The Truth about Your Project Blog – Week 2: Planning a consistent project blog

4 weeks to an awareness-generating project blog

Introduction

Although by nature blogs have a certain spontaneity about them, an effective project blog is meticulously planned and consistently executed.  Planning ensures you meet your marketing goals by publishing quality content on a regular schedule.  Your subscribers and interested readers want to know when they can expect new content from a source they have come to trust.

plan your project blog

The project blog plan sits within and supports your greater content marketing strategy.  However, a project blog is such a valuable marketing asset that it needs a plan of its own.  A plan that describes:

  • Your blogging goals
  • Your audience
  • Your content
  • Your publishing schedule
  • Your promotion campaign

This post will examine each step in building a project blog plan that ensures success.

Week 2: Planning a consistent project blog

Your blogging goals

The first step in any plan is to set goals.  In a blog plan, goals for the blog should support the project’s business goals as well as the goals of your strategic content marketing plan.  Goals like building your list, increasing traffic to your website, or establishing thought leadership.  By establishing goals and objectives for your project blog in general, and for each individual blog, allows you to understand what success looks like.

Your audience

To be effective at generating awareness, you need to understand your audience. Market research helps you define your audience and assess your competitors.  The more you learn about your audience, the better able you’ll be to provide the content they want. By understanding your competitors, you can craft better content to gain that critical edge.

Audience research

Getting to know your target audience is key to crafting relevant content.  You need to learn what:

  • people expect from blogs in your niche;
  • kind of content they find useful and exciting;
  • benefits they expect to receive from your blogs; and
  • makes them tick and compels them to keep coming back for more.

It may not be easy to define your target audience when you have no blog subscribers. One way to get an idea of what your audience wants is to conduct a survey. Ask your audience what they want more information about. Ask what they like about your blog and what other blogs they like.

Competitive analysis

As well as understanding your audience you need to understand your competition.  How are they promoting their content?  What are they blogging about?  By having an insight into their content strategy, you can fine-tune your own.  Find your own unique voice in your niche.  You can only do that if you know the competition.

Your content

While there are many sources of ideas for topics to blog about, you can boost your search results by using keywords to come up with topics. That means carrying out keyword research.

Keyword analyzers

Start with your main keyword.  Keyword analyzers, such as Google AdWords, suggest keyword combinations and then rank them on the number of searches a month that used that combo. You then check out related words and terms. Search on semantically-related words as well, such as the individual components of water treatment systems.

plan your project blog

Long-tail keywords – 3 to 4-word phrases, will get you less traffic but more targeted searchers. When they find your page, they are more likely to become a lead because the search was more focused.

Search engines

You can also find keywords and phrases through the auto suggest from a Google search.  When you type in a keyword or phrase, a dropdown list will display previous search phrases. 

At the bottom of the Google search page is another source of keywords.  Google provides a list of other search terms and phrases that are similar to the current one.

By basing the topics on keywords and featuring the focus keyword in page titles, headers, alt tags, and images you can optimize your blog for search engines.  Be sure to provide links back to your power pages – products and services, and a call-to-action that encourages further engagement.

Your team

Another important resource for topics is your sales team. Find out what questions customers and leads are being asking, what problems they are facing? Join and follow forums in your niche, paying attention to problems being discussed. Check these against your keyword phrases. You may find many parallels.

Your publishing schedule

The production schedule for your project blog fits into content calendar of your greater strategic content marketing plan. Plan to post weekly to start but that is really a minimum.  Hubspot found that B2B businesses who blog at least 20 times per month have five times more traffic than those who blog less than four times per month.  Just keep it at a frequency you can maintain consistently.

You may want to plan posts in a series with a contextual lead magnet at end of each.  Be sure each post is based on one compelling idea, and that all posts compel your audience to read the next post, and ultimately to download the lead magnet.

Your promotion campaign

The whole point of a blog is to get your posts read by as many people as possible.  That requires promotion.  The first place to post you blogs is on your project website, of course.  But there are other ways to get your information out to your audience. 

Share each post on all your social media channels with a link back to your website.  Have your employees send it out to their networks.  Send updates out to your email list with links to your recent post.

Consistently publishing quality content is important. Be sure to get it read by as many people as possible by promoting it effectively.

Conclusion

An effective project blog is meticulously planned and consistently executed. To make it work, you need a project blog plan. A plan that describes:

  • Your blogging goals
  • Your audience
  • Your content
  • Your publishing schedule
  • Your promotion campaign

Implement this plan consistently and reap the rewards!

The next post in the series: The Truth about Your Project Blog – 4 weeks to an awareness-generating project blogWeek 3: Writing a project blog that gets clicked, read, and shared, explains how to write that blog post.

Do you have a blog plan? Is it documented and implemented?

If your team is already working to capacity to deliver a quality offering for investors, how do you manage to produce and deliver a consistent quality blog?  ICO Writer can help!  I provide blog writing services that will keep your content machine running smoothly.  Contact me to discuss your blogging needs.


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