See what Expert Blogger and SEO Wizard Has to Say...
Today’s post is brought to you by Danielle Zeigler who is an SEO + Digital Marketing Strategist who helps passionate business owners STAND OUT (without selling out) in a crowded online space.
She’s on a mission to help entrepreneurs & small business owners harness their strengths, personality, and energy to grow responsive, thriving communities of exactly their right people. Because it IS possible to tackle your marketing with authenticity, grace and ease, and still get results.
Without further adieu, below are Danielle’s strategies to nailing this blogging stuff, because let’s be honest, blogging can be the first thing that drops off the to-do list, when in reality it should be one of the first to stay….
Blogging is a fantastic tool! Not only to express yourself, but you can use it to grow your business by welcoming new readers, building a community of readers and subscribers and giving potential clients a real taste of who you are, where your expertise lie and why the should hire/buy from you.
But, if you’re not a natural writer and even if you are, blogging without a clear strategy can throw up a host of issues, from bleeding days of wasted time to panic and overwhelm. If you don’t plan ahead in a clear and focused way, you’ll often run out of content, not know what to write, or worse, write lots of unsuitable posts that hurt your business.
But how do you know what to write, what to plan and what your readers even want?
A blogging strategy can bring much more ease into your marketing, your business and your life, so here are my recommended steps to help you build a blogging strategy for your business that works.
7 steps to create an aligned + more streamlined blogging strategy
1. Is your site a true reflection of who you are?
Your “right” people can only connect with, trust and buy from you if the real you is present online, especially on your website. You don’t have to drop all your boundaries and you can still maintain a filter, but customers are buying you - YOU are your brand.
You can authentically connect + stand out by:
Channelling your uniqueness + celebrating your difference.
Bringing more of your IRL personality into your posts (& pages)
Hop out of your comfort zone to bring more of YOU to your site (for me, it was having a far-too-large photo of myself on my homepage!)
And the beauty of this is, you can apply these actions across your digital content - social media, email marketing, etc.
2. Are you putting yourself in your ideal clients’ shoes?
You only have a couple of seconds to make that vital first impression on your blog and that really comes down to two things: reader awareness + user experience (UX):
Is your niche obvious within 2-5 seconds?
Is your site (& blog) easy to navigate?
Are you providing the answers and solutions to what your ideal client is seeking on your blog?
It can be tricky to look over your own site with fresh eyes, so you could use someone else’s eyes - a couple of clients, business buddy, known readers, subscribers or fellow entrepreneurs via one of your biz/blogger networks.
3. What topics have been resonating most with your readers?
I’ve found it’s good practice to periodically review your blog posts - it helps you to plan your content and it’s one of my top 5 ways to spring clean your site and convert more clients.
If you’ve been blogging for 12+ months, you can analyze which posts were the most popular, both in terms of blog comments and traffic (you’ll need data from Google Analytics &/or your platform’s stats - Squarespace have their own analytics). You can also look over your social media interactions related to your blog topics.
Take note of questions, insights and subtopics you’ve yet to cover on your blog, as well as subjects you could delve deeper on.
If your blog is quite new, or you don’t have much data or comments, you could check out other popular blogs in your niche and review their comments and engagement.
4. What added-value could you offer?
There are lots of ways to super-charge your blog with extra value for your ideal readers. For example, you can:
Write long, insightful posts (you can aim to produce regular content, but quality over quantity is always preferred by readers and search engines)
Offer content upgrades on your posts, e.g.:
I highly recommend that you convert your readers into subscribers to make the most of the value-packed content you’re creating. Encourage subscribers on your:
In a friendly pop-up
5. Are you qualifying your traffic with long-tail keywords?
Keywords are simply phrases that describe a piece of content. They also show up in the questions your dream customers are asking.
Make a list of the kinds of questions, desires, pain points, frustrations, goals, etc. that your ideal client may seek. Research phrases they’d use by searching them on Google and seeing what results (and other search terms) come up.
How can you take those queries deeper and make them into more specific subtopics? These are your long-tail keywords.
6. Is your blog shareable & Pinterest-worthy?
You have plenty of options when it comes to making your posts more shareable, for example:
Sharing icons at the end of posts
Sharing buttons over images (via Sumo app)
On-brand stock photos
Picture quotes (via Canva)
Blog title images
7. Are you making time to plan out new content?
This is where a strategic, long-term growth mindset comes in. I find it helpful to block out a half-day every 3 months or so to make sure I’m on course. I look at what’s been working - what posts are resonating - and what’s not and course-correct.
To help make things more streamlined, organised and productive, you can:
Use an editorial calendar and try to stick to it
Chunk similar tasks, whenever possible
Have a checklists for what you need in place/lined up (e.g. images, social media) before I hit publish on a new post.
When you take a more strategic way to approach to your blog, you’ll no longer be faced with the dreaded blank page and will give readers what they really want, resulting in more traffic, comments, subscribers and clients.
What are you going to try first? Any insights? I’d love to chat with you in the comments.
Want More from Danielle?
Danielle shares tips and freebies on her blog and newsletter, The Growth Notes; creates DIY courses and ebooks, such as the Spring Clean Your Site Workbook; and offers SEO & digital marketing consulting. Join her free 6-day challenge - SEO Made Simple.
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