Forget the Tortoise, Be a Corporate Blogging Hare
In many areas of business, you can be the tortoise or you can be the hare. There are times when slow and steady wins the race. There are also times when fast is good, faster is better, and fastest is best.
When it comes to corporate blogging, there is no point in sitting on your hands and waiting for something good to happen. Even if you make mistakes, even if you travel down the wrong path, moving fast puts you in position for early success.
Excuses will Slow you Down
Analysis paralysis is real. The more you stare at your blog and the more ideas you consider, the more difficult it will become to pull the trigger. This isn’t to say you should dive in headfirst without a plan. However, if you continually avoid the first step you will never make progress.
During my years as a corporate blog consultant, I have continually heard the same three excuses among companies that are at a standstill:
- We don’t want to roll out a blog until we focus on other forms of marketing.
- Our strategy is in the works, and it doesn’t make sense to create content until we know which direction to head.
- We’ve tried blogging in the past, but never experienced a positive return.
When you stop analyzing, when you stop making excuses, you can start running.
Two Reasons to Run Like a Rabbit
I understand the concept of slow and steady. I understand why some companies take this approach with corporate blogging. They don’t want to get so far ahead of themselves that they have no real idea of what they want to accomplish.
I also understand that doing something is better than doing nothing at all. And by something, I mean a strategy that will yield results, even if you aren’t 100 percent sure of your goals.
Here are two reasons why I suggest moving quickly:
1. Achieve Results Now, Not Later
Go back to the three excuses above. Marketing professionals often tell me they have experimented with blogging, but don’t know how to make it work. But here is the problem. The next thing out of their mouth is something like:
“We published two posts so far this year. Neither one got any comments or was shared on social media.”
You are either all in or all out. You can’t dip one toe in the water. You can’t expect your first blog post to be shared hundreds of times, generate thousands of visitors, and lead to new business. It doesn’t work like that.
If you want to achieve results, sooner rather than later, you have to go all in. This means producing high quality content, day in and day out, for an extended period of time.
Let’s expand on this. At the beginning of last year, a company asked me for a plan to generate 10,000 visitors per month, within six months, via their corporate blog.
This was a lofty goal for a company that had only been blogging for a year. And by blogging I mean posting once or twice per month. My suggested plan was full of actionable tips that resulted in fast movement and faster results:
- Set reasonable goals, in addition to traffic, for benchmark tracking.
- Create a minimum of three blog posts per week, or 12 per month.
- Dedication to creating long-form content.
- Learn how to write faster without sacrificing quality.
- Set a writing schedule, preferably early in the morning, when the mind is fresh.
- Don’t obsess over making every post perfect. You have to know when to quit.
- Share every piece of content via social media and with your email list.
This is a lot for a company that has always moved slowly in regards to its corporate blog. But guess what? It eventually became habit and the company was able to stay the course over the six month period.
Although the results came up a tad short, with the blog only reaching 8,500 visitors in month six, the company was happy with the results.
Had I suggested a slower approach, I can guarantee that their blog would still be muddling along. They would still be making excuses and wondering why nothing is happening. Every move wasn’t the right move, but one thing was for sure: it was a fast move.
2. Your Competition is Making Excuses
You should know what your competition is doing at all times. You should read their corporate blog, make note of what you like and dislike, and formulate a plan for generating better content.
A quick review of your competition may turn up an interesting fact: a large majority aren’t doing anything with their corporate blog. They are making excuses (see above). They are focusing on other areas of their business. This is bad news for them, but good news for you.
Once you realize your market is ripe for the picking, you should move in for the kill. This reminds me of a home improvement contractor I consulted last year. On day one, I asked the marketing manager this question: how does your corporate blog stack up against the competition?
Her answer? I don’t know, I haven’t really checked in the last few years.
A mistake, yes. A mistake that couldn’t be fixed, absolutely not. I told her to do three things by the next day:
- List out and review the blog of your five biggest competitors.
- Make note of how many posts they average per month, as well as the average word count.
- Grade the quality of each post on a scale of 1 to 10.
She found the results astonishing:
- Only three of the five companies had a corporate blog.
- Only two of the three were regularly updating the blog.
- The average post count per month, across the blogs that were regularly updated, was 4.
- The average word count per post was 275.
- The average grade, based on quality, was 5.
Nobody in the local market was doing anything special. In fact, all five of these companies were missing the mark.
But there was still a problem: my client wasn’t in much better position. They were posting approximately six times per month, with an average word count of 325. What they were doing better, however, was providing more accurate, timely, and in-depth content.
With the necessary data in hand, it was time to devise a plan for quick action. Local keywords, such as “Cranberry home improvement” and “Pittsburgh home improvement,” were ready to be dominated. Even more exciting was the fact that competition for the keywords was relatively low, meaning that the right plan could yield immediate results.
For three months, while the competition continued to ignore the power of blogging, we ramped up production. This included:
- Three posts per week, averaging 1,200 words.
- A focus on local content, such as pieces associated with the impact of the weather on exterior projects. Think things like: “Choosing a Roof that can Stand up to Severe Pittsburgh Winters.”
- Goal of providing only the highest quality information.
The problem with a slow moving process is that you give the competition time to catch up. They can see what you are doing, grab onto your coattails, and attempt to mimic your plan.
When you move fast, there is no time for this. Even if competitors care (some may not), you will already have a plan in place for achieving greater results. In other words, while they rest you make hay.
In the wonderful world of corporate blogging, you can be a tortoise or you can be a hare. If you have neglected this content marketing strategy or have taken a slow and steady approach, now may be the time for a change. When you move fast, it won’t be long until your blog has a positive impact on your business.