A Step-By-Step Guide for Creating an Effective Blog Strategy
In many ways, blogging feels like a relic of the past. And while it’s true that blogs aren’t as hot as they were in the early 2000s, they’re still a must-have for any business trying to connect with customers or increase search engine rank.
In fact, blogs remain one of the most powerful tools for generating new leads. According to the latest research:
- 77% of internet users read blogs.
- 89% of marketers incorporate blogging into their content strategy.
- 70% of people prefer reading blogs to seeing ads.
- Blogs increase a site’s web traffic by as much as 55%.
- Blogging can improve your ability to rank in search engines by 434%.
So, in other words, blogging is a really effective way to connect with prospects and rank in search engine results. It’s also a terrific way to establish your company as a thought leader in your industry.
However, you can’t just randomly toss up 500-word blog posts and hope to get results. Instead, you need a comprehensive blog strategy. In this article, we’re sharing how to do just that.
The 7 Steps for Creating an Effective Blog Strategy
In general, you can break down the process of creating an effective blog strategy into the following seven steps.
1. Identify Your Target Audience.
The first step in creating an effective blog strategy is identifying your target audience. You want to know who your audience is and understand their needs, wants, and pain points. Knowing your target audience will enable you to craft content that truly resonates with them and encourages them to take action and engage with your brand.
To identify your target audience, look into your current customer base and do some market research. (Check out our step-by-step guide for discovering your target audience here).
2. Set Clear Goals.
After you know who you’re writing for, it’s time to set some clear objectives. For example, with your blog, do you want to:
- Increase organic traffic?
- Generate more leads?
- Increase brand awareness?
- Establish yourself as a thought leader?
- Build credibility with your prospects?
- Nurture relationships with your customers?
You might even hope to do some combination of all of the things listed above. Get really clear about what you want to accomplish by blogging. Doing so will help you focus your efforts and ensure your content aligns with your goals.
3. Come Up with Topic Ideas.
Next, you have to come up with topic ideas. There are several approaches to coming up with topic ideas. The right approach for you will depend on your goals for the blog.
For example, if you’re hoping to generate organic traffic, doing keyword research will be the first step in brainstorming topics. However, if you’re hoping to nurture your existing leads and prospects, you might start by looking for gaps in your marketing funnel.
Ultimately, when coming up with topics, it’s important to focus on subjects that are relevant to your audience. You also want to look into subjects you can discuss at length and break into several other blogs. The Topic Cluster Model is great for this. Check out this HubSpot video for more about this content model.
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/xOGxyw9DSa8" title="YouTube video player" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture; web-share" allowfullscreen></iframe>
4. Set a Schedule and Create a Content Calendar.
Once you have identified your target audience, set some goals, and developed topic ideas, it’s time to create a content calendar. This ensures you’re consistently creating content and publishing it on a regular basis.
When creating a content calendar, you want to consider factors like:
- How Often You’ll Publish
- The Topics You’ll Cover
- Who Will Be In Charge of Writing, Editing, and Posting
- How You’ll Promote the Blogs (and when)
You can easily create a calendar in Google Docs or Sheets for free. (Check out this guide from Copper CRM on creating calendars in Google Docs and Sheets).
5. Write Engaging Blogs.
Once you’ve done all the previous steps, it’s time to start writing your blogs. Writing engaging content is critical to creating an effective blog strategy. Be sure to follow some blogging best practices, like:
- Focus on readability (short paragraphs, bullet points, and straightforward language).
- Check on your grammar (Grammarly is a terrific tool to help you edit your blogs.)
- Use headers.
- Incorporate images.
- Use clear and concise language.
Be sure to keep your reader in mind by keeping the blog engaging and valuable. If writing isn’t your strong suit, you can hire a freelance writer from a platform like Upwork or enlist help from a Content Platform like Draft.
You can also consider using AI to rough draft and outline blogs with solutions like Jasper, WriteSonic, or Moonbeam. Just keep in mind that if you use AI, you’ll want someone available to edit the finished piece for you.
6. Share Your Blogs.
Once you’ve written your content, you’ll want to have a plan for distributing it. While SEO best practices will help you get some organic traffic, it’s also wise to have a plan for helping it reach a larger audience.
You can share your blogs on social media or in your company newsletter. If you have a particularly strong blog, you can even run an ad to it to get more traffic. Encourage your team to reshare and make it easier for your customers to share it, too, with share buttons and strong call-to-actions.
Come up with a strategy for getting your blogs out in the world, and be sure to incorporate that strategy into your content calendar. (For example, you might write and post blogs on Mondays and share them on social media on Tuesdays).
7. Track Your Blog’s Success.
It’s also super important to track the success of your blog with analytics tools like Google Analytics. You’ll want to look at things like how many site visitors are coming from your blogs, how long they’re reading them, and if any of them are turning into leads.
Then, use the information you gather to adjust your strategy. For example, you might find specific topics work better for your audience or that you aren’t reaching your target audience at all. The most important thing is tracking what you’re doing, so you can make it better.
(Pro tip: Give your strategy and plan at least 60 days before you start analyzing its performance. Looking at the data before then might give you an incomplete picture of what’s happening.)
Start Creating Your Blog Strategy Today
Creating an effective blog strategy can be incredibly beneficial for your business. Not only can it help you reach and engage tons of potential customers, but it can also help you establish yourself as an expert in your field.
By following the seven steps outlined above, you should be able to create an effective and successful blogging strategy for your business in no time. And remember to track, test, and improve as you progress to improve your results.
So, what are you waiting for? Start crafting your blog strategy today and unlock the power of blogging for your business.
Subscribe to Marketing.Biz
Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop.