Did you know there are more than 30 million bloggers in the United States? If you’re a business owner or marketer, the question is no longer whether you should jump on the blogging bandwagon, but how to go about blogging so as to maximise your blog’s branding potential.
The good news is we’ve compiled a handy list of 5 steps you need to take to bring your brand building to the level where it can most benefit your business. Follow these steps from the start to make the most out of your blogging efforts.
Strategy And 5 Brand Building Steps
The brand building process with blogging is all about creating and following a blog strategy. No branding advice would be complete without emphasising the importance of strategy.
If you’re not going to blog with intent, then you’re just throwing words up on the net. People won’t find them and they won’t share them.
But if you create a strategy and follow it, you can take actions based on informed decisions. You can create actionable, measurable goals.
Our 5 steps below will guide you through creating and executing such a strategy.
Blogs are a great way to market because they don’t have to cost a lot of money. But this doesn’t mean you can ignore this crucial first step.
There’s more to a budget, after all, than overhead. For example, how much time can you afford to spend on each blog post?
To write the best blog post you can, you’ll want to give it at least three hours. You’ll see why, in step 3 below, you need to budget time for each post.
- Define Audience And Match Goals
If you sell insurance products, for example, then your ideal audience might be new homeowners. Or, it might be business owners if you sell business insurance.
By selling or marketing anything, you should already know who your ideal buyer is. But do you know what they’re reading?
Spend some time conducting research to see what your audience is consuming–and sharing–online. Ask yourself these questions:
- What are their pain points?
- What keywords are they searching for?
- Where are they finding content (social media, for example)?
- How long are the articles they’re consuming?
- What format are the articles they’re consuming?
Finding the answers to these questions will help you define your audience and discover how you can match their needs to your goals.
- Brainstorm, Research, Write, Edit, Revise, Proofread
Wow, that’s a lot of steps crammed into one! We could have just titled this section “Write,” but decided not to since we promised to show you why you need to budget at least three hours for one stellar blog post.
Let’s start with brainstorming. You meet with a team or maybe you’re brainstorming solo (we recommend at least one other person since two heads are better than one).
For about 15 minutes to a half hour, you bat around ideas for titles and topics you could write about to answer your audience’s pain points. You emerge ready to go, ready to write, and willing to tackle that blinking cursor on a blank screen.
Next, you research. Not only do you have to be an expert on the topic, but you’ll want reliable external data you can link to.
You may have noticed one such example at the start of this post. We shared an interesting and relevant fact, backed by data, with a link to a credible outside source.
The research process can take about 15 minutes to find a couple of data points from great sources. You’ve spent 30 to 45 minutes and you haven’t even written a word.
Now comes the drafting process. It’s time to write–and for the fastest of writers, you can expect to pump out about a 1,000-word draft in about 60 minutes.
We’re up to 90 to 105 minutes, and we’re only halfway through the process. Editing comes next.
Be ruthless. Spend 15 to 30 minutes.
You might have spent over two hours at this point and you still have to revise. Revision means putting into effect those changes you decided to make during the editing process.
Finally, you have to proofread for typos and grammar issues. See how this can take a few hours?
Now that you’ve written a long-form, informative, and engaging blog post, it’s time to choose how you’ll measure your success. There are brand building tools out there you can use to measure your post’s reach.
These types of measurements are known as analytics. Search engines and social media networks typically provide access to this information for free, but the tools can come in to help you gather and understand your blog’s performance in one place.
In order to build your brand, you’re going to want to track engagement and sharing analytics. When users stay on your page longer, don’t bounce from your site, and share your articles, they’re engaging with your brand and acting as brand ambassadors.
There are also other tools like social listening to help you determine how much your brand is discussed on the internet without it coming from a direct share.
Knowing ahead of time what you’ll measure can help you set your goals and determine your blog’s brand-building success.
- Revisit And Adapt
Once you’ve gone through and analysed your blog’s metrics, you can revisit your strategy and reapply these brand-building tips for your blog.
Maybe you’ll decide to post more often to your blog. Brands that post 16 times a month enjoy 4x the web traffic of brands that post 4 times or less each month.
Maybe you’ll decide to share your blogs at a different time of day. For example, maybe you shared a blog post at 8 am and then again at 8 pm.
Perhaps the 8 pm share was far more successful. Maybe you should schedule your blogs to post in the evenings.
The whole point of having a strategy is so you can revisit it and adapt as necessary. Don’t forget this important step to build your brand with your blog.
We hope by giving you this plan of action, your brand building efforts with your blog will not only be successful, but that you will have the confidence to know you can do this.
Starting a blog is exciting because it provides another avenue to communicate with your audience, your potential customers. But we know too this process can seem daunting, especially if you’re new to it.
This is why we invite you to drop us a line if you have questions. We’d love to help you get your brand noticed.