ITC President Laird Rixford gives 50 blogging tips for your insurance agency in 6 minutes.
This is our 10th year blogging. We’ve written about websites, design, agency marketing, email marketing, social media, branding, blogging, and SEO. And that’s just on our marketing blog.
We’ve also blogged about comparative rating, sales, insuretech, insurance agency software, agency management, and training.
We’ve made mistakes and have learned a lot throughout the years. I hope you’re ready for 50 rapid fire blogging tips in six minutes.
Ready? Let’s go.
- Getting started is the hardest part.
- Blog to share your expertise with people who are looking for help or information.
- Create a publishing schedule you’re comfortable keeping and stick to it.
- Too busy is not an excuse. Blogging is the most important thing you can do for your insurance agency website.
- Schedule time on your calendar to write your blog post. Hold yourself accountable to it.
- You don’t have to do it all yourself. Get help from other people in your agency. Ask your referral partners to guest post.
- A neglected blog says you don’t care, you’re out of touch, or you’re going out of business. Don’t blog unless you commit to it. Otherwise you hurt your credibility.
- Set a goal. Something specific and measurable so you can track progress.
- Hire outside help if you need it.
- Know your audience. Know what they want to read. Write about those topics.
- Places to look for blogging inspiration include your hobbies, your clients, Google search recommendations, local events, industry news, the ITC monthly 10 topic ideas blog post.
- Keep a document to write down blog topics as you think of them.
- Use an editorial calendar to track topics and when you plan to write about them. It will help you stick to your publishing schedule and know what you need to write before you actually write.
- Before you do any writing, research. Next, create an outline. Don’t write until you’ve done those two things first.
- Write like you talk.
- Average attention span is 140 characters. Get to the point and write clearly.
- Use easy-to-understand language instead of industry jargon to explain your point.
- Use first- and second-person pronouns. It helps start a conversation with your readers.
- Write short blog posts (less than 400 words). They do well at engaging readers.
- Write long blog posts (more than 1,000 words). They help with long tail keywords and help you get targeted traffic.
- There’s a story in everything, even in what might be a more technical blog post. Tell the story.
- Make the introduction short and engaging.
- Write a conclusion. It’s a great place to summarize your blog and provide key takeaways or a call to action.
- Don’t be afraid of the ugly first draft.
- Take a break between finishing the ugly first draft and editing it.
- Proofread, proofread, proofread. Use spellcheck. Poor grammar and typos really hurt your credibility.
- Remove unnecessary words, sentences or sections.
- Get a second set of eyes to review your blog post. Another person can help catch things you might miss otherwise.
- Your headline is the most important part of your blog. It will help attract attention and get people to click and read your content.
- Make it clear in the headline what a person can expect to learn by clicking.
- Keep the headline tweetable. In other words, shorter than 140 characters.
- When writing a headline, use magazines or Buzzfeed as inspiration. They know how to write headlines that get people to read.
- Use short paragraphs, sub-headings, lists, bullet points, call out quotes, and images to break up the text.
- Use blog tags so people can find related posts in your archives.
- Mix up your blog formats so you don’t get stuck in a rut.
- Include a strong call to action at the end.
- Add images!
- When using images, DON’T find them on Google. If you can’t get your own photography, use stock image providers. They don’t cost a lot, and they’re worth avoiding the fines.
- Every blog post needs to include links to other pages on your website and other blog posts.
- Use keywords in your posts sparingly and where it sounds most natural. Don’t force it.
- A quality blog post gets more shares and backlinks than a keyword rich one.
- Use Google Analytics. Look at what posts get the most traffic. Write more of those.
- Write some evergreen blog posts (those are ones that are not time specific and you can stand up for years to come).
- Promote your blog. Share links to your posts on social media. Include snippets in your newsletter and on your home page. Mention it as a resource when hosting an event or talking to a client.
- When sharing a blog post on Twitter, don’t be afraid to share it more than once. Just make sure it’s not back to back, and you need to change the commentary with the link each time.
- Repurpose blog content in social media posts, newsletters, images, tips, etc.
- Great bloggers are not born in a single blog post. It takes time and practice.
- Don’t be sales-y. Your goal should not be self-promotion. It should be to help your readers build trust in you.
- Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Learn from them and see them as an opportunity to improve yourself and your blogging.
- Push through the uncomfortable stage. It will be hard when you first start, but blogging gets easier the more you do it.
And one bonus tip…
Blogging is hard work. But it’s worth it.
About the Author
As vice president of marketing, Becky Schroeder oversees ITC’s growth through marketing and drives the overall marketing strategy for the company and its products. Her specialties include advertising, social media, email marketing, content marketing and public relations. Becky has a master’s degree in integrated marketing communication from Emerson College in Boston and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Texas A&M University. Becky is a big Texas A&M football fan and enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her husband and their three daughters.Follow on Twitter More Content by Becky Schroeder