A Successful Blog Strategy

What is the most important inbound marketing priority for 55% of marketers?

Do these marketers also have a 13x higher likelihood of seeing positive ROI on their blogging than non-bloggers?

By publishing valuable written content for their target audiences and customers, businesses have increased revenue, improved brand awareness, and boosted conversions over the last decade. In order for their blog to succeed, it needs to have valuable content — it’s not enough to have a blog; it must have a purpose.

You want your blog to deliver quality content and build your business's reputation as an industry expert while providing valuable, useful content to your target audience. How do you do that?

Blog marketing is the answer.

Let's take a look at how to start a successful blog before we discuss the steps for your blog marketing strategy. Also, we will share some examples of successful blogs to help illustrate these steps.

1. Decide what you want to write about and for what purpose.

Defining your blog's topic and purpose is the first step in developing your blogging strategy.

It is important to choose a blog topic that both relates to and broadens the scope of your business niche and areas of expertise so that you can write hundreds of articles about it.

Ask yourself, "Why does this blog exist?" When considering the purpose of your blog, ask yourself, "What is its purpose?"

If you want to grow and evolve your business, you need a single, straightforward statement to answer that question. (Document your blog's purpose so you can refer to it as you grow.)

You might find these questions helpful in defining the purpose of your blog:

  • How does your company strive to fulfill its most important mission?
  • This purpose is supported by what story?
  • Are there others who are passionate about the same thing as you?
  • What does this purpose mean to your team?

2. Your blog needs to be registered and hosted

The first step is to take a look at the URL structure for your blog.

As an example, HubSpot's domain name is hubspot.com, which identifies the company as well as its website.

You can see subdomains in your URL before your root domain like this: blog.hubspot.com. The subdomain, "Blog", is helpful for organizing a lot of content, including different content types. Having a large blog operation can make this structure useful over time. However, in the short term, it does not pass authority from your root domain.

There are subdirectories on your domain, which are divisions of your domain that represent specific pages on your site. Often, subdirectories pass more authority from your root domain and subdomain to a specific blog post on a website. For instance, a subdirectory that leads to a specific blog post would look something like this: hubspot.com/blog/article-name. You need more subdirectories to properly organize your content and protect the user experience (UX) over time, however, because they make scaling your content strategy harder.

3. Blog design is important.

Make your blog engaging for your readers so that they will read (and hopefully share) your posts regularly.

You should create a blog that's inviting, on-brand, and easy to read. It should immediately attract readers in the first few seconds. It should look like it was published by your company on the first visit.

It is important that you choose a theme that is consistent across your blog sites and articles. There are a variety of free and paid themes available depending on the host you select for your blog.

A blog template can help you tailor your blog template to fit your business needs.

4. Your blog should be written and managed by someone you trust.

In order to establish the accountability of each member of your blog team, ask yourself (or your team): Who will write, run, and manage your blog? Your blog has many moving parts — if you don't take ownership of each component, you won't be able to reap the rewards.

In order to implement a blogging strategy effectively, you need to fill some roles.

  • Idea generation for blog articles
  • Researching keywords and optimizing your website for search engines
  • Personal stories, statistical data, and thought leadership
  • Revisions
  • A governance framework for editorial calendars and strategies
  • A promotional campaign
  • Historical optimization, repurposing, and updating

It is possible for one person to assume multiple roles depending on the size of your marketing team and the resources available to you.

5. Share blog posts on a regular basis.

You need to be consistent in producing blog content for your audience. You must write and publish a certain number of blog posts each week. Consistency is key to maintaining engagement and interest with your blog audience. Maintain your position as an active thought leader and expert in your industry by consistently managing and scheduling your blog posts. Use a content calendar to do this.

You create a sense of accountability among your team of bloggers by creating such a blogging rhythm and sharing that information via an editorial calendar. By doing so, you'll have a consistent stream of content your readers can follow as all writers and contributors optimize for keywords, add CTAs, and edit their pieces by a specified date.

6. Provide valuable content that is compelling.

Creating compelling blog content that is both valuable to your readers and compelling to your target audience is vital. This will influence how your audience, customers, competitors, and others in your industry see you. It's also the key to keeping your blog readers engaged — and hopefully making them your customers.

In addition, your current readers have a higher chance of becoming brand advocates than new subscribers do. Plus, they cost more than obtaining new subscribers. Your goal should be to consistently create engaging content, as well as provide useful and worthwhile information to your audience in order to keep them around.

7. CTAs should be included.

Does your business blog serve any of these purposes, including increasing organic traffic, improving conversions, and increasing sales?

Your blog posts should include calls-to-action (CTAs) to achieve these goals.

If you use CTAs effectively, you can offer readers a level of value they cannot pass up.

Depending on your article, a CTA might share in-depth information about a specific topic; or it might include a discount code or a special offer on your product or service. It might even provide further training about your article's subject.

Your blog is now ready for launch!

9. Maintain a successful blog by tracking and analyzing its performance.

Make sure your blog is tracked and analyzed over time. You can make your blogging strategy more targeted once you understand how a certain metric contributes to a positive outcome. Decide which metrics matter most to you and your business. Some blogging metrics you might track include:

  • Readership and subscription numbers
  • Per-post page view count
  • Instances of conversion
  • Links to your website
  • Recommendations
  • Traffic in general

You should consider the following questions when applying these metrics to your business goals to provide concrete targets.

  • Can we aspire to another more relevant goal that helps us achieve our purpose?
  • What other parts of our business are working toward this same goal?
  • Is there a complementary or counterintuitive metric that tracks progress toward this goal?

