Have you ever struggled with knowing what to write about on your company blog? Well, that is a question we have today on the “Ask A Protractor” series.
Brad Leavitt @aft_construction has agreed to come back on the show and share with us the tips and tricks they are using right now to come up with content for their company blog.
Listen today and discover:
- How to leverage your team for blog ideas.
- How to listen to your customers for new blog ideas.
- Tips on how to find content ideas without wasting time.
- How blogging increases traffic to your website.
- …and much more!
Blogging is not going away. It is a great way to show that you are an expert in your field. Listen to this show today. Be educated, inspired, and motivated to make your company blog a major piece of your marketing puzzle.
If you have a question you would like us to ask a Protractor, or if you have a guest you would like to hear… please send us an email at [email protected]
And now, here is the entire blog post for this episode.
Martin: Today on Ask a Protractor, I have Brad Leavitt back on the show. He was actually our featured guest back on episode two, so if you want to hear his entire story, I highly recommend you go listen to that episode. It’s titled How to Grow a Boutique Building Firm from Scratch.
Brad has a very inspiring and interesting story, so go listen to that and then today we’re going to be discussing a very specific question.
So, Brad. Welcome back. It’s great to have you back here on the show.
Brad Leavitt: Great to be back Martin. Thanks for having me.
Martin: Where are you located and what is it that you do specifically?
Brad Leavitt: Yeah, so we’re located in Scottsdale, Arizona. That’s our main office and we work throughout the greater Phoenix area, and we do anything from custom homes to high end remodels on the residential side and then on the commercial side, we’ll do commercial development, restaurants, offices, tenant improvements. So pretty much anything that kind of fits our scope and projects that we enjoy working on.
Martin: All right. So, Brad, the question that came in goes like this. What should I write about on my company blog? And I just want to preface it like this. First of all, obviously you have a blog and you’ve been blogging consistently. What led you to start writing a company blog? You’re a boutique building firm and so why are you blogging and then what should I write about? Or, what should a contractor write about on their company blog?
Brad Leavitt: Great question, Martin. It’s interesting. If we … for anyone that listens to our initial podcast, at the end of the podcast you had asked me if we are blogging, and at that time I said no. We had good intentions, but we never started to do that, and it was shortly thereafter that you had Construction2Style on and I’ll give them a shout out because they really spoke about how blogging has put them on the map, and further research that I’ve done and heard on your podcast as well as from peers of mine that have been successful, blogging’s been a key for their company because, not only does it freshen your website, but it gives you more Google Analytics, more keywords and your stuff becomes published where people actually find that and it directs them to your website and to your company, and so right after we spoke and had our podcast, we made that a huge goal of ours and a huge focus to at least write one blog a week, but we’ve been trying to do two. So for the most part we do two a week, and on a real busy week, we’ll do one.
Martin: That’s a lot of writing, and how do you come up with topics? Like, what is it that you should write about when you’re on a company blog like that?
Brad Leavitt: Well, great question. If you … I’m looking right here at our blog, so what we do is we pick topics that have been pitfalls for customers, so when we have clients that come to us an talk about experiences or challenges or maybe even be ideas that they have. Those are topics that we’ll make notes of and address in our blog.
Another thing we do is we have as a company, we sit down every couple weeks and have production meetings. AFT production meetings, so we sit down with our staff and we talk about our current projects and upcoming projects and everything and then we also take five minutes to come up and brainstorm a lot of topics. And then what we do is write about those, so some of those for example, we’ve … one thing that’s really common to Scottsdale is a lot of people have a wine cellar. And we’ve done some really neat wine sellers over the years whether it be taking advantage of space under the stairs. Maybe incorporating it on an accent wall in a game room, or off of the kitchen, so so many elements and so we actually wrote a blog about that, and we included pictures of some of the different wine cellars we’ve done.
