear how your colleagues will say about your views. Just write as you would talk to a newly hired trainee: gently and taking time to explain basics in details. Remember to answer stupid questions they are afraid to ask.
Blog post series
Blog post series is a variation from ebook method, or should I say in between a single post and the ebook method. Instead of writing each post from a new subject, you start from one subject and cover it from many angles as a series of posts. But instead of going that extra mile to ebook level, you publish it an blog post series.
A blog post series usually starts when a post get’s too long and you notice you still have many more angles to cover.
I started blogging with separate blog posts, then noticed that writing a series didn’t take much longer because of the unproductive getting started -phase is the same in both. Then I tried ebooks, as I was unhappy with how blogging generates leads (it doesn’t) and haven’t looked back. Along the way I got better in the ebook copy writing and can now copy-paste blog posts, and social shares out of the copy without additional editing at promotion stage.
Even though ebook driven creation is my favorite approach for blogging at Loyalistic, you should still do separate posts and post series.
Use blog formats for easier writing
If you work as a journalist in a magazine, you get familiar with formats very quickly. Stories are almost never free format. Your chief editor gives you an assignment and that will include one of the few dozens of formats. You don’t need much more instructions than a phone number and the format. You’ll know how to interview and how to write. You know the style, length, tone… The same can be applied to your company blog in a simplified format. Few formats will get you long.
The Company Blog Success Formula Series:
- The Company Blog Success Formula, what makes or breaks your company blog, and how to achieve success
- Rich blogger, poor blogger: How to build your audience and content assets for success (Assets)
- Behind every legendary blog is a great promoter (Promotion)
- 11 finishing steps that make your blog post great [ Greatness ]
- Blogging is a volume sport, why? [ Quantity ]
- Without [ Content - Audience Fit ], your company blog will fail
- Road to blogging success is paved with constant small improvements
- 7 must-haves of a Minimum Viable Blog [ CHECKLIST ]
Written by Antti Pietilä
Antti is the founder and CEO at Loyalistic (Simple Content Marketing Software for B2B Companies) who loves to help SaaS-companies to grow at Software Entrepreneurs (@ohjelmisto_ry) and cycle. Say hello to him anytime @anttipietila.