The 2015 Instabill Blogging Contest is underway. It’s kind of like Boxing Day in the U.K., the day after Christmas when folks trade jobs and gain appreciation for the jobs they perform.
For the month of November, our sales staff and anyone else who wishes to take part, will write a blog (or two or three) on the subject matter of their choice.
For us, the Marketing crew at Instabill, it is a win-win: Our sales staffers are experts in merchant services, and are providing us quality content – the lifeblood of content marketing. And we promise to publish them all.
Where We Got the Idea
In the process of launching our new website, we repurposed dozens of old but relevant blogs written by current and former sales staff, to fill space.
As we posted, we noticed something. These blogs were damn good. These folks could write. It was all terrific, evergreen information regarding merchant services, dealing with chargebacks or working with specific industries. It was all high quality content.
Stephanie Mann, our web developer and administrator, and myself were impressed. In our weekly meeting with CEO Jason Field, we shared what we found and he loved it – so much so that he came up with the idea of the contest to see which member of our staff could write the best one.
Setting Blog Guidelines
It used to be a standard practice for Instabill merchant account managers to write the occasional news item before the senior copywriter (me) was brought on board. On the few occasions I am stumped, I have found our sales staff to be an endless well of ideas. Ms. Mann offered our staff a few ideas:
- Lists. Everyone loves lists. “Best Ways to Do X” or “Top Reasons For X” are good ideas. This is especially useful for promoting any of our many services, such as our partner program.
- A story. Tell a story of a particularly interesting account, perhaps the one account they worked their hardest to board (without divulging names).
- A software or service. Is there a software or service that they use to complete everyday tasks they really find useful? Explain the three best things about it.
- Answer a question that people are constantly asking you. Explain a tricky concept for merchants who don’t quite understand payment processing.
- Business tips. Do they come across many terribly-designed websites or awful customer support services? Explain what these e-commerce merchants are doing wrong (again, no names).
- An infographic. Some merchant account managers might be more artist than author.
The Prize for Quality Content
And so it is game on. The winner receives a $50 Visa gift card. Two of our staffers have already guaranteed victory – we love that.
What is your top resource for quality content? Share it with us in our comments section below – we’d love to know.