How to create and distribute content when you have no blog?

Conventional wisdom tells us that a blog is an anchor for all content marketing activities. It is where you publish content with the hope of driving traffic to your site- which will somehow miraculously convert into signups or leads.

But sometimes, a blog is not available. The company’s website might not have a blog, or it could be under construction. I’ve had the misfortune of working with companies where this was the state throughout my entire engagement. So what do you do then? Giving up on content as a strategy seemed lazy and shortsighted, so I improvised. And I’ve learnt some helpful tips that might help others too.

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When in doubt, use a social network as your blogging platform

Pick an alternative blogging platform

No Blog? No problem? Medium is an excellent blogging platform, that allows to start blogging right away and enjoys an in-house crowd and as easy to distribute or share as any native blog. In addition, there are industry- specific blogging sites (for instance- InfosecIsland , informationsecuritybuzz) that are vying for guest writers (sometime they allow only novel content, which means that even if you have a blog you can only publish original content there). These do not require any setup- you simply submit the text (via email) or upload it an that’s it. These sites enjoy very relevant traffic and also share and promote your content via their social channels.  

 

Use Social as your blogging platform

LinkedIn Pulse allows to publish very long, content-rich (visuals, videos, links) posts. In addition to being extremely easy to edit and publish they also guarantee native audience and exposure that most blogs can only dream of. Easy to share within and outside the platform, this ensures very good visibility and reach.

Some people use Facebook in the same manner, and enjoy similar benefits (although the target audience is different and long text posts on Facebook are not as appealing to read as on LinkedIn).

Leverage guest blogging and partners blogs:

If you work with partners you can provide them with content they can post on their blog- they will be more than happy to from two reasons- they need quality content and you will help them sell your product, which is what they ultimately desire. Similarly, many industry blogs accept guest post and provide with backlinks and credit, and they will be willing to reciprocate once you have a blog.

Use PR and media publications

If you are lucky enough to have a PR agency or access to media, you can use it to show your stuff to the world. Many industry media outlet accept guest post and thought-leadership pieces (they are more willing to do so via a PR agency they are familiar with then through cold email, but even if you don’t have one it’s worth a shot). The upside (other than seeing your pieces published by someone else, which is always nice) is that they are perceived as more prestigious and professional than self-generated posts.   

Guidelines and best practices 

However, posting on external platform is not the same as post on your home turf.  Here are some best practices you might like to consider:

 

  1. Speak in one voice
    On a company blog you can choose if you publish under “the company” or a specific function; CEO, VP Marketing, etc.
    When publishing elsewhere it will be usually done using a specific person- the company’s CEO LinkedIn account (you can read all his “posts” in the following link) , for instance. So the piece needs to be written in a first person voice and suite his personality. As the content creator you must make sure he or she are comfortable with the article they have “written” (this might sound funny, but I ghost-write for a startup CEO for many months and people were so certain it was his own work they applauded him frequently ).
  2. But consider some diversification
    A single person can only write (or have solid opinions) on so many issues, so, from time to time write as the head of sales, product or R&D. It will make things look more authentic (and they too, will reap the praises for your writing!)
  3. Amplify the same way you would for your own post
    That’s right, tweet it, FB it, post it in places like stummbleupon and Reddit . The same as any blog post.
  4. Consider the peculiar nature of the platform
    If your posting on LinkedIn, maintain a more professional and traditional approach than on Facebook.
  5. Engage
    People will “Like” and comment or your post (which they never will on your blog)- so use it to create real conversations and convert them into actual leads.

 Summary

 Publishing quality content without a blog is a challenge, but once you’ve mastered it you can use it even if you do have a blog. For instance, I publish mostly on Owntrerenuership.com, but from time to time will post on LinkedIn- it gets more exposure and helps build my audience.

  

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Know your basics – LinkedIn privacy and security settings

New and proficient users of LinkedIn alike tend to overlook the potential privacy and security issues related to the platform. I’ve written extensively in the past about potential risks of fake profiles and social engineering, but I’ve never dived into the actual security and privacy settings.

But recently I’ve helped a friend to set up and account for the first time and was forced to take a closer look into my accounts’ settings. I did not like what I’ve found. On one hand, LinkedIn has made it very easy to access and configure these settings. On the other, the default option of most of these is “On”, or lesser security. But as we online security and privacy are our own responsibilities, I’d rather focus on explaining how to manage these better (I’ll save my criticism for LinkedIn for a later day, they can do a lot more in terms of securing their users and mitigating fraud).

What do I need to do?

Define a solid, unique password

Start with the basics- define a robust password, and make sure it a unique one (see this article about the risk of password re-use.

 

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Password change (mine hasn’t been changed in 2 years, so it was time to update it)

 

And change it from time to time

LinkedIn now tells you how long it has been since you last changed your password. Mine’s been the same for a little over 2 years, which means it badly needs a change.

Activate 2 factor authentication

It is highly recommended that you activate this feature, which mandates to use 2 step when trying to set up an account on a new device or recreate a forgotten password.

 

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2 Factor Authentication

 

See how many devices and locations are signed in

We access LinkedIn from multiple devices and locations. We often forget and might be logged in on some forgotten PC or device we no longer use. Check it and kill all devices you don’t use on a regular basis.

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Check how many Email addresses are associated with your account

If you are like me, you’ve accessed your account from multiple positions and companies, including some you no longer work for. Given that email addresses are often stolen and sold you are leaving the door wide open here- so cancel the association of unused email addresses with your account.

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Check which applications are associated with your account and limit data sharing with 3rd parties

Almost any application (web or mobile) asks our permission to connect to our account and is granted access to our entire data. We grant permission and forget about it, but the 3rd party can continue to access our data long after we’ve stopped using it.

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Remove applications you no longer use and block sharing of information with 3rd Party apps you did not specifically signed to.

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Decide which parts of your profile are showed as part of your public profile

LinkedIn profiled are searchable both from within LinkedIn and through Google, so you can decide which parts of your profile are shown to the world.

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Download a copy of all your activity

Thanks to data privacy laws, LinkedIn must provide you (up to 24 hours) a copy of all your data that reside within the system. Or you can simply download your contacts. You decide.

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Bonus Tip- Translate your profile

This is a nice little feature LinkedIn now offers- you can create multiple profiles in different languages (you do need to translate it yourself, though).

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