Hello Everyone, Welcome to my first blog, what I am experiencing, I am sharing to you. Hope this will touch you.
Blogging is an inexpensive marketing strategy that allows you to open a dialogue with your audience and provide useful information, all while keeping your brand top of mind.
Identifying Your Blog’s Purpose
When many professional bloggers sit down to write a blog post, they often have a fictional representation of their target persona in mind.
They may even have a physical picture of this fictional person tacked up at their workspace to help focus.
Creating a buyer persona is a great way to identify how you’ll be using your blog. What is this ideal customer searching for online?
Where do they get their information?
Let’s say you are in a meal delivery service, your ideal customer is a busy, 25-40 year old professional who lives a healthy lifestyle and earns an upper-middle class salary.
In business, this is called a buyer persona. Buyer personas are a representation of your ideal customer guided by your own data and market research
Ways to identify buyer personas for blogging
- Dig through your data and look for patterns.
- Are most of your top customers a certain age?
- Do they live in a particular region?
- Use forms on your website to collect relevant data.
- Ask for company size, title, and other information that may help you identify your target audience
- Survey your sales team and find out what attributes the best customers have in common.
- Interview customers and prospects. Ask them how they found your product or service, why they like it, and who they may recommend it to.
Your Blog’s purpose
Now that you know who you’re targeting, it’s time to consider what you want to gain from them finding and reading your blog.
Blogs can serve multiple purposes for your business.
At their core, blogs are a place to share information, create a dialogue with your audience, and convert prospects into leads.
Blogs have even been rated as the most trusted source for accurate online information.
However, as a marketer for a company, you need your blog to do some work for you.
Blogging is one of the most cost-effective ways to get your business out there and in front of new audiences, the only real expense is your time.
Companies who maintain a blog receive 97% more links to their website.
Marketers who prioritize their blogs are 13x more likely to see positive ROI.
Primary reasons for creating and maintaining business blogs typically include traffic, search engine ranking, and growing brand awareness.
Secondary reasons can be conversions, product launches or feature releases, educational or step-by-step instructional content, or providing templates or materials for your audience.
Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages (hint: this is huge for SEO purposes.)
Blogging has an exponential long term impact and serves as a traffic generator for months and years after publishing.
When you publish high-quality, relevant content, you generate clicks to your articles, which then rise to the top of the search engine results page.
You build your site up as a resource and expert, collect and convert leads, and create high-value real estate that can serve as a tool for your business.
Determining Your Blog’s Goals
Like we mentioned before, blogs can be used for different purposes, meaning they will have different goals depending on the use.
When determining your blog’s goals, start with your purpose.
- Why are you creating this blog?
- What do you want your reader to do with your blog?
- What will success look like 3 months from now, 6 months? 3 years?
Since blogs are a long-term content strategy, you’ll need to choose goals and milestones to track progress and analyze which posts, times, lengths, and keywords perform best.
For this goal, your primary goal for the blog is to drive new viewers to your website or product pages.
To achieve this goal, your main activities would be keyword research, frequent publishing, and link-building efforts.
Takes time, not a quick-hit option,
competition for keywords
To use your blog to grow your subscriber base, you can incorporate slide-in, pop-up, or in-text CTAs (calls-to-action) asking for an email address and offering value to your readers.
Effective, good way to bring folks into your ecosystem without asking for too much info.
Limited real estate,
needs setup, requires
If you want to use your blog to convert your existing traffic or prospects into leads, you can create specific types of content for those in the consideration phase of the buyer’s journey.
Assists sales efforts, good way to re-purpose content, organic leads are more likely to be qualified and convert into customers.
Can be a drawback for readers who don’t know your company, works best for those who are already familiar with your brand.
Blogs can be a great way to keep your audience up-to-date.
A lots of product features, explore new or industry-specific ways to use your service or tool, or a place to feature customers who are using your product extremely well.
Less expensive than attracting new prospects, turns customers into promoters and brand advocates, success stories help convert others.
More time to gather info and work with partners/product teams to create content than just writing evergreen or topic-based content.
Brand awareness is the extent to which people know about your company.
By sharing your knowledge and creating a voice and direct dialogue with your audience, you can help grow your brand identity and reach.
To drive brand awareness, try guest blog posts and collaborations as well as frequent social media publishing.
Promotes your business as an expert, allows you to steer the conversation about your brand.
Hard to measure, time-consuming to post and analyze social media efforts, takes time to see results.
Mapping and Planning Your Content
Creating and publishing a blog for a certain goal is a strategic move and requires planning and research.
You can search which keywords are most popular in your industry or niche and how people search for your brand, then tailor your content and marketing strategies accordingly.
Since Google is the top search engine around the world with 70% of the search market share, we’ll focus on their algorithm when it comes to ranking.
When thinking about keywords, Google’s algorithm considers a lot when surfacing content, beyond the blog post itself.
You’ll need a comprehensive blog strategy and a willing team to set yourself up for success later down the line.
You’ll need to think about:
- How frequently you can create content.
- What types of content will you post?
- Your goals for the blog and also how social media will factor.
