December 31, 2008, 12:28 AM — One of the best ways to promote your business is to blog. Unfortunately, many business owners are under the impression that blogging takes a lot of time, or they have seen too many bloggers who start out with gusto only to abandon their blogs two or three months later. While both concerns are legitimate, thereâ€™s no reason to let them keep you from starting your own blog. After all, business blogging is a great way to build a following and shorten the sales process.
Rare is the sales blogger who settles in a quiet room with a pencil and a pad of paper to write down his most profound ideas. Instead, most bloggers spend their time reading other blogs and interacting with others within their market niche. All this interaction makes it easier, not harder, to blog. Once youâ€™re in tune with what everyone else is thinking and writing, coming up with your own material is a breeze.
Here are 7 ways to quickly generate your own content.
1. Interviews. Find an expert in your market niche and see if she is willing to be interviewed via email. Read other interviews to glean interesting and timely questions, and then ask her those. Most experts are willing to be interviewed because they get some exposure out of the deal, too. And the whole process only takes about 15 minutes.
2. Guest Bloggers. Hunt down an expert in your field who has expertise in an area you lack and ask him to write an article for your blog. Not only will you increase your following by attracting your guest bloggerâ€™s base, but youâ€™ll end up ranking higher for keywords that wouldnâ€™t normally generate a lot of traffic for you.
3. Rewrite. Read some of your old blog posts and find one whose lesson remains applicable to your situation today. You probably have additional insight now, so share that with your readers. Link to the old post and add your new insights. Thirty minutes later you have a new article!
4. Have a Contest. This provides a bonus post because you not only have to post information about the contest, but you also have to tell everyone who the winner was.
5. Ask a Good Question. A good question can ignite great conversation. Use Twitter to help build a following for your blog if you donâ€™t already have one. The great conversation generated by your question will ensure that your readers will stick around. Everyone likes to be asked for their opinion. Let your readers share theirs.
6. Use Lists. Lists are great article-writing tools because people are automatically attracted to bulleted or numbered content. Because itâ€™s easier to read and digest, readers are more likely to slow down for listed material than they are for material thatâ€™s written in multiple paragraphs. If youâ€™ve found a list that you like on someone elseâ€™s blog, repost it on your blog using only the bulleted phrases and add a link to the original. Change the title of your post, of course, but always link back to the source.
7. Aggregator Blogging. Scan blogs within your market niche to find articles that you think would interest your readers. Publish one or two paragraphs from each article, link to the original, and add a sentence or two of your own to tell readers what you did or didnâ€™t find helpful about the article. This is also a great way to start good conversations and build networks with other bloggers.
Donâ€™t forgo the opportunity to build links, network, and shorten the time it takes to make a sale simply because you think that business blogging is too time-consuming. Use whatâ€™s already around you to make the process quick and painless, and youâ€™ll see what a difference it will make for your business.