The face of marketing always changes quickly, especially as technology takes over our everyday lives. Gartner predicts that by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their business relationships without human interaction.
It’s no surprise that communicating without this traditional interaction requires consistent online content marketing.
Valuable content helps gain trust and loyalty for your brand. With the right content, you can stand out from the competition as a knowledgeable authority in your niche.
One key to being recognized as a hub of valuable content, is by building a successful blog for your business.
Blogging for the sake of blogging is a not a good use of resources, or time.
Unfortunately, you will not just magically end up with a successful blog that drives tons of traffic and new customers to your business.
If your blogging efforts are not backed by strategic goals, you are going to miss out on a myriad of opportunities, leads, and sales.
Setting clear goals will give you vision, purpose, and a way to measure results.
So let’s review how to build a successful blog with the right goals!
Start by asking yourself the following seven goal-oriented questions.
1. Why Am I Blogging?
Before you even begin writing anything, ask that question of the hour: “Why?”
Why is it important to your company to have a blog?
It’s not just because professional marketers say that blogs are the most valuable type of content marketing…is it?
Or, are you blogging for a specific purpose?
To be clear: you need a purpose.
A few things you should think about when establishing the “why” behind your blog:
- Are you trying to promote yourself or your company, sell a product, or advertise a service?
- Is the blog meant to illustrate your skills or expertise in a particular niche?
- Are you using your blog to improve your SEO for a certain topic?
- Is the blog meant to improve your bottom line, or generate awareness?
Once you understand the purpose of your blog, you can better organize and share your content in a way that meets both your business needs and the needs of your readers.
2. Who is the Target Audience?
Remember the first season of the show Mad Men? The advertising company tries to sell bras from a man’s perspective.
They forgot their audience. Men don’t buy bras. Women buy bras. Their ad campaign had to work for women, not men.
Your blog’s audience holds equal importance.
61% of consumers use the Internet to learn more about products and services.
To reach them, you need to know them.
And, your audience is not just a two-dimensional man vs. woman. A successful blog is written with a clearly defined reader persona in mind.
To determine your target audience, find out answers to the following questions:
- What is the sex, age and income of my perfect audience?
- Where does my ideal audience member work, and what do they do for fun?
- In what area does my audience want to grow and improve? Do they face challenges and have pain points?
- Where does my audience get information, and where do they spend a lot of time (online and offline)?
3. What Value Does My Blog Offer?
What you offer your readers goes back to why you’re writing your blog in the first place.
82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content.
Readers and consumers are not going to flock to your blog unless you have something of value to provide.
In digital marketing you have to give first if you want to receive. This means that traditional, “Buy this!” advertising doesn’t work for blogs.
When writing content for your blog, offer readers something other than self-promotion.
Are you giving them insight that they can’t find anywhere else? Are you solving a problem?
Understand that even if all your blog offers is something intangible like great advice or thought leadership, you’re still giving something. And chances are it’s valuable, not to mention free!
Adding to the online knowledge database is a great step toward building a successful blog.82% of consumers feel more positive about a company after reading custom content.Click To Tweet
4. What Tone and Voice Does My Blog Use?
When you seek the answer for, “how to build successful blog”, tone and voice play a big role.
How you articulate your brand and ideas is crucial.
70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via content marketing rather than ads.
A blog is your opportunity to shake hands and introduce yourself.
If your blog uses confusing language, a boring tone, and an arrogant voice, then that’s the image you’ll portray to your readers.
Choose a tone and voice that matches your brand and target audience.70% of consumers prefer getting to know a company via content marketing rather than ads.Click To Tweet
If your audience is composed of millennials, then your blog may need to be direct, fun, and personal.
If your brand is an up-and-coming tech company, your blog could be witty, educational, and cutting edge.
Keep in mind that every successful blog can and should be unique.
If the subject of your blog is serious in nature, but your website is lighthearted, it’s appropriate to change your voice to match the topic.
Always be consistent in writing blog articles that match your brand in subject, tone, or voice.
5. How Will I Measure Success?
Building a successful blog can only be deemed a success, if you can show ROI.
