We know it’s tempting to jump right into blogging. After all, the basic concept is pretty straightforward, right? Simply write a blog post and publish it on your website.
Step 1. What’s your strategy?
But to actually get any return on the time you spend blogging, you need some sort of strategy, even a basic one. Any blog writing initiative should consider the following:
- Who’s your audience? What topics do they care about? What are their pain points?
- What’s your goal? Brand awareness? Gaining leads?
- How will you measure success? Web traffic? Number of new leads?
- How often will you publish? Consistency is key, even if it’s only once a month.
- Who will write your blog? Will there be an approval process?
Step 2. What to Write About?
Defining your audience in Step One should give you an idea about the types of topics your audience will be interested in. In any case, keep in mind that the purpose of blog writing – or content marketing – is rarely to sell your services, but to provide value. That said, finding something to write about can often be challenge. Keep a list of ideas handy, and think about the following:
- Get to know your customers. How can you help solve their challenges?
- What are your competitors blogging about?
- What news or trends are buzzing in your industry right now?
- What common mistakes or problems do you see your customers or competitors make that you can address?
- What does someone new to your industry or service need to know?
Step 3. How to Write It?
The blog writing process can be intimidating if you’re not used to writing. Relax! Keep in mind that blogs are typically a little more conversational and don’t have to be incredibly profound to gain the attention of your audience. These following tips may help:
- Use the Challenge-Solution formula to help give structure to your post
- Storytelling is a great tactic to gain people’s attention. What experience can you bring to your topic that makes a good story?
- Avoid long paragraphs that require a long attention span. Bullet points or numbered lists make for an easy read.
- Don’t want to write? Infographics or videos are excellent ways of grabbing people’s attention. Do a quick Google search for tools to help you.
- Don’t be afraid to write with personality. Establishing a voice will help you stand out from competitors.
- Take some time the craft an attention-grabbing title. While you want to avoid the “click-bait” trap, your title should entice your audience to want to read. Consider using numbers (5 ways to…) or “How To” style headlines.
Step 4. How to Share It?
Writing and publishing a blog post is only half the story. To reach your goals, whether you’re focused on brand awareness, lead gathering, or something else entirely, you need the right people to read your blog. Here’s some pointers for getting your posts read:
- Set up an email campaign to both current and potential clients to let them know about your new blog post.
- Let your employees know about the post. Make sure they understand the value of blogging, and encourage them to share with their contacts and networks.
- Share your post on your company’s social networks. Make sure your blog has social media buttons so readers can easily share as well.
- Find places to syndicate your content. There are lots of tools online to help you do this to get your blog posts out to a wider audience.
Step 5. How to Measure Success?
If you established even a basic strategy before launching your blog, you should have a good idea of what constitutes success. This is an important last step because otherwise you won’t know what is and isn’t working. Keep an eye on the following stats using a tool such as Google Analytics:
- Number of visitors to your post
- How long visitors spend reading the post
- Open and click rates on any associated email campaigns
- How many visitors stay on your website after reading a post
- How many social shares your post receives