Did you know that 55% of marketers prioritize blogging as their top inbound marketing tactic?
For more than a decade now, blogging has helped B2C and B2B companies to increase their revenue, improve brand recognition, and boost conversions through valuable content targeted towards their customers and target audience.
The operative word here is valuable.
You can't have a blog just for the sake of having it - your blog should have a reason for existing. Despite the seemingly casual nature of blogging, many folks don't realize how much work goes into preparing, planning, and managing a blog.
So, how do you develop and manage a successful business blog that offers value to your target market? Here's our 5 step checklist on how to make blog management easier.
Streamline Blog Management With a Checklist
The competition in the blogosphere is fierce, and every day, thousands of bloggers and companies are starting their blogs across many different niches. Regardless of your company or industry, proper blog management is one of the critical requirements for success.
With this checklist, you will not only make blog management more straightforward, you'll get started on the right path and supercharge your marketing campaigns. Although there's no shortage of blog management services and resources in the marketplace, this guide is for marketers who prefer the DIY approach.
1. Develop Ideas
Before you can hope to achieve content marketing greatness, first, you need to generate ideas. However, many marketing veterans and contributors agree that great ideas for content production don't come easy. Below are some useful tips to help you come up with ideas for your blog posts.
Keep An Ideas File
Inspiration can strike anytime without warning.
Therefore, you should keep an ideas file that contains a list of all your blog ideas. It can be a small document or spreadsheet and must be accessible at all times - a Google Doc, an Airtable, or a Todoist list, whatever works for you.
Whenever a great idea sparks, write it down. If you're ever stuck in a creative rut, you can readily access a healthy inventory of ideas.
Write About Proven Topics
All the top business blogs have focused marketing strategies that target specific audiences and don't stray away from the main topic.
However, this doesn't mean that you should write about everything you're passionate about or everything that relates to your business. You should look to blog about proven topics that deliver results and drive engagement for your small business, company, or industry.
How Do You Find Ideas for Proven Topics?
Finding the right topic to write about takes a little bit of due diligence.
For example, you can hop on to Google Trends and look up a keyword from a web page and see how it trends. Alternatively, you can look up a keyword through Google and see which websites come up. Then, you can use a content marketing tool like BuzzSumo to see just how popular a particular subject matter is.
Once you have enough information and knowledge of proven and trending topics, you'll know in which direction to go.
Know What Your Readers Want
Know who you're writing for and why you're writing for them. Before you publish a post, you need to do proper prospecting. Otherwise, your blog post will feel like it has no purpose. Plus, prospecting also helps with idea generation.
For example, if your business blog's primary purpose is to increase sales and subscriptions of your company, you're not just catering to regular readers - they're potential customers as well.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What do my readers need?
- What factors can turn a reader into a lead or paying customer?
- What are the pain points that this product or blog post addresses?
Every entry in your small business blog should answer a reader's questions or address a need.
As a result, your blog will turn into a successful promotional tool without even making a sales pitch. If it's all too much and you need help with developing ideas and the writing part, there's always the option of using a blog post writing service.
2. Schedule Your Blog Posts
After generating a bunch of ideas, it's tempting to write and publish them all at once. Stop! A major problem that many bloggers face is planning and publishing a high level of content regularly. Let's face it - it's impossible to manage a successful blog without proper planning.
Wouldn't it be nice to have a blog that runs like a well-oiled machine? With a blogging schedule, that’s exactly what you can have. What separates the super bloggers from the hobbyists is an efficient blog schedule. Below are some guidelines to get your blog schedule started.
How Much Time Do You Have?
There's more to content marketing than just typing up words and hitting publish. If you want to put out valuable information and maximize engagement, you need time, energy, and research - lots of it.
So, what's your time commitment for managing a business blog?
Of course, the answer depends from one person to the next. Are you managing an actual brick-and-mortar store? Do you have kids? Find out how much time you have for writing and publishing a high-quality blog post, as this is the first step to developing a good blog schedule.
Don't worry about starting slow as building consistency is key.
What Are Your Goals?
