Everyone has a blog these days – companies, schools, clubs, homemakers, special interest groups, crazy people… EVERYONE!
For companies like us, a blog helps us to connect with the public in a more personal way. Our blog mostly focuses on what we do – marketing.
We offer helpful tips on marketing strategies, as well as other subjects that interest us or that we feel may be helpful to the public, such as recycling, etc.
At first, we wrote a few of our own blogs, but it wasn’t always the best use of our time. Being a small business, we have limited resources when it comes to our time and what we spend it doing. And, we really wanted a blog that would be consistent – something that provided new information weekly.
We then hired a blogger, which was great. But, we felt that they weren’t focusing enough on the subjects we wanted to talk about. So, we decided to use pre-written articles that we found FREE on the web.
These pre-written articles are GREAT! And, there are quite a few websites that offer free articles for reprint, such as ArticleCity.com, ISnare.com, WritersWeekly.com and many more. You can search by subject, select an article, copy and paste it into your website and BINGO!
The only problem with these articles is that anyone can submit an article to these websites. This means that some of the articles are written by people with poor writing skills, bad grammar, creative spelling and worse. Some include links to other businesses that you may or may not want to advertise on your website.
Careful reading of everything you select from one of these “free article sites” is the best way to prevent from having your blog look amateur. And, of course, since they are not copyright protected, you can make changes as you see fit.
However, searching for relevant articles can sometimes be time consuming. We’ve spent hours reading through countless articles, sometimes only to find that they really don’t fit our company’s level of professionalism and expertise in our field.
So, we hired another professional blogger. This one had lots of marketing experience. The articles were well written, full of good information, etc.
We decided to pay them in advance for a year’s worth of weekly blog posts. This went well for a few months – they posted great articles every week. Then, something changed. 10 days or more would go by without a post. We would contact them and they would post a few on time, then again… the posts stopped appearing weekly.
Now, in all fairness, Google’s search engines prefer that posts appear at irregular intervals. This is because they don’t like computers creating articles on the web to be used in search engine optimization. It’s a thing that SEO companies sometimes do to improve search ranking for websites.
I should add that we experienced a virus on our website that prevented anything being posted for a few weeks after the bug was removed. However, even after this was remedied, the blogging was not consistent.
As we move forward, we will probably utilize a combination of self-written blogs (such as this), free articles from those “article websites,” and blogs written by a professional blogger-for-hire. Perhaps this will also give our blog more variety, and like they say, “Variety is the spice of life.”
Oh, and we probably won’t pay for a year’s worth of blogs in advance, ever again.