No Time To Blog? Bloggers' Block? 6 Strategies To Developing Quick and Beneficial Blog Content
After over 100 days straight of posting to the Tomato, you may (read: should) be wondering to yourself if there's a life outside of this blog? We're often asked, "How do you come up with all of that information?" "How do you find the time?" "How can you still manage to have a family, a job, a life?"
I can't speak for Greg at BloodhoundBlog (Mr. 101 posts in 24hrs) but the short answer is that we have a strategies for consistently generating quality content. Being consistent with your expected posting schedule is crucial when it comes to maintaining an audience. Below are 6 strategies for populating your blog when you find yourself short on time and creativity. We use the top 4 to ensure the Tomato is fed its daily article.
1. Store Content For A Rainy Day
If you were to log into our Writely account, you would see on average about 10-12 partially written articles. As soon as a compelling thought pops into our head, it becomes a title and an outline or paragraph. As we revisit the idea it beings to resemble a blog entry. Having a pipeline of good potential blog posts alleviates the pressure of having to be creative when you have limited time to publish for your hungry audience. Simply hop into you Writely account, throw some lipstick on an almost completed article and presto, you have earned your readers attention until your next article.
2. The 101 Blog Post Challenge (a.k.a. The Greg Swann/Ardell DellaLoggia) Method
Earlier this week, these two decided to do the unthinkable and write 101 articles on their blog in just 24 hours! They couldn't produce a thesis for every article, so they had to cut some corners, yet still give the impression that each post had some clout. The strategy was this: find an intriguing article online, copy an excerpt from it, generate your own opinion of its value. Take this article for instance from Swann over at the Bloodhound Blog:
If the real estate market continues downward, do you think Zillow’s traffic will go up? I am pretty sure that Zillow’s traffic will be directly related to property prices. Everyone loves to see how much money they are making – it is fun, but most people are not going log on each day to watch their zestimate go down (accurate or not). Personally, I find the site quite boring…one visit seems like enough.
My fourth question would be – if the validity of their purpose has been picked apart, and their revenue model is full of fatal flaws – when do they run out of money?
Maybe we should start a pool?
He took a question that was proposed on another blog, added a two sentence response, and just like that, he had an article. Brillant! Granted...he had just finished posting 102 articles the day before...
3. Have Someone Write It For You
There are companies out there now that will write your articles for you. TheWritersForHire.com for instance, are professional copywriters who will write your website content for you. In their own words "Website content is more than just a word document. Professional website copy is fully laid out and ready to use. We don't just write your content but do all the layout and research involved in creating truly custom copy."
Or how about Elance, DirectFreelance, and GetAFreelancer, where you can post a project (title of a blog entry, and maybe some bullet points of the content you would like), and have free lance writers bid for your business.
Another option is heading over to Craigslist and posting an ad under writing gigs.
And finally, partner up with some other good writers to provide excellent content. We do it, RainCityGuide does it, SellsiusBlog does it, BloodHoundBlog does it... we're all doing it! In fact, most of this post was written by Jason Benesch, and not me, Jim Cronin.
4. Post Revisited
A great way to continue providing content that revolves around your core topic, increase past article readership and fill the void of nothing new to say is: Take an 'oldie but goodie' post you have written, bring it back to life as today's article and simply elaborate on it. Maybe it's a topic that you think differently about now; maybe there are new examples to support your stance; maybe you left some part of it underdeveloped; maybe it was a great article that got a lot of comments and you would like to respond to the comments left; maybe it was a great article that didn't get any comments and you want to try the audience again. By doing this you can invigorate your blog, expand on old ideas, re-stir your own pot, refinish the surface and polish the once dusted topic that was left in the graveyard of stale words.
5. Saved by a Listing
None of the above working for you? Take the easy way out for real estate agents. It's a little cheesy, but it gets the job done, and it may even help gain some positive exposure for your inventory. Post a cute article about one of your own listings (or someone else's). Why not? It is the business you are in. Grab some pictures, add some simple text as to why this listing deserves to grace (loosely used here) the annals of your blog, and voilà, you got yourself a post! Read more on blogging your listings here.
6. Get a Swicki (New addition thanks to Brad Nix's input and his blog article)
A swicki is the below and more.
1. A search engine.
2. Targeted results trained by moderator and users
3. A buzzcloud (look in right hand column of this site) promoting the most common searched
4. Instant notification to moderator of visitors' searches.
How does a swicki help you write articles for your blog? When your audience preforms a search on your site, the swicki notifies you of their search terms, in turn giving you an opportunity to write to your visitors' interests. The bad news: you still have to write the articles.
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