A Sustainable Plan for Blogging

Bangui_Windfarm_Ilocos_Norte_2007It’s the most common question from small business marketers who want to make good use of the internet. It goes something like:

What can I write about? Where can I find content ideas? Or, How can I blog if I’m in a really boring industry, like insurance for truck drivers, or warehouse fulfillment?

If you feel stuck there in a content-less fog, not wanting to start blogging or writing social media posts because you think your field is uninteresting, you haven’t really thought things through.

For starters, what are you doing slogging away day after day at something you find boring? (I’m not accusing you; just urging deeper examination. I have certainly done my share of employment for organizations that I didn’t highly value. It’s something to work through, for sure.)

But never mind that, suppose you just innocently must admit that there’s not a lot that’s universally fascinating about roadside garbage collection or a tax preparation firm.

And you’d be right. If you look straight at the subject, isolated from everything else, it will indeed appear to be void of interest.

But Oh My Gosh, the truth is that no matter what the subject, possibilities for riffs on it are endless.

Let’s suppose you market for a group of plumbing supply stores in Texas. You groan, How much is there to say about plumbing supplies?

Let’s take a look.

  • Spotlight real people. Who’s running the supply stores? Who are the workers, the vendors, the buyers? Interview and feature; and also solicit ideas or even posts from them.
  • Use your outside interests. You’re a plumber who likes to go fishing on your off time. Blog about fishing. There’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t focus on fishing even though you get paid for plumbing. Life is both art and discipline. If someone appreciates your art, they may very well be willing to patronize your discipline.
  • FAQ. What are questions people ask when they call or visit the plumbing supply stores? À la Marcus Sheridan and his wondrous Sales Lion, if you’re straightforward about realities and options in your industry you’ll gain trust and thus, new customers. Always remember the CopyBlogger credo: Teaching sells!
  • Educate. A “Household Plumbing 101” course delivered via your blog or summarized in an ebook for free download is an excellent way to show you’re on the prospect’s side.  Go back to the basics: the market needs my service or product because _________.  (The sink’s not draining! The toilet’s plugged up! There’s a leak and it’s starting to flood!)
  • Be responsive to trends. There are obvious ones, like the news, or the change of seasons, or holidays. But also monitor trends within. At the plumbing supply stores, what’s the hottest selling item? What is the most unusual customer request this month? What is the  best choice currently for swimming pool filters?

We could go on, of course. But here’s the really amazing thing. You can use just a few broad subject areas like the above to essentially take care of your content updates for the next four months or more. Spend an hour or two creating this editorial calendar, and save yourself tons of time and anxiety in the days ahead.

Here’s the easy process.

  1. List four to five broad topic areas.
  2. Write four to five specific titles under each topic area.
  3. Set up your blog with categories corresponding to the subject areas.
  4. Refer to the editorial calendar when writing posts, working your way in whatever pattern seems appropriate. If the material is educational, you’ll probably progress in the order of your list. If you want to present in small bites, you may write on a new topic each post.
  5. Blog once a week for 16-25 weeks* on the trajectory of this plan.

* 4 topic areas x 4 titles per area = 16 posts, or 5 topic areas x 5 titles per area=25 posts

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The content is always there, but many try to blog before establishing a system for it. Here’s a bit more info.

 

About Mary Ruth

Mary H. Ruth is a virtual assistant, online marketing manager, copywriter and editor, and certified inbound marketing specialist. She has over 30 years' experience in administration and marketing in both non-profit and business sectors, having earned a degree in English Literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1975. Now living in Gainesville, Florida, she's been working online since late 2007.
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