image via Chiot’s Run
Blogging is hard work. Sometimes you don’t know what to write about, you don’t have time, or you just plain don’t feel like it. Your blog gets neglected and, before you know it, it’s been 3 months since you posted something. Oops.
It’s time to dust off your blog for the new year. Instead of letting your blog sink deeper into your toolbox next to that weird wrench, let’s put it to work as an amazing tool for your business. Here are five tips to help make 2014 a fantastic year for your blog and your creative business.
1. Who are you blogging for?
I’m going to let you off the hook on this one and give you the answer. Blog for your customers. Not just the customers you already have, but also the customers you want to have.
Niche, ideal customer, tribe, target audience ”whatever you want to call it, that is who you should be blogging for.
If you need help with this step, read Who Are You Marketing To.
2. What is the main goal of your blog?
Your blog is a tool to help grow and improve your business, so it should serve a purpose. Attracting new readers is a given since you need them to accomplish any blog goal. But what do you want those readers to do once they’re on your blog?
- sign up for your newsletter
- visit your Etsy shop
- like your Facebook page
- follow you on Twitter
Obviously all of those things would be awesome, but what is the number one thing you want your blog to do for you?
I get the most sales and interaction from my newsletter, so my main blog goal is to get newsletter signups. You might have a killer Facebook page that gets you lots of sales, so your main goal might be to get people to like your Facebook page.
3. Brainstorm blog posts
Now it’s time to get more readers. Brainstorm blog posts that will attract more ideal customers to your blog.
If you sell baby costumes, your ideal customer might be working moms in their 30s. What could you blog about that those moms be interested in?
- how to get your baby to sleep through the night
- Halloween party recipes for kids
- adorable photos of babies in costumes
- tips for teething babies
- how you make your costumes safe for babies
- time management tips for busy moms
Once you start brainstorming, blog post ideas will start popping into your head at random times. Set up a system to capture those ideas. Evernote is great for this.
4. Make an editorial calendar
Figure out a blogging schedule that works for you. Be realistic here. It’s better to consistently post twice a month than randomly post four times one week followed by three months of no posts at all.
Make an editorial calendar. Editorial calendars have been used for centuries in the publishing world. They make it easy to keep track of your blogging schedule, blog post ideas, and holidays that might influence your blog topics. Editorial calendars don’t need to be fancy. You can use an online calendar, wall calendar, spreadsheet, yearly planner, colorful post-it notes arranged in rows, whatever works for you. If you have a self-hosted WordPress blog, there’s even a handy editorial calendar plugin.
Schedule 1-3 months of posts on your editorial calendar. Then start writing those blog posts. Some days you’ll feel like writing and some days you won’t. Take advantage of the days when you’re ‘in the zone’ and write several blog posts at once. Schedule those posts in advance according to your editorial calendar.
5. Tweak your blog to achieve your main blog goal
Take a good look at your blog with your main blog goal planted firmly in mind. What changes can you make to better achieve that goal?
Let’s say your main goal is to get more newsletter signups. Do you have a newsletter signup form at the top of the page where it’s the first thing people see, or is it buried down at the bottom somewhere? Does your newsletter signup form stand out from the rest of the page, or does it blend in with everything else? Could you add a newsletter signup form to the bottom of each blog post?
Have a few other people look at your blog. Without telling them what your main goal is, ask them to tell you the first thing they notice on your blog. If it’s not something that helps achieve your main goal, make tweaks to your blog until the main goal is the first thing they notice.
Julia Sydnor – Pixel Frau
Julia Sydnor is the geeky gal behind Pixel Frau. She helps Etsy sellers and Creatives make kick-ass websites with WordPress. Want to craft a website for your creative business? Head on over to http://www.PixelFrau.com to get started.