SEO (search engine optimization) starts with ranking for keywords that your target audience is searching for.
The best way to rank for keywords is by designing your blog posts based on the keywords you’re trying to rank for.
Start with keyword research, and use those keywords to brainstorm and tailor your posts.
How to do Keyword Research
Make a list of relevant topics and terms associated with your business or product.
Create 5-10 main categories of topics
List as many keywords/search terms you think your buyer persona would search
Research monthly search volume for each keyword and related keywords using an SEO tool like Google’s webmaster tools.
While researching, you’ll probably notice that some keywords have very high search volume with high competition.
This makes them very difficult for any new publication to rank for right off the bat.
Look for long-tailed, niche keywords with low competition to start.
You may not generate high search volume right away, but the more niche your keywords are, the better qualified your visitors will be.
Setting Up Your Blog
To get your blog up and running, gather a few tools and helpful collaborators.
You’ll need to decide who is writing, editing, publishing, and promoting, who will be in charge of analytics and data/metrics, who will create a blog style guide, and more.
You’ll also need to choose a content management system (CMS), preferably one that is easy to use for those who are non-technical.
Choosing a CMS for your blog
In order to successfully launch and maintain a blog, you’ll need an effective content management system (CMS)—a digital system that enables you to host digital content.
While identifying your target persona and generating content ideas is the strategic side of launching a blog, now you’ll need to consider the equally important technical side.
What is Content Management System (CMS)
Ease of Use
If you don’t have a lot of technical support at your company, choose a CMS that’s easy to use.
Most content management systems come with templates you can use or support to help you design it, so make sure you choose one that will work for the skills on your team.
Key metrics You can track
Does the CMS allow you to track metrics like conversion rates, page views, and where your traffic is coming from?
Analyzing the success of your blog will be incredibly important post-launch, so make sure your CMS allows you to easily track the success of your efforts.
60% percent of all searches on Google come from mobile, which means it’s essential for your blog to be optimized for any device that your user opens content on.
A CMS that automatically makes your content responsive to devise type is a must for marketers in today’s mobile and tablet world.
Setting up tracking and analytics
Once your post is out in the world for the first time, you can go back and edit.
You’ll miss out on data from before the change.
If you haven’t set up tracking properly. To set up blog analytics, you can use a tool like Google Analytics.
Most CMSs will have built-in blog page analytics.
From there you can learn how many people viewed a certain page on your blog and you may be able to see more like what devices they’re on, where they’re located, bounce rate, and time on page.
If you prefer Google Analytics for tracking, install the Google Analytics code on your blog (usually in the header.)
When sharing blog posts on social media and running campaigns to promote blogs, make sure to use UTM codes on the end of your blog sharing URLs.
UTM codes can track campaigns, sources, mediums, pieces of content, and terms.
Designing Your Blog
Once you’ve chosen a CMS, it’s time to design your blog and optimize it for search engines and lead generation turning visitors into prospects and, ultimately, customers.
To accomplish this, you’ll need a blog design that’s easy to access and shareable.
Most content management systems will offer you free templates that you can modify and use if your team has less design experience.
What to consider when designing your blog
Main Blog Page
The main page should tell your visitors about the blog and include links to the most recent posts.
Be sure to include a search feature and/or an archive of your past posts so visitors can access both new and old content.
To make your blog’s design feels coherent, choose a color scheme and stick with it across all your pages.
Try using your brand colors as a base and adding a few accent colors to tie the whole design together.
Make sure your blog’s design looks consistent with the rest of your site’s branding.
While it’s important to distinguish your blog’s look from other pages on your site, your visitors should still feel as though they are on a related page.
Blog Post Templates
Each blog post should have the same general layout so readers have a consistent experience across each page.
A simple way to ensure this is by designing or using a pre-made template for each new blog post.
A blog is a tool used to convert visitors, prospects, and customers, so linking to pieces of content that will nurture your visitors is important.
Making CTAs and Conversion Points
You’re getting lots of traffic through this one central location and the traffic is people who are at least somewhat interested in the general realm of what you have to offer.
CTAs are a way to flag down those who may be interested in you and offer them something more.
Blogs can have many types of CTAs.
These include pop-ups, header bars, slide-ins, in-text CTAs, buttons, image CTAs, and more.
You can also include links or buttons to share posts on social media, email to a friend, or save the link to your reading list.
When choosing which action you’d like your reader to perform, consider if this piece of content would attract a visitor/prospect or lead/existing customer.
For prospects, offer another piece of related content or a downloadable template or infographic.
For leads, offer a course or access to a personalized demo of your product or service.
Creating your first blog posts
It’s time to get down to business, writing the first posts.
When sitting down to write a blog post, center yourself, and remember your keywords or topic, pillar page or umbrella category, and buyer persona or audience.
Once you’ve chosen keywords, it’s time to optimize each blog post for SEO.
Make sure you’re optimizing your meta description, page title, keywords, URLs, etc. for the keywords you’re trying to rank for.
Points to be included for an Ideal blog post
- Date of publish/updates
- Helpful tips, terms, or information
Promoting Your Blog
To boost your SEO efforts and get your content out to a larger audience, get your posts far and wide to audiences (your buyer persona) who are interested and will share your content.
