Any company can start a business blog. Few know how to run it successfully in the long run. In my role at Zooma, I have gathered a lot of best practices for business blogging; here are my tips.
Write an article per week, publish and promote. Repeat. It doesn't sound that complicated to someone who has never done it before. But whoever gets started quickly realises that this perception of business blogging does not reveal the whole truth.
Business blogging involves ideation, planning, interviewing, researching, production, reviewing, scheduling, and analysing. And yes, running a business blog is time-consuming.
Some blogs succeed, others fail. I've seen it multiple times with my own eyes. In each case, three areas determine the blog's fate; the team, the content, and the process.
Successful business blogging depends on a group of people with multiple skills. In the article, Knowledge content: How to run a content team, part 1, my colleague Niyat Ghebremichael describes why and how you design your content team for consistent output of high-quality knowledge content. Below are the descriptions for the roles enabling a content-creating machine.
The content manager
This role requires strong leadership and administrative skills. A content manager is responsible for running the whole business blog, which involves planning future articles and the general direction of the content. The person is the directly responsible individual (DRI) and leads internal meetings for content reviews. Finally, the content manager does the scheduling, publishing, and promotion on social media. Having a person with the overall picture of the business blog is critical for succeeding in the long run.
The content creator
Due to that, the content manager has an overall picture of the blog, and the content creator can focus all their time on creating high-quality knowledge content. This role requires skills such as interviewing, researching, SEO-optimisation and writing as they're responsible for taking a topic idea to the desk and delivering a knowledge article.
The content board members
With a content manager and a creator, you'll keep your business blog running. But to make it succeed in the long term, you need to involve further colleagues for new and unique perspectives on topics. Thus, you gather a content board with members from different parts of the organisation, such as sales, product development, and upper management. The content manager should schedule a recurring content board meeting to pick their brain on new topic angles.
Even though business blogging is fun, you need to remember that the main purpose is to initiate conversions that drive more business. I've seen examples where organisations get stuck, only writing about topics they consider fun. It rarely yields results.
Instead, you need to ensure your content is relevant to your potential buyers. Each chosen topic must be carefully thought out, have a purpose and relate to your business or industry. To initiate conversions that drive more business, you need to write about the reality and needs of your personas and target groups.
The production process
In the second article of the series; knowledge content, Doug explains how to run a content team and describes the production process we use at Zooma:
Here is a summary of Zooma's content team production process;
We start from the content board at the top.
On a monthly basis, the content manager meets the content board consisting of 3-4 strategic roles at Zooma. The purpose is to give insights into what topics are most relevant for the organisation in the coming month. Based on the input, the content manager plans the future content with the content creators in a weekly content team meeting.
Now, all content creators know what to produce. They interview, do research and create a draft of the content. If the content creator is ghostwriting for an expert, the draft is sent for review. Either the expert wants to change something, or it goes to the content review meetings, which are held weekly.
Once the final draft is reviewed and edited, the articles are scheduled or published.
After some time, the content manager analyses the outcome of the article, which will be presented in the following content board as a basis for future discussions.
By ensuring you have a good team, relevant content and a structured production process, you'll achieve long-term success of your business blog.
Are you looking for inspiration to share with your content team?
Download the guide below to find suggestions on formats and themes that you can brainstorm around when planning content for your business blog.