We talk about subjects that maybe, for us is simple day to day stuff, but customers might not understand the different between a sewer system and a septic system. And so we talk about the pros and cons of each. We have a series of blogs where we do DIY, budget friendly ideas where you can freshen up your house, or DIY it an an inexpensive price, and then just little things. Whether you’re creating wood floor alternatives in your house that might be less expensive and more durable to wood flooring and we even talked about here, lien waivers. That’s another topic where a lot of customers and even contractors don’t understand lien wavers. They don’t understand the insurance.
And so we touched about lien wavers. So if we have a customer that we’re going to speak with, we’ll send them to our blog and say “Go read our blog about lien waivers” and that gives you the understanding as a client a benefit of hiring us because we give lien waivers for all of our subcontractors so that you know when you pay us the end contractor’s being paid and there won’t be a lien on your home.
Martin: So, Brad, do you personally write these posts?
Brad Leavitt: I did initially and now we have a staff member in our office that we send them the topic, the concept there, and then they go through and they’ll put the blog together, and they’ll write the post and then they send it out to the team, to myself and all the other members at AFT, and then we go through and edit and we’ll add our insights or thoughts and then … so it’s kind of a collective thing and then at the end, once we’ve all been in agreement, all of us, then we post.
There’s so much information out there and part of a business owner, I think what held me back from doing blogs was the time. You’re out here doing business development and running a company, and so to have someone you put in charge to delegate and say “Hey. Take a half an hour and write a blog,” and then just send it out to the team. We can edit that at night or in our downtime and then there you go, you have a blog without making it a huge burden on yourself or the company.
Martin: So, as a team and even as yourself, you are thinking about what are some stumbling blocks or what do we get asked questions about the most to come up with blog topics. Is that what I hear you saying?
Brad Leavitt: Correct. So this past Monday, we had our production meeting and we came up with a topic this week that we posted which was selecting the right lot for your new home build that spoke about here, a lot of home owners will buy lots, maybe on a mountain or different topography and stuff and things to consider when you’re purchasing a lot, you know, with different site work that’s involved and different costs and different hurdles to think about when you’re purchasing a lot.
Martin: What I’m envisioning or picturing is you have a local business in your local neighborhood and these are relevant questions for people around there who might be considering hiring you and that kind of thing. Other than people just Googling and finding your website, how are you getting these articles in front of people to read?
Brad Leavitt: So we’re really active on all of our social media from Pinterest to Instagram to LinkedIn and to Facebook, and so what we do is when we do a post on all of those media outlets, we’ll put caption in there, “Check our our latest blog,” and put in our website, and so people, we’ve found that our traffic has greatly increased recently because a lot of people are following from Facebook, from LinkedIn on my profile. I’ll post it on Instagram, and then what we’re going on Pinterest is we’ll tag, we’ll pin the blog in our news and media board for our Pinterest account, and so it really links us as a company between all these social media fronts.
Martin H.: Have you reached out to anybody locally like a newspaper or a local media about your blog or about the stuff that you’re doing with content?
Brad Leavitt: We haven’t yet. I think that’s something that we definitely need to do at some point and start investigating, and now that we kind of have more blogs and more content available, there’s a resource there that we needed to start looking how we can expand that more.
Martin: All right, Brad. Is there anything else you’d like to add on this subject of what should I write about on my company blog.
Brad Leavitt: Again, just think of no matter whether you’re a tradesman, a subcontractor or GC, there’s so many things day to day from speaking about site cleanliness to maybe tricks of the trade, shortcuts, quality. You can find so many angles and topics. They’re really endless and as you go through each day, just take a note of the different ideas that pop in your head and pretty soon you can have a collection of fifty, hundred ideas and just that’ll take you a long way to start blogging about those.
Martin: All right, Protractors. There you have it. If you’ve been considering blogging for your business but wasn’t quite sure what to write about, maybe listen to this again. Maybe two or three times, and just start thinking of those ways that you can bring content to your audience and build up trust and confidence in their minds through your blog. Brad, thank you so much for coming back on, and I look forward to talking to you again in the future.
Brad Leavitt: Same here. Have a good one, Martin. Thank you.
Again, If you have a question you would like us to ask a Protractor, or if you have a guest you would like to hear… please send us an email at [email protected]