1. Decide what you want your blog to achieve. A blog that just rambles about everything communicates nothing. Ask yourself how this blog can do the most good for your business. Do you need to display your depth of industry knowledge to establish your credibility with prospective clients and colleagues? Do you need to present and explain the many benefits and uses of your products and services? Do you want to cast your company as the “go-to guys” for solving specific problems? Do you want to deliver exciting news items or success stories related to your business? You can achieve any or all of these things — but only after you’ve decided on which of them to pursue.
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2. Share a clear mission. Once you’ve decided what your blog is all about, make sure your readers understand that agenda. From the very first post, your blog should place its cards on the table, describing its intended purpose and what kinds of topics readers can expect to encounter going forward. The more clearly you express your blog’s purpose, the easier it will be for you to build an online following.
Clarifying your blog’s mission definitely counts as a bright idea.
3. Aim your writing at your target market. Just as your business doesn’t cater to everyone, neither should your blog. It might sound glamorous and exciting to have millions of readers, but it’s more valuable to collect the right readers, that pure target market or “niche” you genuinely want to sell to. Facility managers, stay-at-home moms, seniors on a budget, pet bird owners, skating enthusiasts — whatever your dream clientele happens to be, aim your topics squarely at that crowd. If you have more than one target market, then write posts that appeal to each of them while always coming back to the broader subject of your products and services. If you sell screws, for instance, you might compose articles that appeal to manufacturers, bicyclists, home hobbyists, et cetera, and then rotate them in your posting schedule.
4. Keep to a schedule. Speaking of schedules, blogging purposefully means blogging regularly. Create a posting schedule and hold yourself to it. If your readers get the sense that you’re just floating the occasional article onto your site at random intervals, they won’t remain readers for long, if only because you haven’t trained them to anticipate that next post. You must treat blogging as a commitment and post like clockwork so your minions will view you as a fixture of the Internet and come to rely on your wisdom and insights.
Are your posts regular events or random happenings?
5. Use the incoming data from readers. If you’ve gotten this far, congratulations — you’ve crafted a blog with a clear mission for a specific audience and built that audience into a solid readership. But if you ignore the wealth of information these people can offer you, you’re leaving money on the table. Pay-to-read subscriptions, enabled comment fields, and even a few well-placed links within the articles can capture valuable data on your readers’ locations, interests and browsing behaviors. Data integration tools can be used to process this information and help you stay focused on the big data bottom line. Essentially, this will give you a road map for course-correcting your business toward greater fortunes.
Even the clearest, smartest, most practical plan requires one final magic ingredient: action. Don’t just give your blog a purpose, give it a spark of life. In other words, start writing!
William Reynolds has worked as a freelance copywriter since 1997. William specializes in website content, ghost-blogging, print marketing content and audio/video scripts.