There are so many articles out there as to why blogging is important or how it should be done, but I thought it would be interesting to talk about the flipside (and the ugly truth), which is the fact that most blogs don’t succeed, and the bloggers behind them never live up to their full potential. Here’s why:
They Don’t Do Anything After They Hit Publish
Just writing a blog post isn’t enough anymore. There are almost 1.2 billion websites today, and that number only continues to grow every second. Back when there was just a handful of blogs, your content was crawled and displayed faster by Google. Today, you must go beyond hitting publish. Create a social media marketing content strategy, as well as a re-sharing plan, to share your content on the major social networks: Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. I love using Buffer to schedule posts (as well as “re-buffer” them), but Hootsuite is okay as well.
Something is Better Than Nothing
Many bloggers (including those running a corporate blog) think that “something is better than nothing” when it comes to content strategy for a blog. That couldn’t be further from the truth. While it’s better to have regularly updated blog rather than one that hasn’t been updated for years online, it is worth it to have really great content that is only published once or twice a week, as opposed to posting something of slightly lower quality every day.
For example, take this blog. I only post once or twice a week, and usually, it’s a piece that takes me 30-60 minutes to write, at a minimum. I’d rather have my audience and potential clients see my long thought leadership pieces rather than something I slapped together in 10 minutes.
The Content Isn’t Relatable
Sure, anyone can write, but it takes that special knack to write a blog post that is relatable to your target audience. For instance, anyone could probably write blog posts for a healthy smoothie company, but it takes a blogger with a background in healthy living or has his/her thumb on that niche of the internet to really craft posts that get comments and are more engaging. When looking for bloggers to help you with your site, make sure they have direct industry experience. I think one thing that helped me both with this blog and managing the editorial process at Search Engine Journal is the fact that I’ve actually done marketing campaigns for clients. I’ve actually crafted content and social media strategies. Practicing what you preach really translates well in any content you write.
There’s No Goals
Again, anyone can write, but it takes a strong voice and forward-facing thinking to really make a blog stand out. Before you start your blog or commit more of your time to it, consider drafting a mission statement or a set of concrete goals, such as “I will increase new visits by 30% in Quarter 1 of 2015.” Then, set a reminder in your calendar to revisit that milestone on its deadline to see if you met it. Here’s a few other things I’ve used to help me stay on track with my goals and remind me of specific milestones I need to focus on to get it done (all no affiliation):
- ToDoist, which I’ve probably mentioned 100 times
- Passion Planner
- Epic Blog: One Year Editorial Calendar
- Planner Pad
- Scheduled Google Analytics Reports
- Accountability Buddies
That being said, choosing goals, creating inspired content based on your own experience, sharing posts after they’re published, and only writing when you have something of true value to say are all key components of paving the pathway to successful blogging.
What specific tools, goals, or tactics have you used to not fail at blogging?
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