5 Blog Goals Just About Everyone Can Use
The reality is that, if you’re like most bloggers, you just jumped into the blogging fray without giving your goals much thought. Perhaps blogging was something your boss made you do for work or you needed an online presence for your business.
The problem is that a blog is a journey. Therefore, this approach is akin to going on vacation without any plans. Without a destination, how do you know where to go and how you’re going to get there? You can’t just show up at an airport and hop on the next plane.
Similarly, your blog is a voyage you take with your readers. As such it needs a goal to provide direction and intent; guiding your blogging activities and attracting an audience. Blog Goals help you create content with a focus so that your blog isn’t a just bunch of rudderless articles in a sea of content.
When it comes to strategic goals that give your blog its overarching direction, you’re in luck because there are five major options. (This is important if you want 2014 to be your blog’s breakthrough year!)
- Build your brand. This is probably the most popular blog goal since blogging is a great way to establish thought leadership. It works for large established brands as well as solopreneurs. To this end, incorporate your branding into your blog and create a strong voice. Provide information related to your niche to help your readers. Understand that creating a thought leadership platform doesn’t limit your writing to opinion pieces. You can provide an array of useful information to help your readers. This blog is an example of this type of blog goal.
- Attract new customers or generate leads. The bottom line is people like to buy from people they know and like. This blog objective warms prospects to buy from you by offering them targeted content that answers their key questions. Use the FAQs approach to content to answer prospect and customer questions. This is what Marcus Sheridan calls the secret sauce. Check out his blog, River Pools and Spas, for a great example of this type of blog. In fact, Marcus even talks about pricing. Creating an editorial calendar for this type of blog is as easy as compiling a list of the top questions prospects and customers ask and then answering them. Also, compare your products to those of your competitors. Done well, this approach can shorten your sales cycle and reduce customer service support.
- Provide post-sales support. This type of blog helps people who’ve already purchased your product. The information helps expand their use of your products and gets them to buy from you again. The subtext is extending your customer lifetime value. This type of content can also sway prospects. Think in terms of styling, patterns and recipes. King Arthur’s Flour does an amazing job of sharing useful recipes with mouth watering photos. They always link to their products. I love this example titled “Dining With The Dowager” that was timed for the latest season of Downton Abbey. Here they took advantage of an outside event that their readers were involved in. You can supplement this with customer interviews or stories. Again, this is a relatively easy editorial calendar to create. You can take advantage of seasonal inspiration.
- Take a stand. This is the soapbox or Hyde Park corner approach. Your aim here is to express your point of view and make an impact. Of course, this can be related to your brand but it can stand by itself. This objective also works well if you’re seeking to create a social media home base that you own.
- Drive direct income. While many would be bloggers think they can start a blog and become an overnight financial success, the reality is that blogging takes hard work, not only writing posts but also preparing them for publication and promoting them. Understand that chances are only a very small percentage of your readers will buy from you. If you hit 2% of your readers, you’re getting a lot of sales. Top bloggers make it look easy but it’s taken them a lot of time to build their followings. For many bloggers, their blog provides revenues in a more indirect way through connections and other types of business.
Once you’ve chose your blog goal, you give your blog purpose and that guides the content you write about.
What is your blog goal? Does have a blog goal help give structure to your blogging activities?
For those of you in Raleigh, NC, please join me for Internet Summit November 11th through 13th.Use the code HEIDI50 to save $50 OFF any pass level.
Even though Content Marketing World is finished until next September, you can still get all the content from 2014's exciting conference. The CMWorld On Demand package includes: Audio and video from the 2014 keynote sessions, audio and PowerPoint presentations of all the breakout sessions, over 40 audio sessions from the leading B2B and B2C brands, as well as keynote video performances.
According to research by Nielsen, 70 percent of global consumers trust online consumer reviews and rate reviews as the second most trusted form of advertising. And according to BazaarVoice, when it comes to trust, marketers may as well eliminate their own brand websites as a fountain of customer trust as only 16 percent of US consumers said they trust the content on a brand's website compared to the 51 percent who trust content generated by other users.
Today's digital currency is arguably authenticity, and what attracts customers - especially the digitally dependent, savvy millennial - is not just content. It is the delivery of authentic, unvarnished content from their peers.
Join the CMO Council on Wednesday, October 29, at 10am PST/ 1pm EST for a one-hour webcast that will invite industry experts in content marketing and user-generated content who are effectively leveraging authentic storytelling as part of their content marketing strategies. We will also feature an interactive Q&A session at the conclusion of the speaker presentations.
Now there are two ways to get Heidi Cohen’s Actionable Marketing Content by Email:
Subscribe to receive the full text of each new actionable marketing post delivered free, five days a week to your inbox.
Signup for the weekly Actionable Marketing Newsletter and get a roundup of of the week’s posts, plus extra content you won’t find on the website, plus a free e-book: What Every Blogger Needs to Know – 101 Actionable Blog Tips
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/drb62/2603563990/ via DBduo Photography