Happy Cheeseball Day!
Your first question about this post is most likely, "There's a day dedicated to cheeseballs?" Yes, there really is a day to celebrate every food
I'll take a guess at your second question, "Why is a web design and online marketing company writing about cheeseballs
Answer: because this is where our creative process took us....and we really do have a relevant point. Jump on board with me to look into our process that turned National Cheeseball Day into a metaphor for business blogging.*
Blogging for Business: Cheeseball Factor
Blogging for business can be a loathsome exercise. We hear it from our clients everyday about how hard it is to carve out time to write. We also know first hand how hard it is because we do it. We find it is even harder as a small business with competing priorities for our limited staff. Clients always come first; but the blog constantly beckons.
Our process begins with content meetings to coordinate and schedule our writing. Starting with our business calendar, unique projects, and tech news, we begin to fill-in the dreaded content planning spreadsheet (full disclosure: I created the spreadsheet that has been met with resistance but recently reached the love/hate stage). There are always times when the list of topics is light and none of our typical inspiration sources yield ideas. This is when the cheeseball factor comes into play.
During these times of idea droughts, high stress, or limited hours every blog writer creates the "cheeseball blog." We've all read the cheesy blog posts that are clearly posted for SEO purposes and have absolutely nothing to do with the business. We also see posts that have a 20 word opening followed by 400 words IN A ROW that are a direct quote from someone else's blog. That's when you know that writer is simply competing for a search engine ranking -- sometimes beating the original author. Those of us who do this regularly groan and yell at our screens, "At least write something of your own, cheeseball."
Recipe for a Blog (and a Cheeseball)
When we think there is nothing to write about, we always find something. Always. Today is the perfect example: turn Cheeseball Day into a post about blog writing. Fortunately, the recipes for
both blogs and cheeseballs are remarkably similar (and no, I am not stretching here).
- Start with an interesting topic (cheese)
- Add your own commentary/analysis/spin (aromatics, spices, wine)
- Tie it together with good writing (cream cheese and butter)
- Roll it with helpful information and links for crunch (chopped nut coating)
Like blogs, cheeseballs, range in quality from the most basic information to in-depth analysis with original research. The cheeseball equivalent would be the classic made of bits of leftover cheese
that you serve to octogenarians with Ritz crackers to ones with the highest end ingredients
that you serve your foodie friends. Each cheeseball serves a purpose, just as blogs do.
Why Write a Blog?
In the end, you want people to be well informed and fed by your blog -- and cheeseball for that matter. Jokes aside, it is important to have clear goals in mind for your business blog. This will help you come up with content as well as keep you motivated to write. Most importantly, it needs to fit with your corporate communications strategy.
I'll use our company as an example. We blog to:
- Share and show our expertise in our business of web development, design, branding, and online marketing
- Educate our clients and potential clients about our services as well as provide tutorials/how to's on a variety of topics
- Contribute to our community by promoting events and Vermont-centered content that will bring organic traffic to our website
Scanning through VDW's blog list, you'll see blogs that fall into each of these categories. Others (what we call "we're back from the holiday" posts) will make you wonder what we're doing until you notice that our blog feed is on our homepage. We use our blogging tools to show announcements on our homepage. This informs our website visitors that we are open or closed or shares other important news such as our response to the Heartbleed flaw
For your business, consider your target audiences and ask:
- How will my blog serve my customers and potential customers?
- How do I want to present my business in my industry and community?
- What do I have to say? About what topics?
- What business goals will I accomplish with blogging?
Start Planning and Start Writing
Once you have a purpose for your blog, it is time to get started. Watch our blog as we write about planning your blog, anatomy of a good blog post, using blog tools, amplifying your website's search rankings through blogging, and refining your message. And we'll try not to overuse the cheeseball analogy.
For now, our advice is to write! Even if you begin with repackaging other information into a new blog post with your spin; it will get you started and push your business forward on the web. Just like the cheeseball made from leftovers, it can be tasty and interest your audience.
Getting back to our creative process behind this blog... While scanning our lists of holidays, observances, and celebration, we found that today is also National Blah, Blah, Blah Day
(created by Wellcat.com
) to encourage people do the things that have been nagging at them -- not unlike blog writing. Another motivation for you to check off "write blog post" on your to-do list.
Beat the Blahs and Blog
Whether it is your first blog, your return to blogging, or your 500th post, just get started. Afterward, you can celebrate National High Five Day
for a job well done.
* As thanks for reading through this post and/or noticing the footnote, I added the cat video below. In addition to our knowledge about blogging, we also know what is popular on the internet: it often comes down to food (including cheeseballs) and cats. Both inspired the graphic for this blog (another insight into our creative process). So I leave you with my favorite cat video as a reward for this non-cheeseball post.