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June 28, 2023

Lessons Learned After Writing 500+ Blog Posts

This is post number 533 on our blog, and with the exception of two guest posts, they’re all mine. And all of them written since I founded Harpeth Marketing in 2012. In those 11+ years, I’ve learned a few things about blogging and content marketing that I thought might be of value…

#1) Content marketing works. All of that content – and the promotion of that content – have been a key contributor to the success of Harpeth Marketing. It’s built awareness for me and my firm, helped to establish and cement my reputation as a marketing and sales expert in our industry, it’s been a lead generator, and sharing the content has been the cornerstone of nurturing our firm’s relationships with our clients and sales prospects. We would not be where we are without those blog posts.

#2) I am a better marketing and sales professional as a result of the writing. Years ago, I heard a phrase that really stuck with me – “The best way to learn something is to teach it.” And I think that same sentiment also applies to writing. To craft a good blog post, you have to think through what you’re going to write, mull ideas around in your head, organize your thoughts, and maybe do some extra reading and research. All of that work – before you even publish the post – makes you a little smarter than before you started the process.

#3) Promotion of the content is critical. You could write the greatest blog post ever, but if no one reads it, it has no value. So, we’ve always made sure to actively promote every blog post – primarily via email and social media. And every once in a while, Greenbook, Quirks, or the Insights Association would publish one of our posts, giving it even greater reach. The other thing we’ve learned about promotion is to spread it out over time. We’ve promoted every blog post when it was first published, a couple of more times over the next few weeks and then several more times over the next few months. As long as the topic was ‘evergreen,’ we promoted it over a long period of time.

#4) Blogging every week is hard work. Not the actual act of writing (note: as I write this, it’s Sunday afternoon, I’m sitting in my favorite comfy chair, and I’ve got two fingers of bourbon sitting next to me. See… not so hard!)… but it’s all of the other aspects that are challenging:

  1. Making sure my target audience will find interest in what I’m writing. Just because I like it, doesn’t mean my clients will like it. So, I keep my ICP – Ideal Customer Profile – in my head while writing, to keep me focused and on track.
  2. Coming up with new topics… or, if not new topics, then new perspectives on existing topics or related stories about them. And part of that is evolving as the tools of the trade evolve. For example, not that long ago, ‘social selling’ was not really a big deal in the business world… but now it’s a critical component of any successful sales program. And so, social selling has become a topic in some of our more recent blog posts.
  3. Consistent writing takes discipline. You can’t just hope you’ll find some time to write that next blog post, you have to build ‘writing time’ into your calendar and not skip it or reschedule it. In fact, treat it just like you would a weekly scheduled meeting with your boss… put it on your calendar and don’t blow it off.

#5) I like writing. I like coming up with a blog topic I think my readers will like. I like drafting, re-drafting and finalizing it. I like keeping an eye on the metrics to see how many people read it (OK, I guess my ego plays into that a little). But mostly, I like the feedback… I like it when people comment that they find the blog post interesting, or that they shared it with their colleagues, or that they scheduled a group discussion around it. That is, these blog posts are educating the marketplace and helping MR professionals to do their jobs a little bit better.

After all, isn’t that the real reason we started writing in the first place?

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