I have been writing blogs for over 20 years. Which seems crazy! And yes, I can see you thinking about what year we are in now and wondering if there were even blogs that long ago – there were. I first started writing blogs with internet marketers who were trying to sell eBooks and other things that nobody had even heard of.
But the blogs we wrote then were different to what they are today. Thankfully! (For you and me).
How blogs have changed
Back then, blogs were stuffed full of keywords to help Google understand what the blogs were about, but the problem was, they weren’t written for the reader’s enjoyment. Unfortunately it was all about ‘manipulating’ Google’s algorithm to show up in search, but the result was blogs which were often very confusing to read in amongst all the inserted keywords that didn’t have much consideration of flow and actually adding value to the end-user.
So I love that blogs have changed. Blogs should be about providing a richer experience to the reader, helping our clients to choose us because of what we have given them in value without expecting anything in return (they don’t always want to ‘buy’).
What Google loves
Google loves simplicity. Well, there’s a bit more to it than that but basically Google loves it when you take care of the reader and what they actually want to find out. So it is about writing in the language of the person reading it, not of who you are and what you do. If you are selling to technical people, by all means using technical writing. But if you want your blog to be read by people who may not have a professional knowledge or understanding of your service or product, it is very important to write it in a simple and straightforward way. This makes it easier for Google to ‘match’ your content to your ideal reader.
Here’s my current blog writing process
I have a confession to make. I have literally written hundreds and thousands of blogs, but now I’m time poor, I tend to write (or would like to) one long blog a month. I’m not achieving it though which means I have had to change the way I do it. Adapt to survive and all that, right?
This is what I have been teaching my clients, and it’s something you can do too. So right now I am ‘speaking’ my blog, while looking over an outline of what I want the blog to say, and recording it.
If I was doing completely by myself, I would use something like Otter.ai to transcribe what I am writing, so it is easier for me to go back and read it. But, I am going to do the biggest cheat of all and I am going to give it to a blog writer – her name is Erin (hello) – to help me get these written despite everything else that is going on. And you know why? Because I understand the power of a really amazing blog, and I want my blogs to be detailed, long and to add value, so you go away with benefits and learnings that you can apply straight away.
It’s also about leaving a good taste in your mouth of ‘what Rachel Klaver knows’, what I say and do, and ensure you feel like value you get from us. That’s why we do good blogs. But I also want you to be able to find my blogs so this is why it has lots of detail, and also focuses on using a keyword I know a lot of people search for – content marketing strategy. You’ll see it in the title and here in the copy too (but not too much, those days are long gone).
My current process for planning a blog
So the first thing I do is research on something like answerthepublic.com – to find out what keywords/niche topic people are searching for.
Then I plan my outline, which is all the things I will work through while explaining the blog. I quite like paper, so will often do it there first and then transfer to a Google doc.
I then record myself talking through it, and give it to a writer (hi, me again!)
When it comes back, I put it on my website, and here comes the crucial part (which I explain further down in the blog) – I repurpose it time and time again.
- Posting your blog (in more places than your website)
So the first place I post my blogs is on my website, Identify Marketing. And you may be reading this here, or potentially somewhere else, as I also post on Linkedin, under the Pulse or blog section of my profile. Then I put it on medium.com, and this is a great one because it shares my blog to a broader range of people and it’s not seen as duplicate content by Google either (which Google isn’t so fond of), so this is a win-win. I could pop it on sub.stack but that’s currently just being used for my Hello Human book updates.
Then the last place I post it is usually with Stuff.co.nz, as I am a columnist for their business section. This is often a shorter one, or has been changed a bit to fit what they need for the site, but it also links back to my website.
Basically I want as many places as possible online, as not only are blogs an awesome way for people to build trust in us, blogs are also extremely beneficial for SEO (search engine optimisation), helping more people on the internet to find me. And of course, this is why many of us have blogs – so people can discover us and our business.
