Tag Archives: Better Blogging

Why Invest in Social Media? Ask One Question

I’ve had the awesome opportunity to work on social media training with many individual farmers and ranchers as well as guest speaking at several events during the past several years. One of the most frequent challenges folks often face when trying to justify the investment into social media can be boiled down to just one question… “WHY?”

Image via briansolis.com
Image via briansolis.com

I always suggest planning out a social media strategy should begin with sitting down to draw out a road map. Who is your audience? What are you trying to accomplish? What are your goals? But this week, I found a good article in my feeds that summed it up pretty well.

Win With Social Media Marketing By Answering One Question | WebPro Business

The thing that really needs to be nailed down when it comes to blogging or any other social media effort, is the answer to this most important question:


Before you dismiss this as obvious, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a group of smart, accomplished marketers just assume the person in charge of the directive has a well informed answer to “why”.

If you’re a social media marketer, content marketer, copywriter or in another role where blogging is part of your responsibility, try to start asking “why” when you receive directives related to growing community, affecting a certain kind of traffic or other key performance indicator.

If you get a reasonable answer, then you’ll have better context to achieve the goal. If you don’t, then it’s an opportunity to collect the information necessary to make your efforts more productive for you, the company and the audience you’re targeting.

There are several ways to approach this, but one of the most straightforward schemes for asking and managing the “why” is through a cycle of hypothesis, implementation and optimization.

Visit the article to read more - Win With Social Media Marketing By Answering One Question


The author gets a little technical, but I think he makes some great points, but it certainly helps my strategy on a daily basis as I work with ranchers here in Montana. I continually find myself asking how we can make the best use of social media to market folks who don’t always understand the value of it.

Too often we can get wrapped up in what WE love to do and misplace our focus on our objective for investing time online. Sometimes it’s good to be reminded of how some many issues can be refocused with a question as simple as “Why?”.

Read more of my posts with social media tips in Better Blogging.

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Better Blogging: 50 tips for great blog topics

Part of my series sharing tips to improve blogging (Link)
Part of my series sharing tips to improve blogging (Link)

We’ve made it through the first week and a half of 2013 and I’m willing to be there’s a few folks already struggling with their New Year’s resolutions. For those of you who set a few goals for your social media outreach, did this include a plan to be more consistent in your blogging efforts?

There’s nothing more frustrating than struggling to come up with new blogging topics. For me, it came easier to write 4-5 blog posts a week when I had great thinking time on the tractor in the hay field or while on horseback checking cattle. Those activities provided a great opportunity to sort out my thoughts and set the world to right. But that doesn’t come as easily when I’m at the desk or working on my research review.

As part of my Better Blogging series, here’s a few tips to get you going on your search for better consistency on your blogging and finding great blog topics.

  1. Google Alerts – I use these frequently in staying up to date with headlines important to me. Set up a few alerts using key words that are relevant to your blogging strategy. Read the headlines, pick a few stories to read.
  2. Trade Publications – Most in Agriculture have a growing pile of monthly trade publications and magazines on their coffee table. Next time one comes in the mail, earmark a few stories and use them to launch a blog topic with your response.
  3. Read other blogs – One great way to get an idea of what topics are popular is to read what other folks are writing. Subscribe to your favorite blogs and set up a separate inbox folder so updates are easy to flip through when you have a moment to catch up.
  4. Write a sequel – Some of my most recurring hits from search engines are a result of writing about topics more than once. Did you previously write about a topic that sparked a good conversation? Revisit the topic and follow-up with your recent updates.
  5. Attend a local event – One of the most important parts of advocacy I will emphasize again and again is getting out in your community. Attend a meeting on food or community topics, go to an industry conventionease out of your comfort zone, start a conversation  then write about the events.
  6. Respond to the news – Is there a news headline that struck an interest today? Did a group or organization make a move that you agree/disagree with? Chances are other folks are looking for other opinions on the same topics. Write down your thoughts in the heat of the moment, but always wait to publish until you’ve had a chance to cool down and review.
Or sometimes the best remedy is to find a place to sit and clear the mind.
Or sometimes the best remedy is to find a place to sit and clear the mind.

These are just a few suggestions to get those wheels turning, cranking out those blog posts. For a few more ideas, here’s a list of 50 techniques to help with your blogstorming next time you get stuck with writer’s block.

What are some of your favorite techniques to come up with new blog post topics?