June 22, 2016
Blogging is hot right now – over 3 million of blog posts are published daily. Your competitor has a blog, your neighbor has a blog and even his cat probably has one too (and it’s pretty popular as who can resist cat pics?).
You know that blogging is important for your business as a tool to bring more traffic, leads and sales, but starting out in a content-saturated landscape is challenging. Hence, you need a proven blueprint to guarantee your blog’s success and viability in the long run. If you are planning to become a professional blogger, here are the exact steps to follow.
Define and Research Your Target Audience
Prior to crafting content and dealing with the tech aspects of blogging like hosting, platform and design, you need to scoop your target audience and start brainstorming content ideas to cater those readers.
Clearly defining your niche and thinking of appropriate content angles specifically for that audience will help you ensure there will be constant interest in your new content, which stands for long-term blog viability.
The key here is – don’t aim for a micro-market if you’d like your blog to be popular and at the same time, don’t spread yourself too thin. Hence, you need to create the ideal content marketing persona for your blog. Take the following demographical factors into account first:
- Income levels
- Occupation and professional interests
- Geographical area
- Common pain problems they face
- Other special interests.
Craft a Few Epic Copies Before You Launch
A blog with just one copy wouldn’t gauge much interest and gain you the initial massive traction. Based on the target audience data start creating your epic copies in advance and launch with at least 3-4 published posts.
How to make sure your copy gets attention? There are a few simple steps for that:
Research top blogs in your niche. Head to Alltop for that or just do a quick Google search and a few top lists will pop-up for sure. Next, head to the blogs and analyze the content. What kind of posts are in the popular side bar; what content was featured by the blogger on homepage/about me page or best of the blog.
Validate your topic idea assumptions. Go to Buzzsumo and run a quick search for the common keywords you’ve noticed in the popular posts titles. You are likely to find more similar content if that topic is evergreen and hot indeed.
Create even better content. Next head to the comment sections below the popular blog posts and see what questions were posted there. Take notes. Rinse and repeat the same process on Quora and Reddit for similar subjects. Now you should have some information on how to make the copy even more informative, useful and credible – just the type of content your readers would love.
Grow Anticipation with a Pre-Launch Form
Crafting great content is just part of the deal when starting a blog. The second major element of your success is promoting that content to the right people. Building a pre-launch form to grow your email list is one of the strategies to apply.
A “Coming Soon” landing page with an attractive copy and an irresistibly attractive sign-up bait will help you to start capturing leads even before your blog is officially up. Promote the heck out of it on social media (including paid advertising), through your personal network and via guest posting. Guest posting will not only help you to start building your list early on, but nurture solid relationships with established niche influencers and ask them for small favors later on e.g. sharing your newly published post or giving an exclusive quote for your content.
Work On Your Design and Brand Identity
While your email list is growing on autopilot, focus on creating a professional look for your blog. Pay special attention to the following elements:
- Strategic Call-to-Actions and subscription forms to capture leads.
- Clear fonts, professional logo and attractive, crisp visuals.
- Simple navigation to guide your readers to the right place.
- An attractive About Me page that will make your personality shine and raise credibility.
- Proofread and edits all your copies carefully. Spelling mistakes will make you look amateurish.
While the blogging landscape has certainly got crowded these days, it doesn’t mean you are already late to join. With the right strategy in mind, backed up by actual data and research you’ll be able to launch a successful and popular blog in pretty much any niche.
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