Consistent Content: How and Why to Run a Daily Blog
Published: September 4, 2015
Author: Molly Shotwell
Consistent content marketing helps you reap several benefits. Set readers’ expectations (a post per day), and they’ll consistently check for your content. You also get steady SEO lift. The “why” is simple; the “how” can be complicated.
Though I’ve written on the topic generally in the past (see this post), I’ve not shared the specific strategies we use to blog every day. I’ve been managing the blog for close to two years now. We run a post on the blog every business day. Before FBPPC was merged with the 3Q Digital blog, we ran 3-5 posts on that site per week – sometimes, with breaking news, this ran to more than 10 posts per week.
Where does all this content come from?
Many of the posts run on our blog come from a very traditional effort. I look to see who hasn’t posted recently, send around an internal email to those people asking if they have the bandwidth to participate, and set a due date that they’re comfortable with. This is effective enough to get 10 or so posts per month. So how do we account for the rest of the month?
Leverage work that is already being done
One of the best tools for gathering content is to take advantage of work that’s already being done. At 3Q Digital, we currently use Central Desktop as a management and communication platform. Frequently, someone will have an issue with a process that they just can’t figure out on their own. Thus: they’ll turn to the rest of our team to seek out an answer. Take that answer and flesh it out in a post! Chances are if someone needs the answer internally, someone’s looking for that same answer externally.
Apply this same logic to email threads and meetings. Often interesting issues will present themselves in both cases. All you need to do is “flesh out” the answer and add some context for it to make an effective post.
Use your connections (or your co-workers’ connections) to get guest posts
Your coworkers might not always have the time to write for you. Building a network of frequent guest posters can help get you out of a jam.
Everyone’s got his or her own set of professional contacts. Be sure to reach out to new hires (and even veterans if you haven’t done so before) and ask if they have any industry contacts that would like to be featured on your blog. This is a great way for another company to get exposure to your audience, especially if they don’t keep their own blog. At 3Q Digital, for instance, Todd Mintz has been a prolific source of both his own unique posts and awesome guest-posters (Theresa Baiocco and Michael Cottam come to mind).
Jump on news stories: run something day of (or day after at the latest)
Breaking news is a great way to get traffic to your blog and bolster your content efforts. Unfortunately, breaking news is impossible to predict. It’s a good idea to figure out in advance who’s a good fit to write something up last-minute. You may not always find a person with the bandwidth to write something up, but you’d be surprised by how often you do.
After a few attempts, coworkers will reach out to you with breaking news they’ve found that they want to write about. Win-win for you and fresh, relevant content for your blog.
Plan for regular releases
In the digital marketing industry, we can rely on one thing: really interesting quarterly earnings calls. Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other major players schedule these announcements in advance. We note the dates and get someone on board to give insights using our own data to explain the results of the presentations. Chances are you could figure something out that’s relevant for your industry in the same way.
Highlight your employees
Not everything you post has to be breaking industry news and tips from the front line. At 3Q Digital, we find that culture-related content does extremely well on the blog and across social channels. One way to bolster your blog is to feature posts about your employees. Warby Parker, for one, shares their employees’ desks. At 3Q, where we’re spread out over six offices and a handful of home offices, we’ve created an employee questionnaire that will be used as blog posts so everyone can get to know people they don’t normally interact with (internally and externally).
Try out interviews and roundtables
Find players in your industry who can give insight to your readers. You don’t always need to have them write something from scratch. Send them some relevant questions from your industry and structure the post like an interview.
Similarly, you can ask one question of many people and have a roundtable post. This works especially well for topics that have multiple interpretations.
Keep a calendar
No matter how you slice it, you need to keep track of due dates with a calendar. It’s also helpful to identify which days of the week certain content has more value. You don’t need to create a calendar from scratch, though! I used this template and made edits over time to better fit my needs. Be sure to schedule weekly time to send out reminders about due dates.
Build a backlog
Try getting a digital marketer to commit to a blog post during the holiday rush (actually, don’t: you’re just wasting your time). So many businesses see huge gains in the holiday months, and that means hard work for marketers. Make sure you identify busier times for your team and prepare beforehand with a backlog of content. If I have fewer than 10 spare posts at any given time, I know it’s time to really start doing some outreach.
Any other content tips I missed? Be sure to share in the comments!