A blog about a blog - should you have one on your site?
You don't need to constantly churn out content in order to have a blog on your website - as long as you have something useful and interesting to say, and can commit to a regular content schedule, it's a worthwhile venture.
However, before you leap in and put your author's hat on, you do need to think about what role a blog will play for you and how you're going to manage it over a longer period of time.
How is a blog different to other parts of your website?
It might sound like an obvious question, but it's worth considering how blog content will sit next to other content on your site. News items, resources, and blog posts all have the potential for crossover - is a product release a news item or a blog post? ...is it both?
Here on sector.nz, we have news, resources (documentation), and a blog. In our content strategy we set some guidelines for which content belongs to which type, for example:
- Instructional information about Sector is documentation. If it's not directly about Sector, it is a blog post (like this one!)
- Sector release notes, though they contain some technical information, are news rather than documentation
- Content expanding on release notes can be a blog post (if the content isn't technical) or documentation (if the content is technical)
...and that's just the beginning of it! You can see why it pays to really have a plan for your content before you begin creating it. Review the content you currently create and whether there's a space for blog posts to fit in with what you already do.
What should I actually publish on a blog?
Make a list of types of content and subject areas you can create content in, so when you're stuck for blog post ideas you can refer to this for inspiration.
A good starting place is to look at existing blogs you enjoy - have a think about why you like them, and how you can implement that in your own blog.
Some ideas to kick off your brainstorming:
- Guest posts from a person or team
- Opinion pieces on something new in your industry
- Behind-the-scenes of how you work
- Company news
- Reviews of products and events
- Welcome/farewell posts for staff
- Best practice advice in your subject area
- Case studies of projects
- Month/year-in-review posts
How often should you (or can you) publish posts?
Work out how much time and content you have available to you, and commit to a content schedule for how often you'll publish blogs. This helps keep you accountable to create and release content, helps your audience know when to expect content, and makes your blog look like it's maintained.
Make sure to actually write down your plan for individual blog posts and when they are going to be published, however best suits your workflow. You could make a Trello board (like this editorial calendar Trello board template), use calendar reminders, or track content in a spreadsheet.
Be realistic - it's better to commit to doing fewer blog posts but doing them well, rather than trying to do too many and rushing out generic posts or being unable to keep up with your schedule. A blog once a month may not sound like much, but if you can keep up this regular posting, your audience will come to expect (and hopefully look forward to) your next post.
So, you're ready for a blog?
Sector Blog is an add-on, so ask a sitebuilder or developer for some help installing it on your Sector site.
Once the blog functionality is set up, you can start adding blog posts to your site - see our handy documentation on editing a blog post.
Decided a blog is the right way to go for you? Keep an eye out on our blog for more advice on writing and managing your blog posts.