Your blog will most likely be the fulcrum of your social media marketing strategy. Therefore it’s important that you take some time and effort in getting it started.
If you don’t have the time or resources to create and maintain a blog, consider hiring a content marketing company that offers quality blog writing supported by social media community building and promotion.
If you do have the time and resources to create and maintain a blog, here are a few tips to get you going.
1 – Define Your Audience
One way to do this is to create buyer personas. There may be several typical buyers, clients or members of your organization so you may want to create several such personas. Include sex, age range, personality, interests, etc.
Once you have the basics, do a few searches on Google and on social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to find out where they congregate and to monitor discussions for more insight.
2 -Define Your Objectives
Once you have a reasonably good idea of what makes your audience tick, use this information to define the objectives of your blog. Of course if you are using your blog as a content marketing tool, your over arching objective will be to gain more sales, clients or members for your organization. However, the way you achieve that will vary.
Are you going to primarily be offering solutions to their problems? Will you take the pundit approach and use your blog to present your opinions on industry topics? Will you be seeking to create a place where your audience can come to find and engage with like minds? Will you use your blog as a place for curating content that you share with your audience? Will you approach blogging as an journalist who asks questions and conducts interviews? Or will you approach blogging through some combination of these or other methods?
3 – Choose a Platform
The most popular platforms to consider are WordPress and Blogger. I recommend WordPress for its many features and ease of use. The theme you choose will determine the look and feel of your blog. But you’ll also want to take into consideration: load time, ease of navigation, and SEO friendliness.
4 – Consider and Begin to Define Your Voice
Friendly, inspirational, inquisitive, snarky: whatever tone you choose it should be decidedly human. A blog is not the place for dry academics or straight news reporting. Make sure it is reflective of the image you’d like your brand to have.
5 – Create an Editorial Calendar
For many, the thought of coming up with a new topic to write about every week is daunting. Give yourself a little help by brainstorming a long list of potential titles BEFORE you publish your first post. As you get going, you’ll want to make creating and updating an editorial calendar a regular part of your blogging routine.
6 – Monitor and Connect with Fellow Bloggers in Your Niche
This will help you to be accepted within your online community as well as keep you up to date on the most current issues surrounding your niche. In addition, commenting on other blogs helps to build valuable back links to your blog and increase the possibility that your fellow bloggers will comment on your blog posts.
7 – Learn How to Format Your Blog Posts
You may have been a straight A English Composition student. But writing blog posts using the standard essay format will drive your readers away in droves. Of course you’ll need to put as much attention on eliminating spelling and grammar mistakes and typos as you would for a school assignment. However blog readers look for useful or entertaining information written in a style that is personal and easy to scan. So write in a conversational manner and make sure to keep your paragraphs no more than 3 or 4 sentences in length.
Improve interest and readability by including pictures and subheadings. And put real thought into your headline. Good headlines grab your attention and make the subject of the blog post clear in a short, tweetable number of words.
8 – Ready, Fire, Aim
Finally, hold your breath and push that “publish” button EVEN if your blog post might be a little less than perfect. Unlike print publications, you can always go back and fix typos in a post after it has been published online.
It’s unlikely that you will reach the level of blog writing you’re capable of within the first few weeks or months of blogging. But by continuing to write and publish your blog posts, in spite of your efforts being less than perfect, you will gain the experience and knowledge needed for great improvement.
So, what’s keeping you from pushing that “publish” button? Please share your thoughts about blogging as the fulcrum of your content marketing strategy in the comments.
(Photo by blakespot)