One of the most important components of creating a successful blog that drives sales or interest for your business is a long-term commitment to the blog itself. Although that may appear to be obvious when a new website or blog is launched and interest and excitement is high, it is an unfortunate fact that a majority of blogs become neglected as time goes by and other tasks and responsibilities take precedence over content marketing. What can you do to ensure that your blog doesn’t become another sad statistic?
No Recent Updates Are Disappointing
You’ve started researching a product or service on the Internet, and you’re seeking out as much information as you can before making a purchase or deciding on a service provider. Luckily, you just discovered a link to a great blog that you’re sure will have the information you need – perhaps it’s published by the manufacturer, or an ecommerce retailer you know and trust. However, as soon as you click through to the blog in question, disappointment sets in – the blog hasn’t been updated in months, perhaps even years, and the information you need is nowhere to be found. You return to your search engine, perhaps with a lingering sense of annoyance with the publisher of the neglected blog, and worse, you may even decide to purchase a different product or service or use a different ecommerce site.
Don’t Neglect Your Blog!
Creating a blog is easy, but continually updating a blog is difficult for a variety of reasons. There are literally millions of blogs that were created and then abandoned since blogging gained popularity in the past decade, and a large portion of these blogs still exist online. While many were created using free services such as Blogspot and WordPress.com, a surprising number are still being hosted by small businesses and remain featured on their homepages! You wouldn’t leave a banner hanging in a store window advertising holiday specials from two years ago, and it’s equally important not to neglect your blog. Luckily, there are a number of sound strategies that anyone can use to ensure that their blog remains actively updated with interesting and compelling content.
Plan Ahead With A Content Outline
The first step to planning ahead is creating a content outline. This outline will provide a roadmap for where you want to take your blog content in a week, a month, and throughout the year. Without a content outline, the parties responsible for creating the blog content are essentially “winging it” week to week, which can lead to a disorganization, mistakes, a loss of focus and sometimes even poor or inappropriate content. If the content creator has no guidelines to follow, they may make poor decisions on their own. A content outline also acts as a tangible long-term plan for your blog, which becomes more difficult to neglect and/or ignore if you lose focus on your branding and content marketing strategies.
Begin organizing your content strategy by quarter, season or month, with a list of three, four or twelve topics to cover. Once this done, create a weekly guide to which products, services, or specific topics will be covered.
Create A Specific Schedule With Deadlines
Once you have a content outline in place, it is now necessary to create a specific blogging schedule and calendar. This will serve the purpose of assigning writing, editing and publishing duties to specific parties and setting deadlines for ensuring that each of these responsibilities is completed on time and on schedule. Creating a complete schedule in advance also allows for the parties involved to fully understand the commitment they are making. It’s easy to volunteer or accept an assignment when the time line and commitments are poorly-defined, only to drop out or neglect the assignment later once the full extent of the project becomes known. By clearly defining a long-term schedule that will be followed throughout the year, you can ensure that your blog will be maintained and updated on a regular basis.