Keep that insurance blog engine running

By Brett Anderson

St. Croix Advisors

We all know how difficult it can be to stay on the wagon with blogging. You start your blog with a lot of gumption and fanfare, posting a few times a week, sharing your posts and seeking out interaction from all of your contacts.

A few months later, life and business creep in and before you know it, your blog engine has run out of steam. Well, don’t let that happen.

A little bit of planning and work at the front end can avoid setting yourself up for failure, sending your blog to the Internet graveyard.

Tip no. 1: Create an editorial calendar

If you’re not an Excel whiz, don’t worry. There are plenty of free templates online that are just a Google search away.

The purpose of an editorial calendar is to organize all of your content and map out your plan for posts. This can also work really well with all of your marketing content. Instead of thinking just post to post, really centralize around the idea of concepts or themes.

Brainstorm about what concepts you want to talk about. Think about your audience. What will be on their minds?

Case in point, we try to focus on pertinent concepts that we know may be in the forefront of our readers’ minds at the time each post will be published. Taxes at year-end, college planning during the graduation season, etc. are all great central themes for your editorial calendar.

Map out as much as you feel comfortable while still leaving openings to be flexible with new developments. We try to map out the entire year with editorial themes, but then leave leeway when it comes to the content itself.

Tip no. 2: Google alerts

If you’re unfamiliar with Google alerts, run, do not walk, your mouse over to Google and type in alerts. By creating a Google alert for a particular name, phrase or concept, you are essentially creating your own personal search service.

Let’s say that you want to write some blog posts about the Minnesota Vikings. I know, I know, you probably wouldn’t do that this season, but let’s say you did. So you go to and either log into your Google account (so that you can manage your alerts) or simply enter your email. You would then enter “Minnesota Vikings” and then you may select type, frequency of delivery and volume.

Once you click Create Alert, you’re set. Depending on your preferences, you’ll begin receiving new news, other blogs, events and content all related to the alert topic.

This is a great way to keep your blog engine running, as you continue to obtain new information and the latest news on any topic for which you create an alert. You may think that you’ve said all you can say and responded about everything related to a given topic until you receive an alert that highlights your topic in a whole new light.

What do you think? Do you use an editorial calendar or Google Alerts? Are they effective tools?