An almost true story about blogging

Black business professional on the phone while working at a laptop

Let’s start with a conversation I have more often than not with folks calling us about helping them raise their profile and enhance their expertise position in their industry.

Caller: I want to raise my profile and enhance my expertise position in the industry [or something like that].

Josh: Well, that’s what we do, so let’s see if we can help. Let me ask you some questions. What kind of content marketing are you doing?

Caller: Content marketing? You mean like using Facebook and LinkedIn?

Josh: Kinda, sorta. I mean, using social media platforms is an important part of a content program. What about a company blog?

Caller: No, we don’t go in much for blogging. What else?

Josh: What about telling your story in manageable chunks? Talk about how you are helping solve your clients’ problems. Discuss why you do some things better than your competitors. Dig deep in explaining your in-depth industry know-how. Would that kind of thing interest you?

Caller: Yeah, I think we’d be all over that!

Josh: Hold onto your hat – that’s blogging.

That’s a compressed version of how we help clients overcome some of their initial reservations (read: objections) to writing a blog. I’ve been in marketing over 40 years, and I don’t know of a better way to convey the essence of a brand or the selling points of a company’s goods or services than through a regular blog that targets the right constituencies.

And we practice what we preach. Our Gong Blog (and its earlier iteration, Jon’s PR 1.5 blog) has been around since 2008, and we’ve posted almost 1,000 original blogs along the way. What’s clear is that it is one of the primary drivers of traffic to our website where visitors can stroll through our pages to get to know us better and see if we’re the kind of agency that might be able to help them.

Over the years, I’ve come to understand clients’ primary objection to blogging. It’s not that they don’t believe in them on their face. After all, there’s too much of a track record of success to deny that they work. No, their big problem is that they perceive regular blog writing as a big time suck.

Yeah, we’ve got an answer to that as well, in fact, several answers. So, if you’re contemplating beginning a blog but are fearful you might not be able to meet the regular deadlines that come with it, here are some quick suggestions on how to make it work.

Regular blogging with contributed content

At Hodges, we shoot to post one original blog post a week. If we spread the load out among the 18 of us, that means that each of us is responsible for one blog post three times a year – once every 122 days. We create a calendar, and everyone knows their blog deadlines. Miss it, and you risk incurring the wrath of our Content Committee chair!

Blogging smarter, not harder

One easy way to pump out a blog is to record a conversation with one of your SMEs (that’s Subject Matter Experts), someone from your sales team or even a customer or the company founder. Record the chat on Zoom, and then have it transcribed. A little editing here and there, and boom, you’ve got yourself a blog chock full of interesting insights from your smartest folks. You also could post the conversation as a video blog, as we do with our Teaming Up series at Hodges.

Leverage third-party content on your blog

Your blog does not have to be totally original. You might find an article or some research that is interesting, but just don’t post it without wrapping some of your expert context around it. Easy-peasy.

Hire someone to write for you

Okay, as a last resort, you may need to concede that you need outside help, not only for the writing, but for managing the editorial calendar and cracking the whip in keeping people on schedule. Or you might need some communications pro’s just to help translate some of the industry jargon that could creep into some blogs.

At the end of all this, you might have this conversation…

Caller: Josh, I just wanted to follow up and tell you that you were exactly right about blogging. It’s driving mega-traffic to our website, helping fill the pipeline with new business and cleared up the complexions of two of our interns.

Okay, I can dream, can’t I?

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Josh Dare

Josh’s career in communications spans more than four decades. In addition to providing strategic counsel and crisis communications direction to clients, he is the resident Writer-In-Chief, regularly writing op-eds and bylines on behalf of clients that have been published in The Washington Post, The Richmond Times-Dispatch, The Philadelphia Inquirer and Huffington Post, among others.

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