By Lauren | November 28, 2016 | 0 Comment
A blog can be incredibly valuable for you and your business. We all have heard the trend in content marketing becoming increasingly more popular, and there is no question, this isn’t going to be disappearing anytime soon. Blogging can have so many benefits. It can help improve your search engine optimization (SEO) for your business or yourself, it helps position you as a thought leader in your industry, and it can help with spreading the word and awareness of your business. In fact, 94% of people share posts because they feel it could be helpful to others. With every person sharing your blog post, that’s new eyes you can get your content and business in front of which may have felt impossible otherwise. But where do you start? Yes, you can jump on WordPress and create a blog with just the click of your mouse, but how do you guarantee you’ll have success? Here are some things to think through first.
Before you do anything, you need to figure out what the purpose is of your blog. If you can’t answer this, there’s really no point of you even starting. Why does your blog exist? Answer this question in a short statement in your blog strategy. Some possible purposes of your blog could be:
This step should be pretty easy. Take a look at your target audience for your business and determine who you want to be reading your blog. It’s okay to have a primary and secondary audience. For example, our blog at Futurpreneur is targeted mainly to young entrepreneurs in Canada, with a secondary audience being Futurpreneur business mentors. This is an important step as you need to know who you are writing for. If you try and write for everyone, your blog won’t have a direction and your content will be a bit mismatched.
This doesn’t need to be super complex 18 page competitive analysis, however, looking at your competitors and which ones are blogging will help you determine how you can be better and more strategic about your approach. Ask yourself the following:
Having a better understanding of the content that’s already being pushed out there will help you be able to position yourself for success, versus just repeating the content that already exists.
If you are going to launch a blog, whether for your business or for fun, it’s important to think through who is going to be responsible for what. One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they don’t really realize how much work starting a blog is, and because of that, they choose to half-ass it and don’t see the results they were hoping for. Some things to think about are:
It’s easy to lose track of your vision when you don’t actually have calendars with due dates to hold you and your team accountable. A content calendar will be your lifesaver, especially when managing your blog isn’t the only aspect of your job. Personally, I use two types of content calendars for our blog at Futurpreneur. The first is one that is an overall, high level calendar with the themes of the blog content we post each day. So for example:
Monday: Entrepreneur success story
Tuesday: Tips and tools for entrepreneurs
Wednesday: Leader spotlight
Thursday: Guest Content
Friday: Guest Content
The second type of content calendar I have is one that is much more detailed and lays out each month (usually for two months in advance) what we are posting to go with these themes. It also helps me track the status, anyone contributing or helping with the articles, and any translation or editing that needs to be done. Here is a screenshot to see what that looks like (click to enlarge):
One important thing to think about is what is going to be do-able for you and your business. At Futurpreneur, we post almost every day from Monday to Friday, however, you may want to commit to only publishing once or twice a week to start, especially if you have a small team or little capacity.
Once you have yourself organized, it’s time to think about what you are going to do with the content you are creating. How are you going to spread the word about it? Where are you promoting it? It’s one thing to develop content, but likely people won’t know to go to your blog to read it, especially right from the start. Think about how you will promote each of your blog posts. This may be using specific social media platforms your business is on, this may involve creating an email newsletter that goes out to your database which curates the content each month, it may even involve utilizing influencers in your space to help get the word out. If you don’t know where to start with this, try a few tactics to start off and track what is working. For example, you may learn through your Google Analytics that most of your pageviews are coming from Facebook and none from Twitter, so that tells you that Facebook is a good platform to disseminate your content.
Last but not least, how are you going to make sure that your blogging efforts are successful? Knowing how your content is performing will help shed some insight on how you should move forward. Look at which content is getting the most pageviews via Google Analytics. Track where the bulk of those pageviews are coming from (Eg. Twitter, direct links, Facebook, etc.) and note any trends, etc. that can help you shape your content moving forward. Paying attention this and adapting your content to fit what people are wanting or engaging with the most will help your blog only increase in popularity.
Blogging isn’t rocket science, however, you do need to have some sort of plan and direction in place in order to see results. Just like anything, patience, and consistency goes along way when starting a new marketing tactic like a blog. So make sure you’re willing to put in the time to see the results!