What are your goals and priorities for having a business blog? Blogging is a journey, and your goals are your destination. Without setting a destination, how do you know where to go and how to get there? Some of the most common goals include:
- Build a business brand
- Attract new clients or generate leads
- Increase company website traffic
- Project authority and become a thought leader
- Express a point of view
- Increase the number of subscribers
- Post-sales support
Things like publishing frequency and topics to write about will come naturally to you when you have clear objectives in mind.
Keep an Editorial Calendar
Raise your hand if you're struggling to organize your blog headlines and other resources across post-it notes and Google Docs?
From writing to publication, a successful blog runs with a plan with little to no hiccups or bumps along the way. A content calendar - as a visual tool that will help organize your blog scheduling - makes this possible.
A dedicated calendar will streamline the process because all blog writing stages are in one place. Everything goes into your handy calendar, from blog topics to deadlines to supporting resources like links and images.
Your calendar may include sections such as:
- Topic idea
- Suggested headlines
- Post development (titles, sections, or subheadings you want to discuss)
- External/internal links
- Supporting images and multimedia
- Word count
- Call-to-action (CTA)
- Copywrite tools
- Publishing date
- Draft deadline
Recommended Tools for Blog Scheduling
There are several tools you can use to create a content calendar, and they're mostly free.
A top-rated calendar app is Trello.
While primarily an app for team collaboration, it also works great for solo projects. Trello uses boards for keeping track of projects and tasks. Each board can contain a list with sections such as Blog Topics, Titles, Date of Publication, etc. There's also a Calendar View that makes it easier for a team of contributors or content staff to visualize the schedule.
Google Drive - one of today's most well-known tools - also offers many features for developing a useful content calendar. It has Google Calendar for tracking editorial content and preventing scheduling conflicts. Google Sheets is also great for scheduling posts and monitoring the status of all of your content pieces.
3. Build a Workflow for Blog Post Creation
For the uninitiated, a workflow is a system or list that contains a sequence of repeatable tasks. Think of it as work that flows from one phase to the next. Developing a good workflow is a must to maximize time and streamline the blog writing process.
What's An Ideal Blogging Workflow?
For business blog posting, you'll want to include the following workflow items:
- Research: Know which tags, categories, and keywords you should since they can help focus your article's direction.
- Outline: Create an overview of your content that will dictate the flow of information. Make sure that you write a strong introduction and place a CTA at the end to maximize engagement.
- Create: Write the blog post in your preferred content management system (CMS) like WordPress. Strong headlines and subheadings will go a long way.
- Content Analysis: Is your post following the best practices in SEO? Top-rated SEO applications like Yoast and SurferSEO are some of your best options.
- Check for Spelling and Grammar: A popular service for checking grammar and spelling is Grammarly. The best part is that it's a free application with a paid option.
- Supporting Images: The images are just as important as the words in your post. The visuals also help break the texts and make them easier to read. Use screenshots and photos to get your point across.
- Approval: If you're working with clients or an editor, they need to check your work before publication and determine if revisions are required.
- Revision: This step is for protecting the professionalism, quality, and consistency of your blog.
- Final Edit: Double or even triple-checking your works and ensuring that they're flawless is always a good practice.
Keep in mind; this is just a general workflow process for blogs. Your workflow could easily be more detailed. A good blog manager knows how to stay disciplined and consistent.
4. Optimize Title, Tags, and Meta Descriptions
One of the worst mistakes a blog manager can make is not optimizing the title, tags, and meta descriptions of a blog.
Even the most insightful and well-written articles are bound to underperform without proper SEO optimization. An eye-catching title, the right tags, and unique meta descriptions are all essential elements of any robust SEO strategy.
The title can make or break your blogs. You could have a long-form article that offers all sorts of information and tremendous value, but it won't matter if no one cares to read it. Titles are the hook that gets users to find and click through your article.
Strong titles can drive organic traffic to your site.
Titles provide a quick insight into your blog content and how it might relate to their query. Thus, having catchy, high-quality, and meaningful titles is encouraged.
How to Write Better Blog Post Titles?
