Help! I'm having trouble getting blog traction ...

January 26, 2012
Topics covered in this article:
Teacup full of blog strategy ideas

About That Blog You're Planning ...

Yeah, that one. The one that seems difficult to get started. Let's talk about that.  

But first, a story about tea.  I recently had to give up caffeine. Not forever, I hope. But for now, I've switched from morning French Roast to tea. I know next to nothing about tea, except that I like black and green teas and both are caffeinated.  I poked around at major tea company websites, Yogi Tea, Celestial Seasonings, The Republic of Tea, but I didn't find much.  What am I looking for? I guess I want to fall in love with tea, with brewing it, the ritual of it. I want a favorite. Mainly, I don't want to miss coffee. And decaf brew just doesn't seem right.  Then I met a woman who owns a tea company. She's focusing on her blog, she says, so I take a look. Right away I notice there's a post on how to decaffeinate tea naturally. Really? You can do that? It's helpful. It hit on a personal goal. I like it. I want more.  I've had a few calls recently about blogs. Specifically, how to start one and can I help? Yes, for sure I can help! I love a well-done business blog, especially on a topic or brand I care about. Like tea.  But before we start ... we have a little homework to do. I'll save you a phone call. Here it is:

Before You Start Writing -- and Especially Before You Hire a Writer -- Determine Your Strategy

Here's your to-do list. If you have a content strategist helping, it should be their to-do list.

  • Establish content strategy goals with decision makers: note these are content strategy goals -- not just business goals of improving traffic via SEO
  • Identify core messages to support goals for the writers and reviewers
  • Identify and audit current content resources
  • Create editorial guidelines (voice, tone, reading level, this-not-thats)
  • Develop editorial calendar (content categories, frequency, topic ideas)
  • Research or interview experts, if necessary, for blog substance
  • Establish editorial process to meet deadlines, establish consistency and quality, align with goals
  • Provide blog post template with editorial notes to accelerate writing process
  • Create samples for best practices
  • Establish a process of content review, editing, guidance, and coaching to stay on track

Yep ... these are the steps for a successful blog strategy -- and a successful blog. It enables your blog writers to write exactly what you need, the way you need it. That way, you experience that lovely ROI. Perhaps with a cup of tea.  

About the Author: Shelly Bowen

Shelly Bowen, content strategist

Shelly Bowen, MFA, is a content writer, content strategist, and founder of Pybop.

For decades, Shelly has written for businesses on complex topics from disease prevention and medical devices to alternative energy and leveraging data. Today, she's hyper-focused on supporting B-B technology businesses. In her spare time, she hikes, kayaks, draws, and works on her T-Bird.

A wide variety of brands rely on Shelly as an essential freelance writer and content strategy resource.

Follow Shelly on Instagram @pybop or connect on LinkedIn. More about Shelly and Pybop.

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