5 Indisputable Reasons Why You Need a Blogging Strategy

5 Indisputable Reasons Why You Need a Blogging Strategy

5 Indisputable Reasons Why You Need a Blogging Strategy

Today’s consumers expect to be educated before they buy. Education-based marketing is not new, but today it is almost non-negotiable for businesses of all sizes and in all industries. One of the best ways to educate and build authority in the marketplace is to have a solid blogging strategy in place.

In fact, according to a recent inbound marketing report, nearly 80% of companies using blogging as part of their marketing strategy report acquiring customers through their blogging efforts. An additional 82% of businesses admit that blogging is critical to their business.

But blogging, like any business activity, needs to have both a purpose and a plan to ensure you are getting the best results from the time and resources invested. This means having a blogging strategy focused on achieving your desired business goals.

A blogging strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines the essential steps you need to follow when creating your blog and any blog post. The steps may include:

  • define your goals
  • develop your buyer personas
  • analyze your competition
  • develop a keyword strategy
  • create a content calendar
  • determine the channels you’ll use to promote your blog

Failure to create a strategy or follow it can lead to a variety of critical issues, all of which will waste your time and resources.

For example, if you write a blog post without doing any keyword research, your post will get lost in the sea of Google and Bing search results, getting limited, if any, views by your target audience. Having a blogging strategy and planning out a blog calendar in advance will ensure you blog strategically, never running out of content ideas to write about.

When you invest time and resources into a blog, you also want to ensure your blog posts are being read and shared by your ideal clients. If no one is finding, reading or sharing your blog posts, you might as well not bother writing them.

Understanding the value of blogging and its specific business benefits is essential to helping you stay committed to the process. In this article, I outline five specific benefits a solid blogging strategy will give your business, along with an action tip for each one.  

Why Blog? Five Indisputable Reasons to Have a Blogging Strategy

1. Blogging can help you build your brand

Blogging provides your business with two key benefits. It allows you to:

  1. develop your brand
  2. create more brand awareness.

Many businesses write blog posts without a schedule or plan, posting randomly. Such approach will not be nearly as effective or cohesive as it would be if you took the time to create a blogging strategy. Having a blogging strategy will help you stay organized and consistent, helping you create a powerful and unified brand image.

By having this singular, powerful brand image, you’ll make clear to your ideal clients:

  • who you are
  • what you stand for
  • whom you help
  • and, mostly, how you can help them.

In your strategy, you can identify when and how you want to incorporate these key points into your content, ensuring your readers can quickly recognize you could help them with one of their key challenges.

Action Tip

When planning your blog content in your blogging strategy, include the following types of stories:

  1. humanizing stories about your brand so that your ideal clients can emotionally connect with them
  2. success stories about your clients so your ideal clients can imagine themselves achieving that same success.

2. Blogging will increase your authority and build thought leadership

Blogging done correctly can also help you establish your authority on your topic, increasing a sense of trust your readers feel toward your brand. It’ll help you with your business goals because people buy from people they know, like and trust.

Like so many businesses currently, you can blog on all kinds of topics related to your industry. But if your posts don’t address the key needs or challenges of your ideal clients, using the language they use, they will not resonate with your ideal clients. Nor will your posts prompt them to reach out to you for a solution to their problem/challenge.

Solving the challenges of your ideal clients through high-quality content will increase your authority and perhaps even position you as an influencer in your industry.

Action Tip

Your blogging strategy should include a detailed list of the questions your prospects and clients ask you. Every one of those questions is a potential blog post. Also pay attention to the questions being asked by your target market on social media platforms and forums.

Use each of these topics in your blogging strategy to create your content calendar, and you will find that your ideal clients are eager to read what you write because they derive value from it.

3. Blogging results in increased traffic from search engines

While you can increase traffic to your blog in a number of ways, including social shares and paid ads, don’t overlook the value of organic traffic – traffic you get from search engine results.

Showing up organically on the first page of the search engine results, for the topics your ideal clients search for, will create a strong, positive impression in their minds as well as greatly increase the number of people reading your blog.

Without SEO, you could be losing thousands, or even tens of thousands, of eyeballs on your content – a tremendous loss. With all the information out there competing for readers’ attention, it is vital your posts show up high in the search engine results.

Action Tip

When you create regular new content, search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, will regularly visit your site to index this fresh content. The best way to achieve better results in the search engines is to purposefully incorporate search engine optimization into your blogging strategy.   

