I think it would be appropriate to explain why it took us a little while to start our own blog.
We’ve always known that blogging can be a valuable content marketing activity—provided the blog is an integrated piece of your overall marketing strategy. Having a blog all by itself without having the right foundation and supporting activities for your blog is simply a waste of valuable time.
So here they are—the five things you need to do BEFORE you start a blog. And this is not some academic article written in an ivory tower; these are exactly the things we at i5 made sure were in place before we started our own blog.
Without further ado, enjoy, and hopefully, this helps you make sure that your business gets the most value out of your blog.
1. Make Sure That You Are Ready To Commit
There are so many examples of blogs that are now graveyards. There are worse things, but having a blog section on your website that has not been updated in months shows a lack of commitment, dedication and perseverance. Not a great message to send to your potential clients.
So before you start your blog, make sure that you have the time to commit to consistently creating impactful and valuable content that your clients and prospects will want to read.
2. Have A Great Website.
One of the biggest reasons to have a blog in the first place is to drive traffic to your site so you can convert those visitors into leads. Therefore, make sure that your marketing message, the look and feel of your blog, and the content and pictures are in alignment with the stories and articles you are creating.
3. Know Which Social Media Sites To Use To Promote Your Blog.
Just because you have a great blog doesn’t mean people will find it. Sure, you get some SEO juice when Google crawls the article and adds the content into its search engine algorithm. But if you want not only to turbo-charge new readers, but also to make sure that your blog article stays in front of people who are interested and remind them to visit your site, linking your blog posts to the appropriate social media channel is the best way to accomplish this.
4. Have An Email Marketing System In Place.
Another big reason to have a blog is to get new subscribers to your mailing list. Your newsletter is a great way to generate new sales from prospects and more sales from existing customers.
By having an email marketing system in place before you start attracting visitors to your blog, you can dramatically increase your opportunities to convert those visitors into customers by staying in front of them in their email box.
5. Know The Topics That Your Audience Wants To Read.
Yes, you need to have those occasional feel-good, entertaining and humorous blog posts just to keep things different. But the majority of the content should be valuable to your readers and audience. Use Google Analytics to monitor time on page and ask your clients about what articles they find valuable and would like to read.