Work with your social media teams to see how you can leverage Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.
Create custom imagery to share on social and remember to always be testing and see where and how your blog posts perform best.
Your public relations team may be able to pitch cutting edge, topical pieces from your blog to industry publications.
Links from popular magazines and other blogs can be huge traffic drivers to your blog and website.
Try pitching to sites like Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and TechCrunch.
Any time you can get others to write content for your blog, you can guarantee another audience’s worth of eyes on the post.
Work with any partners your company has and work out a content-sharing agreement.
For co-marketing, try featuring a co-marketing partner CTA or shared co-marketing offer on a blog post in exchange for them doing the same.
Having guest bloggers on your site is free content and allows your content and brand to be shared with a new audience.
You can try content sharing, which is trading a guest post for a guest post.
With influencers, you can either pay for your content to be shared or create a deal where you feature them as an exchange.
Paying for search and social media ads may sound counter-intuitive for organic content, but can provide the amplification your post needs to reach a wider audience.
Try boosting posts that are already performing well and re-targeting your prospects or subscribers with blog posts and related content.
You can also use Google Ad-Words to bolster your keyword efforts.
Analyzing and Optimizing Your Blog Performance
Your first blog posts have been written, everything has been planned out, and you’ve set your blog up for success.
Now, it’s time to determine how you’ll measure that success.
When it comes to blogging, it’s important to set up and analyze key blogging over time since it’s both a short and long-term strategy.
Key Blogging Metrics
Now, you’ll need to set realistic, SMART goals based on the following metrics:
The main way to measure how much traffic your blog receives is by tracking the number of page views each post generates.
In other words, how many visitors are coming to and reading your posts?
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
One key component of building SEO juice is the click-through rate that each of your posts see. Are people coming to your blog, then clicking on hyperlinks within the post?
The more visitors click through and stay on your site, the better it is for the overall authority of your blog.
Sources of Traffic
One important measurement to consider is where your traffic is coming from. Are your promotional efforts paying off?
What are the big levels that drive most of your traffic to your blog?
Whether it’s your social promotion, emails, or paid campaigns, make sure you’re tracking which channels drive the most traffic.
This information will help you tailor your content strategy over time.
Leads and Customers gained from your blog over time
It’s up to you to decide how you track this number.
Some companies track leads from their blog on a monthly basis, while others do so on each quarterly basis. So, how do you track this data?
Most content management systems enable you to track these metrics easily, so make sure you know how to analyze them within your CMS before launch.
Now that you know what and how to track the right metrics, it’s time to set post-launch goals for your team, both short-and long-term.
Hold a planning meeting with your team to set goals for page views and click-through rates within the first month, and year after launch.
Use Analytics to inform future decisions
Once you’ve analyzed how certain types of posts, topics, and keywords have performed, re-evaluate your content strategy and map out your content based on the data.
A data-driven approach to blogging works.
Don’t stress too much if you don’t see high metrics right off the bat.
Blogging helps provide exponential growth.
The longer you blog, the more authority you will build over time.
No blog goes viral overnight.
Start small, and set realistic goals for the future.
If you don’t hit your goals immediately, revisit them and look at your metrics.
Are your promotional efforts working?
If not, run as many tests and experiments as you can until they do.
Monetizing Your Blog
Traffic and conversions will make your company money in the long run, but there are other ways you can set your blog up for success and its highest earning potential.
Content marketing receives 3x more leads than paid search advertising, so you’ll be starting off strong using the tools provided.
Some strategies listed to the right will take time before they can be put into action.
But once you have a steady network of subscribers, your list can become a valuable and marketable asset to other marketers.
Strategies to monetize your blog
Most blog software already includes an RSS feed (really simple syndication) option, which is an easy way to make sure your subscribers don’t miss out on any new content.
You can use an RSS feed to syndicate your content and attract people to your site generating about $1 per subscriber per month..
Develop Nurture Streams
After you’ve collected email addresses from subscribers of your blog, send them relevant or related content and additional valuable offerings like courses, demos, or the opportunity to talk with someone from your team.
Partner with Sales Team
Sales are your direct links to prospects and customers and they can partner with you in blog strategy.
Write persuasive pieces surrounding your prospective customers’ biggest pain points, then provide them to your sales enablement team to include in lead nurturing efforts.
You’ll help them close more deals and they can give you insights to topics that you can be writing more about.
Make a content offers for high ranking blog posts
Bloggers can see which posts have the most traffic, meaning you can monopolize on the interest in a particular topic.
Create a related content offer to your high performing blog posts, then add a CTA on the blog post linking it.
Then, you can convert your blog readers into tool users or qualified leads.
You now have the tools to go and create a successful blog that will benefit your business in every department.
Maybe one will be your most successful post.
Blogs are a low-cost strategy that any business can use, as long as you have a computer and the internet, to grow exponentially.
Since Google’s algorithm is a great equalizer, everyone has the opportunity to write incredible content and reap the benefits of ranking #1.
Good Luck. Happy Blogging.