Okay, so you committed to blogging, now what? Understanding blogging strategy is the key tool to make your blogs successful. In this article, we’ll spend a little bit of time talking about what a blog should do for your organization. Then we’ll talk about how to accomplish that, by creating your own blogging strategy in 9 steps.
What Can Blog Do For You?
We’ll only focus on the core reasons so we can keep this part of the article short. It’s important to note, that like with most marketing, blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. 70% of the traffic generated from the blogs for HubSpot are from posts from previous months. 90% of their leads come from interest generated on posts from previous months. That means you need to give your blogs time to generate leads. As time goes by, the results will continue to improve.
Blogs can, and should, leverage numerous digital marketing tools. By properly blogging, you’ll grow your web traffic to your site. This means more people in more places will find you, and your website, through your blog posts. Blogging provides you with content, and content provides you with more options for your social media marketing. Blogs will help you have more engaging, quality content to use on social platforms, forums, email campaigns, etc. Growing your social media accounts will be a much easier process if you’re blogging correctly, and marketing them correctly. Effective blogging strategy can also help improve your lead generation, so you can grow your total number of leads, close rate, and revenue.
Blogging is a fantastic way to provide more brand awareness to your audience. When you become an educational authority on a subject, you gain credibility among your readers. One cannot establish themselves as an expert, but their followers can. Use blogging strategy to become the subject matter expert (SME) among your peers, your clients, and your targeted audience. Continue to strengthen that positioning with continued use of blogging and digital marketing.
The real question on the reader’s mind now “OK, so how do I do it?” Understanding why you should be blogging is the easy part. It’s the actually blogging strategy that’s more elusive. We’ll try to keep this as short as possible so feel free to CONTACT US if you want to discuss anything here in more detail.
Step 1: Target your Audience
Identify and understand exactly WHO you should be reaching for each blog. Create a buyer’s profile so that you know how they are going to find you and where. What are they looking for? How can you help them? Where should your blogs be and when? What times? What’s the best way to communicate with them? Creating an outline of this is the first step of a blogging strategy. The content should be tailored TO the ideal audience for each and every post.
Step 2: Identify your Topic
What topic is going to ‘speak’ to the audience you’ve targeted. What topic would generate the most interest from that audience? These two things will work very hand-in-hand. In fact, Step 1 should be considered in EVERY step of your blogging strategy in order to make the most effective blogs. Make sure your topic is specific and broken down. Get granular. Let’s say we want to talk about websites. That’s too vague for numerous posts. Let’s break that down into content, blogging, SEO, design, digital marketing, hosting, backups, etc. While your goals should be big, your vision high, your marketing should be in small bite-sized pieces. Like a fraction of math, break things down for your audience. Oh, and by the way, you’ll want to come up with a compelling title, too. Make sure it doesn’t sound like clickbait ads.
Step 3: Identify your Goal
What should this blog accomplish? How will you effectively educate your readers? What call to action do you want to work towards? What’s the feeling you want the reader left with? Once you know your target audience and your topic, you can then identify what the intent is of each piece. We see this step missed a lot in blogging strategy, or we see it being planned too late in the process. Here’s a tip, your blog should educate, engage, and inspire at least 4x more than it promotes a product, service, or sale.
Step 4: Craft your Introduction
Start by creating an introduction into what the audience will gain out of your blog. Books, games, movies, albums…a large number of items in your life have an introduction. It’s a condensed segment to tell you what you’re going to get. Your blogs should be captivating and contain the right words, structure, and tone best suited for your audience. A large part of blogging strategy is also knowing things like what behavioral style your target market is, and how you translate that into words. This intro is not only designed to draw readers in, but it will also help you structure the rest of your content.
Step 5: Arrange your Content
Now that you have your intro, you will have content ideas. Arrange them so they make sense. In what order should your points be? How many words are you aiming for? What style of writing will you be using? Are you using any quotes, stats, examples? Some writers are remarkable at this step and others are not. More creative minds tend to wander easily during this step while more literal writers find this to be their strong point. The goal is to make sure you don’t deviate from the audience, from the topic, from the goals, from the tone of the intro.
Step 6: Compose Like Beethoven
Not everyone is a master composer of content or a master of words. This process is natural for some, while it seems impossible for others. Once you have steps 1-5, you should be ready to write, write, write, and write some more. Write for your audience. Don’t stray from the topic. Keep the goal in mind. Go back to your intro if you need inspiration. Stick to the arrangement of your content. Don’t be afraid to be fun, charming, humorous. Try to think like your audience and write in a way that speaks to them.
Content is not about what you want to read, it’s about what your target will respond best to. This includes verbiage, tone, pictures, word layout, etc. Based on what we hear the most, the part of your blogging strategy that makes people feel most uncomfortable is this step. Being a good writer for digital mediums can be very intimidating.
Step 7: Closing the Sale
Content on your blog should have very little (20% or less) focus on sales. The sales will come as your readers identify you as authentic, credible, and an expert. By properly focusing your content on NOT selling, you will sell more. As many of your content pieces as possible should have a Call To Action (CTA). This is a place that allows the reader to get more information, request an appointment, make a phone call, download an app, send an email, etc. In this blog, we linked our Contact Form towards the beginning, and we’ll do it again at the end. It’s persuading the audience to do something beyond reading the content.
Step 8: It’s SEO Time
Search Engine Optimization is required here, in order to ensure your blogging strategy is as efficient as possible. Though you will get traffic through your loyal clients, RSS feed subscribers, and social media followers, it is NOT a replacement for SEO. You really need SEO on your posts and this is a very challenging part of blogging strategy for many. It requires planning in advance, and careful edits at the end. We didn’t include this earlier because it’s really one of the last things you should actually do, though you should think about it in Step 3. We usually start with our working title and make adjustments to that for our SEO on each post. Shorter is better if you’re feeling stuck. Enticing is better than boring if you’re torn between the two. Remember, don’t use a title that’s common among clickbait in your industry.
Step 9: Check Yourself, Correct Yourself
Now it’s time to go back to proofread your content and make edits as needed. If you’ve been writing a lot, go back in a day or two and proofread. A fresh set of eyes is always better. If you’re writing solo, you may want to do two rounds of proofreading. Correcting your own mistakes is much harder. Trust us, we have a single writer and editor as well. It’s why we’ll sometimes make corrections well after an article is published.
Like any content…all things must come to an end. We are near ours here. When it comes to your blogging strategy, always, always get help if you need it. Some people write well, some do not, some want to stay far away from it. It’s better to get help with your blogging if you aren’t confident in your execution. It’s worth the investment in the long-run. While blogging may seem simple, it certainly isn’t easy. If it doesn’t come naturally to you or your team, consider options to improve your blogging and blogging strategy. If you wish to discuss blogging services, have blogging questions, or simply would like a review of your current blogs, we’d love to chat.