Top tips for creating an effective blog strategy
While creating blog content for your website may seem easy enough, it takes a lot of careful planning and strategic thinking to generate meaningful results for your business.
To set yourself up for success, you first need to ask yourself three key questions –
- Why are you looking to leverage the power of content marketing.
- How do you intend to distribute your blog content.
- What subject matter will you be writing about.
From driving new business through to nurturing existing leads and everything in between, there could be any number of reasons why you’re looking to produce blog content. It’s simply a matter of defining what you want to achieve to ensure your efforts are heading in the right direction.
Once you have a clear set of objectives in place, you can then decide how to appropriately distribute your content, whether it’s through organic search results (SEO), social media, eDMs or a combination of all three.
Ultimately, it’s the quality of each individual piece of content that will make the real difference between whether or not you fulfil your overarching objectives. To get this right, you need to put together a blog strategy or content plan that outlines the individual topics you intend to produce over a certain period of time. Each topic needs to be driven by a specific purpose and backed by a clear rationale as to why it should be used within your overall strategy.
If you’re wondering how to create a series for of powerful content pieces, check out our top tips on how to put together an effective blog strategy for your business.
#1 Determine your capacity
In an ideal world, we would all be publishing blogs on a weekly or even daily basis, but unless you have a dedicated content creation resource, it’s likely that you will struggle to sustain this level of momentum.
Before you begin to put together your blog strategy, you first need to set a realistic goal for yourself and determine how many blogs you can feasibly complete within a set timeframe.
If you’re just starting to flex your content marketing muscles, it may be a good idea to start slow and produce one blog per month or even per quarter, while those with a little more experience may want to strive for one blog per fortnight.
In instances where you’re outsourcing content writing to an agency or a freelancer, you will also need to take ongoing cost into consideration.
#2 Do your keyword research
When your blog strategy is driven by a desire to improve SEO performance, you must first conduct comprehensive keyword research.
By taking the time to understand the search behaviours of your audience, you will be able to make informed, tactical decisions about the types of content you should be producing for your site.
While keyword research will allow you to structure your blog strategy with topics that target varying search terms, it’s important not to lose sight of the reasons why you’re creating content in the first place.
Strategic content can certainly help to boost your position in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), but it does not exist for the sole purpose of improving your SEO rankings.
Content creation is all about making meaningful connections with real living, breathing people. It can be used to attract them to your site, build their trust, influence their decisions, foster their loyalty and much more.
At the end of the day, it’s humans – not the search engine bots – that are going to make a difference to your bottom line, which is why you need to focus on the needs of your audience.
#3 Think about your audience
If you had to describe your target market off the top of your head, you would probably be able to rattle off a series of demographics and interests with relative ease.
When it comes to putting together your blog strategy, however, you need to go a step further to ensure you really understand your ideal customer and what makes them tick. Once you understand them, you’ll be able to deliver relevant, valuable content that is designed to drive a certain action or response.
To tailor your content to your audience, you can develop buyer personas for varying segments of your market, fleshing out the personality traits, preferences, behaviours and attitudes of each type of customer.
From there, it’s simply a matter of putting yourself in the shoes of your audience to determine what content topics or themes will resonate with them.
Ask yourself what interests your customers, what matters to them most, what information do they need or what solution are they seeking. Each answer will add another layer to your blog strategy, ensuring you are developing strong, engaging content.
#4 Check out the competition
It doesn’t matter whether you’re undertaking SEO, social media or content marketing activities, all forms of digital marketing require some level of competitor analysis.
To be effective, you need to understand where you sit in the market, and how content is being used in your industry.
By reviewing the marketing efforts of your competitors, you’ll be able to identify opportunities and determine the best way to approach your blog strategy.
Take a look at your direct, local competitors as well as national and international brands that provide a similar offering to your own and see what types of content they are distributing.
Their social media profiles will also provide insight into how customers are responding to their content, and you can use these findings to strengthen your own strategy.
#5 Brainstorm blog topics
Your keyword research, audience breakdown and competitor analysis all form the foundations of your blog strategy and should be used to inform every blog topic within your overall plan.
Once you have completed the groundwork, the next step is to start brainstorming concepts. If you’re scratching for ideas or need some help getting started, try using the following guide to get your creative juices flowing.
What’s trending right now?
Hot topics and popular themes are quick and easy wins for any blog strategy. Design and style trends, new technology, the latest research and major industry updates are all rich subjects that are likely to strike a chord with your audience.
What do customers often ask?
Even if you already have an FAQ section on your website, there’s likely to be a series of questions that customers ask you time and time again. When the answer is a little more complex than yes or no, a blog is a great way to dive deeper into the topic and provide your audience with information you know they will want.
Communicate features & benefits
While the core pages of your website should cover the features and benefits of your products and services, you can expand further on these concepts in an extended blog piece. It will provide you with an opportunity to share more about your offering and explain to your audience the reasons why they need it in their life.
Provide valuable tips & information
Demonstrating authority in your area of expertise will help to build trust in your brand and encourage users to engage with your business. From general tips to helpful information, the aim is to share anything that your audience will find valuable.
Offer ideas and inspiration
Content marketing is highly versatile in the sense that it can be used to target customers in any phase of the buying cycle. When it comes to those in the early research phase, you can provide ideas and inspiration on related topics to start to familiarise these prospective customers with your brand.
For example, if your business offered camping equipment, you could provide ideas for weekend getaways in surrounding areas, or if you provide interior design services, you could put together a blog with inspiration for living room styling.
#6 Craft compelling blog titles
Whether your blog shows up on a search engine results page or a social media feed, usually the first piece of information your audience will see is the blog title.
When crafting your titles, it’s important to aim for the perfect balance of clarity and creativity.
While you may come up with a fun or descriptive name for your content piece, if it does not instantly provide the user with a clear snapshot of what your blog will contain, you could potentially lose the interest of your audience before they have even clicked on to your site.
Within your overall blog strategy, make sure you mix up the titles with varying phrases to keep it interesting. Some examples include;
- How to…
- 5 reasons why you should…
- Why you need to…
- Benefits of…
- 8 ways to…
- Top tips for…
If SEO is a priority, you should also ensure the title is optimised with an appropriate use of keywords.
Get started on your blog strategy
Now that you’re armed with our advice and recommendations, you may be ready to tackle your blog strategy on your own, but if you feel you still need further guidance.
Our content marketing experts will be more than happy to work with you and your business to find the best ways for you to leverage blog content moving forward.
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