Learn how to make your wordpress blog a success and ensure that it is sustainable with tips on understanding scheduling and publishing content.
Starting a blog can help you achieve your business goals, by raising your profile. Starting the blog is just the beginning—and in fact it’s the easiest part. The difficult part of blogging is having the patience and tenacity to stick with it through the early stages of the process. It’s rare that a blog is an immediate success; a new blog has to be nurtured carefully to help it grow. This guide is designed to help you build a blog that is an asset to your overall marketing strategy.
Develop a Publishing Schedule
If you’re serious about running a successful blog, it’s important to plan for that success. This means starting out by creating a publishing schedule that works for you, your business, and the industry you’re working in. Depending on your own needs this might mean publishing short-form content several times a week; or it might mean a new long-form article or case study every two or three weeks.
For blogging, a publishing schedule typically includes the following tasks:
- Developing new content ideas and working them into the schedule.
- Writing new content.
- Preparing images and other media for inclusion.
- Ideally this should be done on a different day than the writing and media prep work. Approaching the piece with fresh eyes helps you pick up on errors and areas that need improvement.
- You don’t have to hit Publish as soon as a post is finished. WordPress allows you to schedule content to post on a date and time you specify, so you can publish content at the best time for your audience.
- Marketing; for instance, sharing posts to social media accounts to start conversations and drive traffic to the blog.
Publish Great Content—Consistently
One of the most important things you can do to make a blog successful is to publish content on a consistent and regular schedule. Once you have a good schedule down, people start to look forward to your content, allowing you to maintain a high level of interest.
However, developing a schedule is the easy part. It’s much harder to stick with it and continue publishing content week after week and month after month. This is the point at which most blogs fail, because it takes a high level of commitment to stick with blogging when you don’t see an immediate result.
At this point you’ll find out pretty quickly if your publishing schedule needs refinement. If you’re attempting to publish more than you have time for, you may need to alter the schedule to include fewer posts, or smaller posts. Alternatively, consider finding people in your industry who are willing to write guest posts. This is a great way to both expand your network and publish good content.
What Kinds of Content Work Best For You?
As you start creating content, you’ll start to get a feel for what kinds of pieces your audience wants to see. When you publish content that resonates with your audience you’ll typically see a higher level of engagement, with more comments, likes, and shares. It’s also important to think about content in terms of SEO, and how that content can help you in the long term.
Consider your audience
Like any aspect of running a successful business, it’s important to consider your audience when building a blog. Who are you writing for? What kinds of content do they want to see from you, when, and how often?
- Are you writing for clients in the industry? If so, you’ll probably be producing content with a professional tone, such as white papers, case studies, statistical analyses, infographics, and other long-form pieces.
- If you’re writing for consumers, your content is likely to be more casual in tone and may include shorter posts, media content, and even the occasional general interest piece (but remember that most of your content should relate to your business in some way).
SEO and building traffic
While it’s important to publish content that helps with SEO, this shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of the blog’s purpose. Google’s search engine is an increasingly sophisticated algorithm that actively penalises bad content, so it’s vital to understand what the search engine views as good content. In general, it’s content that:
- Is written with users in mind, not search engines.
- Is accurate and well-written.
- Provides in-depth answers to one or more specific questions.
- Uses key words and phrases thoughtfully and sparingly.
Another point to consider here is how you plan to let your readers know when new content is available. Here, consider what forms of social media your audience uses, and what strategies your competitors use. Some possible methods include Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, RSS feeds, and email newsletters.
Some methods can be automated to save time. For instance, there are WordPress plugins that allow you to share content to social media directly from the WordPress dashboard, and schedule tweets and other social media content from a single interface.
Managing Your Audience
As you continue to publish and promote content regularly you’ll start to build up a small audience of readers. If you’re publishing good, engaging content, those readers will want to interact with you, by leaving comments, and sharing posts on their own social media accounts.
Before any of this starts to happen, it’s important to consider how you plan to moderate comments, deal with trolls and spam, and generally maintain the comments section as a functioning part of the blog. An unmoderated comments section can quickly become a hotbed of spam comments and other problem elements, even for a small blog.
To keep this aspect of the blog running smoothly, consider the following:
- Your moderation policy. A good balance between moderated and unmoderated comments is to moderate comments from first-time commenters only. With this option, a reader needs approval for their first comment, but can post comments without approval in the future.
- Do people need to create a site membership to comment? This can be useful for encouraging subscribers, but it can reduce your audience engagement level.
- A third-party tool like disquis can be useful for managing comments as your blog grows. Another option is to let people post using social media accounts. These options make it easier for readers to share content, but mean you don’t have as much control over the comment section.
- To keep audience engagement high, it’s important to read and reply to comments. You don’t have to continually hover over the comments section, but it’s definitely important to schedule time for comment management on a daily basis.
Develop Your Point of View
Consistency is key when it comes to blogging, but it’s also important to produce content that’s relevant, timely, and above all, authentic to you and your business. Don’t shy away from topical content, and don’t feel that you have to stick to tried-and-true topics.
Keep up with how your industry evolves and expands, and use this information to develop a steady stream of new and interesting content for your readers. As you establish your own unique voice, you’ll start to build an audience that’s interested specifically in what you have to say.