Blogging is all about using the right strategy and you already know that though the first lesson. If you have missed that out, it is all about The Art of Blogging for Beginners and I strongly suggest to dive into it as well (after reading this post).
Lesson Two in Blogging University would be all about planning the perfect blogging strategy. Yes, not your usual strategy but the perfect one.
You know, the one that actually kills your opponent and shooting you straight into the top spot. Yup, that’s the one!
The perfect blogging strategy consists of several parts:
- Potential buyers
- Marketing strategy
- Social media strategy
- Guest posting
- Backlink building
- Monitoring and benchmarking
There you go folks. The top 8 important rules when it comes planning your blogging.
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Disclaimer: While I could probably write 20,000 words with these 8 points and bore you to death, I will explaining all of these in a very simple form. In the coming lessons, these will be divided into several parts for even deeper analysis and case studies. So stay tune!
Blogging strategy #1: Understanding your blogging products
Good products usually make more sales and good blogs get more love from readers.
Blogging product is your blog post. From the blogging topics to the quality of each blog posts. You need to nail it every time … or at least try to create that uber or epic article.
If you can’t write great articles, you are in trouble. In blogging, your blog post will determine your success.
Don’t forget, an uber or epic article is useless if you have a boring headline.
So, the combination of a great article plus eye catching headline will be a huge winner.
One of my case studies was so successful that until now, it is still generating traffic. Take a look here.
The title was “How I increased Google+ Traffic By Over 700% Under 7 Days”.
In the perfect blogging strategy, you need to have a great blogging product and in this case, it is a no-brainer case study. The goal was to achieve as much traffic as I possibly can under 7 days.
Do whatever it takes to maximize the power of the article and summarize the information after the test period. The second last step is to compare the information (before and after) which is relatively easy.
The last part to make this whole blogging strategy fits perfectly is the title. The title I created above has two meanings; utilizing human’s want and mysterious.
Increasing Google+ traffic is probably everyone’s dream and improvement of 700% under 7 days is definitely a mystery.
Actionable blogging strategy: Know what you can ‘sell’ as a blogger. Determine the topic, time factor and human’s reaction will prove to be a huge win-win solution.
Blogging strategy #2: Building a blog that involves your readers
As I have said in the first lesson, knowing what your readers is important.
But hold on a moment. If you have just started a blog, you would probably have problem finding out what your readers want to read.
And thus, you need to play a little guessing game which involves two steps:
- Topic selection
In topic selection, you need to decide on the topic you would to write on. Let’s take an example which is blogging tips.
With that information, you need to figure out what is the popular topics that is driving traffic and there are several tools to work on it namely Google search, Google Keyword Planner, Long Tail Pro and Scribe SEO.
Google search – Cheap and fast way to get the top 5 or top 10 results. It doesn’t give you the number of searches but it gives you an idea what are trending and who are your potential competitors.
Google Keyword Planner – Excellent tool for bloggers who are starting up. You get all the information you need under one roof and it doesn’t cost you a dime.
The below is a video on how to use Google Keyword Planner the right way.
Long Tail Pro – One of the fastest tool when it comes to keyword research. You can find the type of keywords which are trending as well as the chance of ranking for the keyword.
Did I mentioned that this is one of the most affordable keyword research tool for bloggers?
Scribe SEO (some call it Scribe Content) – The only SEO tool which I had used for a very long time. Created by CopyBlogger team, it helps serious bloggers and marketing agencies plan their strategy. For me, this is a great tool to help create the prefect blogging strategy.
This is how the back end looks like (analysis part).
Blogging strategy #3: Laying out your marketing strategy
Imagine the movie, The Italian Job. Plans are laid out, recheck and even practiced to ensure that the robbery plan will work using fully customized Mini Coopers.
The same concept goes for blogging.
Write great articles (and headlines) are just the starting point but no one is going to know what you had done, if you don’t tell.
Have you ever tried writing a couple of articles a day for a month straight just to realize that you are getting less than 500 traffic a day?
I did that and I was demoralized, big time. The problem lies in me!
Strangely, I was hoping that Google will ‘spot’ me writing great article and shoved me up the top spot.
Yeah, right! Keep on dreaming.
The truth is, you need to market it.
Adam Connell from Blogging Wizard (a very close buddy) did told me this, “If you are putting 100% into writing an article, you need to put the same effort or twice as much into marketing”.
Actionable blogging strategy could consists of:
- Blogging approach (tutorial based, case studies and blogging series like Blogging University and interviews)
- Utilizing social media to your advantage
- Outreaching and community works
- Guest posting and collaborations
Blogging strategy #4: The importance of social media in blogging
Social media is growing and the numbers are increasing nearly double yearly. Like it or not, social media is already playing a role in your blogging strategy.
Let’s take a look at the largest social media platform today; Facebook.
People say social media ROI is crap. You get a mere 3% outreach (max) if you do it right. So, this means that you have the chance to reach up to 18,864,000 active members. And let’s say only 0.5% of them who will actually respond to your social update.
