Friday, October 19, 2012

Document Your Business Blogging Process

blogging process should be documented and pre-planned to ensure blogging success. This is especially true for small businesses who may not have a marketing consultant handling their blogging or a full-time staff person managing this task.

What is blogging success? Success from blogging might include increased search engine rank, increased leads/visitors from blog posts, and/or increased authority on a subject in your industry. Read more about why we think why blogging is important for small businesses.

Why should the blogging strategy be documented? A marketing plan for blogging without documentation is really only a good intention. Without clear direction and specifics, there is no set guidelines and goals, not to mention documentation for contributors about best practices and how entries should be written to match your small business's brand.

Let's simplify. You need to write it down.

It may sound daunting, but documenting your blogging strategy is well worth the effort. Without your strategy set-down in writing, blogging on a regular basis may get pushed back because of other client deadlines or business priorities.

Here are some questions to get you thinking about what to include in your blogging strategy document:
  • How often will posts be published? (e.g. once/week, once/day, all weekdays, once/month) The more often you can publish relevant and useful content, the better, but be sure to set realistic goals.
  • Who will author the blog posts? Are different team members responsible for different topics? Who posts on which days? What's your schedule?
  • What steps does the approval process include? Do topics need to be approved or just draft posts? Who gives approval? Who actually publishes?
  • What is your checklist for each post? See our checklist as an example.
  • What follow-up will be done on your small business's social media channels to promote blog posts? Can you integrate this distribution via HootSuite or another program or do you plan to customize promotion of your blog posts on social media channels? Who is responsible for this curation?

Planned blogging: A case study

TBH Creative's team has been working with a company to ramp up their blogging activities as part of their online marketing strategy. The company writes their blog posts internally. They have a team of four, and each member is responsible to write once/week/month. For the first half of 2012, they met for one hour and pre-planned topics. All topics were written and published according to the plan and schedule. As a result, the company's search engine ranks for several keywords increased with their competition; they also received high results for blog posts as landing page with long reporting of time spent.

During quarter three, they lost track of planning and did not meet to pre-plan topics and set a schedule. As a result, other tasks gained priority and only two posts were published the first month, none for the next two months, four the following. They had good intentions. They had topics and events to talk about in blog posts. They simply did not have a schedule in place or a few ideas generated ahead of time. According to their website analytic data during this period, new visitors numbers fell as did their search engine rank for several targeted keywords.

During quarter four, TBH Creative will be assisting the company to formalize their blog planning to get their marketing plan delivering success stories again. A little bit of planning can go a long way.

Note: The above mentioned client has seen great success from their blogging. Blog posts continue to rank in the top ten landing pages each quarter and their search engine ranking for related keywords used in blog posts are all page one without other SEO measures or paid advertising in place.

Tip: Offer your staff incentives for the most popular blog post each period. This encourages creativity in the content as well as sticking to a schedule.

Tatum

About the author | Tatum Hindman

Tatum is the president of TBH Creative and is responsible for building long-term client relationships. She enjoys the strategy behind web design and sitting down with clients to define online marketing goals. She likes to blog about questions or topics that clients ask about as well as sharing new tricks.

View more posts by Tatum
 

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