Blogging can do a lot for your wholesale insurance business. It can get you in front of retail insurance agents, help showcase your expertise and make your website more findable in the search engines. If you’re thinking of launching a blog, here are a few tips for starting off on the right foot—and ensuring you get the results you want.
Plan your editorial schedule. Sometimes it’s all you can do to get a post up—any post. But any kind of business blogging works best if there’s a plan. Whether you plan on blogging every week or every day, you’ll see benefits to blogging as long as it’s fairly regular; these benefits will build over time. And having a set editorial schedule means you’ll never be at a loss for ideas.
Know your audience. Your content strategy should be based both on what you want to write about—what you’re most passionate about and know the most about—and what your target audience wants to read. Before sitting down to write, consider who you’re trying to reach with this blog and what information they might be looking for. Focus on questions your retail agents typically have, and the types of insurance they may you’re your help with. Plan out your posts to address key issues you know your audience thinks about.
Adopt the right tone. The great thing about blogging is that it gives you a little freedom. Insurance is a fairly conservative business, but you can be a little more relaxed on your blog than you can in other areas of your website—and let your personality shine through while still retaining your professionalism. If you adopt a more personal tone, your blog will most likely be more fun to read—and attract more readers.
Bring other experts in. You can expand your reach—and deepen the expertise and value you provide to readers—by bringing in a known expert in your field and interviewing them on your blog. It also expands your reach, as your expert will promote their appearance on your blog to their own audience.
Decide on a posting schedule. You don’t necessarily have to post every day to get a lot out of blogging. It’s better to adopt a regular schedule, however; once you build momentum and start attracting readers, it’s easy to lose them if you blog sporadically and they don’t know when your next post is coming in. If you’re too busy to blog every day, that’s fine—as long as your audience knows your new post will come in periodically.
Moderate and respond in a timely manner. Nothing frustrates readers more than leaving a comment on the blog, only to see it disappear in moderation. If you’re committing to blogging, you’re also committing to managing the community that (hopefully) springs up around your blog—unless you have an employee who can do it for you. It’s best to moderate comments and respond fairly quickly.
Cut corners when you have to. It’s hard to make time to blog while you’re running a business. While long, thoughtful blog posts are often the most likely to be shared and to attract links, it’s fine to write shorter posts as well. One effective method for getting ideas is to take a look at the industry news. Write a short post summarizing an important news item that affects your area of specialty, and include your own commentary on how you think it will affect insurance agents who sell that type of insurance, for example.
Blogging can be a major commitment, but it doesn’t have to be. If you have limited time, it’s better to write one longer, more in-depth post per week and promote it than it is to write many lighter posts. Developing a posting schedule and editorial calendar will help keep you on track, and writing your posts with your ideal audience’s interests and concerns in mind will help ensure you get the traffic you want.