Here's an exciting fact about the power of blogging: Companies that regularly publish 16 well-executed blogs a month earn 350% more web traffic than their competitors who published between 0-4 blogs per month.
That stat comes to us from a HubSpot data benchmark report. Though we'll admit it's a little dated, the point remains: aggressive, smart blogging brings in traffic.
Think about it this way: If you're only matching your competitors visit for visit right now, writing 16 blogs a month could help you increase your current site-based leads and sales by 350%!
That's a pretty sweet deal, right?
Well, mostly. There's the big step of, you know, getting all of that content written first. With the average blog taking a little over 3 hours (link) to complete, you're looking at a full work week and 8 hours of overtime to crank out 16 blogs a month.
With that sort of time investment, you need to remain as efficient as possible, both in the ideation phase and the writing phase.
Preparation: Building Out Your Calendar
1. Look for seeds—and track them.
Sixteen blogs a month works out to roughly a blog every other day. If you only try covering industry topics from 10,000 feet in the air, you're going to run out of material. Fast.
Instead, you'll need to get deep into the specifics on many different topics, so get comfortable being hyper-focused.
Doing this responsibly requires a good note-taking system. Two of our favorite browser apps are Sticky Notes and Airstory. Sticky Notes gives you the ability to take notes right on top of a web page, and it'll stay there every time you revisit that link. Airstory lets you highlight blocks of text and add them to a folder for you to store information while researching for new blog content. Both are extremely useful!
This is not to say you need to use these apps specifically (and no, neither of those apps paid us to mention them here). But you should develop your own system that works for you.
2. Don't always try to be original.
Reinventing the wheel has it's place, but you're embarking on a marathon here. If you try to generate original, never-before-expressed ideas 16 times a month, you're going to burn out. Your blog feed will soon be empty, and you'll be weeks behind with no way of catching up.
Instead, repurpose old content. For example: After we wrote our social media ebook, we noticed many of the chapters would make excellent blogs. So, we pulled a chapter out and turned it into a blog, and we'll continue sprinkling ebook content into our blog. Of course, there's another big benefit: Every time we mention the ebook in a blog, we're getting the ebook more
Similarly, another option is to expand on old ideas. Look through some of your old blogs and examine where you dropped some seed. Pick them up and nurture them into trees!
While you're at it, consider whether a single blog can be expanded into two or three parts. As with many of our tips, this one has multiple benefits. You can dive super deep while also giving yourself a few days of not having to add new ideas to your content calendar.
3. Let your customers guide you.
You need ideas. Your customers have them. You could literally survey them on social media, or tap your salespeople and customer service team to figure out what are the most common concerns and frequently asked questions.
While you're at it, get into your customer's head space. Is there an annual conference they love going to? Is there a special holiday they embrace more than anyone else?
In addition to preventing the dreaded mistake of missing a chance to connect with your customers, knowing the seasonal hot points will help you inject new energy into your content.
4. Stand apart, then come together.
If you have a team of writers, don't get them all in the same room to work on the 16-blogs-a-month editorial calendar—not at first. There's going to be too many ideas and too many conversations running around. You'll never make it out of that room because you'll never finish assembling the editorial calendar!
Instead, let everyone develop their own ideas independently. Everyone should have their own list of topics to cover, along with some idea of how each topic could be explored.
When your writers finally assemble, stay organized. It will likely be a long, arduous meeting, so organization is everything. It doesn't matter if you want to run the meeting with a projector cast on a building across the street, or with 192 sticky notes on the wall. Go in there with a concrete game plan that everyone understand and follows.
Execution: Writing 16 Blogs a Month
5. Interviews are easy to write.
It's an important fact, so we'll repeat it here: Interviews are easy to write. When you're pressed for time, interviews are quick to conduct, and you can get a ton of content from them. Better yet, today's transcription apps mean you don't need to transcribe the entire interview by hand.
More than likely, you'll only need to worry about formatting, an introduction, and some light editing.
6. Transcription apps have their place.
Speaking of transcription apps, you may want to get familiar with them, even if you've never found a need for one in the past. It's simply a matter of being able to talk faster than you can type.
As you're knocking out posts on your content calendar, you may find it easier to write your first drafts orally, right into the app, and then go back and make edits with your keyboard.
7. Stay two weeks ahead.
If you're 13 days ahead, you're behind. Remember, we're participating in a marathon here, not a sprint. Marathons require proper nutrition, training, and prep—and so does blogging.
If you're fewer than 14 days ahead, you're not "eating" properly for the next scheduled blog. It's in our nature to push off the inconvenient. But if you procrastinate on a project that equates to 192 blogs in a single year, you'll dig a very deep hole that's hard to get out of.
Push hard to stay two weeks ahead. If an emergency does come up, you'll have a two week cushion protecting you before the blog falls behind.
Receive Professional Guidance
We're no strangers to content strategy at Poetica Marketing. if you're having trouble executing on your blogging efforts, we're here to help. Whether you need expert consultation or an ace writer to create your content from scratch, we have the resources to get it done on time. Contact us today for details.