Writers block is the privilege of the pretentious. Hardworking online copywriters simply do not have time to fall victim to this common ailment. But if you're not used to pumping out article after insightful and interesting article every single day, bloggers block can be a real problem - especially since its never been more important to keep your business's blog buzzing. Post-Panda, post-Penguin, post-Hummingbird, the central weapon in any online business arsenal is regularly updated, quality content which visitors love and share -- and which captures plenty of lovely longtail traffic.
Statistics from web marketing wizards Hubspot perfectly illustrate the issue. If your website isn't blogging at least three times a week, you're missing a trick. Here are some persuasive facts and figures from their 2013 State of Inbound Marketing Report.
- 92% of business who posted onsite content more than once a day received custom via their blog
- Regular blogging can increase click throughs by up to 55%
- 79% of companies who put resources into regular blogging reported ROI from inbound marketing
But producing this quantity of genuinely clever content and maintaining quality all at once is no mean feat for SMEs and busy marketing managers. If you don't have a dedicated copywriting agency on side, here are 9 top tips to help you blog (and blog better) every single day.
1. Get your RSS feeds in order
Sounds boring, right? Actually this can be weirdly addictive, trust me. If you were ever into collecting and organising things, this can be nerdily fun. No doubt you know your industry inside out, but are you the first to know every time there's something interesting afoot? By collecting all of the best online sources in a well organised RSS feed you can make sure you're abreast of all the latest developments and ready to comment on industry news as it happens. This gives you plenty of regular blog fodder (unless you're in the paper clip industry) and ensures you look relevant and insightful. Here's a good basic guide to getting your RSS feeds shipshape if you're using Outlook.
2. Be a social butterfly
The next best place to hear about anything interesting on your industry's grapevine is via social media. The benefits here are manifold; better customer interaction, social sharing, buzz-building, brand identity boosting, you name it. But its also a great way to keep tabs on interesting topics and discussions, talk to others in your sphere and get inspired for your next post. Its also the fastest way to disseminate the fruits of your labour.
3. Know your onions
Were sure you know your stuff, but sometimes you don't realise just how much you know. If you've been in your industry for a stretch, chances are you're a repository of information and ideas about your sector. Its time to tap into that. Gather your cleverest colleagues, tank them up on caffeine and treats (doughnuts work pretty well) and chair a discussion all about the most interesting and contentious aspects of what you do. Talk about your customers and what they commonly ask you, explore interesting angles. Compile a big list of all of your ideas and use these to create cracking content. Meet monthly to keep everything fresh!
4. Look into your longtail
Time for a little Analytics digging. Crack open your organic search traffic and download all of the keywords which have ever brought visitors to your page. Stick it all into a spreadsheet and filter the lot so that you are left with keywords comprising 3 or more words. Next run a series of filters for question words: How, Why, What, Who, When, Where, Can, Should, Could. The results that you're left with could uncover content that your visitors want which you're not supplying. Consider blogging about anything that is relevant to your product or service and has a high bounce rate. Use plenty of variations of the longtail term in your content to capture even more searchers looking for similar stuff. Not sure what we're on about? Never fear, we put together an expanded quick and nasty guide to this process in a previous guest post back in October.
5. Utilise online tools
Still feeling uninspired? Time to try a different tack. There are tonnes of web applications which can kick start your creativity. From the silly to the seriously helpful. We like Portents charmingly daft Content Idea Generator and, for something more sensible, SEOGadgets Content Strategy Generator Tool is pretty cool.
6. Start a series
Regular features are a very easy way to keep on blogging when you're feeling a little uninspired. Perhaps choose the weekday when you're at your lowest creative ebb. Monday mornings or the dreaded hump day. Then come up with a weekly feature which will be beautifully simple to put together. Think hump day Haikus or top tips Tuesdays - only I know you can do much, much better than that!
7. Harness user generated content
Get your loyal customers and regular visitors involved. You could implement a guest blogging scheme, but this can be labour intensive to maintain. Instead, why not set up competitions for customers. Ask them to send in pictures of their favourite product from your range in action and include 300 words about why they love it. Ask them to put together a mood board of their favourite items from your collection -- the chance of winning freebies will help you to gather lots of interesting content for very little effort. This does work better for non-service businesses, but the key is being creative. Challenge customers to create something others will be interested in.
8. Take a break
If all else fails and bloggers block is hitting hard, its time to step away from the keyboard for a bit. Get on with other tasks and trust your brain to bubble away with ideas in the background. You might be surprised at how many ideas you have when you come back to your blog.
9. Make Hay While The Sun Shines
However, some days those creative juices just wont flow. If you're feeling inspired on Monday but know that Tuesday is a creative dead zone, get stuck in while you're blog-happy. Create a content stockpile, then make use of scheduling plugins and tools like Hootsuite to automate all of your posts and social sharing. What could be better? Then sit back for the rest of the week! Just don't forget to keep an eye on those RSS feeds to ensure you're producing responsive news as it happens.
Do you have any writer's block busting tips and tricks to keep your blogroll rolling? We'd love to hear them. Leave us a comment and let us know!
Holly is the co-founder of To Your Heart's Content. A crack team of slicker-than-your-average digital copywriters knocking the socks off your usual run-of-the-mill content peddlers. When she isn't writing powerful content for clients Holly can be found kicking things over by accident, laughing much too loudly and eating a lot of feta, sometimes all at once.