This is quite a tricky one to write an article on, as there is no set way to grow your blog and your strategy should be 100% individually tailored to your blog. So while this post won’t give you all the answers, it’ll give you the frame work to put together a personalised strategy to grow your blog every single month!
Step 1- Content Strategy
Your content is the bread and butter of your blog. It holds everything together, and if you don’t have this part down you might as well forget the rest! All the tweeting in the world will get you nowhere if your content isn’t up to standard.
The perfect content strategy has a nice balance of reliable timing, variation and a rock steady online personality. Without being overly samey, your posts should have a great house tone that flows through your blog, so people feel that with each read they’re getting to know you a little more. Don’t jump from a short and witty tone to an all sharing heavily emotional one; work out what your voice is, stick to it and develop it.
I’ve heard mixed views on this one (and I’d love to hear yours so please feel free to comment below!). Some people think that you should be able to blog whenever and that strict calendars can be suffocating. Whilst I don’t think you should necessarily have set days as this can be a tricky format to stick too, I do think it’s necessary to work out how many posts you’re going to write a week. Being unreliable about how often you’re going to post (i.e. posting once one week and four times the next), is going to be incredibly off putting for your readers. People should be able to keep up with your content schedule, so pick a number of times to post and try to maintain that momentum.
Once you’ve got some great content written, don’t just post it live with no thought- give it the setting it deserves! Edit your pictures, resize them properly, pick a nice font, organise your headers- in fact make a check list and go through all the visual elements before posting (come to think of it I’ll write a post on this soon). Give your great content the best chance of being shared by taking the time to make it look beautiful!
Step 2- Social Strategy
This is perhaps the trickiest one, because depending on the type of content you have different social channels work in different ways for everyone. Here is a general strategy, but the best thing to do is to sit down and work out what works best for you- just use this as the skeleton of your own strategy and let me know if you have any questions!
You must be consistent with your posting on social media. As with posting on your blog, people will come to expect to hear from you a certain amount. In order to maintain and build on a following you must make sure you’re putting out social media content regularly. Missing the odd day here or there is fine, but disappearing for 5 days and then tweeting 5 times is not good!
Catering to Individual Channels
Don’t just syndicate your social content across all your profiles! Facebook, for example, is a visual and detailed channel so write a little more here and use great images to demonstrate your statuses- don’t just copy and paste tweets over. It’s ok to spread the same message across all your profiles, just put the extra effort in and tailor the message to each channel. It might mean adding a little more time, but the reward will be worth it.
Without being too numbers focused, set yourself ballpark goals and work towards them. I find monthly goals work best- weekly goals don’t give you enough time to be flexible and realistic about where you are. The idea is to always be on an upwards trajectory, and scale your goals upwards. So start small, try to gain perhaps 20 twitter followers in the first month. If you reach a goal it must be increased next month- always push yourself a little further each time!
Spend Dedicated Time Putting Yourself Out There
Make this a weekly task- minimum. Search terms related to your blog on twitter, ask questions on Facebook, join twitter chats! Be social….
Step 3- Outreach/PR Strategy
If you’re a blogger than you’re many things; social media manager, editor, PR, marketer, site owner….the list goes on! This may be a step to build up to, but it’s one none the less.
Select Ideal Brands to Work With
Whether it’s as inspiration, or for you to start contacting immediately you need to work out what kind of brands are ideal for you. To do this you need to start thinking about what your brand is, for which you might want to check out our write up on turning your blog into brand!
Write an Outreach Letter
Your outreach letter will be the email you send to contacts at brands you want to work with. It should be professional but friendly, and personalised. We also have a great write up on outreach letters!
Increase your Coverage on Other Blogs
Working with other bloggers, and collaborating on content shows a brand you have immersed yourself into your blogging niche and are a great contact to have! Every month, come up with a few content ideas to pitch to your fellow bloggers. This will not only help build your profile but it’s great for SEO so do try to find time to focus on this one.
So there you have it, a framework with which to create your own strategy. How do you set goals and grow your blog? Let us know in the comments below……