Every business has heard about the benefits of blogging. If you’re reading this, chances are you want to incorporate blogging into your marketing strategy, but are struggling to come up with an effective way to do so. Maybe you’ve even started blogging, but have yet to see the benefits of your current approach. If that sounds like you, it’s likely your approach lacks strategy. In this post, we’ll share 6 tips to help you create a solid blogging strategy. We’ll cover everything from goal-setting to how to build a content calendar—so you can start reaping the blogging benefits everyone’s been promising you.
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1: SET CLEAR GOALS
If you only read a single point on this list, let it be this one: proper goal-setting is crucial for developing and executing your blogging strategy. Before you start working out the specific details of how many posts you want to create or when you want them to go live, make sure you and your entire team are clear on what you’re trying to achieve. Some common goals companies try to achieve through blogging include:
- Growing their social media following
- Gaining industry authority
- Increasing organic and non-organic traffic
- Improving SEO rankings
- Increasing leads and/or sales
If you’re new to content marketing, it might help to focus on 1 or 2 of these goals to begin with, rather than trying to juggle too many things at once. When setting each goal, remember to be as specific as possible. Don’t just settle for generic goals like “drive more traffic” or “get more Facebook followers”. Be specific. “Increase organic search traffic by 15% in 6 months” or “increase Facebook engagement by 20% in 3 months” are much better goals to focus on. Why? Because they hold you accountable. Setting clear goals from the beginning will help you manage many aspects of your blogging strategy later on.
2: FIGURE OUT HOW TO REACH THOSE GOALS
Once you’ve set some clear goals for your blogging strategy, it’s time to think about how to accomplish them. Figuring this out will depend on your understanding of content marketing and how it affects areas like SEO, social media, traffic, and generating authority. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to cover each of these topics in detail here. Nonetheless, here are some basic summaries of how blog content affects numerous variables:
- Search: Content plays a key role in SEO. And blogs are a great way to publish regular, keyword-optimised content relevant to your industry. By constantly producing great content surrounding your most important keywords, you’re helping Google index your site for these search terms and list your pages in its results.
- Social Media: Content is now integral for socials. Sharing engaging, relevant content online is one of the best ways to interact with your audience and eventually grow your following. Sharing blog articles on social media platforms like Facebook or LinkedIn, for example, regularly push traffic from your social platforms over to your website, and start warming up potential leads.
- Authority: Building authority is crucial. If you can position your company as experts in your industry, you greatly increase your potential of connecting with your audience and ultimately generating a sale. Pumping out well-researched, informative articles is a great way to begin positioning your company as a leading competitor.
3: RESEARCH YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Once you’ve settled on what goals you’re trying to achieve with your blogging strategy and how to do so, it’s time to start researching your audience. Begin by posing some of the following questions:
- Where does my audience hang out online? Are my readers more active on specific platforms or at specific times during the day?
- What kind of content does my audience engage with? How will this affect the kind of content I produce in the future?
- What makes my customers buy?
This last question comes down to your customers’ psychographics. When we talk about marketing, we hear a lot about the importance of demographics. And while they are essential, when it comes to understanding your customers’ buying patterns, they only start to scratch the surface. Psychographics, on the other hand, go much deeper. Hubspot puts it like this: “Demographics explain “who” your buyer is, while psychographics explain “why” they buy”.
Unfortunately, gathering information on the psychological processes that influence a customer’s decision to buy your product is much more complicated than working out their age, gender, or location. One way to start unraveling the mystery of their psyche is to think about the problem they’re facing and how your product, service, or content can help them deal with that issue.
There’s an old marketing technique called PAS (Problem, Agitate, Solve) that blog posts often work into their intros. They’ll start by stating the customer’s problem, then agitating it (by pointing out the symptoms of that problem), before finally offering a solution to it. For a great example blog using the PAS approach, check out this article on CBD oil for pets. This is just one example of how companies use psychographics to understand their customer’s buying behavior. To maximise your potential of connecting with your customers, make sure to research your audience thoroughly to better understand their demographics and psychographics.
4: RESEARCH YOUR KEYWORDS AND TOPICS
So, you’ve set goals, you’ve figured out how you plan to reach them, and you’ve researched your target audience. Now it’s time to think about the keywords and topics you’re going to target with your content. We could dedicate an entire article to the process of keyword research (and we might in the future), but here are a few basic tips to get you started:
- Look for keywords with high search volume
- Try to target low-to-medium competition keywords (those with high competition will be harder to rank for)
- Use long-tail keywords for extra targeting
- Build a list of LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords for each keyphrase you’re targeting, and work them into your content
Once you’ve built a solid list of keywords, you’ll want to start building topics around them. These topics can be broad or specific. If you know your customers have specific questions regarding your product or industry, those make great topic ideas (refer back to the CBD post we mentioned above for an example that addresses a specific question related to the company’s niche).
5: CREATE A CONTENT CALENDAR
Once you’ve brainstormed your list of keywords and topics, compile them into a content calendar. You can use either a calendar app or a spreadsheet to achieve this. Be sure to list each individual blog post, the topic it addresses, the keywords it’ll be targeting, the date it will be published, and any other information your team will need to create the post. This should include details like post length, image requirements, specific SEO practices, and tips your team should follow, as well as a short outline of what you expect each post to look like.
6: GO BEYOND THE WRITTEN WORD
Great blog posts are more than just words on a page (or screen). One great way to help push your blog content that extra mile is to make use of other multimedia components. This tip is included in the embedded video by Location Rebel, and we think it’s one of the most relevant pointers today. This can include picture slideshows, infographics, or even video.
Links to other resources are also a great way to dress-up your posts and show your readers that you’re really making an effort to produce well-informed, researched content. Including external links in your posts may also encourage other companies to backlink to your blog in the future, while internal links can help direct your readers to relevant sections of your own website to find out more about a specific topic, product, or service.
Creating a blog strategy is a process. It’s not a matter of simply creating a blog and publishing posts. We’ve covered some of the basics of creating a solid blogging strategy to get you on your way to creating content that draws your audience in and keeps them engaged. Yuqo is made up of a professional team of content specialists. If you’re interested in starting a blog and reaping the rewards of doing so, contact us. We’ve helped many clients just like you find their voice and create excellent blog content.