Lessons Learned Over 800 Blog Posts

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  • 10/11/2016
    We made it! You are witnessing history, people. Who would have thought that thunder::tech’s marketing blog would still be around nine years after it began?

    It has been a journey, but we didn’t arrive at 800 posts without a few learning lessons along the way. We’ve had to work out the kinks to create a blog that we are incredibly proud of. We started with a clear goal of creating content that would educate and inspire, build trust and authority in the industry and to ultimately start a meaningful conversation with prospective and existing clients.  

    In honor of this content milestone, we’re taking a moment to reflect on what has and has not worked, as well as sharing the top eight lessons we have learned since the blog started.

    1. Teamwork makes the dream work. It’s no secret that generating blog content is a big time and resource commitment. We quickly learned that it takes a team effort to get blog posts written and published on time. Rely on internal subject matter experts to provide you with the framework for a blog post content and contribute to the process. Don’t try to do it all yourself! Enlist the help of your team to assist with the heavy lifting and to offer different perspectives.
     
    2. People love to talk about themselves, but resist the urge. Blog posts with thunder::tech at the center are few and far between, because honestly no one cares about us. They care about what information we can provide to help them. Over the years, we found it is critical to offer readers educational content they can relate to and apply to their own business. Skip the overly self-promotional content and be an information resource, instead. Your expertise will shine through.
     
    3. The name game. Your blog’s name might seem super important when you’re just starting out, but it’s less important than you think. When we started the blog, we agonized about the best name to represent the thunder::tech brand and show off our personality, and we landed on chat::ter (see what we did there?). We don’t even refer to it as chat::ter anymore because the blog has taken on a life of its own, but your blog name can provide an opportunity to really highlight your personality. The name of your blog is far less important than the quality of the content you post.  

    4. Show, don’t just tell. Posts with visual elements including pictures, videos and infographics generally perform better than posts without them. Blogs are a visual medium and readers have short attention spans, so help them piece together the story with engaging visuals. Consumers want content that’s digestible and not just a long novel to sift through. Multimedia elements in blog posts keep the reader captivated and encourages them to come back for more.
     
    5. C.O.P.E. it up! So you have an awesome, mobile-friendly blog with great content, but what good is it if no one knows about it? We learned how important it is to repurpose content beyond just the blog. We apply the C.O.P.E. method (Create Once, Publish Everywhere) with each and every blog post to turn it into social media content, promote it in our e-newsletters and turn it into podcasts, all with a slightly different spin or angle. Extending the life of your blog posts by recycling them into other content items makes all the sweat and tears you put into creating the post well worth the effort.
     
    6. Proofread, proofread, and then when you’re finished proofreading, proofread again. We get it. When you’re trying to get a blog post up, it can be easy to overlook simple mistakes. We developed an internal process of reviewing and proofreading blog posts to ensure we are presenting the best, error-free content for your reading pleasure.  It never hurts to have a second set of eyes to double check your writing.
     
    7. Follow the leader. Okay, we know we said a successful blog takes a committed effort from your team, but too many cooks in the kitchen can produce disaster and substantially slow down the process. Through testing and learning, we found that blog posts get written and published on time when one person is running the show and keeping everyone else accountable. This lead role also makes sure there’s a consistent voice and cadence, which makes all posts consistent and that all components (title, tags, calls to action, etc.) are included.
     
    8. Plan for spontaneity. There’s something to be said for having a clear editorial calendar to plot out the topics you want to write about, but not at the risk of being too rigid to pivot. As marketers, we understand the importance of being nimble and that applies to blogging, too. Definitely have a schedule in mind, but be flexible enough to pivot and take advantage of timely topics on which you can offer your perspective. Don’t miss out on a hot topic because you’re too busy focusing on the same old concept over and over.

    Creating an interesting blog requires a lot of time, effort and creativity. There’s nothing worse than looking for a resource and not being able to find the facts because a post is overloaded with unnecessary fluff. Ultimately, writing for our blog is something we do to further the education of our current and potential clients, as well as ourselves. Our long-term return on investment is building a content-rich library of blog posts, many of them evergreen, which allows readers to find relevant information even years after a post has been published.

    Our goal is always to stay up-to-date on the latest marketing trends, remembering the basic concepts and advancing the future of our industry. While we’ve learned a lot after writing 800 blog posts, we know that there’s so much more to explore and cannot wait to find it. Here’s to the next 800 thunder::tech blog posts! 
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