Blogging 101 - Sharing Peony Production Information
Rita Jo Shoultz of Alaska Perfect Peony was awarded a Grower Grant for the creation of a new section on her existing web site, with the intention of educating growers specifically in the production and marketing of cut peonies, and save them from making costly mistakes. This information is now found in the blog at www.alaskaperfectpeony.com which is updated weekly.
I don’t need to tell you social media marketing is it these days. Every article you read talks about online sales out-distancing in-store sales, 70% of the millennials are purchasing from their mobile devices, and smart phones are now a staple in life along with designer coffees. If you want to be successful in any market, you must participate in social media. How you go about doing that is your only choice, not whether or not you participate.
I envy the Millennials growing up with a computer as their first “toy”. They are not intimidated by Instagram, Twitter, podcasts, or any of the social media programs. My six-year-old great -granddaughter is already a whiz and has absolutely no trepidation or reservations. The joke about asking your grandkids for help is really no joke.
The marvelous part about all this is when you do overcome your fears and do step into this new world, there are no limits. While it’s true you need to constantly keep your postings fresh, some parts can stay the same for a couple of years. Your basic web site, once mobile responsive, has parts that can have historic value, though that lasts probably only a few years.
Blogging with how-tos can be a way to establish yourself as an expert in your field and a great way to draw attention to your company. I compare how-to blogging similar to writing a book with an index and chapters. I make an outline for a series before I write one word. I know fresh postings are a must. I was thrilled to learn about scheduling: I can write all my social media articles in one morning, and schedule them to be posted throughout that month during our non-harvesting months. During our shipping season, I post more often and keep more current. The main thing is to keep posting throughout the year.
Writing is an art, and you need motivation and the “mood”. When the mood hits me, I start writing. I try to keep blogs around 500 words, always including a few pictures. It’s okay to repost something another expert has posted. There are hundreds of articles about how to write a blog. Take a minute (or a couple of hours) and start searching.
Once you write your blog, not only will it be a part of your site, you can post it simultaneously on all your other social media outlets. When we asked the ASCFG for a small Grower Grant to explore posting how-tos on our web site, I had no clue how to get started. But once I started writing about what I do every day, I started building up my confidence.
When we’ve finished our how-tos for this series and established ourselves as experts, our next series of blogs will be targeted for marketing. I’ve already started the first blog focusing on what to do when your box of peonies arrives via Fed Ex.