Starting a blog? One of the easiest things in the world. It’s so easy, it’s become a standard punchline in jokes made at the expense of the unemployed. Knowing how to manage a blog successfully? No small endeavor. It requires work, patience, cunning, and juggling responsibilities.
Here, we want to offer some simple, but powerful tips in making your blog not only worth reading, but also irresistible to your audience.
How to Manage a Blog in 8 Steps
1. Start With the Big Basics
Getting your blog off to a great start is easier than you think.
- Choose a blog platform. Are you using HubSpot? WordPress? Something else?
- Use a simple theme -- attractive, but not distracting.
- Modify your layout for an optimized look and feel. Avoid excessive clutter on the sites. Let white space be your friend. Use these other blog layout tips, too.
- Think about the kind of content that offers real value to your readers. What’s going to keep them coming back? What’s going to make them think of you as trustworthy and helpful?
2. Create a Quarterly Blog Calendar
Each quarter of the fiscal year should be approached using a revised strategy based on trends and what worked and didn’t work the previous quarter. Plan your regular blogs entries around specific trending topics as well as pain points your customers are reporting.
At the end of each quarter, analyze your results:
- How’s overall blog traffic looking?
- Which topics seem to interest readers?
- Which posts are leads converting on?
If results take longer than a quarter to become apparent, you might have to backlog analysis a month or so.
The idea is to set up traceable blogging habits so that your adjustments can be based on measurable metrics and observations.
3. Define and Cater to Your Core Audience
Find out who would read a blog produced by you, your company, or brand. Your core audience will be those who are interested in your company’s primary value proposition.
Your blog should eventually point people to your top-selling products or services, but first and foremost you want to figure out what those people need and cater to their needs.
4. Leverage Your Unique Perspective
People like to feel as if they have special access to a unique and valuable resource. Create this feeling by:
- Highlighting anything that adds personality to and humanizes your business
- Offering special insights into your industry
- Reference reader interests (Ex.: Someone reading a circuit board manufacturer’s blog might be into tech gadgets.)
The idea is to create the feeling of being part of an in-group with access to a unique and valuable material resource. Look at any successful niche magazine, and you’ll see they focus foremost on leveraging a unique perspective.
5. Post New and Valuable Content Regularly
Creating the feeling of an in-group is indispensable. An important part of doing that is delivering new content at a regular pace and time.
A quick way to turn off users seeking relevant information? Have them see your most recent blog was published April 22, 2013.
The idea is to allow your audience to generally know when to visit to get the freshest content. Slap a date under the header, and turn out those blogs in a timely fashion. Remember, blogging doesn’t have to be perfect, nor do you need to spend 7 hours writing each blog.
6. Create a Forum for Discussion
Part of your goal is to create a niche community around your core value proposition. To do this, address seldom discussed information, as well as rare tips and insights that your audience needs. Then give them a place to discuss them.
This can be as simple as adding a comment section, or setting up a separate forum page if you’re a larger company.
Share your blogs on business-branded social media accounts and allow discussion to happen there, too. Speaking of which ...
7. Promote Your Blog From Multiple Angles
It’s ridiculously important to promote your blog. What’s the point of creating something helpful if nobody sees it?
You absolutely need a social media campaign, first and foremost. Start with:
- Instagram, if aesthetics are important for your products/services
Consider email marketing Include your blog site in advertising and business cards, and refer people to it any time you get the chance.
If they’re interested in your product or service, they will be interested in a quality blog on the subject. But they have to know about it first.
8. Create Calls-to-Action
The call-to action (CTA) is a touchy thing. You need them to help new members of your core audience find their way to another blog, a long-form offer, and eventually a purchase page. But you do not want to come off trite, condescending, or sales-y. Sometimes keeping it simple is best -- especially if you’re a no-frills kind of outfit.
“Call 867-5309 to learn more about our Custom Steel Products” is probably going to work better than “Call 857-5309 to buy our Amazing, Earth-Friendly, Luxury Steel Offers!!!”
CTAs should be readable at a glance. In fact, you really want someone to read them accidentally. That way they don’t feel imposed upon, and they get the message almost subliminally.
Now It’s Up to You to Blog
These tips should help you not only start a manufacturing blog, but also keep it running just as smoothly as your production line.
If you’re struggling to find inspiration for your blog, maybe some topic suggestions would help. How about these resources?