The Ultimate Blogging Strategy: An 8-step Beginner’s Guide
The first time I blogged, almost 10 years back, I vividly recall how excited I was. To write and immediately get it published on the web for everyone to read.
Of course, not everyone read it, but in my head, it felt like sharing it with the world.
Even now, every post I write gives that feeling. Over time, you end up writing more for yourself than for others.
But when you’re seriously trying to get more views for your blog and scratching your head on the ‘HOW’ of it, the satisfaction of just ‘writing it for the world’ or ‘I’ll write, and they’ll eventually come’ just won’t cut it.
And this is where our Ultimate Blog Strategy comes in. If you’re a blogger who is starting, then this one’s for you. If you’re a blogger who’s trying to get more traffic to your site, then this one’s for you. And if you’re a know-it-all, then read and add to the list to help the new bloggers.
[If you’ve not read our Getting started with digital marketing guide, read that now]
Enough Talk! Let’s talk about how you can make use of this Ultimate Blog Strategy to build a blog that gets you an audience, help you build your brand, help increase sales or just get more exposure for your Blog.
Identify the target audience
The first step to creating your blog is to identify the target audience by asking relevant questions. What are these questions, you ask?
–What’s the purpose of this blog? Brand Building, Lead-generation, Awareness
–Who wants to read this content? Audience type, based on demographics, skill level. Etc.
–Are these visitor’s potential future buyers? Will these readers get impressed with your content and buy your product/services?
Once you’ve asked yourself these questions, it is now time to assess your goals and which path you want to lead your blog towards.
Having said that, it’s okay to go beyond your target audience as well, If the broad set of audience type fits into your blog’s vision. For example, let’s assume your target audience is Digital Marketing Beginners. But, once-in-a-while, it wouldn’t hurt to write content for the Digital Marketing professionals as well. This can help reach new sets of audiences if the practitioners, who themselves have a following, also like our content.
Here’s a very detailed article on Identifying your target audience by Coshedule which you can read.
Irrespective of the industry, this is a very crucial step in bringing value to your blog’s content, understanding standards prevalent in the industry, getting to know your audience and their expectations and helping clear your strategy.
But, how do you do that?
-Search content pattern/Style of sites catering to Target Audience: Types of categories they focus on, length of content, what are the Call-to-actions, how are they leading users from their blog pages to their money pages, etc
-Check Content Gap: What differentiates them from your content, or when compared to other players in the industry
-Find List of top-performing posts: Easy to get from tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, Moz (Most of these tools have a free trial which you can make use of)
–Find KWs they’re ranking for: Using the same tools as above
Once you’ve listed out the details from above. Ask one final question, what new will you bring to the table? (Table here, of course, means SERPs)
Create a Content Calendar
Once you’ve decided on the target audience, it’s time to choose a content theme and plan your content Calendar. It sounds like a big deal, but it isn’t. It is just an excel sheet where you have a monthly plan of content publishing to keep stakeholders informed and help you plan. But of course, there’s a better way to do this and be organized. Here’s how:
Divide content types into three Buckets
–Evergreen Content: High Volume KWs, Long-term plan to Get Organic Traffic
–Thought-Leadership: Awareness oriented, opinion pieces that can get discussions started, engagement
–Social Share: Trend-based articles with quirky titles (click-bait)
Don’t plan for long-term but depending on your publishing frequency build a calendar. Also, ensure that you regularly assess your plan and make adequate modifications as per the response received from your audience.
Now that everything else is ready. It is time to create content. E.g., if you were to create a blog post, here are things to keep in mind:
-Identify High-Volume, long-tail and relevant KWs
-Check Top 10 SERPs
-Make sure your post stands out in the competition
-Decide on the Headline
-Prepare a wireframe and generate Examples/stats to go along
-Write, Proofread, Re-write
And Voila! You have a new piece of content on your Blog. Now, follow your Content calendar to create amazing content regularly.
Create a Social Media Plan
Once you’ve created content, it’s time to promote it. Social media is one of the many places to leverage for promotion. Apart from getting traffic, social media will also help you in getting your brand some exposure.
So, how do you prepare a social media plan?
-Identify platforms where you intend to invest resources
-Create a Social Media Calendar (use the same format as your Content Calendar) with relevant content, hashtags, images (Use platforms like Buffer to automate)
-Monitor weekly for change in timings, hashtags, images
-Identify Influencers; engage and get them to share content
-Share it with high-engagement oriented groups and keep an eye on relevant posts to comment with links
Another way to promote your Content is to submit it on Social bookmarking sites. How?
-Prepare a list of Bookmarking websites
-Make it a habit to share each post to these sites as soon as you publish
-Share links to these sites on Social Media Channels to get more value out of it
So, what is outreach? Concerning Blogging, an outreach is simply a method to get your content across to audiences via channels like Social Media, Blogs, and other communities.
In common usage, Blogger outreach is a way to
Here’s a step-by-step approach to doing Outreach and getting your content more exposure as well as backlinks to rank better on SERPs.
-Create a list of relevant sites in your niche: An excel sheet with website URL, Contact details and Niche works fine
-Prepare an outreach template: Be upfront with your requirement, clearly outline your requirement but do ensure you do little research on the website you’re going to send it and customize your email accordingly.
-Outreach with an Infographic or a GuestPost works best; if you provide value to them, they’ll be more open to your request.
-Follow up at least four times if you don’t receive a response.
-Add links to previously published Guest posts in the content you submit to them. In SEO circles, this is referred to as the tier-2 Link Building.
Your traffic graph, after a while, might get flattened. The average traffic of the website will end up getting you a similar traffic month-on-month. You must constantly come up with a new piece of content to keep the traffic tickling. But sometimes it just isn’t possible to come up with ‘new ideas,’ and you’re stuck.
But there is a way. Content Upgrade is your answer.
Here’s a step-by-step approach to make things happen:
-Prepare a list of Previously published posts
-Keep Traffic Metrics handy; Sort your blog posts according to traffic
-Gauge Competition, identify content gaps and fix them
-Promote it like a new post; Try changing titles, the addition of new images when sharing it again with your audience helps it give a fresh traffic boost.
Regularly doing this exercise helps not only in keeping your content fresh and updated for your audience but also in getting your content ranked better.
To summarize, this 8-step approach can help you re-align your focus of Blogging and set up a process for you to invest your time and resources in.
If you’re still not sure how your blog can grow, shoot us an email (email@example.com) and we’ll help you increase the traffic on your blog.
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