When you’re finally ready to add blogging to your small business marketing, you’ll need a strong strategy.
However, the right strategy for your small business doesn’t come in a cookie cutter package.
It’s something you need to build for yourself.
Creating A Blogging Strategy For Your Small Business Won’t Be Fast
If you’re going to create a blogging strategy that’s going to get your small business results, you’d better be willing to do the research.
Any great strategy will require a time investment to get it right.
However, the time you invest will prove well worth it when you start to hit more of your marketing goals as a result.
How To Create A Strong Small Business Blogging Strategy
If you’re willing to invest the time and effort, you can create a blogging strategy that will drive more site visits, more leads, and ultimately more sales.
The steps are straightforward.
It all lays out logically.
And, most importantly, the only thing you need is an understanding of your business and brand.
That’s something you should already have.
With that in mind, I’m going to teach you what you need to do.
Plan How You’ll Use Your Time And Money
Time is the resource you’ll spend the most of when you’re blogging.
A great blog post can take as much as 3-6 hours to create.
Knowing how much time you have to put in and when you have it makes it much easier to stand apart from your competition.
Because blogging – including planning it, writing it, and adding it to your site – takes so much time, a plan of action is mandatory.
But aside from producing the content, you need time to market it too.
Otherwise, how will people find it?You need to market your content through social media. Click To Tweet
You can see how quickly blogging starts to eat up your time.
But it’s not just time that your blog will eat.
Thankfully, it’s appetite for dollars is much lower.
Out of the 7%-8% of total revenue that most businesses apply to marketing, 32% goes to content marketing on average.
Some find more cost-effective ways of creating content, and some spend a little more by outsourcing.
You should do what makes sense for your goals, then rearrange your budget once you see what’s working.
Think about the things you’ll need to budget for.
You’ll need a blogging platform, ways to advertise your content (including paid social content), and resources to create great micro content.
Make sure you’re revisiting your budget regularly, too.
As things work better and your revenue begins to increase, it’s normal to increase your budget.
If you’re willing to invest early and grow consistently, you’ll be sure to see results sooner.
Decide What You’re Trying To Do
Your blog needs a goal.
Obviously, you’re using your blog to market your company.
That’s why they call it content marketing.
But you need to figure out what you’re trying to achieve from a marketing perspective.
There are 3 areas you need to consider when you’re assessing what your content will get you.
- What would you like your blog to do from a publicity standpoint?
- Which leads should your blog attract to your website?
- In what way will your blog play a role in nurturing your leads to a sale?
This set of ideas will guide your blog content for the life of your blog.
Yes, they can change in the future.
However, you need a starting point for right now.Do you have any idea about what you want from your blog? Click To Tweet
These ideas should reflect your company’s long-term goals.
Like everything else, they should be guided by your mission statement.
In fact, your content should follow a story that supports your mission.
It should communicate your mission to others who share your passion or benefit from it.
Most importantly, your content needs to come from a team that believes in your company’s mission.
From there, you can develop a plan for exactly who you want to attract to your website.
And, of course, you can begin to tell them the story of your mission in a way that brings them to become your clients.
Get really clear on the ways your mission will play a role in your blog.
Everything you create there should be anchored to that singular purpose.
That’s going to help make sure you meet your publicity goals, attract the right leads, and nurture them to the right purchase.
Learn Who Your Audience Is
Ok, so, before you go off trying to write your first article, I have to warn you that you have more work to do.
At this point, you understand the time and money it will take.
You even know what you’re trying to achieve with your blog.
But do you know who will read it?
Here’s the thing; who you write for will help decide what you write.
That means you need to research more.
It’s time to figure out your target audience.
Knowing who you’re writing for will help you plan what you’ll write about, decide what information will help them most, and choose the best ways to market your article to them.
It will save you from wasting time writing the wrong content.Know who you're writing for so you can write right. Click To Tweet
The people that make up your audience fall into three basic categories:
- Advocates – people who support your brand and spread the word.
- Influencers – people whose opinions can drive others to work with your brand.
- Clients – people who are already working with you or people that will be soon.
Remember that your blog is an indirect road to a sale.
It introduces people to your brand.
Your brand will build a reputation through the content you produce.
If it’s valuable, people will see it and, eventually, convert.
That means sales.
Which means you need to get focused on the people who are going to eventually fit into one of those three categories.
There are all kinds of ways people will find themselves a part of your audience.
If they crave learning, they’ll become a supporter because you wrote about the solutions to a problem they want to know more about.
Those who want to understand the difference between two brands in your industry might buy because you explained those comparisons completely.
Your ability to understand what your audience wants is key.
Start building those buyer personas before you create content.
You’ll have a better shot at producing the content that will captivate your audience.
Figure Out What Content Makes Sense
Ah, now we’re to the part where we think about what to blog.
Usually, this is where my clients look at me like a deer in headlights.
What the hell are you going to blog about?
I promise you this isn’t as hard as it feels.
Let’s take it easy.
Start with keywords.
Keywords are the things you’d like your website to rank on Google for.
