Editor’s note: The original version of this post was published in February 2010—back when Google Knol was still a thing. The content below has been thoroughly revised to reflect the current environment.
Many social media experts believe a blog should be the core of a content marketing strategy, as the key vehicle for sharing thought leadership content which can then be promoted using Twitter, social networking and other tools. No question, there are many compelling reasons why blogs are important for business.
But what if you simply don’t have the time or resources to commit to maintaining a blog with regular posts, or at least you’re not ready to make the commitment yet? Here are six other ways to share your thought leadership content without committing to the demands of regular blog posting.
Create an area for articles on your website. This allows you to write and post articles as time permits, rather than committing to a regular once, twice, or more per week posting schedule. This also allows you to write fewer but more in-depth articles less suited to the blogging format.
You can still promote this articles using social media and SEO just as you would with blog posts, and even add an RSS feed (yes, it’s possible to add an RSS feed to any web page, though it is likely to attract fewer readers than regular blog posting).
Many online trade publications will accept (and are actually hungry for) bylined articles, as long as they are true thought leadership pieces that address industry issues rather than blatant product or service promotion. Most will permit one or more links back to your site as part of the “about the author” section, which is helpful for both direct traffic and SEO.
Many industries have multi-author sites that function a bit like trade publications, but are more informal. Examples in the marketing world include Small Business Trends, Marketing Profs, and Social Media Examiner. There are quality guidelines that must be followed, but no requirement to contribute on a regular basis. Do some research to find similar opportunities in your industry.
If you have an article that’s most suitable as a blog post, try contacting influential bloggers in your industry about providing a guest post for their blog.
Again, as long as the post is relevant to their readers and focused on thought leadership rather than promotion, many bloggers will appreciate getting a “day off” from writing their own content, and will permit a link or two back to your site, at least in the “about the author” section and possibly within the content as well.
Be sure to link to other authoritative sources within your copy as well to maximize value to the readers as well as being truly helpful, not just self serving. Also, before doing any outreach, make sure you understand how to pitch influencers the right way and avoid common sins of bad outreach.
LinkedIn is the top social network for business professionals, so it’s an ideal platform for sharing thought-leadership and informative business content. It’s easy to publish on LinkedIn, which gets your words in front of a (potentially) large audience. And there’s no requirement to publish on a regular basis (though frequent posting of high-quality content will help you build an audience).
YouTube is, famously, the world’s second-largest search engine. And while professional-grade equipment will still produce the best results (particularly in terms of sound quality), it’s possible to produce reasonably good video content using a smarthphone, laptop, tablet, or even a desktop PC with a webcam.
Adding effects, transitions, music, and other elements has gotten easier with the development of powerful yet simple and inexpensive video editing software like RenderForest, Animoto, or Wave.video. Popular types of marketing videos include product demonstrations, explainer videos, company profiles, and customer testimonials.
A regularly updated and properly promoted blog is still the best way to socially share thought leadership content. But if you’ve got some content, though not enough for regular blog posting, these alternative avenues can still be helpful and supportive for content marketing, social media and SEO objectives.