As blogging becomes a regular business activity, it’s important to put the same thoughts and consideration into it that you would in other aspects of your business.
Before you start simply writing and publishing, it’s important to have a plan in place. Even if you’ve been writing for awhile, it may be time to take a step back and answer a few bigger picture questions:
- What’s your blog’s purpose? What information are your readers looking for? Are you providing it? This is a key part of turning your website and blog into an industry resource for your clients. The goal is to provide the type of information that will enrich your readers’ lives somehow. If you don’t know what that information is, ask your readers and read more industry blogs.
- How often should you post? This is a question I get all the time, and the answer is it varies. You need to write often enough to stay in front of your audience. Yet you don’t want to be posting so frequently that the material you’re publishing is boring and contains no value. There’s a medium somewhere in there, and it’s different for all bloggers.
- How do you develop blog ideas? By paying attention to the world around you. Read everything inside and outside your industry that you can get your hands on. Look at other industry posts and see if there is a different direction that you’d take the topic. Hone in on your headline writing skills, and write corresponding posts. Explore different formats such as list posts, opinion posts, reviews, etc.
- Do you have enough time to keep your objectives realistic? Before you commit to blogging several times a week, or develop an ambitious schedule, consider a couple things. Promoting your blog across your social networks takes time. Sometimes it’s good to go back and promote old posts on days you’re not publishing anything new. You also may want to consider guest posting and commenting on others’ blogs to expand your audience. These things can take a significant amount of time.
- Do you need an editorial calendar? An editorial calendar always helps to keep your posts organized. I use WordPress Editorial Calendar for a better view on what is scheduled for publication. Some bloggers like to dedicate blocks of time to talking about a certain subject. Others like to devote certain blogging days to a certain format of posts, such as lists. An editorial calendar can also let you know what days you have others’ guest posts scheduled for publication.
- How do you promote your blog? You hit publish. Now the flocks of thousands will just come and comment and solicit you for work, right? It’s not that easy. Promoting your blog the right way takes work. You have to constantly work to tell people what you’re doing. Tell those you face to face network with. Join the applicable G+ communities, LinkedIn groups, and Twitter chats. Post on your social platforms. Comment on other blogs. Keep working to gain visibility.
When it’s all said and done, blogging takes a lot of work. There’s no question that it’s one of the best ways to position your company in a digital world. When readers Google how to do something, tips for purchasing in your industry, or are looking for the latest industry book reviews, wouldn’t it be great if it’s your work that comes up?
If they like what they see, chances are they may stick around.