Businesses today don’t just have clients and customers, they have a following. Marketing today isn’t as much about selling a product as it is creating connection with your customers. Creating a blog is a great way to stay in touch with your client or consumer base to maintain ongoing connection. What you put in your blog, however, is very important. Like almost every other aspect of marketing, blogs must be strategic to create maximum impact. Here are 5 steps to creating a great blog.
1. Establish your goals
Ultimately, it’s important to define what you want the outcome of your blog to be, because if you don’t know what the goal is, you won’t have any way of determining if you are achieving it or not. Your goal might be to simply create positive association with your brand, boost sales of a certain product, increase your profile in a certain region or even climb higher in search engine rankings. Sometimes, you can achieve several of these outcomes with a number of blogs, but ultimately, you want to identify one over-arching goal and stick with trying to achieve that.
2. Create your content
There are a wide variety of ways to create great content and no matter what your ultimate goal is, you should offer a wide variety of content. Some content should be for the purposes of educating and informing, but don’t be afraid to just entertain sometimes too. Most of all, your blog should contain viable, actionable information. Think of your blog as the best way of offering a “freebie” to your clients and consumers. BOGO specials are great, but the knowledge you have about your given field is probably far more valuable.
3. Grow an audience
Creating a great blog doesn’t do you a whole lot of good if no one is reading it. Creating great content is the first step, but the second and most important step is letting people know it’s there. If you are not already active on social media channels, your first step is to establish a presence there, and then blast your blog through as many outlets and channels as possible.
4. RESPOND to your readers!
Regardless of what your specific goal is with creating a blog, ultimately will achieve it by creating connection with your audience. You can’t create connection if communication is a one-way street. If people are responding to your blog, that means they are reading it. If you want them to keep reading it, one of the best things you can do is respond to their comments, interact and engage with them.
5. Decide in advance how to deal with negatives
No matter who you are, what you do, create or put out into the world, you are always going to have detractors and nay-sayers. While it can be highly fulfilling to put an argumentative reader in their place, you want to do so carefully, with great caution and a great deal of humor if possible. In some cases, you may simply want to ignore negative comments (or simply delete them) but in many cases, it is important to actually respond – but to do so wisely, carefully and appropriately. Comments and responses on social media can quickly go viral and gain national attention. If or when that happens, you want to make sure the attention you are getting is for you and not against you.