I’ve been writing this blog for eight years now, but it was about four years ago in March that we committed to start publishing something every day. We did this for several reasons, in part because content here had driven a significant portion of our sales pipeline and revenue growth, and we thought we could expand that impact with a more regular, daily commitment to content.
Four years later, we’ve just passed 2,000 unique blog posts. I used the 1K blog milestone to reflect on what it had meant to myself and the business, and although it took less time to hit the next thousand posts, the impact – and the lessons – have expanded. Here are a few things on my mind that are also impacting how we think about the next thousand posts.
It takes discipline
There are many days I don’t feel like writing, don’t have something queued up for tomorrow, or just got way too busy or behind. But that’s a slippery slope. The systems we have created for recording and triaging potential topics makes it very easy to find something strategic and targeted, even if written at the last minute. Beyond that, blogging daily requires a daily discipline of writing. As comfortable as I am generally with the written word, sitting down to craft something worthy of publication still takes time and discipline. But it’s worth it.
It’s a numbers game
Some posts go nuts. Others give us a one-day spike and trickle off. Rarely is one or the other predictable. But if we maintain a standard of quality on everything that goes out our door, the numbers game on daily blog posts works in our favor.
It takes a village
I still write the majority of content that ends up here, but I write a far lower percentage of overall content than I did for the first thousand. We’ve encouraged everyone on staff to contribute regularly to our blog, and have regular features (such as the Saturday B2B Reads) that give me at least one day off from writing every week. That diversity will continue to grow as we increase the internal and external voices contributing to our editorial calendar.
It takes time
I distinctly remember writing what I thought was pretty good content in the beginning, then looking at my pitiful traffic numbers for what felt like weeks and months at a time. It took hundreds of blog posts to start to generate readers. Today, we’re blessed with great regular followers across channels – email, social, RSS and more. But it’s literally taken 2,000 blog posts to get there. Blogging works, but it definitely takes time. There really aren’t any shortcuts.
It’s worth the investment
I’ve never paid someone to write a blog post for us. Never paid for traffic. My investment in this blog has been purely sweat equity. And yet, the percentage and dollar volume of business I can attribute back to our investment in content continues to grow. I’ve written previously how I don’t believe in inbound marketing alone to sustain a predictable pipeline, and that’s still absolutely true for me. But I shudder to think about how much money I’d have to have spent on sales & marketing to hit the growth numbers we’ve been thankful to achieve without the blog.
It’s my top sales rep by far
It opens doors. Makes cold introductions easier. It keeps my prospects warm. Generates inbound inquiries. It literally helps me close deals, including with prospects I haven’t even spoken to yet.
It’s the foundation for numerous repurposing opportunities
Our best practices guides, as well as many of my books, have started as blog posts. The discipline of thinking and writing daily makes it far easier to stitch together valuable, relevant content into a variety of other formats – webinars, keynote presentations, white papers, templates and more.
It can be systematized
Three days a week now, we run regularly-scheduled content. Thursdays it’s our highly-popular “How I Work” series. Saturday it’s B2B Reads. Sunday is our App of the Week. These take time to do consistently well, but are far less labor intensive than coming up with something new, from scratch. They make daily blogging easier.