There are a hundred different blogs that approach this same topic. Luckily, our version is designed to help you start producing more content for your company or even personal blogs. The content you produce serves three purposes: one is to help, inform, and strengthen trust with the clients you already have; the second is to cast a wider net and gain new clientele; and third is to build you or your organization up as thought leaders in your space. That said, let’s look at a few tips you can use to produce top-notch content for your blog.
1. Be the expert
You’re lucky, because if you’re a managed service provider, chances are you’re already an expert in IT. Your expertise can be proven by the fact that you’ve handled many clients during your x number of years in the industry. You’ve got experience. You’ve essentially lived in digital landscapes and slept in cold server rooms—you’ve been there and done it. When it comes to producing content, you’ve probably already got the perspective you need to display your talents and to share your insight.
The problem is that everyone that can thread together a sentence about any topic thinks he or she is an expert. You need to actually prove you’re the expert. Quality content can involve a lot of research and time. While it’s true that anybody can write a decent blog post in about thirty minutes, it’s also true that nearly everybody who produces lots of content for a blog probably actually does produce it in about thirty minutes (not us, I assure you), and because of that, almost every blog you come across has decent content. Wake up. Nobody cares about decent content. The content that really grabs a gaze has to be exceptional if it’s going to stand out (or exceptionally stupid, but that’s not the kind of attention you’re trying to get)
2. Create Your Audience
One tip at the top of many lists is “know your audience.” But this list is designed to be little different. Yes, you need to know your audience, but more importantly, you need to find your audience. Or better yet, let them find you. If you’re producing content for a business, you need to understand your customers, but the biggest goal of your blog might be to find new customers. That means, to a certain degree, you can control who your audience is by what you’re writing. Who do you want to read it? Presumably you want people who might buy your product or services to read it— you want your demographic. Create content that will attract the type of reader you think will benefit from reading what you are the expert at producing. In time, you’ll find new customers from readers that have come to trust you.
3. Make Other Experts Work for You
Those that are most passionate about what they do are often the most knowledgeable professionals around. They also happen to be the people that are most likely to share their thoughts on a particular topic because they spend many hours doing it. I can probably talk to you for several hours about the writing process and a professor of history can probably keep you an hour after class discussing the finer points of Rasputin’s beard. Experts know the most because they are the best and they will often be happy to share with you. Ask their opinions, ask if you can interview them, and if you’re bold, get them to write something for you.
Use expert knowledge to your advantage because the difference in quality content and mediocre content is determined by how much knowledge and expertise an author either has or leans on (a few well-placed commas don’t hurt either). This might mean you’ve got to wake from your server room nap and do some research. Spending time to find relevant research and offer thoughts of other industry leaders will show readers that not only do you know what you’re talking about, you also get your information from a bevy of others that do as well. Sharing and spreading industry knowledge and injecting your own expertise is exactly how you find yourself standing amongst those industry leaders. Soon enough, others will be leaning on you for your expertise (though I’m sure they already do).
4. See Everything as a Topic
Pay attention. If you’re smart and impassioned about providing excellent content, you’ll find that nearly anything can be a relevant blog post if you approach it from the right angle and discuss it with intelligence. This, of course, must fall within reason. Your toe-jam might not be as relevant as you think (well, now that I mention it…).
I’ll shamelessly promote myself while giving an example. A few weeks back I wrote about backup, disaster recovery, and Star Wars. The two could easily have nothing to do with each other but because I did some research (I watched Star Wars a bunch of times), I noticed that the events that unfold in the film can actually offer some interesting advice for those in the backup and disaster recovery industry. The article actually received some fairly substantial traffic, was amusing to write and, I hope, was a pleasure to read. Spend some time, have some fun, and look at things that interest you.
What about writer’s block? It’s a myth. Take a break. Go for a walk and let your mind wander. Most of the reason you may be having trouble is that you’re clogging your brain with extra thoughts and worries about not being able to write. Give everything some space by clearing your head and you’ll find that some really good ideas drizzle from your brain into your pen (or keyboard).
Experts are experts for a reason and that makes them the best people to learn from. In addition to citing them in your research, it’s important to read successful work others have done, and always be learning all you can about your trade or the topics you’re approaching. You can learn a lot about style and voice by reading humorous posts like those from CNN’s Jarett Belini, and you learn a lot about crafting helpful information-driven articles by reading things like Brett Mckay’s robust guide to everything man, “The Art of Manliness.” The more you can read, the better. Be sure to expand your scope to include all types of things like blog posts, magazine and newspaper articles, books, comic books, or whatever. You can learn something from everything you read (yes, even an awful work like Twilight can teach you plenty, even if it’s what not to do). Plus, things like style, grammar, and spelling rub off on you the more you read. Sometimes the best thing you can do for your writing is put down your own writing and look at someone else’s.
Would you like to use some of our Recovery Zone content in your emails or on your blog? Email recovery.zone[at]storagecraft.com for more information.