If you’re thinking about blogging in the long term, you’re going to need to master A LOT of skills! The great thing about blogging professionally is that you have full control over every aspect of what you do- however this can also be a tricky act to balance. You need to simultaneously think like a business owner, social media manager, PR officer, content writer and the list doesn’t end there. It’s a heck of a lot for one person to take on, and to give yourself a fighting chance of mastering everything to the best of your ability you need to be ruthlessly organised from the outset.
PR done well takes plenty of research, great communication skills and a good head for business. Here’s an outline guide on how to create a PR strategy for your blog.
Step 1: Industry Research
Get to know your landscape; so if you’re in the beauty industry, research every inch of it and find out where you sit. From budget to luxury brands you need to take the time to get to know how the industry works outside of the blogging world. If you just look into brands you know are working with your blogging peers you’re going to get a very narrow view of a most likely over crowded market.
Take the time to work the industry out. What kind of content are people producing, who’s storming ahead on social media, who are the underdogs? Without knowing your market, nothing else will fall into place.
Step 2: Narrow Down Your Research and Position Yourself
Aside from the fact that it’s just generally very important to have an in-depth knowledge of your industry, part of the point of step 1 is to help you work out where you want to be. You need to be extremely honest with yourself at this point and be 100% realistic about your goals. Are they reachable, and does your blog fully align with your ideal brands? Once you’ve worked out where you’d like to place yourself it’s time for further research! Get to know your ideal brands within your vertical and understand what they look for in collaborations.
Step 3: Competitor Research
I’m not 100% happy with the word ‘competitor’ as it’s not healthy to see your fellow bloggers as competition, but this is what this stage is called in the industry- just take it with a pinch of salt!
This next stage or research is about turning your focus to your fellow bloggers. Pick a few bloggers you admire and do a brief audit of what they’re doing in regarding social media output, content, and talking to brands. Are they doing something you could improve on? Is there a gap in the market you can work on yourself?
I know this might seem like a lot of research, but knowledge is the basis for a 1st class PR campaign!
Step 4: Establish Your Objectives
This stage should be fairly simple; work out what you want. Are you looking to attract the attention of brands, or are you solely focusing on building your own brand? Now the research is over it’s time to take what you’ve learnt about your industry and turn it into a set of viable objectives for you to build a plan on.
Step 5: Strategise
It’s hard to give too much guidance without knowing what you’ve decided your objectives are here! However here are a few pointers:
- Create timed action points relevant to your objectives.
- Whilst your goals might be a little wild (e.g. I want to be the number 1 blogger in the UK for my niche) objectives should be far more specific and realistic.
- Never stray from the plan! Keep your actions tied to your objectives throughout. For example, if you’ve decided your aim is to boost your profile as a blogger within the blogosphere don’t get bogged down with trying to attract brands- one step at a time!
- Be realistic; only set objectives you believe you can achieve. You can always scale your campaign up if you feel you can do more.
Step 6: Action Your Campaign
Follow your strategy to the letter, as in order to measure how you’ve done you’ll need a record of your actions. Make note of everything that happens; if something doesn’t work well, if you don’t have the time for something, if something unexpected works unusually well- this information will be invaluable!
Step 7: Evaluate
It’s important to record your actions throughout the latter stages so when you’ve reached the end of your campaign you can honestly and comprehensively review how things went.
Check your stats (it’s worth mentioning that recording all your stats when setting your objectives is a good idea!). People sometimes seem to get the impression that PR is a fairly abstract art- it’s not! A great PR campaign is designed to build brands, increase profits and fulfil objectives. Your campaign should be backed up by numbers. Once you’re done, work out the actual results of your campaign. Has your traffic risen, are your social profiles growing, have you gained coverage?
How are you working on gaining visibility and building your blogs brand? Let us know how you’re getting on in the comments below, and if you’re hungry for more on PR tips check out our list of PR tips for bloggers.