It is undeniable – blogging can have a significant impact on acquiring new member sales. In fact, according to HubSpot, blog frequency has an immense impact on customer acquisition. The well-known inbound marketing company reports that “92% of companies who blogged multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog,” (HubSpot State of Inbound Marketing, 2012). This fact, coupled with an increase in the number of people that are reading blogs on a daily basis, strongly indicate the influence that a blog can have for your organization. However, consistently maintaining a blog with creative content is no easy undertaking.
Tasked with the duty to manage the WebLink blog, I more often than not find myself struggling to unearth that brilliant idea that I, or any of the other contributors, have yet to write about. Beyond this, I am consistently asked by others for writing ideas that they can use complete their timely blog post. With an unspoken commitment to our readers to continuously post valuable content, I have had to find ways to increase my team’s efficiency and productivity.
If you have yet to leverage the power of developing a blog, or find yourself struggling to generate content that will resonate with your audience. Here are a few secrets to our success, and tips that can help keep your team on track.
1. Just Write, Don’t Think.
Better known as what I refer to as thought dumping, this strategic practice of simply writing will reduce the amount of time that you spend composing your blog posts.
While I wish I could say that I have mastered the thought dump, I must admit that it is an on-going challenge that I am currently striving to perfect. For those of you who are unaware, a thought dump is exactly what it sounds like– a dumping, or pouring, of your thoughts (i.e., jotting down anything and everything that runs through your mind as you commence and engage in the blogging process) onto your preferred medium.
The takeaway here is that you can’t over think and/or get caught up in doing too much research unless you want to spend hours perfecting your post. Bust out a first draft, walk away for a few hours and come back to edit with a fresh perspective.
2. Eliminate the distractions.
The email, the instant messaging, the text messaging, anything and everything that could possibly steal your precious and limited attention - eliminate it. Silence your phone, log out of your email and social media accounts and block out your external environment. Personally, I have found that listening to music helps me reduce the distractions and channel all of my energy into the creative writing process.
3. Know how you tick and where to scratch for ideas.
In her book The Creative Habit Twyla Tharp, a renowned dancer and choreographer, masterfully dictates the importance of scratching for ideas. Tharp implies that creativity does not have to be dreaming up something brand new, such as an undiscovered blog post topic, but can instead stem from combining, or forming connections among, existing ideas.
You have an infinite amount of resources available to you from which you can scratch for ideas. Subscribe to industry related blogs, bounce ideas off colleagues, actively listen to your members, the list goes on and on. The beauty of scratching is that it can take place at any time anywhere, even when you least expect it. With this in mind, make sure that you always have a way to record your thoughts. Whether you carry a notebook and pen or use the notes application on your smartphone, write any and every idea down.
4. Optimize your environment.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my cubicle; however, sometimes I need to venture out my little box in an effort to stimulate my brain. If you find yourself suffering from severe writer’s block, or are simply unproductive, get up and go! Relocate to a new location, such as the nearest Starbucks, grab yourself a cup of caffeine and type away.
5. Ask others to participate.
Take my word for it; managing a blog will be much more enjoyable for you, and your readers, if you ask others to participate in the process. Incorporating a variety of voices will diversify your content, keep readers engaged and supply content that appeals to a larger target audience.
6. Authenticity and Transparency - Be real. Be You.
Believe it or not, people relate to people and content that is authentic and real. When writing and editing your posts, make sure that you tell a story. Share your past experiences and use these experiences to provide valuable lessons and insights to your target audience - they will appreciate your transparency and enjoy reading content that they can relate to.
Now that you know a few of my simple secrets to maintain a blog that strives to engage, educate and entertain, it is time to start leveraging the power of our blog to maintain and build relationships, increase your exposure and increase new member sales.
So, what are you waiting for? Find out how to channel your creativity and share your knowledge and wisdom with your members.