We are celebrating 5 years of supply chain blogging this month here at All Things Supply Chain Blog. It has proven to be a big year for us, which included the rebranding and restructuring of our site. When we started out, we called ourselves the Inventory and Supply Chain Optimization Blog, but as the topics we covered continued to expand, we felt the name limited us to a certain degree. This factor, plus the fact that our site was not mobile friendly, propelled us into action. Through our rebranding, we have been able expand our topic field to include a wide spectrum of supply chain and logistics trends, news stories, optimization ideas and best practice examples.
We are also on pace to crack the 50,000 pageview mark for the year, a goal we set for ourselves during the relaunch process. Readership is growing steadily and we are very grateful for your return visits, social shares, comments and other contributions over the past several years. Launching and then relaunching the blog has proven to be a great learning experience. Here are five of the top lessons we learned over the course of the past 5 years.
1. Blogging and logistics/supply chain are a perfect match
This is a sentiment I elaborated on in a blog post from 2015, in which we coined the term [blog]istic. As I stated back in 2015, in a complex and constantly evolving operating environment such as logistics, a well-maintained blog can help professionals stay up to date on the latest industry trends, challenges and solutions. This has been our aim over the past 5 years and I am excited to see that this trend of information exchange and thought leadership is continuing and expanding throughout the industry.
2. Looking back helps us look forward
I would be remiss if I did not provide you with the most read articles over the course of the past 5 years:
5th most read article: IKEA in Action: Logistics and Supply Chain Sustainability
4th most read article: The 3 must-haves for successful inventory management
3rd most read article: 11 Characteristics of Supply Chain Excellence
2nd most read article: The Amazing Supply Chain of Your Morning Coffee
The most read article: What can we learn from Apple’s supply chain?
Understanding what content draws the most views, likes, shares, discussions and feedback in general, is extremely important to formulating a plan for future posts. It provides insights into what is helpful for our readers, and what is not.
We have seen, over time, that we can generate interest in the supply chain industry through easier reads such as the “Amazing Supply Chain” series. Furthermore, experienced professionals are drawn to posts that use industry leaders (Apple, IKEA) as best practice examples. We can all use a little benchmarking to help plan our own operations in the future.
3. Guest bloggers provide readers with unique insights
Opening our platform to guest bloggers has proven to be an enlightening experience. In general, inviting external experts to create content provides unique takes on issues and challenges that perhaps have already been addressed by an internal author. The very first guest blog on our site came from Gary Marion, an experienced supply chain manager. He took our amazing supply chain series and covered the topic of an iPhone case. His unique writing style combined with his industry knowledge provided our readers with an entertaining and informative read. Since then, we have had 24 guest bloggers share their thoughts and expertise on a wide array of supply chain and logistics topics.
New and refreshing content ideas are always welcome on the All Things Supply Chain Blog. If you have an idea you would like to discuss and are interested in becoming a guest blogger, feel free to reach out per email at firstname.lastname@example.org
4. Face to Face is still important in the age of social media
While we can not accept all media partnership proposals, we have certainly learned a lot over the last several years through these types of relationships. In total, we have covered 12 separate events, providing previews, event wrap-ups, website banners and live tweet coverage to event organizers.
Most importantly, we are able to meet supply chain managers from across the globe at these various events and discuss their most pressing challenges. Leading industry events are a perfect way to expand our network, gain insights into the latest trends and deliver helpful tips from various keynotes and workshops.
This week (October 9 – October 11), Luisa Walendy is in Copenhagen covering the Shoptalk Europe event. We are looking forward to reading about the latest trends in the retail supply chain next week. Be sure to follow #Shoptalkeurope this week for live event updates.
5. Consistency is key
If you haven’t already noticed, we publish articles twice per week: one original article on Monday, and an industry news wrap-up every Friday. When reading through diverse tips from blogging experts, the fact that consistency is key comes up in nearly every post.
Back in 2012, we were unsure if we would be able to deliver content on such a regular basis: enter the wrap-up. Initially, the supply chain weekly wrap-up was designed as a “back-up” plan in case we were unable to deliver a unique article on Monday. Little did we know that this form of post would actually be missed by some readers if it wasn’t posted. The wrap-up has proven to be a success and a helpful source of supply chain news.
Coming back to the Monday posts: we have only missed one Monday over the past 5 years! This level of reliability has proven to be a big success factor to our blogging efforts. My tip to those of you thinking about starting a blog: don’t do it unless you have a plan to deliver the content your target audience is looking to read on a regular basis. Instead, spread your knowledge through the implementation of guest posts. There are many supply chain platforms out there that would be happy to hear from you.
We are looking forward to 5 more years of supply chain blogging with you and are excited to see what we will learn about blogging and the supply chain industry in the coming years. If you have any suggestions for improvement, please feel free to reach out at any time.
What supply chain and logistics blog platforms do you turn to for your information? Have you considered starting an industry specific blog?
Header photo: iMoStudio/shutterstock.com