I know it’s hard to imagine – and it’s even difficult for me to say – but this is the 500th blog post we’ve published since opening our doors 10 years ago (10 years ago this week, coincidentally). That’s about one blog post per week – every week – for 10 years. And boy am I tired!
When I mentioned this little factoid to someone recently, they asked, “What does it take to do that… to crank out a fresh piece of content every week?” I couldn’t give a good answer then, but after thinking about it for a few days, here’s how I think it happened:
- I write for my clients. For buyers and perspective buyers. I try to imagine a particular client sitting across the desk from me and nodding their head in agreement (or not) with what I’m writing. It’s never what I want to write about, it’s what I think they want to read… and that’s how I decide on the topics.
- I have a routine. I’m a creature of habit. And one of those habits is that I start drafting my weekly blog post every Saturday morning. I review it and edit it on Sunday and Monday, publish it on Tuesday and start promoting it on social media on Wednesday. And I try and stick to that schedule every single week.
- I measure readership. Knowing who I’m writing for (see #1) helps me understand the kind of topics I need to write about… but even my clients like some topics more than others. So, as part of my Saturday routine (see #2), I look through the Google Analytics for my blog and – over time – learn what types of articles my buyers are most interested in… and then I’ll write more posts around those topics moving forward. Here’s a hint: buyers’ interests change over time, so make sure to peek into your analytics frequently. Speaking of measurement, the 499 blog posts leading up to this one have had over 53,000 unique page views. Wow! That’s a lot of website traffic!
- I like to write. I really do. It’s a form of self-expression, it’s a way to share knowledge and help our industry get better at sales and marketing and it’s a great way to build a personal brand.
- Buyer feedback motivates me. On fairly frequent basis, I’ll receive an email from someone in our industry (that has read one of our blog posts) with comments like, “I really enjoyed that latest article,” or “Steve, we spent an hour at our sales meeting talking about your latest blog post,” or “Your last article really inspired us to get serious about marketing.” I guess it’s an ‘ego thing,’ but comments like that push me to keep writing.
- I don’t sell. Too many firms use their blog as a veiled sales pitch (and in some cases, not really all that veiled). I try not to do that. I’ll provide helpful tips, I’ll tell a story with a lesson or I’ll share an opinion. But I don’t sell. My feeling is that once you start selling, your blog posts lose all credibility.
- Better done than perfect. I think I’m a reasonably good writer, but I’m no Pulitzer Prize winner. My writing isn’t perfect… and that’s OK. I write a blog post. I review and edit it a couple of times. Then it’s out the door. If I was concerned about perfection, I’d spend so much time reviewing every single word and every sentence that I’d never get it posted.
Writing a blog post every week is hard work. But like anything worth doing – especially under the umbrella of marketing & sales – it’s a priority for me. And it’s a priority because blogging is at the core of our firm’s marketing and sales efforts:
- It builds awareness, enhances our reputation and generates sales leads.
- It’s a ‘proof source’ for our subject matter expertise.
- It gives me something to post about on LinkedIn.
- It gives me something to write about in our marketing emails.
- I repurpose blog posts into e-books and webinars.
- I use blogs as part of my ‘social selling’ process.
Bottom line: if you’re not blogging – frequently and consistently – you need to be. For the relatively small amount of time you put into writing blogs, the ROI – with all the ways you can benefit from them – is remarkable. The fact is, if I can do it… anyone can do it. The difference is that I made the commitment to make it happen. And you can, too!
Good luck and good writing!