Do you have an under-performing blog sending out distress codes far and wide?
It's easy to be excited about launching a company blog when energy is high and creative juices are flowing.... but when months pass - maybe a year - and it isn't generating the results you expected, the enthusiasm dwindles and posts become harder and harder to write.
The commitment is lost. Your blog becomes a wasteland of sporadic, uninspired posts. Instead of becoming a blog nonbeliever - take a closer look at what might be driving its lack of success.
Especially if you are a PR professional, understanding how to transform the client's blog into a powerful content marketing tool is critical. It gives you syndication opportunities, content for re-purposing and a way to broadcast your client's voice directly to their target audience. IF it is done right.
The process of rescuing an existing blog can also be a tremendous value-add for your client.
1. Integrate (or improve) SEO. Without making your posts Google-friendly, driving traffic to your blog relies on how you share it on social media, email and other marketing methods. Doesn't it make sense to wrap in an extra few seconds each time you write a post to make it SEO-friendly? It means less work in promoting the posts and letting it do the work for you. Start by putting a keyword or phrase in the headline, link to another blog post on a similar topic, and install an SEO widget that makes it easy on you. Learn more about blog SEO basics here.
2. Ask them to subscribe. If your blog doesn't make it easy for people who like a post to subscribe, then you are relying on them to re-visit your blog. Who remembers that? Blend in options to subscribe by email or RSS, and make it easy for them to connect on social media. This seems like an obvious thing, but it is surprising how few company blogs remember that building an email list of subscribers is one of the most important functions of a blog, right behind visibility to the right target audience. You can also use widgets like Hello Bar, Thank Me Later, Mail Subscribe List and Optin Revolution to make it prominent on the home page and within each individual post.
3. Post more often. Frequency matters. The faster you want results, the more often you should post. If you are only posting once or twice a month, your progress will take FAR LONGER than if you post several times a week. Frequency helps you build up enough posts for Google to start taking your blog seriously, it boosts your traffic and it improves your rankings over time. If you aren't able to post at least once a week, then blogging might not be the best content marketing strategy for you. Should you post every day, or even multiple times a day? That depends on your goal, available time and other factors. Read this great article by Men With Pens for their insight on post frequency.
4. Re-visit your strategy. If you haven't actually sat down to define why you are blogging, who you want to reach and what action you want readers to take when they visit your blog and how you want to measure success, now would be the time. It's pretty hard to hit the middle of a target if you aren't sure exactly what that target is. Is your goal to create a focused community? Lead generation? Communicate with existing customers? Just have fun? Sit down, map it out, create an editorial calendar of upcoming post topics, then attach some metrics. Creating this focus will help you tremendously.
PLEASE don't give up on your blog - or let your client(s) give up on blogging - before evaluating these four items. If you remain committed and focused, results will happen. Blogging is one of your BEST PLATFORMS for brand journalism and building a loyal community.