I don’t believe in blogs. There - I said it. A blog is a segment of content marketing that is overvalued. Before you fly off the handle and blast me in the comments section, let me clarify. If done properly, I think blogs have their place. I think they are a great way to get your point across and further thought leadership. Remember - if done properly.
Here is a different approach to your thought leadership. DON’T WRITE BLOGS… write op-ed (or byline) pieces that you or your PR firm can pitch to the media instead. For example, if you own Nala Chewing Gum Company and have 10,000 followers/fans on social media and a blog readership of 1,000 people, your small biz isn’t doing too shabby. You are also limiting yourself to about 1,000 people reading your thought leadership pieces.
Why limit yourself? Shoot higher!
If your gum company can pitch a timely op-ed that is carried by AdAge (readership of 2,650,000) or even American Dental Association (readership of 1,000,000), you have automatically extended your brand well outside of what your blog can get you.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your op-ed can often get your company spokesperson an on-air opportunity as well (which can be turned into a piece which you can use on your website and social media pages). Thus turning your thought leadership into something that can reach far beyond your original distribution list.
Three key things to consider as you are crafting your op-ed:
1) Make sure it is timely. A piece that can reflect on current events and/or topics that your targeted reporter covers have a much better chance to be picked up.
2) Keep it tight. If you write a novel, you won’t be picked up. Keep in mind that editors have column inch restrictions. Keep your word count around 600-800.
3) Stay on-brand. In my gum company example, having a piece about hurricanes or DACA isn’t on-brand for you. You need to use your thought leadership space to talk about topics that are relevant to your customers and your company, but it also needs to build trust and extend your brand.
The beauty of the op-ed/byline approach is simple. The piece will never go to waste. If you pitch your awesome and timely article and not a single publication/site picks it up, it will not be lost and a waste of time. That article now becomes a blog or newsletter piece that you can still share to your followers and fans and then you can move on to your next op-ed/byline.
By thinking of your thought leadership as a media piece first, blog last - you have a much better chance of breaking past your 1,000 readers and growing your brand at the pace it deserves.