This will mean preplanning the keyword phrase each post will focus on, adding appropriate headers, sub headers, tags, internal and external links and optimizing your site for mobile.

Learn more about the best ways to optimize your blog posts for SEO in your blogging strategy in this article.

4. Blogging can help you develop an engaged community

Your blog allows you to facilitate important discussions in your industry and build a community of people interested and engaged with your content. These discussions can help you shape the future of your business. By communicating with your target market, listening to what they want and need and providing high-quality content for them, you will encourage them to keep engaging with you.

To achieve that level of engagement, you must employ a strategic and intentional approach to blogging. When creating your blogging strategy, include content that will foster valuable discussions about current or ongoing issues within your industry as well as any new or growing trends.

When discussing these issues or trends, give your perspective. Remember, your ideal clients can find these topics in many places online. What makes your blog post unique is your perspective on the topic. When people align with your point of view, they will not only read everything you create but share it too!

Action Tip

While sharing your perspective in your blog post, you also want to encourage discussion on the topic, whether it is directly on your blog or when shared on social platforms.

When you share your content on social media, invite your readers to share their own views to get the discussion going in the comment sections of your social channels.

5. Strategic blogging will generate organic leads for your business

Perhaps one of the most rewarding benefits of having a well thought out blogging strategy is conversion of your web traffic into leads. 

These are qualified leads with whom you have built some trust and authority through the content you have shared and who know who you are, whom you help and what you offer.

That’s why all good blogging strategies should include the creation of one or more lead magnets.

A lead magnet provides value through content, solving a very specific problem in exchange for an opt-in (being added to your email list).

When you identify a particularly common issue your ideal clients struggle with, use it to create a more detailed piece of educational content in the form of a lead magnet.

Once you have one or more lead magnets, you can use a number of strategies to convert your blog readers into leads. Keep in mind, your lead magnet must:

  • be interesting enough for someone to give up their email address for
  • be something that can be consumed quickly or easily
  • not be self-serving (gone are the days of people opting into a lead magnet called 5 Ways to Choose the Right Digital Marketing Expert – or any other profession, niche or industry)

Action Tip

When you provide significant value in a blog post, you can add a related call to action at the end of that post.

This should NOT feel like a hard sell.

Rather, it should feel like an invitation for them to continue their learning journey on this topic. If you did a good job introducing the topic and providing value, many readers will be inclined to learn more from you and investigate your offer.

Here are some other ways you can offer your lead magnets on your blog:

  • display it on a sidebar banner
  • display it in a popup
  • display it on a banner below your blog post
  • display it in a bar at the top of the screen
  • include it in a short paragraph at the bottom of your blog post

Your lead magnet and the way it is offered should look and feel professional. You are asking your ideal clients to trust you with their email addresses – make sure you show them you are worthy of that trust.

The results of your blogging strategy will come from action and consistency

It is great to have a blogging strategy for your business, but having one is not enough.

The business benefits of blogging are immense for those who do it strategically and consistently.  The most important part of any blogging strategy is to put it into action!

Comments

16 Comments

  • I have to admit that implementing a Google Ad Sense widget into my Word Press blogs is one aspect I have not yet tried to do. I guess I need to get rid of that old school mentality of not wanting to do anything to drive traffic away from your site. I suppose I could make a trickle, incremental income from having such a module on my sites. But as is pointed out here, proper key word selection is the essential.

    • @William: I’m glad you mentioned this because I think the case we pointed out in the article is really the ultimate “best case scenario” of the benefits of blogging. Google AdSense can work for some but not necessarily all. Depending on your model, you can leverage your traffic in different ways. The Top Dog site will likely not incorporate the AdSense widget as it’s not really in line with our goals, similar to yours.

      That said, if your content is truly top notch and a clear cut above even the top blogs in your industry, the sky is the limit. Stay true to your gut. If something doesn’t feel like its in line with your company goals, it doesn’t mean it’s a bad idea or resource. It simply means that it’s not meant for your business and that’s perfectly fine.

      Thank you for re-emphasizing how crucial proper keyword selection is. It’s really the point that brings the blogging strategy “to the bank”, after quality of course.

  • My husband is an expert in his field of expertise and people have been telling him for a long time that he should get a blog set up where people could ask his advice and that it would bring in money. The only problem is neither one of us knows how to set up a blog. I am wondering if this could really make us some good money.