Here are some tips and tricks to help you write better blog titles:
- Tell your audience what to expect: People want to know what they're getting into when they click on your title. Make sure that your headlines clearly state what your post is about.
- Tell a story: Everyone loves a good story. The incorporation of an engaging story makes for an eye-catching title.
- Write titles that solve a problem: Create titles that address a specific pain point of your target audience. It's no surprise that valuable posts start with “how,” “why,” and “what.” Optimize your titles for search intent.
- Use numbers and statistics for clarity: According to a New York Magazine profile of Buzzfeed CEO, Jonah Peretti, people prefer headlines with numbers over other types of headlines. A good strategy is to use odd numbers to get 20% more traffic than even-numbered titles.
- Include the main keyword: Incorporating the primary keyword in the title is basic level SEO practice. If you're using SEO plugins like Yoast, you'll find that this is a standard recommendation.
The humble blog tag is easy to overlook, but they're definitely worth the effort. Blog tags are basically phrases that describe your post.
Tags vs. Keywords
Are tags the same as keywords? Well, yes and no.
When it comes to content marketing, one of the best practices is to do keyword research.
After all, users search for keywords in search engines. On the other hand, tags have little to do with bringing visitors to your site. However, tags can improve the overall experience as they provide a way for users to discover more of your content.
Posts under the same tag become an explorable niche for your visitors. As the author or writer, you can use tags for finding related blog entries that you might want to link to while creating a new post.
One of the primary advantages of tags lies with analytics. However, some workarounds are needed for Google Analytics to show which subject matter your audience likes the most. A recommended approach is to create custom tag dimensions in your analytics dashboard.
The meta description tag is a short snippet that summarizes what a web page is about.
In reality, meta descriptions don't matter to Google, but they do matter to people. This is hardly a big deal for contributors because you should be writing for people, not for a search engine anyway.
How many times have you clicked on a search result after reading a sneak peek of its content? Even though these snippets have no direct influence on how a page ranks, a well-written meta description can improve your click-through rates, helping your ranking over time.
The recommended length for meta descriptions is between 150-160 characters. Best practices suggest it should be descriptive enough to highlight the main points of your posts.
Yoast Is The Way to Go
One of the most popular SEO content optimization add-ons for WordPress is Yoast - and for a good reason.
By installing Yoast, you get a standard SEO analysis while making a blog post. This handy plugin will guide you through the best SEO practices and provide direction on enhancing the readability and searchability of your posts.
If you're not using WordPress, Yoast also offers a real-time content analysis tool where you can paste your blog content, keywords, and meta description.
5. Promote Your Content on Social Media
How do you market all your business blog posts?
Common sense dictates that you should do social media marketing considering how prevalent these networks are. But does this mean just sharing articles or a template on social media and hope for the best?
Unfortunately, that's not going to work unless your business already has success in social media with thousands of followers.
Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Don't get us wrong; social media is still an excellent way to promote your blogs. However, one of the requirements for success is a sound social media marketing plan. This means:
- Focusing on the most relevant network for your small business blog.
- Getting in touch with the users on your preferred platforms, including brands and influencers.
- Engaging in social groups to increase your reach.
Use Social Media Automation Tools
Social media marketing is time-consuming. Fortunately, there are plenty of automation apps that make social media management more comfortable and less time-consuming.
One popular option is Sendible, an all-in-one social media management application that helps with planning your business blogs.
Sendible saves you the hassle of jumping between social media networks, and you can schedule posts as far ahead as needed. Also, Sendible lets you tailor your content based on which social media platforms you use.
Another social media marketing application we recommend is Agorapulse.
With its robust template feature, Agorapulse helps you quickly respond to messages, in turn spending less time in your inbox. Agorapulse also lets you schedule posts once or several times. You may also use queue categories to save a queued post about a particular theme or category.
Organic Visibility Starts With Effective Blog Management
As you can see, there's a lot more that goes into blog management than just coming up with a post and hitting publish.
Effective blog management requires careful planning and is a must if you want to find success on your blogging journey. With this checklist in hand, you're well on your way to achieving blogging success and minimizing costly mistakes.
Do you have other tips for a successful blog management? Feel free to let us know in the comments below!