About That Blog You’re Planning …
Yeah, that one. The one that seems difficult to get started. Let’s talk about that.
But first, a story about tea.
I recently had to give up caffeine. Not forever, I hope. But for now, I’ve switched from morning French Roast to tea. I know next to nothing about tea, except that I like black and green teas and both are caffeinated.
I poked around at major tea company websites, Yogi Tea, Celestial Seasonings, The Republic of Tea, but I didn’t find much.
What am I looking for? I guess I want to fall in love with tea, with brewing it, the ritual of it. I want a favorite. Mainly, I don’t want to miss coffee. And decaf brew just doesn’t seem right.
Then I met a woman who owns a tea company. She’s focusing on her blog, she says, so I take a look. Right away I notice there’s a post on how to decaffeinate tea naturally. Really? You can do that? It’s helpful. It hit on a personal goal. I like it. I want more.
I’ve had a few calls recently about blogs. Specifically, how to start one and can I help? Yes, for sure I can help! I love a well-done business blog, especially on a topic or brand I care about. Like tea.
But before we start … we have a little homework to do. I’ll save you a phone call. Here it is:
Before You Start Writing — and Especially Before You Hire a Writer — Determine Your Strategy
Here’s your to-do list. If you have a content strategist helping, it should be their to-do list.
- Establish content strategy goals with decision makers: note these are content strategy goals — not just business goals of improving traffic via SEO
- Identify core messages to support goals for the writers and reviewers
- Identify and audit current content resources
- Create editorial guidelines (voice, tone, reading level, this-not-thats)
- Develop editorial calendar (content categories, frequency, topic ideas)
- Research or interview experts, if necessary, for blog substance
- Establish editorial process to meet deadlines, establish consistency and quality, align with goals
- Provide blog post template with editorial notes to accelerate writing process
- Create samples for best practices
- Establish a process of content review, editing, guidance, and coaching to stay on track
Yep … these are the steps for a successful blog strategy — and a successful blog. It enables your blog writers to write exactly what you need, the way you need it. That way, you experience that lovely ROI. Perhaps with a cup of tea.