If you are a lover of writing, then blogging is the hobby for you. Curating a blog is ideal for people and companies who want to provide an additional outlet for your business. So, where do you start? The prerequisite for starting a blog is to want to engage in dialogue with your customers (Li & Bernoff, 2011). However, before you begin writing and engaging with your readers, there are a few things you need to consider.
Using information our marketing coursework literature, Groundswell by Charlene Li & Josh Bernoff, I have highlighted some of the best tips they have shared to maximize your blogging potential.
- Start by listening. – Monitor the blogs in your industry, from competitors, pundits, and other influencers (Li & Bernoff, 2011). Before making any plans, get to know your audience. Follow other blogs that are similar to yours and study their pages. Learn some of the methods and techniques other blogs use to gain subscribers. Research which call-to-action function work best for your target audience.
- Determine a goal for the blog. – Choose goals so you know where you are going (Li & Bernoff, 2011). Determining a goal helps you stay focused and on message. What is the purpose of your blog? What do you hope people can gain when visiting and reading your blog content? Questions such as these need answers before jumping into this field.
- Develop a plan. – Just like any other area in our lives, planning keeps you organized, on task, and on time. Create a timeline to determine post frequency, establish a budget, and finalize other details regarding maintaining the blog.
- Develop a marketing plan so people can find the blog. – Include a link to these blogs (Li & Bernoff, 2011). Get down with social media! Twitter is one of the best sites you can use to promote your blog. Be sure to tweet links to all your posts (which should themselves have call-to-action featured in them). Leverage your online content and share updated and new posts you have written (Schaefer, 2010). Let people know about your content. If there is a trending topic on a subject you have written on, inform your followers. Determine when to tweet; how many times; whom to follow; when to retweet, when to answer questions or comments and so forth. Setting goals and objectives for marketing your blog is a crucial step in generating traffic.
Using Twitter for Blogging
- Listen first. –Know what people are tweeting about you before you start posting (Li & Bernoff, 2011). This step is highly important to know when you should or shouldn’t tweet. What did the Groundswell authors mean by this? Well, a great example is the 2013 tweets by recipe company Epicurious, when someone in their social media team misinterpreted why Boston, M.A. was trending. Check the story here if you missed it. Everything you say, and everything you do not say, reflects on your brand (Schaefer, 2010). Keep that notion in mind whenever you are creating and posting content.
- Respond, retweet, and link. – An effective Twitter campaign includes responses to people tweeting to you; retweets of tweets or mentions that your followers will find interesting; and links to interesting material (Li & Bernoff, 2011). Talk to your fans to let them know you’re listening. Link your blog posts to your tweets. Check for reactions to your content. See which topics entice your audience.
- Having gathered a following, don’t waste it! – Only in-depth, conversational content from a blog will provide the content fuel to give you a chance to reap the immense benefits from a Twitter strategy (Schaefer, 2010). Create content that connects with your audience. Constantly engage with them and analyze which measures are working. Compelling content will help you attract new followers and keep them engaged over time.
These practices can be applied to any industry. The bottom-line is this, blogs and Twitter fit like a glove (Schaefer, 2010). Learn to talk, listen, and respond to followers and readers of your blog. If you know whom you want to reach and exactly what you want to accomplish, then you’re far more likely to succeed (Li & Bernoff, 2011). Study the playing field. Plan ahead! What are you waiting for? You have the tools now. Get Going!
Bernoff, J., & Li, C. (2011). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Forrester Research Inc.
Schaefer, M. W. (2014). The Tao of Twitter changing your life and business 140 characters at a time. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.