Do you have an effective blogging strategy that guides your blogging and keeps it focused on building your personal brand?
Or, are you a “reactive” blogger, working harder than you need to, always looking for topics to blog about at the last minute?
Authors blogging to build interest in their upcoming books and small business owners using their blog to attract qualified prospects both need an effective blogging strategy to guide their way to personal branding success.
An effective blogging strategy differs from tactics, such as keyword optimization or headline engagement formulas, in that strategy takes a “big picture” view of everything associated with your blog.
Why an effective blogging strategy makes a difference
Successful strategies provide guidance and direction, helping you make the day-to-day content choices and writing decisions needed to keep your blog filled with relevant and consistently updated information.
When blogs written to build personal brands run into trouble, it’s usually because one, or more, of the following has been ignored:
- Empathy. The foundation of an effective blogging strategy is empathy, a measure of your willingness to make blogging decisions from your intended book buyer’s or prospective client’s point of view. Blogs are not about you! Blogs are conversations, not podiums for you to preach to, or manipulate, others. Empathy involves knowing who your intended blog’s readers are, what their problems and challenges are, and delivering the information they need to succeed.
- Perspective. Successful blogs, however, are not encyclopedias. Successful blogs are not reservoirs of information provided from an altruistic point of view. An effective blogging strategy balances relevant content with the bogger’s desire to attract book buyers and/or prospective clients. Ultimately, each blog post should lead readers to the blogger’s marketing funnel.
- Schedule. Blogging success is unlikely without committing to a schedule. A blog without a schedule is just a well-intentioned dream–with little, or no, realistic chance of succeeding. An effective blogging strategy describes the frequency of posting, the dates when new posts will appear, the dates writing begins on new posts, and deadlines that must be met to keep the blog on schedule. Schedules help blogging become a habit, rather than a last-minute event.
- System. An effective blogging strategy eliminates the stress of starting to write with a blank screen. An effective strategy guides bloggers as they choose topics for posts, create engaging titles, and keep readers engaged. An effective strategy also creates a framework for completing the post. For example, my system begins with mind maps, like the one above, created using MindJet’s MindManager Mobile Apps for the iPad.
- Editing. Editing is difficult when blogs are finished at the last possible moment, which reduces the time available for editing and revision. The best way for most bloggers to improve the quality of the blog posts is to compete each post a day ahead of time, so it can be reviewed from a fresh perspective the next morning. Mistakes and omissions become obvious when reviewed from a fresh perspective.
- Synergy. Quality blog content, once created, is too valuable to use only once. Yet, that happens all to happen in the absence of an effective blogging strategy that views each blog post as a resource that can be reused, repurposed, and reformatted for different purposes. Blog posts can be assembled into “best of” reports, tip sheets, podcasts, YouTube videos, chapters in books, or quarterly newsletters.
- Tracking. Just as book publishers and and movie producers can never accurately predict the success of new books and movies, it’s impossible for bloggers to know which of their posts will attract the most comments and list-building sign-ups. Yet, it’s never to late to learn from the past. An effective blogging strategy must provide a way to track the number of comments and Retweets associated with each post, so this marketing feedback can guide future topic choices.
Analyze your blogging strategy
How would you rate your blogging strategy in the following key areas?
- Empathy. Do you choose topics and write from your reader’s point of view?
- Perspective. Does each post help your readers while leading to your marketing funnel?
- Schedule. Does your blogging strategy provide a schedule that you take as seriously as commitments you make to paying clients?
- System. Does your blogging strategy guide you through the steps, or process, of creating new content?
- Editing. Is editing from a fresh perspective built into your blogging system?
- Synergy. Is reusing and reformatting blog content part of your ongoing blogging strategy?
- Tracking. Do you know which blog post topics sell the most books or attract the most prospects?
Share your blogging strategy
Share your experiences creating your own blogging strategy. Tell us why you created it, what’s included, and what you’d do different if you were starting over from scratch. And, if I’ve overlooked from this post, please share it as a comment, below.
Roger C. Parker is an author, book coach, designer, consultant who works with authors, marketers, & business professionals to achieve success with brand-building books & practical marketing strategy. He helps create successful marketing materials that look great & get results, and can turn any complex marketing or writing task into baby steps. Visit his blog to see how he can help you or to ask a question.