Then, based on the results you see, you can adjust your goals over time. This will give you enough time to see whether your strategy is working.

Your blog strategy is the next step.

Strategy for blogging

Blogs are an important part of business marketing strategies; if they are properly marketed, they can help to market your products and services.

There is a strategy to share and promote blog content. Unfortunately, "build it and they will come" doesn't apply as much to blogging as it does to Field of Dreams.

A blog must have a marketing strategy in itself if it is to do its intended job — drive traffic, convert visitors, increase revenue, and/or promote your brand as an authority or thought leader. What type of content will keep people reading your blog? What other promotional channels can you use to elevate your content?

Your blog content will be more effective if you follow these blogging best practices.

Keeping your buyer persona in mind is always a good idea.

Think about your buyer personas when you write, manage, and schedule your blog.

Once you have a clear understanding of who your ideal customers are, and why they need your product or service, you will have a solid idea of your buyer persona(s).

Creating buyer personas is the first step in creating your blog. You should create a detailed description of this person so you can refer to it every time you write a new post.

Your content will be customized to meet the wants, needs, challenges, and/or pain points of your target customers in this way. As a result, you will be able to turn your blog into an effective lead generation tool (i.e. show your readers and target audience why they need your product).

Your blog content can be tailored to meet the needs of your target audience so you can tailor it to meet their needs in a way that compels them to convert in some way in order to understand what actions your buyer personas are likely to take. These methods can be used to conduct customer research:

  • Answers on forums such as Quora and Yahoo! Answers, or Fluther
  • Google+ Communities, Facebook Groups, and Twitter Advanced Search (LinkedIn Groups)
  • (BuzzSumo or Topsy): tools for creating content around your industry
  • Commenting on and interacting with other blogs (the blogs of your competitors; blogs similar to yours)

Competitors should be kept in mind.

The blogs of your competitors can give you an insight into what's working (and what's not working) in terms of blog content among your target audience.

Furthermore, it explains what they're experimenting with and what unique content you can provide to your readers that you can't get anywhere else - something specific to your company.

Prepare a list of 5-10 of your closest competitors who have blogs you could audit. Look at how their blog is ranking for the keywords you hope to rank for, how they share content, and the unique techniques they employ.

Take advantage of any gaps they may have in their content by utilizing tools like Quick Sprout, Open Site Explorer by Moz, and SEMRush Competitor Research.

Conduct keyword research and SEO.

Google (or any other search engine) should show your blog (or web page) when a customer searches for a phrase, not a competitor's. The best way to make this happen is to spend some time researching which keywords and phrases your target audience is using in search engines so you can incorporate them into blog posts.

Performing proper search engine optimization (SEO) and keyword research before creating your blog post will increase your chances of ranking on the search engine results page (SERP).

The first thing you need to do is create a list of five to ten keyword categories you want to rank for, along with their associated long-tail keywords.

You will lose rankings in the SERP if you use old tactics like keyword stuffing - instead, write copy that engages the audience first and then focuses on SEO.

Choose a distribution method for your blog posts.

Make sure that you decide where your blog content will be distributed. You chose a host for your blog, which means that your content is likely already easily shared.

You can easily add your articles to your website's landing pages if you use HubSpot CRM and blogging software.

The content you create can also be distributed through social media, such as Facebook or LinkedIn, as well as online publishing platforms, such as Medium. If you want to share your content on the websites and social media profiles of industry leaders, experts, and influencers, you might partner with them.

Blog about your content and promote it.

If you want your blog content to be found, read, and shared by your target audience, then your blogging strategy should enable you to do that.

An influencer marketing strategy is another popular way of promoting your blog. We discussed a few options above, but there are many other ways to do it.

The first thing you should do is determine which influencers in your niche or industry you want to contact and work with. Ideally, these people should be considered credible, trustworthy... and influential to current customers and target audiences.

Maintain regular contact with the influencers who are promoting your blog content as you begin making and managing your influencer connections. If you want to make sure that they represent your brand accurately, make sure you know what they're doing to support, share, and promote your blog content. You're likely paying them to promote your content among their audience members, after all.

Blog Maintenance

In order to build a successful blog, consistency is key, and that means maintaining it is one of the most difficult things you'll have to do.

It can take a lot of time to create high-quality blog content, especially when you want to establish authority in your niche through carefully planned, researched, and organized posts.

You'll save your time and energy by repurposing, republishing, and updating your existing blog content - it'll also help you achieve the results you seek efficiently.

You'll see a positive impact sooner if you repurpose existing posts rather than only creating new content as ranking in the SERPs takes significantly longer (I'm talking months) with a net new post.

You can repurpose and update your existing blog posts by auditing them. You can also add keywords that you've determined to be missing through your research, such as statistics, examples, infographics, quotes, product or service details, research, and irrelevant ideas that need to be removed and/or replaced.

By updating your blog content, you can also reinvigorate the brand-new content you've worked so hard on. By updating, you can keep your blog high-quality and relevant without having to rewrite information.

A Blogging Strategy that Works

You can nurture your potential customers by developing an influential blog in your niche. Your business will inevitably succeed if you create regular content that solves your readers' challenges and answers their biggest questions. This will inevitably contribute to the overall success of your company. Our above steps and strategy will help you slowly unpack the individual levers that will assist you in building your blog marketing performance.

Got questions? Visit us @ www.sirkle.com and we’re happy to help.

Thursday, February 2, 2023
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