So you put all that time and effort into thinking up fresh content, weaving in your keywords, crafting a killer headline and then poof! it's yesterday's news. Before you know it it's time to reach for your blogging-brilliant thinking hat again and draft another post...
Except it doesn't need to be like that (which is just as well, as we'd pretty soon get tired of blogging if it was).
There are simple but effective techniques that you can use to:
- generate ideas for new posts
- link posts together for greater impact
- repeat and emphasise your core message
- make it easier for your readers to follow you
- create content with a longer shelf-life
One of the things Claire's working on just now (she's not just getting distracted by Sgt Pepper you know...) is an overview of the blogging goals for Business Blog Angel in 2008, how those map onto her business goals, and how best we can help all of you to achieve blogging brilliance this year. We've already sketched out the outline content for a lot of blog posts that we want to cover, so we're definitely not going to run out of things to say.
The challenge - and opportunity - when this happens is to step back and look for ways that you can link or bundle your material together, so you can get more bang for your blogging buck.
As we carry on with the back-room conversations on how best to do this I thought it might be worth sharing some of the ways that we're thinking about that might work for you and your business blog:
1. Make good use of your categories If you know you're going to have a lot of material on a certain topic have a think about what category to put it under, whether or not you need a new category to put it in, and if so, what's the best thing to call it. Go for a title that'll be useful to your readers and the search engines (categories give you extra search engine juice)
2. Go for a monthly theme I use this approach at my Confident Writing blog and it's a good (and easy) way to create momentum and consistency. It helps readers get an idea of what to expect, rocket charges your creativity (creating the frame for new ideas) and might just allow you to generate enough new material for some longer shelf-life products
3. Write a series Bearing in mind there's only so much material you can cram into one post, if you find you've got a lot of ideas you might want to break it up and create a series. These tend to be quite time-compressed (perhaps delivered over a few weeks) and have around 5-10 linked posts. There are lots of advantages to this - again you create some sense of momentum and expectation amongst your readers, you can develop an idea in greater detail and show off your expertise, and you can link posts together (which gives you more search engine bonus posts, and is good for your readers too)
4. Brand your posts If youv'e got posts running on a particular topic - and there's going to be more than you can fit into a series - think about ways to brand them for consistency and impact. There are lots of techniques you'll see people using, like using a graphic to signal it's on that particular topic, writing on the same day each week (like Hilda Carroll's Friday Happiness Tips), or using a consistent headline (like Emma Bird's 5 things I've learned since living in Italy)
5. Create products with a shelf-life Once you've done all that you'll find it's much easier to turn your bundled, themed, linked and branded posts into products that have a longer shelf-life than your average post - like a report, an e-book or a book if you're ambitious (and why not). Claire's report on 5 Power Tools To Boost Your Blog Traffic is a great example of that, making good use of material she's already written, and using it as part of her attraction strategy to encourage new readers.
What other creative ways have you found to link, brand and bundle posts? Do you have plans to take them to the next level and turn them into products with a longer shelf-life too?