Recently we shared Part One of our Easy Steps to a Winning Blogging Strategy series. We covered five key components that make a successful blog strategy: brainstorming, getting to know your clients, scheduling, working with the right writers, and creating a style guide. Part Two of this series lends itself to the more technical side of the blogging strategy business.
Read on for our final five steps for building your blog strategy:
Installing analytics is a must for every website owner. These are brilliant tools that allow you to track and measure your success, enabling you to identify successful posts, and use this information to create similar posts. The most commonly used tool is Google Analytics, which offers an extensive breakdown of your site, traffic and audience. Some of our favourite features?
- Audience. This lets you view your demographic, their interests and behavior.
- Acquisition. See where your traffic is coming from – is it direct or from an organic search? Is it from social media or an email marketing campaign?
- ‘Real Time’. See how many people are on your site at this exact moment; what they’re looking at and where they are in the world.
It’s amazing what you can learn about your audience and your own content by reviewing your analytics on a regular basis. Did we mention it’s free?
2 Keyword Research
If you know your audience you’ll have a rough idea of what they’re searching for when they hop onto the world wide web. Once you’ve got this in mind, you can play ball seriously. There are a number of keyword planning tools available for you to choose from. There’s Google Adwords Keyword Planner which can tell you how often a term is searched for each month, as well as suggest similar terms to use. This is one of the few free tools available, some of the paid services include Market Samurai and Raven, which also offer SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Packages.
Another tool we’ve just discovered is ReSearch.ly. This service filters conversations from 1000 days of social data so you have insight into your target audience’s “influence, sentiments, demographics and psychographics”, allowing you to “get inside your reader’s head”. ReSearch.ly offers newbies 10 free searches before they have to subscribe, so have a play around, and see if it’s something that could work for you.
Once you’ve done your keyword research, you can get your writers on board and discuss how to integrate these terms into your written and visual content. Think outside the box here, use your keywords in your image captions and alt tags, if possible have a category title using a keyword… Be sensible though, you still want your content to be super easy to read and share-friendly.
If all of this is new to you and you’re a little confused – no problem! Check out Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO & Keyword Research here.
There’s one more thing to consider before you put your blog post out into the world: Links. Your post should be an authority on whatever subject you’ve chosen, but there will always be offshoot subjects you haven’t covered, or have covered in the past… Never miss an opportunity to provide your readers with more information, whether it’s from your own site or a fellow blogger’s. Creating internal links (these connect from one of your posts to another post on your site) are great because they keep your visitor on your site, exposing them to more of your content. This also means that you and your site keep more of the ‘link juice’ (yes, that’s a real thing). Alternatively, by linking to an external source, not only are you showing your readers that you’re a good sport, but you’re also starting a relationship with like-minded bloggers and paying it forward. This encourages others in your industry to interact with you and your brand, which ultimately brings more traffic your way.
That’s right, we’re finally here. You’ve done all the grunt work; the brainstorming, the researching, the writers’ training, the style sheet and you’ve trawled through your analytics… Now’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. Hit ‘Publish’ and give yourself a pat on the back, a cheeky afternoon beverage or a nap (or maybe all three). You deserve it.
Unfortunately, the work doesn’t end there. Now you’ve got to give your latest post the best shot of reaching the most people on the web. Firstly, be sure to include sharing options at the bottom (and top) of your posts. You want people to share your content quickly and easily, which means making sure there are as few steps for them as possible. Next, promote your new post across all your social media platforms – use call to actions to grab attention and prompt interest. Another detail to remember – get your writers on board with social media sharing as well. It’s equally beneficial to them, as it gets their name and work out there for readers, but creates brand awareness for you as well. Are you ready to get started on your new and improved blog strategy? What are you going to implement first?