In the last two parts of this series, we looked at what you needed to do before launching your blog and how to measure its success. In this part, we look at some of the finer points, such as writer enablement, getting those subscribers on board, and then providing added value to your subscribers. But the most important part of any blog is the content itself. So, before launching, you need to get those writers coordinated and raring to go!
Meeting of the Minds
Like all meetings, having an agenda upfront for your writers’ meetings is essential. Also, having all attendees knowing the purpose will be beneficial as they will be aware of what their expected contribution should be, what they should prepare beforehand, and what the ultimate goal of the meeting is.
Ask your “writers” to prepare topics that adhere to the editorial guidelines laid out in the first part of this series. That is—reader first and addressing a pain point or pain points. The main aim is to look at what has worked, brainstorm new content topic ideas, and plan for future content topics. It is essential that people arrive prepared with the outlines of topics for consideration.
The Structure of the Meeting
- The “why”: Reintroduce the goal and visions of the blog.
- Review: Look at what content was published and how it performed.
- Brainstorm: Look at the topic areas our readers are requesting. What hot themes are coming in the readers’ worlds—can we create content around this? Look at prominent online and offline publications’ editorial calendars. Can we somehow align with this? What are the things that our customer success team are encountering? They have the fingers on the pulse of what our customers’ current concerns are.
- Do our ideas meet our target audience? Reinforce in our readers’ minds the main message we want to convey as a business and the promise we made regarding the monthly content volume and topics. Are we hitting the right balance? Is the content hitting the correct are of the sales funnel (ideally TOFU)? Is there additional content we need to address this?
- Plan the content: What content are we going to publish when, how, where, and by whom?
- Plan of action: Confirm everyone is aware of their responsibilities. Identify any threats to completion. Set a date for next meeting.
- Recognition: Announce the winner of the best-performing article in terms of reach and shares.
I Subscribe to This Kind of Thing
Building up the numbers of active subscribers can be tricky. But there are some useful techniques that can help get your message out there.
The most important thing is to make it as easy as possible for your visitors to subscribe to your blog. This takes care of two types of visitor—those that are actively looking to subscribe and need to be able to do so effortlessly there and then, and those visitors that are engaged by the content they are reading and need prompting to sign up. Both of these are ideal visitors and possess that right kind of profile that you are trying to attract. Therefore, placing your subscription button with your CTA clearly and conspicuously above the fold is essential.
Push your blog posts through all of your social media channels and those of your employees. Turning your own staff into brand advocates can extend your reach enormously. Also, using guest bloggers and having them share the content through their network means attracting an additional audience within your industry.
Make it easy for readers to share your blog posts. Have the major social share buttons prominently displayed, as well as the possibility to forward the blog post as an email.
Consider PPC campaigns focused on keywords that can help you target specific types of people that are searching for the kind of content you produce. Or post on LinkedIn group pages. This is another way of attracting an audience focused on your topic areas.
Promote your blog everywhere where it has potential. This means in email signatures, on thank-you pages to other campaigns, throughout your social media, and on your company news and PR pages. And use a social proof to demonstrate the value your blog brings. Having a testimonial from your readers will go a long way to persuading your readers that your blog has beneficial content that they can learn from and use. This kind of endorsement can show what subscribing brought that person. And their voice is more trustworthy when it comes to assessing the value your resource has.
Monetize subscribing. Exclusive offers of additional content or a downloadable such as an eBook, whitepaper, or webinar is a reward that shows that you appreciate your subscribers and are prepared to give them more. I will explore this in the next paragraph.
Want Exclusive Content? You Got It!
When it comes to showing subscribers more as an incentive for them to sign up, here are just a few of the types of content that can keep them engaged.
- Exclusive early access to company news—this can be beta testing, price promotions, webinars, etc.
- “Director’s cut” blog posts—supplementary material to published blog posts with expanded versions
- Readers’ polls—survey readers about recent blog topics to generate research-based articles
- Downloadable content—whitepapers, infographics, eBooks, etc.
- Sneak peak—upcoming articles schedule to keep subscribers engages
- Content curation—a round-up of news from the sector from other sources adding further thought leadership
- Author profiles—meeting the human side of the blog
- Reader challenge—challenge your readers to do something bizarre and fun and then post the results to the blog
- Listicle—list of life hacks for success.
- Blast from the past—revisit a blog post from the past that has extra value today
Timely organization of your blog content creation process is the key to being successful. Your authors being informed and working to a common cause will lead to a consistent quality, and it is quality and reader-first content that will keep your audience engaged. And adding easy ways to subscribe and delivering value to subscribers will convince your readers that you have their best interests at heart. That should be the ultimate goal of any blog!
What about your blogging efforts? Have you had any techniques that have worked for you? Maybe you tried something but it backfired. Share your thoughts and experiences with us. We would love to hear them!