I often envy people who are just starting to blog. Why? Every day is an adventure. Every day they have a chance to write something really new for the very first time.
For companies like Roundpeg with an established blog, sometimes it is hard to come up with original content. With more then four years of content in a relatively narrow space – marketing for small business owners – I find myself wondering how many different ways can you peel the same onion.
There is new information from time to time, a new application like Pinterest or the change of the Facebook Timeline, but for the most part strategies regarding social media, graphic and web design have remained fairly constant in recent years.
Further complicating my writing process is this statistic: Like most blogs, 70% of our visitors are first time visitors. So how do I find a balance between offering interesting content for people who come back on a regular basis and yet not so far over the head of the first-time visitor that they feel out of place?
Here are some of the strategies I employ to keep our content fresh, interesting and appealing to a wide range of audiences:
1. Actively manage our editorial calendar. I am continually looking at the mix of content to be sure we don’t write on the same topics too many days in a row. We sprinkle in the introductory conversations alongside the more comprehensive, advanced explorations of the same issues.
To pull it all together and manage our blog strategy, I use the Editorial Calendar Plugin by Stresslimit which makes rearranging content a breeze, allowing you to see three weeks at a glance. I can quickly see what we are missing, and whose voice has not been heard lately.
- Everyone at Roundpeg writes for the blog. With the steady stream of interns, we always have someone exploring WordPress or Twitter for the first time. Instead of expecting Allison, Peter or me to relive our first steps with these tools, our new team members document their experiences creating content any novice can relate to.
Reread old posts. There are more than 2,000 posts and it is fun to see what we thought and how we did things two, three or even four years ago. Many of those posts from the early years didn’t get a lot of traffic the first time we shared them, so going back, revisiting these topics and adding a fresh and current perspective gives me a chance to breathe new life into an old post, finish a conversation I may have left hanging or introduce a wider audience to some really good information. Sometimes I have to admit I was wrong and sometimes I am reminded of something I should be doing more often.
4. Encourage guest posts. Even when the writer is talking about topics we discuss regularly, we enjoy their fresh perspective. Interested in writing a guest post for Roundpeg? Check out our standard guest post requirements.
5. Read a lot. I read books, magazines and other blog posts every single day. We have a culture of continuous learning, and we genuinely enjoy sharing new things we have learned.
6.Pay attention to the things our readers seem to enjoy. Although I have things I want to say, at the end of the day this is a business blog, not a personal blog. And the posts that get read, shared, commented on and encourage people to subscribe to our newsletter are the ones I want to repeat.
Those are my tips, what would you add to this list?