When you first started your business blog, it looked great! It was filled with fresh, new information and brought in regular new hits to your website. Maybe you posted regularly, for a while.
As time went on, your blog dropped lower on your priority list. Now, as you look back over it, you’re realizing that your poor blog is virtually ignored. No one visits. It hasn’t seen new posts in months, and your last post was a short blurb about your own product.
It’s an oft-told tale, but one that can have a happy ending.
Wondering how to save your old, defunct blog? There are several different strategies you can implement to bring your blog back to life and make it fresh, new, and interesting again.
Post more often
Seems obvious, doesn’t it? If you want anyone (even just the search engines) to read your blog, there has to be content there for them to read. It doesn’t do you any good to post three or four posts in a single week and then fail to post anything for a couple of months, however.
Instead, try some of these strategies:
Set up an editorial calendar.
This means developing a plan for what you’re going to post and when you plan to post it. It might look something like this. Essentially, your editorial calendar is your cheat sheet. It’s a list of ideas that will help keep your blog on track, even after it’s no longer something new and fun. Your editorial calendar can also help you plan for sales, promotions, and contests: the times when you really need to step up your blogging efforts.
Enlist help if you need it.
If you dread every moment that you sit down behind your keyboard or despise seeing your own words in print, there’s no reason you have to be the one responsible for writing the posts. There are plenty of options available!
- Designate someone within the company to handle it. Do you have a junior employee who is attempting to build their resume? A secretary who writes a blog of her own on the side? Look for someone within your company who would absolutely love the opportunity to take over your blog just for the line on their resume.
- Hire a blog writing service. You’ll have posts coming in all the time and plenty of creative minds devoted to coming up with the content you need, all with little more effort from you than coming up with keywords and providing a bit of editing before you post the content.
- Check your own family. If you own a small business, you might not have the employee base to require someone within the company to take care of your blog. You may, however, have a young family member—or even a family friend—who would jump at the opportunity to earn some extra spending money each week while blogging for your company. Look for young college students, especially those majoring in media, communications, or writing.
- Pass it around your company. Let everyone have an opportunity to blog about the topics they’re most passionate about. For example, a pet day care might have one member who loves talking about different ways for a dog to get exercise in bad weather, while another might get excited every time she talks about grooming techniques. A blog is the perfect opportunity for each employee to talk about their specialty. That passion will show in your blogs, too, keeping people interested in coming back for more. As an added bonus, passing it around so that everyone has an opportunity to blog will mean that it doesn’t become too big a task for any one person to take on.
Take it one post at a time.
When you imagine coming up with topics for an entire year, it sounds overwhelming. At a rate of even a single post per week, you have to come up with fifty-two blog posts to fill an entire year! That’s going to take forever! Fortunately, you don’t have to produce fifty-two posts immediately. Instead, take it one post at a time. Come up with one topic that really interests you. Write a post or add it to your editorial calendar to deal with later. Then, come up with another idea. Before you know it, you’ll have a year’s worth of blogging behind you.
Take advantage of guest posting opportunities.
Guest posts benefit both the guest and the host blog. When you guest post for another blog, you have the opportunity to reach their audience and link them back to your website. A stellar guest post on how to prepare your dog before you go to the groomer, for example, will lead to people coming to check out your dog grooming business. On the other hand, bringing a guest blogger into your blog helps you to increase traffic to your blog, add new, fresh content, and increase your expertise in the eyes of your clients.
Rethink your blog’s look and your writing strategies
Obviously, something about your blog hasn’t been working. Whether you’ve struggled to come up with ideas for unique content or you simply don’t see any hits no matter what you post, it’s time to do something different. Take the time to rethink your blog’s design.
Here are three ways to get that rolling:
Learn about SEO.
Increasing your search engine rankings is one of the primary purposes of your blog—but it doesn’t do you any good if you don’t understand how to get the hits you need. Learn how to attract local traffic to your small, local business: a visit from someone in Houston, Texas doesn’t do you any good if you’re a small dog walking service in New Jersey. Develop long-tail keywords that are relevant to your business and learn how to write blog posts around them. When you understand how to manipulate search engines to your benefit, you can substantially increase traffic to your blog and therefore to your webpage.
Think about the posts you’re writing and why you’re writing them.
SEO is great. After all, you’re writing these posts to bring traffic to your webpage, right? Here’s the thing: your posts are written for people. They should add value to your website, not just suck people in with the hope that they’ll continue past the blog to check out your business. Your real goal with your blog should be to add value to your website. A good, solid post with real information is of much greater value to your readers than a keyword-stuffed post that doesn’t actually say anything useful, even if it isn’t particularly SEO-friendly. Keep in mind why you’re writing every time you sit down to type.
Check your length and your format.
Have you been writing long-form posts that are basically big blocks of text? What about tiny, short blog posts that are little more than brief announcements concerning events within your company? A good blog post is a smooth, easy read. It should have headers that break up the text so that it’s easy to skim and bullet points that call attention to lists and other key information. The longer your blog post, the more necessary it is to break it up: a post containing about three hundred words might be able to get by without subheadings, though it will benefit from one or two, while a post of over a thousand words should contain several breaks to help readers keep track of their text.
Bonus Strategy: Hold a contest to drum up traffic
There’s no faster way to draw in traffic to your blog than offering an incentive to your readers. A contest will draw in plenty of people who are interested in the goods or services that you’re offering.
Tailor the prize to your business.
If you build custom dog houses, you shouldn’t offer an iPad as a prize. Instead, offer potential customers a percentage off on their next dog house purchase, custom dog bowls with your company’s logo printed on them, or a free outdoor dog bed to put inside the house. When you offer prizes that are actually associated with your business, you draw in entries from people who need what your business is offering. Not only that, you create interest in your products that could lead to a number of sales.
Look for strategies that will engage potential customers.
The dog house construction company mentioned above, for example, might ask for pet pictures that display their pets’ unique personalities or stories about why their dogs really need a new dog house. Visitors to the blog will love checking out the entries—the more unique, the better! What could be better than a good, long read about how Princess the Poodle simply can’t have a regular dog house because her owner can’t find one in the appropriate shade of pink? Your readers will find themselves coming back regularly just to check on the new contest entries.
Pay attention to the timing of your contest.
The longer your contest runs, the more people you’ll have time to reach. On the other hand, if you drag your contest out too long, people who knew about it from the beginning will quickly lose interest. Finding that perfect balance could be the difference between holding a contest that will have everyone excited and one that will fall flat.
It’s Not Impossible
Bringing life back to your old, bad blog won’t happen overnight. With each post, however, you’ll come a little closer to the blog you’ve always dreamed of.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, and a blog that is your industry’s go-to for up-to-date information, incredible perspective, and plenty of fun begins with a single post. In the beginning, you may feel as though you’re fighting a losing battle. With time, however, you’ll be able to watch your blog come to life again.
Each post is your opportunity to share your expertise, establish your place within your field, and reach a community of readers who are eager to read what you have to say.
Right now, your blog is a blank slate. Where will it take you?