Tara Mortenson is the Marketing Coordinator at sdg,where we both work, and one of the driving forces behind our blog. She is also the first person I added to my relationship action plan when I was setting my goals for this blog. Tara was gracious enough to sit down with me for an hour and let me fire off questions, and here are the highlights of our conversation.
“Set a goal and stick to it.”
In 2011, sdg wanted to re-brand and launch a new website. They decided to create a blog at the same time to help increase traffic and interaction on the new site. The goals for the blog are:
- Give potential clients and candidates a good sense of the sdg culture.
- Create another opportunity for employees to get involved.
- Provide credible answers to questions from their audience.
- Consistently increase blog views and followers on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Glassdoor.
To accomplish these goals they came up with the following action plan:
- Post 2-4 times a month (hopefully weekly).
- Have a variety of employees contribute to the blog (they have about 30 different contributors a year).
- Review blog progress every 6 months.
It was great to have Tara share so much information with me on their process. It helped to validate the work I have already done and gave me some great ideas for how to proceed. I will definitely implement the 6 month review. It is a good timeline for reflection, brainstorming new ideas, and creating a schedule for upcoming posts.
Tara and I discussed some of the common problems that people run into when they try to start blogging. It seems like many struggle with getting their ideas down on paper. Taking your great idea and translating it into a logical and readable post can be difficult, so it’s helpful to have someone edit your work. Tara edits all of the posts that are submitted for the sdg blog. She corrects grammatical errors and can help to improve the structure of the piece. For the more technical posts there are other editors who will review for accuracy. Getting another set of eyes to read you work can be invaluable.
I don’t always have someone readily available to review my work so I usually take a break after I finish writing. I get all of my ideas down and then come back to it a few hours later. A little distance makes it easier to remove or rearrange sections.
“It’s not as scary as you think.”
Tara’s #1 blogging tip was don’t be intimidate by the act of sharing your writing publicly. This really resonated with me because putting myself out there by sharing my thoughts and ideas with the world is hard. She summed it up nicely by saying, “you don’t have to be a ‘writer’ to create something people want to read.”
- Make sure your audience can quickly determine what your post is about.
- Proofread your work but don’t try to be perfect.
- Create your own content because you need permission to use other people’s pictures and videos.
- Lists can be very effective!
- Be consistent.
- Have a backlog of posts ready to publish for when you get swamped.
My conversation with Tara reinforced the importance of goal setting and editing. She also gave me a lot of confidence in moving forward with this blogging endeavor. Our conversation has inspired me to keep reaching out to experienced people in my network as I dive into these new habits.
What questions do you have for an experienced blogger? Please share them in the comments so I can ask them in my next interview!