What's up, Blog?
"Not much. How're you doing?"
"All right." Pause. "So what's new?"
Is this how you greet your blog?
So you haven't written a blog post in a few days, weeks or, maybe, months. Unfortunately, this happens, even to the most prolific business bloggers. Blogging is hard work. You must consistently create relevant compelling content. But, you get a little get busy, then even busier with other marketing tasks. Your priorities shift to other B2B work. Sometimes, you have few or no interesting new ideas. Perhaps Twitter's dominating your social web activities (140 characters is a lot easier than writing a 400-word blog post, right?). Maybe you think an intern or junior associate should do the social media stuff; you're busy with more important marketing projects. You're not sure if B2B blogging really works anyway. Meanwhile, your blog sits idle.
Studies confirm that B2B blogs with optimized content are effective at attracting prospects to corporate websites. And more than 90% of B2B buyers begin their research for purchasing decisions online.
If your blog is quiet, your site's visitors click on the blog button hoping to get a glimpse of your company's thought-leading perspective, only to see a dusty post about the launch of a new product dated six months ago. This potential customer could perceive your abandoned blog as an indicator of how you conduct day-to-day transactions. Not a good way to do business online.
Here are seven ways to get you and your blog engaged again:
Refresh old blog posts: If they are still relevant, update old blogs with a new image, a different headline, edited body copy or a new call-to-action. You may have a broader audience and many new readers now, so it's quite appropriate to repost an oldie, but goodie. Use undated, evergreen topics.
Prepare an editorial calendar: Pick five to seven general topics in your area of expertise with which you know you can generate good, customer-focused content. Create relevant themes or columns that you can repeat regularly. Brainstorm several headlines for each month. Post them on a calendar and share with your writing team. Click here for brainstorming methods...
Shorter is better than none: Don't worry about writing a 500-word essay for every blog post. Consider a concise list of links, five or six ideas/trends/observations, or a short comment on another blog or article. Maybe plan a related series of short posts. Small snippets of content can still keep your community engaged.
Build up your resources: Enlist other colleagues in the other areas of the company to support blog writing tasks. Share your editorial calendar. Check with your colleagues who may have a penchant for writing but it may not be a primary job task. You may uncover hidden talent.
Add keywords that are driving traffic: Take a look at your analytics. Edit older posts by adding important keywords or phrases that have been driving traffic to your website.
Got news? Turn a press release into a blog article.
Enlist a guest blogger or ghost writer: You may have friends in your industry who would gladly contribute a blog for free, so why not give them a call? Take a look at our ebook for guest blogging ideas. You may also consider hiring a ghost writer to develop a post. Hey, it's better than having an inactive blog with stale content. You may have to use additional funds, but it's worth it to maintain your site's reputation.
So if you and your B2B blog are estranged, shake hands and get reacquainted. Keep your blog site relevant and fresh to engage with your community and help generate visits and prospects.
Have any other suggestions for reviving an idle blog? Send a comment along, Ill blog about it later when I run out of ideas for this blog.
Martine Hunter is the creative director of inbound marketing with the Atlanta advertising agency, MLT Creative, which specializes in B2B marketing. She holds the Inbound Marketing professional certification and serves the Atlanta chapter of the Business Marketing Association as a member of the board of directors.