A blog is a commitment. It’s not just an extra page on your website that you get ready for launch date; it’s like a houseplant (I was going to say “puppy” but that metaphor rapidly gets a bit grim) that needs regular attention or it will dry up and fade away. Like a houseplant, it’s not a major commitment (“puppy” really would have been pretty bad…), and not terribly difficult to look after; however neglect can have a detrimental effect on your whole living room. Who wants to look at a dead plant?
OK, this metaphor is definitely dead now too, but you get my point. A neglected blog can drag a whole website down. Not only will returning visitors wonder whether you’re still out there (“The hotel website is still blogging about Easter offers – do you think it’s closed down?”) but essentially, the search engines won’t be picking up on lovely fresh content, which is no good for your site at all.
So, how do you keep your blog lively, especially when you already have a whole conservatory’s worth of plants to take care of (sorry, sorry)? Here are some very simple suggestions…
Get your copywriter to do it
Well, what did you expect me to say?! But seriously, a professional writer will commit to getting a post out there for you on pre-agreed topics at regular intervals. Or, I will happily blog-sit for you if you are having a busy period/holiday/baby. This approach also gives you a lovely, polished post…
Use Google Alerts for inspiration
This also works for Facebook and Twitter posts. You can ask Google to let you know if anything newsworthy shows up about your subject. Alternatively, searching on Google News gets you a similar result. An easy way to find inspiration and keep your blog posts current.
Use it like a diary
Just write about what you’re up to. A new dish in your café, a refurbished hotel room, an exciting new product launch… It’s all stuff of interest to your users. Involve “real life” if it’s a family business. Quick and easy, and posts do not have to be long – they can just be based around a photograph if that suits you.
Get those posts stacked up…
If you have a free day, and know you’re about to be busy, write a bunch of posts and publish them one-by-one over the next few weeks. I try to do this before school holidays (well, Christmas epic fail, but it is so worth doing if you can). How often you write a new blog post seems to be a vexed question. A quick search revealed several squillion opinions on this. Just be realistic. I aim for once a week, as I know I can fit this in.
Nurture your blog. Keep it well nourished and it will serve you well. Writing posts doesn’t have to be an onerous task – and remember (smiles charmingly and hopefully), you can always outsource it… (But I’m rubbish at looking after plants.)