This means that you have a chance of reaching out 94,320 people in a single day.
While 94,000 plus is the maximum outreach you could get, even reaching a fraction of them would prove to have a crazy impact in your blogging.
There are dozens of platforms you can choose from today. One of the biggest mistake many bloggers do is that they are putting too many eggs in various baskets.
Unless you have 48 hours a day to spend, you need to maximize your social media strategy for better ROI. Focusing on 3 (example) platforms could easily be much better than focusing a dozen sites at one time.
Actionable blogging strategy: Choose the right platform to start working. Always focus in having one primary and two secondaries. If you need help choosing, here are the top 7 social media platforms for bloggers.
Blogging strategy #5: Increase blog traffic using bloggers outreach
If you are blogger who wish to have more traffic or looking for ways to build authority, you need to practice outreach.
Outreach is a blogging strategy to reach out to other bloggers (in most cases, popular bloggers). The concept is pretty easy.
Create a chance of building a relationship by including them in:
- Case studies
- Interview series
- Round ups
In return, they would probably share the article or even feature you on their blogs. Now, if they have 5,000 followers, you have just increased the chance of reaching out to another 5,000 readers.
If you are planning to perform outreach, the rule is to be humble. Avoid contacting them just because you wanted their help but instead, be their friend and follower for at least a period of time.
Once the path is set, all you need to do is to ask.
Actionable blogging strategy: Focus on influencers who are highly related to your niche. Sometimes, the number of followers they have are not that relevant.
Blogging strategy #6: Using guest blogging to your advantage
Google hates guest posting like children hate their veggies.
Back in those days, you start asking around (randomly) on guest posting and that’s it. Nowadays, the tide has turned and you need more than that to be safe.
Advantages of guest posting:
- Good chance of building a name
- Reaching out to the fans in the particular blog
- Building a better readership
- Fostering relationship with other bloggers
Disadvantages of guest posting:
- A huge red flag if you are not careful
- Easy penalization by Google
While it is absolutely fine to do guest posting, you have to be safe and the only way is to be choosy.
If you are interested in the new guest posting methods, I strongly suggest you to dive into this article, How to do guest postings while avoiding Google penalization?
Actionable blogging strategies: Choose to work only with bloggers you really know and the websites are NOT guest posting hubs. Here’s a simple guest posting checklist you can start with.
Blogging strategy #7: The meaning of backlink and how it affects SEO
Backlink is still important and SEO is not dead.
The rule of the game is simple. The more backlinks you have, the better chance for you to obtain a better PageRank score (plus ranking). But take this with a pinch of salt since having 1 backlink from PR6 blog is much better than 100 backlinks from PR1 blogs.
As a blogger, keep in mind that backlink is very important. For every article you publish, make sure you have ‘backlink’ in mind.
The easiest way for backlinking is ‘shared to be shared’ concept. Linking an external link from your blog could easily trigger and link back to your site (trackback for example).
Of course, backlink is an extremely lengthy and I will continue my preaching in the following lessons.
As for SEO, bloggers who are starting up do not need to have those epic SEO tools. All you need is to practice the basic SEO fundamentals and you are probably good for the next couple of months.
The video below explains everything you need to know about SEO.
Actionable blogging strategy: Keep in mind the power of backlinks and SEO. While SEO is always overrated, you should not underestimate the power of it.
Blogging strategy #8: Monitoring the blog progress and keeping an eye on your competitors
This is a tedious process and what you’ll be reading below are just the icing of the cake.
Monitoring works in several ways; from monitoring the process of your own blog to visitor’s reaction to colours and your competitor’s ranking.
In blogging, monitoring allows you to gain an upper hand advantage. For example, Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools give you data on the location of your visitors, click through rates and how your blog is ranking on search engines.
These are good information for you to analyze and amend your blogging strategy to keep up with the current trend.
Benchmarking on the other hand relates closely to your competitors’ scores. You need to know:
- Why they are ranking
- How they are ranking
For me, I consider myself in the middle of the league table and I often benchmark myself with others. At times, it is really cool to see some bloggers contacting me via email and sharing stats.
In this blogging technique, you focus on two very simple things; Personal and competitors’ blogs.
What does it felt like when you know a lot about your competitors? It felt like having an UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) preying on your target from 5 miles away and they have absolutely no clue about it.
Actionable blogging strategy: Start a simple blogging strategy for a month. Compare your stats with your competitors and after that, setting up benchmarks for you to achieve. The goal here is to ensure that you are creating logical and achievable goals for yourself.
Wrapping up the perfect blogging strategy for bloggers
Using a single blogging strategy doesn’t really make the cut in today’s world. With the amount of competition, you need to have various strategies and the above are 8 very simple ones that you can execute in no time.
It would take a few adjustment and amendments to be able to create the perfect blogging strategy. That’s why it is important to ensure that you learn from every strategy you have used.
Now, it’s your turn. What do you think and what was your blogging strategy before reading this post?
Stay tune for more and the next lesson in Blogging University would be ‘Finding Profitable Niche And Topics To Blog’.