Finding content for your website is a tough job. Pete shares 8 tips on how you can do some research to help. We use the very first tips here at SMN. The remaining tips have given us some good ideas for the future.
8 Ways to Write Quick Articles for Your Business Blog
The number one excuse I hear from people for not starting a business blog is time .
consider it my job to ask them the right questions and share
appropriate stories so they begin to understand the significant upside
when business blogging is embraced as a lead generation tool .
However, people often over estimate the amount of time it takes to write a killer blog post.
Successful blogging never occurrs in a vacuum. Only 1/3rd of a successful blogger’s time is spent writing. They’re not usually sitting down in a quiet room with a pad and paper to write. They’re reading, commenting, networking, and spending a good majority of their time interacting online with people who have similar passions. The unexperienced blogger might think that this process would take even more effort and more time, rather than less. However, by interacting with other people, ideas come easier and words and paragraphs begin to flow.
But, most importantly, a network of collaborators enables you to churn out content a lot quicker.
Here’s 8 ways to leverage your network to generate content for your blog quickly:
- Aggregator Blogging . At his Business Opportunities Blog , Dane Carslon has mastered the art of being an aggregator blogger. Instead of writing a new article everyday, Dane scans 100s of blogs for articles that he thinks would interest his readers. He then links to the original source and republishes a paragraph or two from the original source. When I do this, I like to add a sentence or two with my thoughts of why I thought the article was interesting. But, Dane is focused on efficiency. Dane also has the advantage of owning the most viral link building widget ever created ; traffic comes to him like you could only hope for. So, I do not recommend only doing “aggregator blogging” like Dane does. But, it’s certainly a way to produce lots of content, network with other bloggers, and be a resource for your readers at the same time.
Estimated Time: 5 minutes.
- Interview an Expert Over Email. Awhile ago, I interviewed internet marketing expert , Courtney Tuttle. Other bloggers are willing to do quick interviews because it’s an opportunity for them to be exposed to a new audience and build a few links at the same time. Brian and Dharmesh have been sending the Proust Questionnaire to some very well known personalities on the web and they’ve been sending back great answers.
Estimated time: 15 minutes.
- Link blogging. HubSpot is about to release software for our clients to run link blogs on their websites. We’ve been experimenting with our own internet marketing link blog for awhile. I think our new feature will be called web voter, since it’ll also allow readers to promote a story like users can do on Digg, Reddit and countless other sites now. Link blogs are usually link magnets (ie. attract a lot of inbound links) as it’s not easy to find authoritative resources on specific topics that are updated with new content frequently. Assuming the author puts a good amount of time and effort into finding great articles and posting them, they can create great followings. No writing required.
Estimated time: 30 seconds.
- Solicit Guest Articles. I solicit guest articles all of the time for my own blog about lead generation. A few months back, I started noticing that a lot of internet marketing virtual assistants (IMVAs) were raving about HubSpot. I reached out to Shari Sultana and asked her to write an article about the benefits of hiring an internet marketing virtual assistant . She did. I posted it. Two of my clients hired her. Not only did I score a great article for my site, my site now ranks high for a search for “internet marketing virtual assistant” in google and I helped a few clients find a great resource to aid their internet marketing success. It’s a win-win-win.
Estimated time: 15 minutes.
- Remix Previously Written Content. This one is one of my favorites. I often go back and read old blog posts. Often times, the lesson is still relevant, but after the quick burst of attention it received, it’s basically been residing in a hidden crevice on the internet. A few months forward, I usually have a fresh story to share or a new take on the same lesson. So, I’ll link to the old post, extract a paragraph and add a few new thoughts to the subject.
Estimated time: 30 minutes.
- Run a Contest . In a sudden stroke of idiocy/genius, I suggested to a client that we ask our blog readers how much traffic they’ll get after they optimize their 3,000+ pages of content for better search engine placement. Rick Burnes wrote up a quick contest . We received 50+ entries/comments. Contests deliver an extra-quick-easy-blog-writing-bonus because contests require two posts: one to announce the contest and one to announce the winnner. We’ll be doing more contests. For sure.
Estimated time: 20 minutes.
- Highlight Other People’s Lists . First of all, I encourage you to start creating lists. You might have noticed that a good percentage of HubSpot’s blog posts are “lists”. Chris Brogan writes great lists all of the time. Lists usually write themselves and they are easily digested by people who are skimming your content. (Sorry. Most people are just skimming your content.) When I see a good list, I’ll often copy the highlights and leave out the fluff. Then, point people to the original article. Usually, when people write lists, they are paragraphs… like this list is. You could extract the bold parts and repost it on your blog pretty easily. That’s simple, smart, much MORE digestable content for your readers. I’d recommend you always link to the source of the original article and change the title of your post, like I did when I posted this article about ” What Kind of Idiot Runs a Business without a Customer Relationship Management System “.
Estimated Time: 10 minutes.
- Ask Questions. Sometimes, all it takes is a question to spark a conversation. If you don’t have a following on your blog yet, I suggest joining and building your following on Twitter . You can be asking questions and getting great answers from people inside of a month – as it’s much easier to build a following on Twitter than your blog. Michelle Wolverton is an expert at using Twitter this way. (eg Q . A . Blog post .) My sales coach is the master at asking questions and sparking dialog on his sales coaching blog . Chris Brogan never writes a blog post without a question at the end. So…