Thursday, January 28, 2016

Great Content Builds Biz in "Grind It Out" Years

Let’s face it. 2016 hasn’t gotten off to a great start and it’s not likely to be a banner year. Between the global economy, the Fed, the markets, the overvalued dollar, the weather and North Korea acting up again, many are asking for a “re-do.” And it’s only January.

OK. It’s going to be one of those “grind it out” years. One thing that’s cheering us up is the number of you who are using thought leadership content to build your businesses and practices. We’re not talking about selfies, tweets and Vines. We’re talking about relevant, substantive and concise blog posts, mini-articles, videos and eBooks that showcase your expertise, but don’t put your audience to sleep or have them scrambling for the delete key.

How long is enough?

As you might imagine, we get lots of questions about how often to post and how long each post should be. There is no magic number or one-size-fits all solution for business and financial professionals. But the frequency of posting and average length of post may surprise you.

According to research from Orbit Media and Marketing Profs:

·         Three out of five business marketers (59%) consider blogs to be their most valuable channel.
·         Most business bloggers (85%) post at regular intervals—typically 1 to 6 times per week.
·         500 to 1,000 words is the most common length of post (57% agree).

We bet that’s more than you thought. Again, we’re talking about serious business professionals, not celebrity watchers, mass market retailers and cat video enthusiasts.

If you’re new to blogging, start with a once-per week “cadence.” Try to post on the same day each week and keep it to 500 words per post. Don’t worry about which platform or blogging tool to use. Start with the “Publish” tool in LinkedIn and just make sure you have something relevant to say. Always include a photo with your posts--it makes a big difference as an experiment with our longtime client Naylor LLC confirmed.

In these uncertain times, there are still plenty of opportunities, but it won’t be automatic. You’re going to have to earn the business (and keep earning it after you get it). Well-crafted thought leadership content—i.e. informative without being salesy--is one of the best ways to stay top of mind with clients and prospects without being pushy.


Even Bill Gates, a chief architect of the technology revolution, is a big advocate of reading and the written word. “[Reading] is one of the chief ways that I learn, and has been since I was a kid,” he mentioned in a recent NY Times interview.  “I visit interesting places, meet with scientists and watch a lot of lectures online. But reading is still the main way that I both learn new things and test my understanding.” Gates is also a prolific blogger. And what does he blog about in Gates Notes?

The books he’s reading.

Our blog and website has more about this and related topics.

TAGS: Bill Gates, blogging frequency and length of post, thought leadership content

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