Business blogging is still a relatively new resource. Like anything that’s new, we understand that organisations can be wary about investing in it and a lot of this is because of budgets and the financial implication.
While we aim to keep the cost of our business blogging services as low as possible, we understand that budgets can be set and we often hear organisations deciding to keep their blogging and social media activities in-house because they believe it’s cheaper.
What we want to do today is ensure you fully understand just how much work is involved with business blogging. When we first hear that an organisation is considering doing everything in-house, we always aim to tell them what’s involved so they have a good understanding of how many resources need to be allocated to the strategy – and it regularly proves to be quite surprising!
The creation of the blog post
At the highest level, a blog post is simply a few hundred words drafted together and published on a blog. This really is at the highest level, however and it’s this that is often misunderstood – writing a few hundreds might only take 20 or 30 minutes, but to produce a blog post that’s going to be as effective as you need it to be, you could easily be looking at two hours (and that’s assuming you have good keyboard skills!).
For instance, before we even start drafting the content, we carry out in-depth research of the industry. We look to see what topical news items are gaining the most publicity, which are most suited to the client’s audience and if there’s a suitable topic or two, how we can then tie these into content that would be suitable for the blog.
In addition to this research, we take a look at competitor blogs and monitor social media. This ensures we get a full and in-depth understanding of exactly what’s being talked about in the industry and by the client’s audience, so we can be confident that the blog posts we go on to draft will be as best received as they can possibly be.
At this point, we then start to discuss blog post titles and use the results of our research combined with our knowledge and experience to ensure we are able to produce an attention-grabbing, informative and attractive title – and only then do we begin to draft the actual blog post copy.
Although each writer has their own techniques, we generally set aside 45 minutes for the very first draft of the copy, with another 30 minutes for proofing and editing. By this stage, when the research has been taken into consideration, the process has taken around 1 hour and 30 minutes on average.
Once the blog post has been created – and approved by the client – we then upload the content to the blog and optimise it fully. Taking into account a whole variety of different aspects, from effective meta descriptions through to the most suitable alt tag copy for images, another 20 minutes is often taken up by the optimisation process, which also takes into account a final proof to ensure the blog post will be as successful as possible.
We then schedule it to go live at a suitable time according to the content calendar – and as soon as it’s published, we begin the second part of the process.
The promotion of the blog post
At the time of the blog post’s optimisation, we ensure, where possible, that it is pushed to the relevant social media websites instantly. Generally consisting of Twitter and Facebook, we utilise the relevant WordPress plugins to ensure the copy fits within the specific guidelines for each social network and that it is as effective as it can be upon publishing.
It might seem like this is sufficient social media activity for some, but it really is only the basics.
For example, what about the integration with not only your own LinkedIn group, but other industry relevant groups? We very often publish blog posts to a number of LinkedIn groups to extend their reach, whilst adding positively to the discussions within the groups.
StumbleUpon and Digg are also resources we regularly use. Allowing us to put the content in front of a potential audience of millions, it requires some optimisation and research to ensure it is published in the most suitable areas, but the time spent here can bring with it some fantastic traffic.
And to ensure that all social media promotion is as effective as it can be, you need to be active regularly on each platform throughout the week, engaging with audiences to ensure the utmost success. Therefore, you could easily be looking at three hours of social media activity every week.
But that’s not all – you’ve then got to think about responding to comments, engaging with other bloggers, general promotional activity away from blogging and the continuous development of the blog, all of which are vital components to implementing an effective business blogging strategy. What’s more, they may not take hours individually, but collectively their time soon mounts up and what’s turned from someone agreeing to write a blog post during their lunch hour has turned into at least a day or two every week needing to be dedicated to the cause.
Business blogging is a vital component of any digital marketing strategy. However, many organisations don’t fully understand how complex and time-consuming it is and believe they can carry it out internally. Whilst we’re sure some organisations could, the fact is most simply don’t have the resources to dedicate to ensure their blogging and social media activities are as successful as they can be.
And when you consider our full business blogging strategies start at just a few hundred pounds per month, it’s understandable why so many organisations choose to outsource their business blogging and social media work!