    • @Christopher: If your husband is an expert in his field, a blog can bring something more important than traffic to generate ad revenue, it helps build credibility and will position him as not just an expert but THE expert. Are people more likely to buy from the expert who says he’s an expert or the one that shows you they are an expert with quality content on their subject? 🙂

  • Thank you for this educational blog I have been trying to think of a way to make money on line with out a lot of work being put into it and this sounds like the best alternative. I know that this sounds lazy on my part, not wanting to put a lot of work into it but I just don’t have a lot of time and the ultimate goal is to make money right?

    • @Dorothy: So glad to help. Unfortunately there are no easy “shortcuts” but once you’ve laid the groundwork for a successful blog, it’s much easier to run in “autopilot” mode as long as you’re writing content way ahead of schedule. Getting a blog to the level of popularity necessary to depend on it as a main source of income is absolutely a lot of work but once you have people’s attention, the options are limitless! Just focus on great quality content and you will be on the right track.

  • I actually studied the diagram you provide on this page and I had to read each component twice to fully get the grasp of this strategy and traffic driving loop. It is quite intricate and when you really think about it, if you achieve this type of setup between your blog and various social media accounts and syndicated content, I don’t see how you can fail in driving traffic to your site. Most people fail to accomplish this.

    • @Joan: You are absolutely right. It’s not a “simple” setup by any means since it truly does require a lot of work and effort. It’s a fantastic long-term strategy to position you as an expert in your field and to continuously engage a captivated audience. You are right when you say most people fail to accomplish this. The reasoning behind this is almost always a lack of focus on quality, the target audience and full communicating what you do for your clients.

      Thanks for your comment! You brought up a great point.

  • You can really make money off of a blog? What is the best kind of blog to make to make money? I was thinking about a question answer type blog where the customer can ask questions but they have to pay for the answers. Does that sound like something that would make money? I have heard either a blog that does this or maybe a website, which would work best?

    • @Alecia: In the case described in this blog, the person was making money because of extremely high levels of regular, targeted traffic that she was attracting because her blog content was truly outstanding. She monetized the traffic through Google AdSense (click ads on her blog) and because she has so much traffic, she is able to make in excess of 6 figures.

      This is not realistic for everyone but it’s definitely a great goal to aspire towards. You’ll need hundreds of thousands of visitors (at least) each month before you will make six figures off your blog ALONE. I like to preach the blog as a great tool to provide outstanding value to your clients and to position you as a credible expert in your field. This is a great strategy that will get you results substantially faster than trying to make a massive income exclusively from blog writing.

      Once you have tons of traffic, you can get real crafty about how you monetize it but the goal in the beginning should be to create exceptional content that helps a specific target market.

  • The chart that you posted in your article is a really good visual that will help a lot when it comes to putting in order what to do next. I’ve been interested in starting a blog for some time now but I had no idea how to get started, I think that your blog will help me because you have laid it out in an easy step by step process easily understood.

  • I’ve been interested in starting a blog for some time now but I had no idea how to get started, I think that your blog will help me because you have laid it out in an easy step by step process easily understood. I think that once I get my blog up and running with the instruction I have gotten from you I should be able to make a good living with it.

  • What is the best kind of blog to make to make money? I was thinking about a question answer type blog where the customer can ask questions but they have to pay for the answers. Does that sound like something that would make money? I am confused because I have heard about web sites making money but not just a blog.

    • @Winifred: Pick something you are truly passionate for and focus on quality. You might have to be creative in the beginning if no one is asking questions yet so get inside your target market’s head and figure out the burning questions they need answers for that you can provide. Best of luck!

  • I love blogging, but I wondered how the recent Google algorithm change (to combat content farming) would have an effect. I heard it really doesn’t affect more than about 2% of search results, according to Cutts. But he did say something I thought was significant: “The net effect is that searchers are more likely to see the sites that wrote the original content rather than a site that scraped or copied the original site’s content. How’s that even possible? It sounds no different than the existing duplicate content penalty.

    • @Larry: You never win with duplicate content. I can’t (nor can anyone else do so with 100% certainty) verify how much it will hurt you in terms of Google’s ranking. It’s very easy for Google to find duplicate content so I can only see that having a negative effect in terms of search positioning and even credibility if searchers and readers notice that it is not original content.

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