- Link it up
The next step of my process is to post it/link to it on various social media platforms, along with a description of what it is about. This is mainly for SEO, not really to serve my readers, as most platforms don’t actually like you putting up an external link to go to off-site content.
This goes on Linkedin (my personal and company page), Facebook, Instagram, Google My Business and Pinterest (in which I create a cool little graphic to then link back to my blog).
And here’s one of the key takeaways of this whole blog – this is absolutely KEY for maximising content. Post it on your different social media accounts at different times, NOT all at once. This means one blog could be still getting posted two or three weeks later. It’s about having evergreen content that rolls out over a period of time. Because if you do publish it everywhere, all on the same day, you get one big boost, but not the prolonged benefit of releasing it slowly.
Another benefit is staggering it like this fits into my ethos that we are not there to shout at our prospective customers and the people who like reading what we write. And if I do have it on all my social media platforms on the same day and time – it comes across as one loud message instead of trying to softly engage with people and build a relationship over time. Perhaps someone has seen it on Instagram but it wasn’t a good time to read it, then two weeks later it pops up on Facebook and finally it is the right time to click through.
- Turn it into video content
Another part of my content marketing strategy is to turn the written blog into audio and visual content. So I may use loom, like I am today, and record my screen with the information in front of me and I record a detailed video all about the topic. I then name the Youtube video with the same one as my blog (because of that all-important keyword), subtitle it, put a cover on (because I like it looking beautiful) and post to Marketing with Rachel Klaver – if you want to check it out.
After Youtube I also imbed it organically into Facebook, which typically likes more than three minutes but will take less than that. And if it is more than two minutes long I will post to Instagram TV, as well as Linkedin and pinned to Pinterest from the Youtube channel.
Just note which platforms like to have it embedded in their own platform, not just a link from Youtube. Again, I also stagger out the release to maximise the time I can use the blog and expand the reach into different areas. My Youtube channel is the least popular for some reason, where most videos have around 30 or 40 views, but then on Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin, I have views in the hundreds or even thousands.
So once I have done the blog post, linked to it in a variety of places and turned it into video content, I also subtitle it (using Zubtitle), so that people can read it when they are meant to be interacting with their family – oops.
- Repurpose it in an infographic
There is yet another way I can repurpose the original blog content and that is by turning elements into infographics. I will be making one about this blog, which I am very excited about, in which I will pull out key points and put them into a visual format.
Then, again, I will push the infographic out to Pinterest, Linkedin, my Instagram story and Facebook. And yes, I will be pushing out this same material, once a week across these four or five social media platforms which will make it last at least a month – sharing the same basic concept! This is an opportunity to get creative with the blog content, whether you create a mini checklist or simply highlight key points in a list format.
- Pull out the best bits for social media posts
Another easy way to create social media content from the blog is to select an excerpt once a week and post it to all of your platforms, along with a nice image to engage with viewers visually.
- Turn it into lead generation content
Is it possible that there are more ways to use that one blog? Yes, of course! You can repurpose it into lead generation content, like a full checklist, or some other ‘offer’ that people have to provide their email details in order to gain access to it. This contact information means you’re able to engage with them further, using different resources or tools that they may be interested in.
You could also expand on the content and turn it into a downloadable eBook. This might involve a bit of reformatting, alongside a nurturing sequence of emails which allow you to continue to build trust with leads, and add value to those you already work with.
So there you have it. This blog has taken me about 30 minutes to plan out, read and record this (12 minutes) and send off to Erin to type. And what it shows is the amazing power that one long beneficial blog can have, with tonnes of value and lots of extra content, just framed in a different way.
And this is how I recommend using blogs to be the cornerstone of your content marketing strategy. It means less time coming up with new content – something I do actually love doing but I’m very time poor at the moment – and it helps you build a solid content marketing base. By simply using one key piece of content, you can spread it out as far and wide as you can, in many different ways, to benefit your customers and future customers.