About five years ago I was working in an office setting.
One day I decided that it was ridiculous to keep files of paper in my desk and in filing cabinets in my office.
I took an afternoon and went through all the paper I had been filing for years. I guess it had just been the way the business had always worked – you kept files.
I looked for things that I hadn’t used in a while and probably would never use. That eliminated quite a bit. I look at things that had copies online somewhere. That removed more.
I pretty much was able to go entirely paperless and still use that as a guideline with Ghost Blog Writers today.
So anytime I come across a company that believes in being paperless, I’m a fan.
That’s what Greenphire seems to be looking to accomplish in the medical world. They’re streamlining the payment process for clinics all over the world.
That seems like a very good thing.
You can visit their site to learn more about that, but as we do with this series we’re going to look at their blogging strategy.
I really like the design of the Greenphire blog. The first thing that stands out is the heading at the top with the image:\
Think of it [Greenphire Blog] as a glimpse at Greenphire’s gray matter.
I really like that. I don’t think I’ve seen a metaphor used in that sense on a blog, but I really like it. For the target audience it’s something that instantly provides an understanding.
The photo at the top works well. It’s a setting the reader can feel like they are part of – they probably often have a cup of coffee in what appears to be a medical setting.
The categories stand out well. The titles are a little smaller than what you normally would see on a blog. The dates stand out the most. I think that’s okay. The titles stand out with color.
The posts are laid out nicely and I actually like not including images on the archive pages. I think they are fine unless they get distracting, which can happen if you have 10 images on a archive page all screaming for attention.
In this case the posts are laid out nicely.
2. Building On Other Posts
I’m a fan of linking to other posts with the posts you publish on your blog.
That’s what Greenphire did with this post.
The basic strategy is to find a post that would be interesting and valuable to your readers and share it with them so they are able to see it.
You often see this in a social media strategy where simply sharing the article with the title works well. You can build a loyal following doing that because people trust you to filter out the best content that they would find most interesting.
And you can do it on a blog.
But what I like even more in this situation as far as doing it on a business blog is linking to the post and providing some additional thoughts. You can give a summary of what is in the article and then build on those things providing your own insight on what it means for the reader or perhaps covering what wasn’t covered or providing another angle on the topic.
3. Interviewing Experts
I really like this interview that Greenphire did. It’s not easy to do interviews for a business blog, but they almost always turn out well and provide interesting content to readers.
Any business could include interviews as part of a regular blog strategy. They are more difficult to do so you could plan to do weekly posts while doing one post a week as an interview.
You could interview people from within your company and outside the company like partners, vendors and clients.
Good things to discuss are challenges, solutions and the stories surrounding those items. That is where readers will really get value from the interview.
4. Roundup Posts
Sometimes if you’re struggling to come up with an idea for a post it can be a good idea to do a roundup of past posts. You obviously need some archives to do this, but it can provide some value to readers while also bringing some attention back to previous posts.
A year in review is one way to do that and that’s what Greenphire did with this post in early 2013. They provided an update on their company and linked to a couple posts.
You can do something like this or you could roundup some posts around a specific topic or even roundup a collection of your own posts and outside posts around a specific topic, concern or timeline.
5. Dormant Blog
The one thing that stood our right away with the Greenphire blog is that there hasn’t been a new post in a year.
They’ve never been one to publish all the time, but you can see going back in years that they have published fewer and fewer blogs each year since the blog started.
They actually published quite a few posts in 2011. Then kept it up pretty well in 2012, but in 2013 and 2014 it really started falling off.
This is not uncommon in the business blogging world. Companies are all about the blog in the first six months or even the first year or two, but after that it becomes difficult to maintain and the blog goes dormant.
The takeaway here is that blogging is usually more of a challenge than businesses prepare for when starting a blog. It’s important to go in with the right expectations, the right strategy and the right people to be responsible for maintaining the blog for the long-term.
There is a lot to like about the Greenphire blog. They have some really good posts in their archives. They use research and stats well in past posts. They have posts that will be valuable both in the short-term and in the long-term. It’s a solid strategy, but as you can see the blog has become dormant.
You can pull some lessons from this analysis for your own business blog. Make sure you have a good strategy for content, which Greenphire has or had and that you have the right expectations and plan for creating the content in the long-term.
And finally, the strategy that can be best for business blogging is to focus on the challenges and questions the target audience is having in relation to their industry. Then providing the solutions and answers with blog posts.
So in this case the target reader appears to be clinic administrators. They likely have struggles surrounding clinical management. Greenphire could address all those questions with blog posts and provide some really valuable content to attract readers via the blog.