I recently had the opportunity to talk to a group of bloggers and as part of that presentation I discussed marketing a blog. Thank you everyone for the great feedback!
I have worked in marketing most of my adult life, so when I decided to start my blog I thought about marketing it too. The obvious route was to see how other people marketed their blogs, but then I started thinking back to what I did as my day job.
My area of expertise is in strategic marketing. I did a little marketing strategy for my blog, which has been reviewed and re-evaluated at regular intervals. It was only on a scrap of paper mind, but I would really recommend doing this as it helps to clarify my thinking, both in terms of content and my reader.
Marketing a blog – a mini plan
When you are putting together a marketing plan there are a few essentials that are normally included. There are various models and methods for planning a marketing strategy, but for this post I am going to focus on my favourite method.
- Target audience
- Establish objectives – set goals.
Research is the first stop for anything. You might have an idea of starting a blog, but unconsciously or consciously we all research. I would advise doing more of this. Read blogs, talk to your friends, ask questions. Do some research on the techy side – find out which platforms work for you, which channels work for you. (Although I have snapchat it really doesn’t work for me – it doesn’t fit in with my message).
Your research and your initial idea you give you a very clear idea of what you want to blog about, but who is going to read it?
Defining your target audience is I think one of the most important steps in marketing. My blog is called Fabuliciousfifty – so there is a bit of clue in the title. My audience is primarly woman who are a little older. This doesn’t mean that I don’t get readers across the board. Google analytics tells me that my readers range between 30 and 60 and do include some men!
I think that it is important to have an ideal reader in your mind. Marketers even go as far as describing their ideal customers.
This might be a description for a product like healthy convenience foods – or a blog for busy working mums.
This is Mary, she is a working mother who has two kids and is short on time. Convenience is key in her life. Healthy eating is a priority, as is exercise. She is 35 and living in Ireland. The more detail and description you give to your ideal customer the better.
Knowing who you want to reach will help not only with coming up with content, but also with promotion and how you go about reaching your ideal reader. It is also important for approaching brands as they will want to know who your target audience is.
Knowing what you are and who you are talking to is really important and is quickly followed by your message, or elevator pitch.
My message is…
Fabuliciousfifty is a health, wellness and positivity blog which is all about being fabulous despite the curve balls life throws at us. I have survived a very hard marriage and am constantly dealing with a good handful of auto-immune diseases, but I am determined to be fabulous. There are days that I feel awful, but every day I try to be fabulous – inside and out. I want to inspire anyone who is battling with health – especially those invisible diseases to find the fabulous no matter how they are feeling.
I also have a real passion for body confidence – and believe that we should all feel fabulous no matter what size and shape we are.
Goals and objectives
Your message links directly into your goals and objectives. If we are following a traditional marketing plan the next step is to establish some objectives. Objectives and goals are really important in all aspects of life.
I think it is important to go back to why you are blogging when setting objectives. Some of my own objectives are to get meaningful comments on blog posts – I don’t get them every post but when I do – wow that really makes me feel good. When I get personal emails telling me that a blog post really touched someone that means loads.
Many bloggers set statistics as goals. Examples of reasonable goals might be 200 Facebook followers on your blog page, or 50 blog followers. These are good goals, but, I honestly believe that we shouldn’t get too caught up with numbers.
Yes numbers are important – they are important for collaborations, and they are important for us too. I just try and not get bogged down with them.
Other great objectives are to set a blogging calender – and stick to it. Make a plan to post weekly/ bi-weekly or whatever, but most importantly try to stick with it. I generally post on a Wednesday – sometimes more often but lately I haven’t been that well and have fallen a bit behind. Within a space of a week I had skype messages, personal calls and texts saying how much readers look forward to Wednesday and that they were glad I was back.
Set objective such as an interview once a month, following and reading 4 other blogs per month – and of course leaving a meaningful comment. Blog love is the best!
I also make research one of my objectives – this might involve a subject or a product range but I do believe that if you write with knowledge it does make a difference.
Finally the actions. These actions are not really blogging itself, but more actions that promote and organise your blog.
- Set up a blogging calender
- Start a blogging idea bank
- Put together your media kit
- Set up a blog page on FB
- Join in Twitter Hours -examples are #womaninspire and #galway hour – there are many more for specific subjects
- Join Facebook groups (I will be doing a post on these very soon)
- Attend a blogging event such as ITWBN birthday or Bloggerconf
- Join a blogger agency – just launched in Ireland the Irish Blogger Agency
I also set myself mini time goals and action plans for social media. I do some social media coaching and always tell my clients to limit their time on social media. It can be a real time suck – so my advice is to set yourself times for social media and then work hard at social media during that time. At the moment I am working on my Instagram and have committed to uploading something every day, inputting 1 hashtag and finding new people to follow.
Thank you so much for reading this long post. I would love your feedback and any ideas you have for marketing blogs.