Do you subscribe to blogs? Do you have your own blog? Unfortunately, just having a blog on your website doesn’t guarantee a boost in traffic, sales, and more clients.
Rarely can you create a blog post and instantly gain thousands of followers. It takes a ton of consistency, hard work, and dedication before you’ll be able to fully enjoy the rewards for your efforts.
Blogging is an art. It can boost your brand power if you have the proper strategy and are willing to invest the time. Blogging means consistently improving your content to match exactly what your readers want to see.
Here are a few of my favorite blogging strategies for 2020:
Create Your Blog Budget
Before you start putting pen to paper — you need a budget. Yes, blogging will probably cost you something; although it’s a relatively cheap way to kick off your marketing efforts.
Putting in the time to make your blog great will make all the difference in setting you apart from the competition. Don’t assume anyone will find your blog organically. How can you distribute your content so people find it, read it, and engage with you?
Planning, writing, and setting up the content on your site is time-consuming. So you’re going to want a game plan before you dive right into it. I tend to write in the evening, which can make balancing work and life a challenge.
You’re most likely going to need to budget for the following (at the very least):
- Website (you can start small with Wix or Squarespace, but may want to upgrade to WordPress at some point).
- Hosting Plan (we use MediaTemple at Sticky Branding).
- Social media and search advertising. Don’t expect your content will always rise to the top organically anymore.
- Writers. Either you or a hired gun. You want to create content that will stand out in an oversaturated world. (Understanding the 2020 Marketing Trends will help, a lot!)
Define Your Target Market
Once you’ve defined your budget and developed website, you’re probably thinking it’s time to sit down and write. But wait, there’s more!
First, you need to define your target audience. This will shape your content so you know how to select topics and define what content will be make an impact.
Second, choose which social media channels will have the biggest reach. Otherwise, you’ll be spending your time writing content for yourself.
Finally, a well executed blog will build your brand’s reputation with valuable content. People will see you have something of value. And then people will convert to subscribers. Choosing your target market will ensure you are building your brand from the start.
You can define your target market by creating a persona of your ideal supporter:
- Who are they?
- Why are they coming to your blog?
- What challenges do they face?
- What type of content do they want?
- What influencers do they trust?
- What stage in the buying process are they?
Once you’ve created a persona, you can start focusing your goals to fit your audience.
Use the personas to your advantage. If your goal is simply to raise brand awareness, you might just write content that speaks to pain points in your industry. Whereas, if you have a purpose (such as empowering women) you may want to spark conversations with others in your area of expertise and new opportunities will be born.
Provide Actionable Content for Your Audience
Actionable content generally lets the audience walk away with a key lesson or ideas that they can put to the test. It solves your audience’s most pressing problems. They’ll appreciate the advice and remember you because of how your content helped them make their life better. And they’ll keep coming back to your content every time they have a problem.
Have A Strong Brand Message
Why are you blogging?
Blogging to market your brand is one thing, but having a deeper motivation will help your readers rally around you and that will build your brand. It’s not just about measuring marketing ROI or reaching sales conversion goals, what are you trying to say?
You’ve got to really define your message. What’s the greater purpose of your blog?
Choose Your Tone of Voice
People read my articles because of my tone. You also need a tone. Your writing should be consistent with that tone across every channel. You want readers to recognize you and your brand by your unique voice.
Decide How You’ll Measure Success
Once you have your goals set, it’s important to know whether you’ve achieved them or if you’re falling short. That way you can gauge whether to keep doing what you’re doing or to take a step back and come up with a game plan for improvement.
There are a few key ways you can track success.
Engagement metrics might include things like the total number of comments on your blog, the number of shares, bounce rate, or mentions on other websites.
The cool thing is nobody can really define what engagement looks like for you. And even if it takes awhile to get your blog off the ground, you should not give up. It’s better to expect the wait. It will take time to gain traction and make an impact.
How many people are viewing your content on the channels you want them to? Who is viewing your blog posts? You should track which posts get the most clicks, and which aren’t performing so you can make adjustments as needed.
3. Conversions and sales
If your goal is to convert visitors into customers, you should track sales. With blogging you’re not always going to see a direct “reader-to-customer” transition.
Many start out as just a follower, and some may subscribe to receive your blog as an email newsletter. At this point, you might just have their email address. But with other marketing strategies, you can eventually woo them into becoming a paying customer.
At the end of the day, you need to decide if maintaining a consistent and high-quality blog is for you. It is not a project that you can set aside and visit when you have free time.
That being said, I hope you’ll try it! Blogging is super rewarding. If you need help getting started or infusing your blog with some new ideas, we’re here to help!