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4 Tips for devising a successful blog strategy

You’ve decided to start a blog for your small business. Excellent choice! You’re sitting in front of your computer ready to write up your first post and all you have to do is pick a topic.

You just have to choose something to write about that’s relevant to your industry. Or to your company. Or to your community. Anything at all. Just think about something…

Not sure what to do next? You may need to refine your blog strategy. Here are our tried and true tips for blog victory!handwritten-seo-flow-chart

1. Provide value to your readers.

You have to provide value to your readers in order to get something back (such as repeat visits), so decide post categories best suit your brand. This can be a mix of product information, service tips (like this post!), behind the scenes happenings, community activity, but most importantly;

a. Know what you want and,
b. Know what you don’t want.

You’re free to experiment with online advertising – which is what your blog is – without losing $100,000, unlike print and broadcast advertising. Try out an idea, interpret your metrics, and adjust as you go. It really is acceptable to try out a category only to completely scrap it after one post because it takes more time than you estimated to write, or there isn’t as much to write about on that topic as often as you thought.

2. Understand that success is more than how many hits you get.

Your blog’s biggest return to you is the SEO. So don’t base your strategy on the number of comments or shares your posts get. Not even immediate hits.

Metrics (a.k.a. statistics or analytics) will tell you how visitors found your site, where they live, how long they stayed and whether they clicked other pages. Use these stats to develop a strategy that achieves the goals set for your brand overall.

3. Plan your posts ahead of time

make-time-clock-showing-scheduling-and-planningTake 20 minutes on the last Friday of the month to choose your next months’ worth of topics. These can change if something timely occurs, but don’t leave it to chance. Don’t give yourself an excuse to miss out on the SEO cornucopia.

I recommend a mix of product/service information, industry news and advancements, and behind-the-scenes content to show off your authority of the industry.

Take fifteen minutes today and start a post. Tomorrow take another fifteen and finish it; you only need about 500 words and you’re writing on a topic that you’re intimately familiar with. My favourite tactic is to keep an ongoing list of questions clients ask and write posts answering each question. One question = one post. Take fifteen minutes the rest of the week here and there and polish it.

4. If you can’t do it well, don’t do it at all.

An outdated blog is excellent reason for visitors to move on to your updated competitor. If you can’t keep up with regular posts either kill your blog or outsource the writing.

Interns are not the best source of blog content; by the time they understand your core business, the internship is over and you have to train strategy-word-in-maze-shows-game-plananother. A professional writer will know what questions to ask in order to understand your brand, to quickly grasp your business goals, and will have the training to write in your style with key SEO criteria embedded into the posts.

With these tips in mind, devise a strategy that suits your workload, and your brand. Review your strategy monthly and revamp as needed, but stick to a schedule and build a routine and you will get the best return on investment from your blog.

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