It is incredibly effective at building interest, trust and sustained demand for your products. Like all sophisticated machinery, it needs to be properly maintained to yield results.
I purposely use the machinery visual to demystify the factors that lead to a successful blog. It helps to detach the blog from your writing skill, product, or audience and just focus on specific factors that your can tweak, evaluate and refine.
Let’s take this metaphor a bit further…
Looking Under Your Blog’s Hood
Every blog has a set of “sub-systems” that work together to deliver new and repeat readers, leads, and sales. An underperforming blog always has a glitch in one of these subsystems. If you know what to look for you can quickly isolate the broken cog and fix it.
The challenge is knowing where to look. I’ll give you quick guide to 3 of the critical blogging subsystems that power your blog’s performance. Understand that this topic can get real geeky – real quick so 700 words can’t do it justice. But if you need extra help diagnosing your broken blog, give me a call.
Tweaking Your Blog’s Success Systems
This subsystem is responsible for attracting a targeted group of readers who are actively looking for ways to cheaply, effectively complete a task.
For example, if you want a better blog, my blog’s reader attraction subsystem has delivered over 400 ways to build a better blog.
Objective: Satisfied Readers
User Research -> Solutions -> Content Creation-> Content Promotion
Deliberately identifying and compiling a list of your reader’s problems, situation, and alternative ways of solving their problems.
Curating your reader research list into a short-list of problems you can solve.
This is a mini-process within the larger reader attraction subsystem. We’ll discuss it in the next section. For now we’ll define this as the steps you take to create effective blog content.
Another mini-process that puts your finished content in front of a targeted audience of potential readers.
Objective: Quality information that creates demand for your product. Stories that sell
Solutions -> Post Template -> Readability -> SEO
A standard outline that organizes your post content into a format that captures and holds your reader’s attention. I’ve assembled a toolbox of 5 blog posts templates that I use for every post. Over time you will create templates that work for your audience.
Readability enhancements include tiny tweaks to the layout of your post to make it easier to read. This tweaks include increasing font size, adding mobile responsiveness, adjusting paragraph line-heights, and breaking up paragraphs into subheadlines.
Every post is an opportunity to get another listing on Google. Your SEO options are: headline optimization, use of keyphrase synonyms and variations for subheadlines, interlinking, and consistent use of image alt-tags and titles.
Social Broadcast -> Platform Promotion -> Email Updates
Social networks have two roles: a broadcast platform for promoting new content and an engagement platform for building relationships with readers and influencers. The goal is to get your content noticed and promoted. You get this done with creative headlines, exchanging favors, and staying top of mind with your audience.
One blog post can be repurposed and re-used on several different platforms.
For example, I narrate blog posts to turn them into podcasts. List posts are used to build Powerpoint presentations that are uploaded to SlideShare. I combine the Powerpoint and the podcast to create a screencast for YouTube. Each of these platforms will send new readers to check out your content and other posts.
Podcasting, video, SlideShare, and social ninja moves are cool but simple email updates to subscribers pays the bills. Pay attention to your email campaign to new readers. Make sure that you send out new posts to your list and use every email to attract readers back to your blog for more content.
Where To Start
This is a ton of information and probably a new way of viewing your blog. Take each of these sub-systems and map out your process. Look for areas that need more of your attention. Identify weak points and decide how to quickly address them.
Start with the Reader Attraction subsystem. Most blogs falter because they are targeted the wrong audience. Understanding your reader gives you the best opportunity to succeed.
I recommend bookmarking or printing this post so you can reference it at least once a month.
When should you do this?
Trick question right? Right now. Talk to me in the comments or over coffee.