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ESSENTIALS GUIDE

The Care and Feeding of Your Blog

It is an admirable, worthwhile endeavor to plan and launch a blog. However, ensuring you have fresh, engaging content and well-crafted strategies for the continued promotion of your blog are equally vital to its long-term success.

This Interprose Essentials Guide will help you effortlessly navigate important content creation and promotion considerations by offering steps to follow to ensure your performance objectives are met throughout your blog’s lifecycle.

CONTENT DEVELOPMENT

Post length matters. Blog posts frequently vary in length; however, here are guidelines for
maximizing your blog’s effectiveness and impact:

  • Stay above a recommended minimum length of 300 words. This allows you to work into the copy critical keywords and enables search engines to more easily find and index your content
  • Long-form posts of 1,000 words or more perform better in terms of reader engagement and search engine optimization (SEO), but refrain from using 1,000 words to say what you can with 500
  • Balance post length with readability and skimmability

Maximize keywords and other content tactics. Write each post with specific goals in mind. What message do you want to deliver? What actions do you want your reader to take? Be sure to incorporate:

  • Top-tier keywords
  • Popular search terms and phrases that are meaningful to your organization
  • Calls to action (CTAs)
  • Optimized formatting such as the use of subheads and mobile-friendly design
  • Compelling visuals
  • Categories and tags
  • High-quality links to reputable third-party sources and resources


Attract contributors to write for you.

Coming up with a consistent flow of engaging topics and finding contributors for your blog are enduring challenges most organizations face. Though feeding the content-hungry beast can be difficult, leveraging these recommendations will help:

  • Consider reaching out to industry influencers or journalists; you may need to sweeten the deal by offering a small honorarium per
    post or a cross-promotional exchange

    • Address any accounting, copyright or legal details ahead of time
    • Be sure your blog is healthy, with quality articles in place prior to looking for outside contributors
  • Communicate the value blog contributions can bring to employees, members, partners and customers (e.g., personal brand building). Consider offering non-monetary alternatives, but don’t underestimate the power of incentivizing blog contributors with a small bonus.
  • Reach out to industry analysts for commentary on trends or other topics of interest to your audience; offer a list of suggested questions in advance
  • Invite partners, customers, vendors and others to share their experiences with your organization or product in a post
  • Offer to help ghost write articles if needed
  • Develop a series of monthly or bi-monthly Q&As with executives, project leaders, committee chairs and others; ask a standard set of questions and include a “fun fact” or “did you know?” statistic to add a dash of personality
  • Create recap posts of contributed articles in trade publications but never reuse content word-for-word to avoid blacklisting by search engines; instead, rework content to provide a fresh summary and include a link back to the original article
  • Strike a proper balance of posts by type—technical articles, how tos, educational deep dives, event reviews, infographics, videos, market and trend analyses, and employee, volunteer, customer and partner spotlights
  • Identify industry questions that can be answered by a short market survey. Create a post that analyzes your survey findings.
  • Additional content suggestions:
    • Cover topics of broad industry interest and trends or focus on a particular vertical market
    • For member organizations, create a membership marketing series of interviews that answer the question of why they became members and the value that participation offers to themselves or their company
  • Experiment with different styles and invest the time needed to write appealing headlines and subheads
  • Regularly analyze blog and website data to discover how visitors are finding and consuming your blog content, and which content achieves the greatest level of engagement

BLOG AND CONTENT PROMOTION

If you build it, will they come? Promoting your blog is just as essential as publishing engaging content. Using these strategies and tactics will help drive readership and build your blog’s subscriber base:

Employ social media promotional strategies.

  • Embed social sharing buttons directly into every blog post
  • Immediately publish a recap of each new post on your social channels, including relevant images and graphics, and a link back to the original post on your site
  • Go beyond just sharing headlines; offer a brief summary of key takeaways
  • Optimize graphics, images and videos for social media promotion of posts
  • Break free of the “one and done” mindset by sharing blog posts more than once across social media channels
  • Designate a select group within your organization to regularly publish blog post recaps on LinkedIn, thereby raising their profile and influence
  • Encourage contributors, employees, partners, customers and others to share posts via their own social media accounts
  • Ask influencers to share your posts with their social networks

Consider different ways to promote your blog.

  • Consider promoting your blog and/or boosting high-value content through paid advertising campaigns (e.g., Google and LinkedIn ads; banner ad in trade publication)
  • Optimize all posts for SEO and mobile
    • Select one cornerstone keyword per post and include it in your headline, meta description and hashtags
    • Incorporate internal links to relevant older entries in each new post
    • Preview posts, including any graphics, images or videos, to ensure they display properly on mobile devices

Build your subscriber base and augment readership.

  • Make subscribing to your blog effortless by adding a dedicated subscription form or “Subscribe Now” button on your organization’s website
  • Leverage slide ins or pop ups for visitors landing on your blog and other key webpages; slide-in CTAs are an effective way to share additional information while still permitting visitors to view content
  • Add a link to your blog in employee signature lines, in your organization’s social media profiles and in outbound communications, including press releases, newsletters, presentations, brochures and more
  • Issue a media alert announcing the blog’s launch with a call for contributors and a CTA to subscribe
  • Maximize engagement by analyzing email performance data to determine optimal days and times to send new posts to your subscriber list
  • Group posts by topic and share them with opt-in, segmented audiences using targeted email marketing techniques
  • Produce a periodic standalone email digest of your most popular posts or include a roundup of posts in your organization’s newsletter

The recommendations and strategies in this guide are a few methods of
ensuring your blog enjoys a long, healthy and prosperous life. To view more Interprose Essentials Guides, please visit our Resources page.