For some companies, ROI comes back to customer acquisition.
Metrics that illustrate success come back to why you are writing your particular blog, and what you are offering the reader.
If you write your blog to improve your SEO rankings on Google, then the following metrics are important to measure:
- Blog readership
- Page rank based on your SEO focus keyword(s)
- Organic website traffic to the blog page
- Outbound and inbound link clicks
However, if your goal is to increase purchases of a specific product or service, your key metrics could include:
- Sales calls to a direct phone number
- Link clicks on a blog URL
- Email opt-in sign ups
- Product conversions
Whatever focus you choose to measure, always create S.M.A.R.T goals. These are specific, measurable, achievable, results-focused, and timely.
It’s helpful to break up goals into tiered time frames: such as yearly, quarterly and monthly. This way, you can meet milestones as you go along and feel accomplished enough to continue.
Assign specific details and numbers to your goals.
Instead of thinking:
“I’m going to post content every month to my blog”,
“I’m going to post one search engine optimized, evergreen blog article per week for 52 weeks”.Break up blog goals into tiered time frames: yearly, quarterly and monthly.Click To Tweet
Remember that each blog can and should have different measurements for success, but you should also strive for consistency.
Only by measuring the same key metrics for every blog, can you determine which topics, goals, and offers are the most successful.
6. What Action Do I Want My Readers to Perform?
Every blog can benefit from a single, often simple, call-to-action.
The action your readers perform is the easiest measure of how to build a successful blog.
When trying to come up with your call-to-action, think about the fact that small businesses with a blog get:
- 55% more website visitors
- 102% more Twitter followers
- 126% more client leads
Your call-to-action can be anything, but it should roll back to “why” you blogged, your target audience, and what you offer your readers.
See how all these pieces always work together?The action your readers perform is the easiest measure of how to build a successful blog.Click To Tweet
Potential calls to action ideas include:
- Download a free report
- Sign up for an email list
- Register for a webinar
- Follow on Twitter (or insert other social network)
- Visit the services page
- Buy a product
- Leave a comment
The exact language which make up these CTAs can vary, but the idea is to tell your users exactly what to do when you have their attention.
Going without a clear call to action on your website’s blog design would be a big mistake. Think about it carefully!Small business websites with a blog get 55% more web visitors and 126% more leads.Click To Tweet
7. How Will My Blog Gain Exposure?
The final secret for how to build a successful blog, is to remember that your work doesn’t stop after you’ve written your blog.
A successful blog is not one that no one has read. Instead, the goal of every blog should be to gain exposure.
This of course, requires even more marketing and promotion.
According to Hubspot, companies that blog have 97% more inbound links, but these links don’t happen by accident. Every blog requires:
- A focus keyword to drive organic exposure from search engines
- URL backlinking to illustrate your relevance
- Research and thought leader quotes to demonstrate your knowledge
And after you write your blog, you need to promote it on social media, other blogs, and your website.
Each post will need consistent and persistent promotion over time.
Follow a queued schedule of messages posted to your active social networks.
Create more than one social media post message, using variations in headline, image and hashtags.
To make your promotion successful, your blog articles need:
- a compelling headline/title
- a focus keyword
- the right meta description and URL tag
- shareable content (text quotes and/or images)
- social sharing buttons
The best exposure occurs when all the pieces fall seamlessly together.Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links.Click To Tweet
Don’t just throw your blog content against the wall and hope it sticks!
Instead, learn how to build a successful blog after answering the seven goal-oriented questions in this article.
- Why am I blogging?
- Who is the target audience?
- What value does my blog offer?
- What tone and voice does my blog use?
- How will I measure my blog’s success?
- What action do I want my readers to perform?
- How will my blog gain exposure?
By putting in the time and effort to outline goals for blogging, you’ll find a far greater return on your investment. What this simply means for your business is: more credibility, leads and ultimately sales!Setting blog goals will give you vision, purpose, and a way to measure results.Click To Tweet
What are some goals that will help others with how to build a successful blog?
We’d love to hear your comments below!
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