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3Q Digital has been committed to putting out a daily blog post for the last two-and-a-half years. Many other digital agencies proudly put out an occasional blog post as well. In order for any company to have an effective blog, it needs contributors.
So who makes for a good contributor? Honestly – YOU! Anyone and everyone! Although it might seem daunting at first, writing a great blog post can be quite simple. Here’s what I’ve learned over the years from the brilliant blog coordinators and contributors at 3Q that makes for an effective blog post.
Find a Simple, Useful Topic
What most people find most intimidating is finding a topic. It’s important to bear in mind you do not need to drop some breaking never-before-heard news or invent a macro. A lot of great blog posts come from basic tips, ideas, and suggestions on how to solve the day-to-day problems we face.
Let’s face it, as we SEMs know, people are constantly searching for answers on the internet to, well, everything. If we were to put those asking rather abstract questions aside (“will I ever find love?” “am I pretty?”), think of how many times you might have found yourself typing something in a search engine along the lines of “best way to manage account with….” or “excel formula for…” Any and every day-to-day task you’ve found an effective solution for is a potential blog topic and a wonderful find for someone else trying to crack the same code.
Also, as I’ve mentioned, anyone and everyone can be an effective blog contributor. There is a lot that goes into running an effective search agency besides just SEMs. An entry-level search associate can write about organizational pointers, dole out basic Excel tips, or recap the top items she has learned in her first couple of weeks. An executive assistant can write on top tips for managing multiple calendars or booking travel. A human resources expert can write on the top five compliances small businesses should be aware of.
I’m reminded of an exercise back in elementary school where we were told to write out instructions on how to make a peanut butter & jelly sandwich. Some people wrote something to the extent of ‘put peanut butter and jelly on bread’ and the teacher read those instructions, then place the two unopened jars of peanut butter and jelly on top of the still wrapped loaf of bread.
Whatever your topic, you should assume the reader knows little to nothing about the subject and needs exact, detailed instructions. Don’t hesitate to throw in some screenshots – go ahead and be bold and use our friend, the giant red arrow, if need be. No one will complain if you provide too many details; however, people will complain if they cannot understand your instructions. The bonus: after you’ve gone through everything in detail, you just might find your blog pretty much wrote itself.
Organize it Well
It’s been proven that people prefer to read blog posts (and other articles) that are organized in chunks. It makes it easier for someone to find the information she needs. It also looks less daunting than one giant lump of text. Also, I find that a lot of great posts either involve steps or lists – Top Five Excel Tips, Seven Steps to Increasing Your ROI, etc. Remember to organize your blog in a way that is easy for someone else to read or skim. A user-friendly blog post is a great blog post.
All in all, anyone can be an effective contributor to his or her company blog – all you need to do is stick with what you know and be clear & detailed about it!