5 Minute Blogging Strategy Guide
Starting a personal or business blog is a massive undertaking that rewards commitment and patience. If you don’t set off with a well thought out blogging strategy you’re greatly increasing the chances that either you’ll give up or that your boss will pull the plug before those rewards arrive.
So take (at least) 5 minutes to think through your blogging strategy before starting on your first post.
Get Your Blogging Goals Straight
Without goals footballers are just men kicking a pig’s bladder around a field. Without goals migrating birds would drop frozen from the sky. Without goals sperm donors are just… you get the picture.
Define your goals and blog with purpose. Getting more traffic to your website, generating more conversions or more revenue, achieving more newsletter signups, app downloads or video plays are all legitimate goals that could form the keystone of a successful blogging strategy.
- List your blogging goals
- Don’t be tempted to combine goals together but have separate, distinct goals
- Decide which are your primary goals (e.g. conversions) and which are secondary (e.g. traffic)
Work Out Who Your Blogging Audience Is
Your primary goals will determine your audience. Your audience will determine what you write about and how you write about it. Don’t be satisfied with lumping your entire audience together as one homogenous blob. Get specific. Several goals will certainly necessitate defining several distinct audiences but sometimes even a single goal will allow for different user types.
For example, an enquiry about a single product or service might be generated by one of two different types of user – each of which is looking for a different kind of content. By thinking carefully about these two kinds of audience you’ll be better able to tailor content towards them. Once you’re up and running you’ll probably have a different blog category aimed at each of these audiences.
- Work out your audience(s) for each primary goal
- Make a list of attributes for each audience (e.g. age, job role, affluence, interests)
Use Your Specialist Blogging Knowledge
You have a unique combination of knowledge, skills and interests that can be tapped to produce quality content for your audience. Rather than simply producing cheap knock-offs of other people’s blog posts work out what it is that you have to share that nobody else does.
At Manifesto we have experts and enthusiasts in numerous fields from technology through to Agile coaching and WebCenter Sites development. By letting them write about the areas that interest them we get informed, thought provoking and infectiously fanatical content that our audience can tell is written by people who care.
- Make a list of all your specialist subjects, areas of expertise or interests
- Find where they match up to your audience’s attributes
Write Posts that Entice Your Blogging Users to Meet Your Blogging Goals
Don’t write posts around keywords but rather ensure that the content you’re producing has value for at least one subset of your audience then optimise the post for search. The same thing goes for social – writing a post around an alluring title can help bring visitors to your site but what are the chances of them becoming return visitors, or customers, if the content they find doesn’t live up to expectations?
- Write posts that hit the sweet spot where your own expertise/enthusiasm overlaps with that of your target audience
- Concentrate on making the content great and write a title later – not the other way around
Promote Your Posts Right Where Your Blogging Users Live
Get smart about identifying where your target audiences hang out online. There are myriad groups and communities on the major social networks where users share content on specialist topics. Identify the ones which are relevant and use them to drop smart-bomb style links on the feeds of your target audiences.
- Find groups and communities on Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn etc that are relevant to your audiences
- Share posts with appropriate groups to maximise the chances that the right people will see them
- If you have a blogging budget, use AdWords, Sponsored Posts, Updates and Tweets to drive users to your posts targetd by interests, location, job role, gender etc
Track Your Blogging Data
Not every post you write will be a smash hit. Some of them will attract fewer visitors than open day at a waste water treatment plant. Tracking your blog via web analytics will help you work out which are the successes you’d like to repeat and which the failures you’d rather not.
- Track your blog using analytics
- Conduct regular content audits to find out where your successes come from, then tweak your strategy accordingly
That’s it. What’s keeping you? Go blogging blog.