How To Find Really Useful Support For Your Blog
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, writing and managing a company blog can be time consuming if you’re not quite sure what you’re doing, and if you don’t have the resources to do so effectively. Fortunately there is support available to help you make your business blog work for your organisation.
In this post I’m going to share my recommendations for getting this support, from training options and blogging tools, to other blogs to read and expert help. But first, a few words on my favourite topic – blog strategy.
Get Your Blog Strategy In Place First
All the blog writing advice and tips in the world aren’t worth a penny without working out a solid strategy first. Your blog strategy will address the objectives for the blog – how the blog is aligned with business objectives and other marketing, the purpose of it and how the blog can help achieve these goals. For example, the company blog may be a tool to differentiate the business from competitors by providing insights into the business and the team. Or a method of driving prospects from social media or email campaigns to your company website, where you can engage them further without the distractions of a fast moving newsfeed or overflowing inbox.
For more posts on blog strategy have a look here, alternatively if you’re in the Guildford area I’m running a course with Yabba Media on ‘how to create an effective business blog strategy’ on 29th April, further details about this blogging course are here.
Once you have a clear idea of where your blog sits in your marketing and business strategy, and what it needs to be and say to fulfil its’ objectives, you’re now in a better position to tap into the support that’s available.
Online Blogging Support
Naturally there are numerous blogs written about the subject of blogging, my own blog is an example of this! However, there are many other experts in the content marketing sector who are a ‘must read’ for any marketing director or business owner looking for insights and advice. My recommendations are:
HubSpot: This inbound software company have extensive online resources for marketers and sales teams. This recent blog post is a good place to get started with keywords research.
QuickSprout: Neil Patel, co-founder of Crazy Egg and Hello Bar, provides expert advice on growing your target audience and increasing traffic to your website. Blogs post focus on building your search engine ranking, such as this post on backlinks.
Copyblogger: This site focuses on writing compelling content; titles that will make your targets click though, copy that converts them into customers. I like this one on overcoming skepticism in your readers.
If you’re disciplined and motivated you may find that a digital course works for you. Personally, I’ve signed up and downloaded these kinds of courses in the past and never found the time to complete them, but that’s not to say the content isn’t good. Here are just a couple I’ve found.
Udemy: This directory of online training courses covers a huge range of subjects including content marketing. Courses vary in price from free to several hundred pounds, and are rated by their users. I found the following courses when searching for business blogging.
Digital Marketer: This site has a wealth of courses aimed at the digital marketer taking you through specific marketing tactics. Courses aren’t cheap so you’ll have to be very self-motivated to get value for money. Look out for ads on social media for some of the available courses, which can be heavily discounted on these platforms.
MOOC: Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) are offered by different providers including top universities. There are a number of digital marketing courses available that can help you create a marketing strategy for your business.
Content Creation Tools
Once you have a clear idea of what you need to blog about, what your audience want, and how this will help your business, the next step is to create great content. Whether you’re new to blog writing or have writer’s block, there are tools to inspire you and get great ideas.
ContentGems: This content tool allows you to search for new content ideas using specific topics and emails suggestions based on searches of new content around that theme. While the idea is not to copy other people, it can help you to see what content is trending and provide ideas for future blog posts.
Buzzsumo: If you want to know what content is performing well for your competitors, this is the tool. You can search using a URL or keywords and see what posts are receiving the most attention in terms of social media engagement.
Quora: Want to know what everyone else wants to know about your chosen subject? Search Quora using your keywords or topic and see what questions are getting asked. It’s also a very useful tool to find out about your target audience’s opinion, just scan through the answers and comments to see what people are saying.
Headline Analyzer: It doesn’t matter how fantastic your blog content is if no one clicks on your links to read it. This is where a great headline / blog title makes all the difference. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer is a free tool that can help you tweak your blog titles to make them more engaging and powerful
Offline Blogging Support
Whether it’s 1-2-1 or a group workshop, face-to-face training is an excellent way of learning skills and putting actions into practise. Good trainers will also do their best to ensure they teach in relevant way, tweaking content for your needs.
1-2-1: For really relevant and personalised support a practical workshop that helps you implement a blog strategy and integrate it with your other marketing and business activities is money well spent if you leave with a clear actionable plan for your company blog.
Group courses: While a group course may not be as targeted at your particular business, working with other attendees can be a very productive experience. Their experience, questions and requirements are often relevant to your own content marketing strategy, and may help you get more out of the course.
My next blog strategy course is at the Holiday Inn, Guildford on Friday 29th April – details here.
Using blog writing and / or blog management services are another option for the marketing director or business owner. Often these can be combined in a package that might include a percentage of ghost blogs per month with some posts written internally, guidance and writing support, blog publishing and SEO.
If you’ve discovered a great source of blogging support that you would like to share with readers, please add it to the comments below. Or if you have a specific question you need answering about business blogging, leave it in the box and I will answer it asap.