Blogs are one of the most effective ways to round up visitors based on very particular tastes.
Setting up and maintaining a blog can range from relatively easy to more complex, depending on your technical skills, the platform you choose, and the level of customization you want.
Creating an effective blog content strategy is crucial for attracting and retaining readers, establishing your presence, and achieving your blogging goals. Whether you find yourself creating your first blog or realizing just now that you’ve never even thought of a content strategy, welcome.
Part One: Define Your Goals
Clarify the purpose of your blog. Are you trying to educate, entertain, inspire, or persuade your audience? Are you looking to generate leads, increase brand awareness, or simply share your passion? Clear goals will guide your content creation.
To me, it’s a little bit of everything. But, more importantly, it’s an opportunity to practice what I’ve learned from my career in digital marketing, albeit a short one. With this blog, not only do I aspire to help myself grow and adapt to the changing world around me, but I also hope these words may find their way to another soul who, like me, has wandered astray in the darkness for too long.
No matter what your initial thought or idea was for wanting to start a blog, now’s really the time to think about how you want it all to take shape. This means brainstorming, researching, and planning all you can so that you can get past the most important and challenging part: actually starting.
When you’re a small, first-time niche blogger with no team and almost no resources, you tend to block your own attempts at creation by focusing on everything your blog isn’t yet, the reasons being you don’t know that much, don’t have the right skills, or don’t have the right attitude to get it going.
Do you own a popular local pet grooming salon and want to find more ways to source potential clients? Blog.
Or perhaps you own a local freight-forwarding and shipping business. Things are a little tight and you want to take advantage of the local postal office’s known and concurring delays in service by targeting individuals who are searching for shipping instructions online. You blog!
What if you’re a depressed 29-year-old who was no friends, no girlfriend, no money, and no means to secure any of the above-mentioned thanks to your shitty attitude, bad coping mechanisms, and extreme insecurity developed by trauma? YOU BLOG!!!!
Take some time to pick your niche apart, find opportunities for content, and just do it. You can literally write about anything that’s moderately related to your niche, just do it!
Part Two: Define Your Strategy
Now that you’ve decided what you wish to rant about online, it’s time to iron out all the little details that need to be planned and prepared for in order for this to work.
- Social or No Social: if you’re only writing a blog for the fun of it, then by all means skip ahead. Social media inhabits its own domain in digital marketing, but the same rules apply. If you’re already on social, leveraging it can help you maximize your returns from blogging. Make sure you schedule social media posts ahead of time following the release of every new post. These take a considerable amount of effort if you want them to be great. [insert link to appropriate post]
- Kitchen Prep: yes, kitchen prep. Just as a chef would have all his cooks restock the kitchen and make sure that everything is ready ahead of the big fine dining event, it is absolutely critical that you do the same when starting a blog. This means curating images so that you always have a repertoire to include in your post, keyword research, competitive analysis, and choosing the right website layout. This list could go on. There is a number of unplanned obstacles or considerations to think about when starting a blog, make sure you think it through.
- Set a Schedule: this is only important if you want your blog to become popular amongst a certain group of people—your audience. When you’re “performance blogging”, you need to show to Google you really mean what you say. This is only achievable by churning out original, high-quality content made with considerable thought. You can help Google find your content by updating your XML sitemap frequently or having a plugin do it for you. You can also submit your new posts directly to Google for indexing through Search Console. Posting to social media and building an audience around your blog will also help you secure backlinks, shares, and likes.
- Start: after brainstorming topics, identifying your content pillars, channels, and determining your output levels, it is time to start blogging.
Don’t worry, it might feel strange at first. Things are moving much slower than you’d think. Be consistent, change, adapt, and evolve along with your blog and you’ll be successful yet.
Part Three: Commit to Full-Time Blogging
Blogging full-time was never on anyone’s career possibilities when they graduated high school.
Heck, I’m sure a lot of folks don’t even think about it before they experience the fruits that may develop from blogging directly or indirectly as a result from their careers.
When you finally have your feet in the water, you can be tempted to get out immediately if it’s too cold. Stay a little longer, and you might just begin to notice how your body adjusts to the temperature of the water, or the simple passage of time warms the water down through exposure to sunlight making it easier for you to get in completely.
Continuously analyze your content strategy’s results. If specific topics or formats excel, generate more related content. Stay receptive to audience feedback and trends.
Use Google Analytics, Search Console, and any other tools at your disposal to measure each blog post’s impact. Reiterate. Repeat. If nothing works, stop and take a moment to reflect on what could be missing. Could it be a significant social media strategy to go along with blogging? Should I be thinking about reaching out to other bloggers (networking) in an attempt to garner backlinks? This and many other questions you should ask as you go deeper into your blogging journey.
In the long term, create pillar content as in-depth resources on crucial subjects and complement them with supporting content that connects and builds upon these pillars.