When someone searches, what would you want to lead them to you?
They’re tremendously important to your blogging strategy.
Mostly because you’re not going to get found in search without them.
Thankfully it isn’t too tough to figure out what things people are searching for when they’re looking for you.
You’ve just got to open up a keyword research tool and do a little digging.
All you have to do is plug in what you do.
You’ll get back a ton of keywords.
Check out some good ones that have a high search volume with low competition.
Make a list, then search those to find other related keywords.
You’ll build a decent list quick.
Now all you need to do is start writing about those topics.
But we’ll get to that in a second.
First, because I told you about keywords, there’s a warning I have to give you.
Don’t simply write for SEO.It's not always about SEO. Click To Tweet
Your blog isn’t just about your search results.
You need to provide value in a way that your audience can appreciate.
Otherwise, they won’t come back, and they definitely won’t convert.
Often, it’s better to use the keyword as a guide about what to write.
Once you’re happy with your content, you can then go back and add in the keywords as needed.
But never let writing for SEO screw you out of quality.
Put Together A Schedule Of Content
We’ve covered the why, the what, the who, and even the how.
But what about where and when?
You probably understand the when.
We’re talking about planning out when the content needs to be created by so it can be published on a regular schedule.
When you publish content on a regular schedule, you can keep the quality up.
But you likely don’t understand the where.
I mean, if we’re talking about blogging, there’s only one place you’ll be publishing to.
But that’s not quite the case.
You’re going to need to take advantage of social media to help market your blog.
And you’ll need to know where you’ll be sharing your microcontent to.Where are you gonna market your blog at? Click To Tweet
Content calendars have all of this build in, making your life simpler.
A great content calendar is going to help you see the whole picture.
It’s also going to have your whole creation process considered.
If it’s a complete platform, it will allow your team to communicate about the content on it as well.
You’ll get the opportunity to tag your team when you need help.
Then again, maybe you don’t have a team and don’t need a feature like that.
That’s ok too.
Thankfully, you can get everything you need through several different software platforms.
Everything from CoSchedule to Trello or even Google Calendars can handle your content schedule.
Just be sure to choose something that helps keep you on task, get your content done on time, and market it through the right channels.
Choose How You’ll Measure Success
So, I’m going to switch things up a bit.
Most people will tell you to create your blog before you decide which metrics to track.
However, I’m telling you to choose the metrics first.
After several years of writing blogs, I’ve come to realize that the metric you want to affect can change the way your content is presented.
It’s also going to change the calls to action you include in your content.
Ultimately, it’s going to change the course your content takes to its conclusion.
That’s why, in my opinion, you should choose your metrics first.
But what can you measure?
Track Viewer Engagement
Engagement is the measure of people interacting with your blog.
You can include all kinds of metrics, from comments and shares to links and mentions from other blogs.
There is no concrete definition of engagement.
Only what you define.
As long as you know exactly what you’re looking for, you can track it fairly easily with basic analytics software.
Choose what matches the goals you have in mind.
Watch Your Content Distribution
If you’re smart, you’re putting out links to your content.
You should be sharing your blog through social media, emails, and other forms of distribution.
Is it getting seen by enough of the right people?
If you’re doing well in this department, you should be seeing a high click-through-rate or CTR.
Make sure that your CTR falls within an acceptable curve, that it’s made up of the right people, and that you know what information they’re searching for.
Also, don’t forget to find out how each of the landing pages they arrive at are performing.
This will tell you what to do more of, as well as how well you’re hitting your goals.
Pay Attention To Conversions And Sales
If you intend to earn customers through your blog, track sales.
Obviously, not every visitor will become a customer immediately.
Some will follow your blog for a while and others may not come back.
You might get some of their contact information, but that will only go stale if you aren’t incorporating the proper follow-up.
If you are, they’ll eventually become customers.
When you market well and you increase the amount, it’s natural for the sales to follow.
If you aren’t converting, you’re not doing something right.
Google Analytics or a great CRM can handle helping you track this.
No matter which you use, you ought to be growing.
If not, you need to find what to correct.
Start Producing Content
Are you ready to start putting your content together yet?
Oh, you’re going to put it together through the writing process, but to call it writing would not do the process justice.
You’ve got to build your content.A great blog is more than just writing. Click To Tweet
It needs the right pieces.
Your content has to be well written.
That means using proper spelling and grammar, simple language, and basic terms.
You need to research it.
Take advantage of statistics, examples, and case studies that show your audience you know what you’re talking about.
It’s got to be easy to skim.
Your audience should be able to pull key points out easily thanks to great formatting.
And, when appropriate, you need to add high-quality images.
All of this should be the package that you deliver valuable blog content inside.
Remember that if you’re not delivering value, the rest doesn’t matter.
Creating A Blogging Strategy Will Earn You More Growth
If you follow the steps we went over, you’ll begin to create incredible blog content.
That’s going to draw in more of the right people to your site.
If you’re following that up with the right marketing strategies, you’ll earn more sales than ever.
All you’ve got to do is put in the work and stay consistent.