I get a lot of calls from potential clients asking me to blog for them. They call up, somewhat introduce themselves, then ask me how much it would cost for me to write blogposts for them.
The answer, is I don't write blogposts for people anymore. Blogging for a client is something you can only do if you're deeply embedded in the client's marketing infrastructure. You can write blogposts for them, but then why call someone like me? Copywriters abound online, and it hardly makes sense to seek me out when they can find it cheaper for someone else.
And if I do humor the person and tell them how much it would cost to hire a blogger (minimum $2000) a month, I get prices quoted back that are closer to $50 for 20 posts. What has happened, in every occasion, is the business started a blog, realized they didn't have the time or expertise to write, and so they outsourced it. A copywriter, not knowing the difference between writing and blogging, gave them good content, but no traffic, no SEO, no links, and most important, no magical, wonderful revenue stream.
Which is when they call me.
Here's the point. If you're going to blog, or if you're going to be involved in social media in any way, have a point. A point in business is to make money, or cut costs. If you're going to try to use the blog to fix some business problem, the first rule is to know what business problem you want to solve. It's amazing to me how many people hear the word, "social media," and say to themselves, "We've got to get us some of that."
You wouldn't buy a copier, or a software license, or a truck, or a building without having an express purpose for it. Why pay for a blog when you don't know what you want it to accomplish? And if you do pay for the blog, and you know what you want to accomplish, why would you pay for it, and then not use it for its expressed purpose?
For recruiting, that means focusing the blog on local hiring. If you want to use a blog to hire more people, you have to have something to say to the people you want to hire. It sounds simple, but companies often make the mistake of writing what they want to sound like, rather than thinking about what a candidate they would hire wants to read.
Things Candidates Care About
- How to do their jobs better
- What certifications matter
- Tenure of people who work at your company
- What they would be working on if they came to work for you
- Mistakes applicants make when applying
- The name of hiring managers and/or recruiters who will return their calls
- Places they can go on and offline to meet recruiters confidentially
Things Candidates Could Care Less About
- That your company is the premiere company in its field
- That your company is hiring and looking for top talent
- That your company hired a new branch manager
- Your benefit plan without specifics
- Marketing pieces disguised as industry white papers
- How excited you are about blogging
- Copywriting that has been edited of all life, flavor, or relevance.
Blogging is ultimately a personal communication. It's very difficult to write from a company perspective, which is why you need someone who understands your company, and but writes about their personal views as an employee. It requires that you dig in, and find what other people are writing, and comment, and link, and converse.
If you want to hire people using a blog, then you have to blog about the issues that candidates want to read. If you want passive candidates, you have to write about the industry, so they read you when they're not looking for work. If you want top candidates, you have to write brilliant material that inspires them to search you out to work with. If you want highly focused referral candidates, you have to reach out to the people who typically refer high quality candidates, and convince them that they're helping their friends by referring them.
Simple concepts. Easy to track results.