Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It Takes a Village to Build a Blog

Most things are easier when you have a little help, and managing a corporate blog is no exception. As marketers, we should always be asking for assistance – from our customers, co-workers, peers, and so on. After all, what would we do without things like proofreading and customer feedback?

Here are a few simple ways to use your network to help write posts for your blog:

1) Get internal writers from your company on board. For instance, there should be at least one person in each of your sales, marketing, and customer service departments who would want to contribute from time to time.

2) Find a freelance writer to post for a very reasonable cost. A freelance writer could contribute an article that is relevant to your readers, as well as optimized with targeted keywords that would help your blog rank high with search engines.

3) Look for guest writers who may write once or twice. This could be a customer with a unique experience or other bloggers with a complimenting message. When a long-term commitment is not required, there are more people who may be willing to write, especially if they get a link back to their blog or some promotion for their cause.

4) Participate in Wordless Wednesdays. Wordless Wednesday blog posts are an opportunity to share a fun or interesting picture without the stress of a detailed post. They are a great way to recognize a customer, showcase an event, or just share a fun photo that gives your readers more insight into who your company is. Make sure to get permission from the people in the photo and/or photographer if it is not within your company.

5) Look for related blogs that are willing to cross-post articles. Ask other bloggers if you can re-post their article (or an excerpt) on your blog with a link back to the original post. Maybe they also want to reciprocate and cross-post your article on their blog. This can be a win-win opportunity with link exchanges and increased exposure.

6) Re-purpose what you already have either on your blog or in existing media. What questions do your customers ask you the most? What articles have been written in trade magazines about your industry that you can review? You can even look at past blog posts and create “Best of” or “Top 10” lists, or other compilations of past articles to create a new idea.

When it comes to finding writers for your blog, the most important thing to do is ASK. Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin are great sources to find potential writers, as well utilizing your e-newsletters and your customer database to recruit writers. The best part? Meeting others with similar interests and building long-lasting relationships, all while seeing your blog grow.

How have you recruited writers or found interesting topics for your blog? What other ways have you built up your blog content and readership?

Jackie Kaufenberg is the Marketing Manager for Altimate Medical Inc. in Morton, Minnesota. They manufacture standing frames for people who use wheelchairs and also have a blog for people with disabilities, and medical professionals. You can reach her via Twitter @jkaufenberg.

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Sabera said...

Great list of tips Jackie. I recently invited guest posts for my Indian food blog. I've learned that if the topic you request people to write on is very broad and universally interesting, you'll always gate takers for some extra online exposure via your own blog.

Instead of focusing on recipes, I branched out into everything about India and its culture, people and customs. Managed to get a huge variety of unique visitors for a post on traditional Indian weddings by a fellow blogger.

Jackie said...

What a great idea to branch out beyond recipes Sabera. It is a good way for your readers to get a broader understanding of India, as well as draw in new readers!

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