One of the most powerful ways to build additional traffic to your institution’s treasury management portion of your website is to create a weekly blog with content focused on customers who use treasury management services. Below, we’ll continue our series how to start a weekly treasury management blog in 10 steps.
In part one of this three-part series, we examined some technical aspects of getting a blog up and running. This time, we’ll touch on some practical day to day processes.
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Step 4: Define Your Blog’s Purpose
You need to keep the blog “on the rails” at all times and the temptation is to use it for selling purposes. Sorry, your blog goal is not to sell something to the reader. Here are some guidelines for maintaining the consistency of the blog:
- Deliver value
- Give the reader a reason to act
Step 5: Set Up Your Editorial Process
Having a simple editorial process is critical in maintaining consistency in the blogging process.
- Focus on creating blogs around 600 words. You want them over 400 words, but less than 900 words. If you go over 900 words, consider splitting them into two blogs (part 1 and part 2) and post them on subsequent weeks. We are big fans of multi-post content as it makes consumption easier for the reader and SEO seems to respond well to multi-part content. Plus, you get weeks of content without extra work!
- During the writing process, the author needs to note where photographs, images or infographics need to be placed in the document.
- Once ready, the author sends the final blog over to the person designated as the editor. Ideally, you have all agreed on the “voice” of the blog so the editing process is easy.
- If compliance wants to review at the posting before going live, send the edited version to them for review.
Step 6: Create a Posting Checklist and Standards List
Every post needs to be consistent with the rest of the postings, so we’ve got some ideas to create your standards list from:
- All text is reviewed by at least two people – the writer and the editor.
- A search phrase and META text is generated sometime in the posting process. All that matters here is that your search phrase is unique across your entire site and does not compete with any other page.
- Hashtags are no longer needed for blog posts except in certain situations where you want your post to show up in a national or international awareness campaign.
- At a minimum, you’ll need a primary, featured image for each blog posting. If you can’t create your own image (custom photography or infographic), we recommend you use a stock photography service such as Unsplash, Adobe Stock, Getty Images, or Shutterstock. If you need custom infographics, we recommend 99Designs for assistance.
- Create other graphics or screen shots for your blog posting using your design guidelines for image size.
- During your featured image creation process, we recommend you also create several other image sizes from the same image and save them in a consistent place where the marketing team has access to them. At Malzahn Strategic, we always create these images:
- Featured Image
- Facebook Sharing Image
- Twitter Sharing Image
- Instagram Image
- LinkedIn Image
- YouTube Thumbnail (optional – in case you create a video from this blog in the future)
- We document everything in a spreadsheet, so we know where it has been posted. We document the: Posting Date, Name of Blog, Keyphrase, SEO Title, META Description, which images were created for the post, and then where we’ve posted it (Blog, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.). This spreadsheet is handy for confirming we don’t create duplicate content – a quick search confirms if we have ever run that topic before.
- Tip on image names. Use the SEO title in lower case separate by dashes (never underscores) for the name of the files. For instance, if your SEO title of the blog is “positive pay and manufacturing companies”, your images would be along the lines of positive-pay-and-manufacturing-companies.jpg.
- We recommend a set folder structure so you can easily find assets for older posts. Here is a sample:
- We have a folder just for marketing files and the blogs are under this structure: Marketing -> Blogs -> YYYY -> MM
- Inside of each of the month folders, you’ll have another folder for each blog entry that month. For instance, we do a blog every week, so we generally have four folders in each month folder. Each blog has the source Word document, an edited Word document and then all the source and finalized/scaled images.
- Consistency is key. We recommend posting your blog the same day of the week at the same time. Make it a goal to post 50 blogs each year.
In part three of this series, we’ll work on your blog’s search responsiveness, promoting the blog and ideas for re-purposing content.