What kind of content is the right content?
We’re all looking for quality material to post to the company blog and social media sites. Often, we have to ask ourselves if this is the right content. Even those business owners with the propensity to write the company blog themselves will hit two issues eventually.
1. Is the material I wrote appropriate to the desired business persona?
2. Writers block.
The first problem is a judgment call that can only be made by people with a vested interest in the company. The answer comes from the overall social media strategy. You do have a strategy, right? If you have a marketing strategy, it should contain guidelines on what voice to use. Do you want the company to sound serious or laid-back, formal or full of slang? You know how your customers will likely react to any given voice, so use the one that makes the most sense.
Is the content rich enough, or is it terse and posted just to post something? If you’re going to take the trouble to post something to the blog, you might as well make it something worth reading. For this post, I wrote it on a tablet with a soft keyboard, and it seemed long. When I ported it over to my desktop computer, it wasn’t really all that long. So I went back and expanded on a few things.
Sometimes I compose blog posts directly in the blog edit screen, but often I compose a blog post off-line. That allows me to let the ideas sit if they need to. It allows me to go back and add sections, take out sections, and generally work in the software I prefer to use when I write anything substantial.
The second issue is a bit more challenging because not every business professional is a natural writer. Sometimes you just come up blank, so what to do about it? There are two types of writer’s block you are likely to encounter while generating material for the company blog – What to talk about, and what to say. Both of these problems can be overcome with a little help.
As part of your social media strategy, put together a list of topics you want to share with the general public. The longer this list is, the better. Sit back and brainstorm
alone or with a team. Each of those topics may very well break down into subtopics, each of which can become a blog post. And, nobody said you have to use all the ideas you generate. Some might not be appropriate upon further reflection.
If you hold a vested interest in the company, likely you’ll have some passion for many of the topics on that list. If you’re passionate, the words will flow. If you’re lucky, you’ll get enough words to split the topic into two posts. But what if the words don’t flow?
Believe it or not, even experienced professional writers face this problem. The secret is to push through it. Start writing, and keep writing, even if you’re just typing “the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog” over and over. Eventually, thoughts will form and the words will flow. Often, the words you push through will be discarded as exploration. You don’t need it once you’ve discovered what you really want to say. Never be afraid to cut text, or as fiction writers say, to kill your darlings.
Incidentally, this blog started out with a different topic, and by the time you are reading it, I’ll have cut the first part of what I originally wrote. That’s part of the process of creating good content. Ideas are everywhere. Walk around town, or take a tour through all those old files on the hard drive. Or just read the news. When something catches your interest, jot it down That’s how ideas form, and that’s one way ideas can be farmed.
Now, get out there and post some content!