How to Plan a Blog Strategy
Question - Why do people read blogs?
Answer - Because it satisfies their needs – by providing them with valuable information, answering their questions or directing them to helpful resources.
How can blogging help your business?
- By sharing your knowledge, you build credibility for your business
- By engaging with your audience, you gain valuable insight into your customer’s problems and how to solve them
- Consistent quality blogging demonstrates reliability and helps to build trust
- Gets your name “out there” and on your customers’ mind-shelves
- Opportunities for cross-pollination - provides content to share on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc
Find out more about why blogging is good for business.
Consistent quality blogging can take up a lot of time – and that’s something businesses don’t have much of. So it’s really important to hone in on the above goals.
- Will this blog really engage my (potential) customers?
- How will this blog provide genuine value to my (potential) customers?
- How will this blog demonstrate the value provided by your company / services?
Planning your blog
Ask yourself these questions:
- What am I trying to achieve from my articles / blog posts?
- What do I want this to do for my business / for me as an individual?
- Is my main goal for writing blog post to boost sales?
- Do I want to build community / following around my business?
- Do I want to showcase new developments, designs or ideas?
All the objectives above are really important for your business, but by honing in on one and keeping focused it will help you to create a much stronger message.
Before you get started, take time in reading others' blogs in your market, this will give you food for thought when you start to write your own
Write a list of possible headlines:
This will provide you with a clearer understanding of how you’ll structure your blog and the voice you’re going to use.
Don’t spend too much time writing details at this stage, remember you’re planning
Make you headline an instant winner:
Your headline is often the first thing to grab a reader’s attention. Use keywords, make the headline short, punchy, easy to understand and read
Make good use of images
Images are a very important part of your blog, not just to accompany your great headline but throughout your blog continent. Images can help to tell your story, show examples and give explanations much quicker than text alone can.
Use the right image for your brand:
The images you use are crucial to demonstrate the information you’re sending out.
Images should go well with your company ethos and brand so take your time to source good quality images which tell your story well
Use charts and infographics to explain your ideas
Build a community around your blog:
- Encourage interaction on your blog post by asking questions
- Always answer visitors' questions and queries as quickly as possible
- Keep the conversation going by offering solutions to visitors' problems
- Get your head space into customer mode by putting yourself in your visitors' shoes
- Utilize your blog post / articles, spread them far and wide across social media platforms, other blogs and forums
At the onset it’s crucial to think about how you’ll measure the success of your blogs.
Success metrics should be based on your chosen core objective.
Measuring success takes time but if you start with the basic metrics it can give you a lot of information about how your posts are doing.
By regularly measuring the performance of your blog you can:
- Save time
- Identify any shortcomings in the content you are producing
- Identify which topics your audience cares about
Measure your visitors:
The most basic but one of the most important ones is to measure the people who read your blog content. Look at the data which give results on individual blog posts to see what is successful.This will help you to find the best type of content for your target audience.
Measure Your Subscribers:
Consistency is key when it comes to blog writing and it takes time for your readers to trust your credibility and expertise. A good way to encourage visitors to become regulars is to encourage them to subscribe to your blog.
Measuring how many people subscribe to your blog is a good indicator of quality and consistency.
Track your inbound links:
Over time, benefit-driven blogs can attract inbound links. Inbound links are when another website links its page to your website. When this happens you know you're providing really useful information that others see worthy enough to add a link and mention on their website.
Search engines love inbound links as they use this information to rank website pages. This information can also help you to maintain a well-balanced content strategy for your blog
Keep your eye on social media sharing:
Social media is a great place to tell your target audience about your blog. Look at social media shares to determine which post get the most shares. Check this data against the number of visits: are there any inconsistencies? This background information is very useful for planning future blog content.
Consider the future of your blogs
Gather your blog posts and make them into an eBook, podcast or slide share presentation.
Use email marketing to send out a monthly list of recent blogs and always add the same image you have used on other online platforms to accompany your titles/headline.
Be consistent when posting on social media; that way your followers will come to expect and look forward to the content you're sending out.