Starting a new technology blog is exciting, a little intimidating — and comes with a long list of important decisions. You know that, first and foremost, you want to produce educational content that is valuable to your target audience. Yet, somehow, despite your best efforts to establish a strong blogging routine, you may find yourself hitting a few common roadblocks.
Here are five common mistakes new bloggers face in the technology services space and how to avoid them.
Challenge #1: Developing a content strategy
Online content based on a thoughtful content strategy can help you reap “expertise-based referrals” (referrals made based on a buyer’s view of a firm’s specialized expertise). As you’ll see in the figure below, reading blog posts motivates 20% of this type of referral.
So before you begin blogging, it’s a good idea to put together a roadmap. Your content creation efforts should always be tied into your larger marketing strategy. By ensuring your blog plans support your other marketing efforts, you can get the most out of your content. Not sure where to start? Tying your blog posts back to the tech services you offer (indirectly and in a non-self promotional way) will help keep your blog topics well coordinated.
Challenge #2: Running out of ideas
It’s probably the biggest concern new bloggers have when they first start out, even in the saturated technology market – how will I possibly come up with enough content ideas to post regularly?
If you find yourself struggling to come up with new ideas, don’t panic. Here are a few different areas you can tap for support:
- Let the issues and concerns your clients are facing inform the topics you write about. Talk to your sales or business development colleagues; they can be a great resource to talk to about the trends and problems that are consistently coming up in your industry and then build content to address those issues.
- Reach out to other people in your organization for their ideas. Encouraging others to write for your blog can be great for bringing in new ideas and diverse voices.
- Check out your competitors’ blogs to see what they’re writing about. Following other popular topics in your industry can provide valuable inspiration, just be sure to provide your own spin.
- Invite relevant technology bloggers or influencers to write a guest post for your blog. This is another way to bring in new voices and perspectives for your target audience to enjoy.
Challenge #3: Not enough time
Definitely use a content calendar to plan your content — it can help you manage your time better and ensure you are staying true to your content strategy. When you have at least a few weeks of topics planned out in advance, you won’t need to waste time thinking about what to write.
However, even with proper planning, we all know sometimes new priorities can throw a wrench in your week. Consider writing some of your posts in advance so you have a backup stash of emergency content on hand for when those priorities shift.
Challenge #4: Incorporating Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
As you plan out your content and marketing strategies, make sure that a keyword strategy is a significant part of your planning process. When writing a blog post, it’s important to incorporate a relevant keyword in the title. That same keyword should also appear naturally two to three times throughout your post. Not sure how to choose the right keyword? The keyword you choose should match the search terms your target audience is using to research their problems. This helps your prospects find your content via search engines when they are looking for information or an answer to a question.
In the long run, failing to optimize your content for search engines will cost your blog posts valuable traffic and leads.
Challenge #5: Blog promotion
Writing a witty, relevant blog post doesn’t do much good without the right promotion plan. To increase the visibility of your organization and build your brand strength, you absolutely must dedicate time for blog promotion. Share each blog post on your company’s social media channels and encourage other employees to share your blog in relevant LinkedIn Groups.
In addition to using social media to promote your blog posts as they’re published, you can also continue to promote archived posts by linking to them in new blog posts when it’s relevant to the topic.
The Long View
There is a lot to think about when you’re first starting out with a new blog, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. First, develop a plan that aligns with your marketing goals. Assemble as many blogging resources as possible, internal and external. Use a content calendar, incorporate SEO, and develop a promotion plan.
Be patient, because content marketing isn’t a quick win. It takes time, effort, persistence, and a vision for the long view. Thoughtful and relevant blogging will help elevate your firm’s visibility and reputation. And as a result you’ll increase your expertise and reputation referrals.