It turns out that more really is better when it comes to blogging. At least that’s what the statistics say.
A Hubspot benchmark study found that companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got about four and a half times more leads than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.
The takeaway is clear. If you want more leads, you need to blog more.
That’s easy enough for big companies with plenty of resources. But if you’re in a small company, you’re probably asking, “How can we pump out that many posts every month?”
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. Each of the strategies outlined in this article can work, but there is also a tradeoff for each. You have to decide what is most important to your success.
Option 1: Hire a full time blogger (or a team of bloggers)
Pros: This is probably the easiest solution, at least in the long term. As someone inside your organization, a hire will gain familiarity with your target audience and your brand. As time goes on they should be able to work more independently. That allows you to devote your time to other tasks.
Another benefit of hiring a dedicated blogger is consistency. The tone and quality of the writing should remain steady as long as you employ that writer.
Cons: Hiring anyone is a significant investment. In addition to salary, you need to account for expenses like benefits, paid time off and training. If you’re committed to blogging as a marketing tactic, then the investment is probably worth it if you can afford it. But not all small businesses have the budget.
Tips: Choose talent over subject matter expertise. A direct hire should be a long-term investment. Even if it takes a little more time and effort getting that person up to speed, it should pay off in the end.
Option 2: Outsource to freelancers or an inbound agency
Pros: Like with a full-time hire, you’ll benefit from the skills a professional writer or blogging team brings to the table. But outsourcing isn’t as big of a commitment. And you don’t have to worry about scheduling around vacation days.
While you’ll want to review the work your outsourced talent is producing, it’s less work for you than if you did it yourself.
Cons: This is another option that requires a decent budget, especially if you want posts that are any good.
In addition to that, you will likely be one of several clients the agency or freelancer has. And you may not be their biggest priority.
Tips: If you choose this option, make sure you do your homework first to find the right fit.
Don’t just look for the cheapest option on sites like Fiverr or Upwork. You typically get what you pay for. Instead ask around for recommendations or contact people who create blog posts you admire and if they are available for freelance.
Option 3: Do it yourself
Pros: This is the most economical approach on the list. Yes, there is a cost associated with your time, but it won’t eat into your marketing budget. When you can’t afford to hire outside help, then that trade off could be well worth it.
This approach also gives you the most control over the tone and messaging of your blog. And because you already have an intimate knowledge of your industry, company and customers, this is also the quickest to implement. You bypass the learning curve the options above require.
Cons: It’s hard work. Blogging is not something you can automate. You need to devote time and energy to every post. That means that you may have to sacrifice your free time and leisure activities. Marcus Sheridan, who credits blogging with saving his pool business, would often write his posts at 11 p.m. or later. That’s when he arrived home after a full day of working.
Tips: Getting started is the often the hardest part, especially for non-writers. Block out specific time in your schedule to devote to blogging. Make it part of your regular routine.
When you’re under a time crunch (and you usually will be with a DIY approach) it’s important to maximize your productivity. Close your web browser and email notifications. Shut off your phone. And eliminate any other potential distractions.
The Pomodoro technique can also help you maintain your focus and productivity. Set a timer for 25 minutes and work until the buzzer goes off. Then take a five minute break and start the process over again.
Option 4: Enlist your employees
Pros: Getting employees to blog can be an effective way to spread the work around while preserving the budget. Depending on how many employees participate, the added workload can be manageable.
Those who participate will also have incentive to promote what they write. It gives those employees a sense of ownership.
Cons: As rewarding as blogging can be, getting people to participate is not always easy. Employees’ regular work will take top priority and they may be reluctant to add blogging to their plates. Plus, some people are intimidated by writing.
With multiple contributors, including many with no professional writing experience, maintaining consistency can also be a challenge. You’ll need to devote time and resources to editing and managing the creation process.
Tips: You can’t expect people who have never blogged before to jump right in and produce great posts out of the gate. You need to give specific direction. Provide guidelines and examples of the types of posts you’re looking for, deadlines, and where they fit into the process.
It’s best to make someone the point person to manage the blog. He or she should schedule, review and edit the posts, manage the workflow, and provide feedback and updates to the team.
Providing an incentive is a great way to encourage participation. This could be monetary, extra recognition, a special perk or anything else that motivates your employees.
So which is the right approach for you?
It depends. First, determine your budget and how much of your own time you can devote to blogging. Focus on the options that are closest on the sliding scale below to your situation.
If you’re not on either of the extreme ends, consider using a mix of these techniques. For instance, if you can realistically write 8 posts per month on your own, then you would only need help on 8 more posts to reach 16. You might be able to fill those in with freelance help.