When you first start your blog, it can be tempting to write about whatever you feel like, whenever you feel like it. While that strategy can be enjoyable, it’s not effective for accomplishing long-term goals.
Especially if you’re running a business blog, it’s imperative to develop a cohesive blog strategy if you want to make the most of your efforts.
Why worry about developing a blog strategy?
Do you want your blog to…
- Get traffic?
- Rank on Google?
- Convert visitors?
- Drive revenue?
Then you need a blog strategy. All of these goals are long term plays. By laying out an overarching plan, you can ensure all your effort is focused in the same direction.
Outside of your blog goals, consider the user experience. Which blog are you more likely to follow? One that publishes every Monday and Thursday on related topics, or one that publishes 4 random articles in one week, then goes dark for a few weeks before publishing more on different topics?
Work to give your audience the best experience possible and reaching your goals will get even easier. Next, we’ll dive into how to develop a cohesive blog strategy.
Step 1 - Identify your audience.
Like I said above, satisfying your target audience should be your priority. A good strategy starts by identifying who your audience is and what their interests are.
It can help by considering the demographics of your target audience first. Where do they live? How old are they? What level of schooling have they completed? What job do they have?
From there, consider personal interests, desires, behaviors, pain points, and fears. Identify opportunities to answer questions, educate on your expertise, and more. You should still be hype audience-centric at this time. Focus on how you can help your audience reach their goals or avoid dreaded pain points.
Step 2 - Define your themes.
Next, review what you’ve come up with and look for overlap. Group like-topics into themes. These main themes will be the pillars of your blog content strategy. Try to aim for no more than five general themes. It’s okay if there’s some overlap, but your themes should largely cover different topics.
For example, our blog themes include:
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- Graphic design
Within those topics, we regularly publish articles that help our target audience achieve their goals and avoid common pitfalls.
Step 3 - Develop a plan.
Armed with information about your target audience and topics to entice them, you’re ready to start developing your blog content plan. Depending on the goals for your blog, you’ll want to develop a plan the prioritizes accomplishing those goals.
If your main goal is to climb Google search results, start by doing keyword research for your themes and prioritize by opportunity. Target topics with high search volume and low competition first, then branch out to more competitive keywords once you have easier ones under your belt.
If your goal is to drive new sales, you’ll need to create a funnel of lead nurturing content. Start with high-level educational articles, all the way down to sales-oriented content. The first half of your plan should be focused on building out content to attract leads, the rest of your time should be split between lead nurturing content and conversion content.
Make a loose six-month plan that outlines your target audience, topics, and timeframe. Overall, it’s important to stick to your plan to drive the best results. However, last year we saw just how much things can get disrupted. It’s important to leave some room for flexibility and agility.
In addition to your blog plan, you should also outline how this will fit into your overall strategy. What’s your plan for promoting your blogs on social media?
Step 4 - Execute, analyze, optimize, repeat.
Once you have your plan in place, it’s time to start implementing it! Remember that content marketing is a long play. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results right away.
Stick with your plan and review your efforts after six months. From there, analyze your results and identify opportunities to improve. Fold those into your next plan and repeat.
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