Blogging has grown tremendously in the last few years. Currently, there are blogs for almost everything on earth – losing weight, fitness, DIY gardening, advancing a career, learning a new language, or even making money online. As blogging grows, so are the expectations of readers and standards required of bloggers.
Unfortunately, many people jump on the blogging bandwagon without taking time to acquaint themselves with the fundamentals of blogging and how to use it for online lead generation. Such people don’t get very far because of two reasons. First, they fail to grasp their roles, and secondly, they don’t meet the expectations of their audience. To avoid any such scenario, you should consider the following fundamental things before creating your blog.
What’s the Purpose of Your Blog
While others create blogs for self-gratification, others create blogs to educate and inform their target audience. In the article, Have You Got Your Blogging Basics Down, I stated unequivocally that you need to have a clear purpose for creating a blog. The purpose of your blog should be tied to your objectives and goals and it should be realistic.
Don’t expect to get results immediately when you start blogging. You can only achieve the desired results when you know the impact your blog is going to have on an audience. The bottom line is that you should have a purpose that will help you engage and influence your audience effectively.
Your Target Audience
When you decide to set up a blog, you should already have in mind the audience that will access and read your blog. Don’t just assume that everyone who comes across your blog will read. Attraction marketing through blogging doesn’t apply to all and sundry. The only people that will read your blog posts are those who get value from the information that you publish and share. To increase the effectiveness of your blogging, you should research more about your audience; their preferences, concerns, expectations, needs, and their interests. These details will guide you when writing posts for your blog. Don’t assume that what you’re going to publish will tick with your audience; you have to know your audience so that you can target them with the relevant content.
Your Editorial Calendar
Before you start blogging, you should also take time to create an editorial calendar for content marketing purposes. A blogging calendar will help you write and publish blog posts in a timely manner. Most importantly, your calendar will also create timelines for researching and creating relevant content for your target audience. Ideally, you should come up with blog topics for the first month or two. By coming up with a list of blog topics, you will be able to make a timely decision about the content that should end up in your blog. Read more about editorial calendar and blog scheduling in 6 Quality Blogging Tips to Improve Online Lead Generation.
Nature of Blog Content
It’s equally important for you to decide beforehand the kind of content that you want to create and publish in your blog. Your purpose is your best guiding post as far as content creation is concerned. If you want to educate your audience then you should focus more on informative posts, but if you want to engage your audience and elicit reactions, then you should focus more on trending topics and issues.
Some readers are delighted in reading short and concise posts, while others want to immerse themselves in long and thought provoking posts. Still, others prefer online video marketing resources such as training videos. Whichever content and style you choose to adopt, you should follow all through, though a blend of content will do you more good. Again, it all depends with who you are targeting and what you want to achieve from your blog.
Frequency of Blogging
It’s not enough for you to create a list of topics for your blog; you also have to decide how often you’re going to blog – twice, weekly, or once a month. This should be an easy decision if you already have an editorial calendar. Of course, the frequency will also depend on your schedule and the complexity of topics that you want to write about. Sometimes, you may find yourself spending the entire week researching and writing one post, while other times, you may find it easier to write several posts a week.
Regardless of how often you want to blog, you should bear in mind that readers value quality over quantity. You can publish as many posts as you want, but they’ll have a little impact on readers if they have little or no value. If you want to create and expand your readership quickly, then you should write and publish quality posts regularly. When you publish regularly, you will bridge the gap between what readers want and what you’re can deliver.
How will Your Blog Fit into Marketing Campaign
Before you start blogging, you should take some time to see how your blog will integrate with other marketing channels such as email marketing and social media. It’s very important for you to harmonize your internet marketing by integrating blogging with social media marketing and online video marketing. Essentially, a blog allows you to post and publish text content or a blend of text, graphics, and audio-visual content. If you are blogging to widen your market reach or to attract new prospects, then you have to leverage the power of integrated online marketing.
Once you start blogging, you will learn how to integrate your blog with social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube. The most important thing is that all these channels should speak the same message and corroborate each other. If you integrate your blog with other marketing channels, then you will reach a wider audience and consequently, improve your chances of making money online.
Optimize Your Blog
Another important thing that you consider carefully is the way you are going to optimize your blog. On one hand, you should think about how you will optimize it for your target audience, and on the other hand, how you will optimize it for the search engines. Think about the needs and expectations of your target audience and how you can make your blog better for each visitor.
Your target audience and the search engines are equally important for the success of your blog. Therefore, you should not give the search engines priority over your audience, as it will defeat the purpose of your blog. Take time to research relevant keywords and understand the concerns of the people that you are targeting.