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Marketing Plan Guaranteed to Grow Your Blog

A Four Step Marketing Plan Guaranteed to Grow Your Blog

The other day, a friend of mine who owns a services business was telling me that his blog wasn’t growing as fast as he would like it.

When he shared his analytics with me, I realized that he was exaggerating the growth of his blog.  It’s not that it wasn’t growing fast, it wasn’t growing at all.  And on top of that, he’d been blogging for over a year quite consistently.

Finally, I asked him what the role of his blog is in his marketing efforts.

To which he said: “I use my blog to bring attention to my company.”

And with that, I realized why his blog was struggling.

The Big Mistake

On the surface, there is nothing wrong with using your blog to bring attention to your company or your products or services.  But most blogs that simply do that, fail.

Here’s the advice that I gave my friend:

Instead of throwing blog posts out into the ether, treat your blog and each individual post as if it were a product.

That means, for each post that you create, you should have a marketing plan that goes with it.

Below is a marketing plan checklist that you can use when you are about “to launch” a blog post.

Who is your post for?

First, you need to determine for whom you are writing your post.  When you are doing this, try to picture a single person so that you are as specific as possible.

  • Is it a male or female?
  • How old?
  • What does he or she do?

So on and so forth.

For example, if your general audience is software developers, you can easily segment that into a niche like “Twenty-something male software developer who freelances on the side.”  (You’ll see why being this specific is important in a minute.)

Why should they read your post?

Unfortunately, your blog post won’t exist in a vacuum.  You are going to need to give your target audience a reason to read it.

What are the burning questions that your audience is asking?  When you answer them, pour your whole heart into it.  Spend a few hours on the post, doing research, interviewing experts, and creating an outline.

For me, I absolutely love reading blog posts that make me stop in my tracks, print out the post, study it, and see how I can put the advice into growing my business.

Make that your benchmark and watch how quickly your blog takes off.

How will they see your post?

Even though this is third part of the process, the most frequently asked question is:  How do I get more traffic to my blog?

If you treat each blog post like a product, you will see many more opportunities to gain exposure.  For instance:

  • Pitch:  Once you know who the product is for, then you pitch your product to your target audience.  Let’s say that you are creating your post for “twenty – something male software developers who freelance on the side”. 

Here’s the next step.  Google the following blog categories: Young Professionals, Software Development, and Freelancers.

Find about 10 blogs in each category that are writing similar stuff to your post and send an email to the blogger.

It’ll go something like this:

Hey ___

I loved your post about ___ and I recently wrote something that both compliments that post and that your readers would enjoy.  Here’s the link.  Let me know what you think.

Regards,

(Your name)

Does this take a lot of work?  You bet.  But if you’ve just spent four or six hours writing a blog post, then you want to get the absolute most out of it.

 I would advise that you don’t do this with every post because that would get quite annoying.

  • Joint Venture:  Another option is to release a post in joint venture format. 

Find a company in your niche that you greatly admire.  Ask to interview the person in charge of what it is that you admire most about the company and write a blog post.  For instance, if you admire the FamousBloggers.net blog, and want to talk about building a community, find out who is in charge of community management and ask for five minutes of their time to interview them.

Once the post is complete, that company is going to be more than happy to help you promote your blog post on Twitter or Facebook.  This will give you more exposure than if you just promote it to your own network.

  • Alert the Press:  Finally, you can alert the press via press release distribution services such as PRWeb.  This is an especially great tool if you’ve just completed some sort of research about your users, or your target demographic.

You don’t want to do this every time you blog, as it could get pricey, so be judicious with the type of posts that you promote using PRWeb.

What’s the purpose of your post?

Congratulations!  You’ve managed to get quite a bit of traffic to your blog post.  Now what?

The most profitable blogs usually have a specific goal in mind.  More often than not, these blogs want you to join their list.  You will see sign up boxes on the side bar, at the end of every post, in the footer, and on the about page.

What your call to action is depends on who your audience is, and what you are selling, and how much it costs.

For instance, on my blog, I am looking for you to download my ebook.

Test your approach to make sure you maximize the potential of the traffic that you’ve generated.

Conclusion

Admittedly, if you are an unknown blogger then you might have a hard time capturing the attention of the big guys.  However, that doesn’t mean this marketing plan won’t work for you.  Instead of emailing A-List bloggers and Fortune 500 companies, start smaller.

The point is, regardless of how big your blog is, make sure that each time you release a blog post, you know exactly who is going to read it, why they should read it, how you are going to get it in front of an audience, and what the purpose of the post is.

Greg Digneo is the author of the blog Sales Leads in Thirty Days which shows marketing agencies and consultants how to get more clients in 30 Days.

Image © laurent hamels – Fotolia.com

Three years ago, Greg Digneo started a marketing firm from his kitchen table. After successfully acquiring retainer based clients, he is looking to show other marketing firms, SEO consultants and agencies how to get more clients and become more profitable on his blog www.salesleadsinthirtydays.com.

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{ 30 comments… add one }

  • Leon March 6, 2012, 12:37 pm

    Great points on targeting the blog and treating it as an individual product. In addition, I have found that writing articles for sites like ehow with a high PR and linking those back to the original blog can be beneficial. Getting on a high traffic site like that showing your “expertise” can help especially when first starting out. They can be a pain to get published, but no one said this was going to be easy.

  • Sonia February 29, 2012, 11:40 pm

    Great post and excellent direction on how to effectively manage a series of posts. Sometimes writing a post can seem like it’s so mundane and then people wonder why their stats aren’t improving. For me I tend to test posts I write to figure out it’s popularity and how effective it was with traffic, comments, and conversion. I don’t pitch products, but share information about products I use and like. This is very effective because people only buy from people they trust. Still you have to put people first, build your community, solve a problem and provide great value. You provided winning tips and this was an awesome post!
    Sonia recently posted..Build Up a Supply of Posts – Then Go and Guest PostMy Profile

  • dương February 28, 2012, 9:55 pm

    hope this work well to me, let me try

  • Murray Lunn February 28, 2012, 2:03 am

    Thinking that your blog posts are your products is one of my favorite ways to think of blogging as a whole; each time you write, you have an opportunity to reach people and you don’t want to just bombard them with constant information – you want to, in essence, release a product they’re hungry for.
    Murray Lunn recently posted..Everyday Marketing: Online Strategies for Offline BusinessesMy Profile

  • Rachel Williamson February 27, 2012, 2:37 pm

    Wow! Marketing a single post…..they never taught us that in grad school ;). Will add your blog to my favorites list for sure.
    Rachel Williamson recently posted..I Had to Eat My Words: Customer Service Crisis Unfolds!My Profile

  • John Cooper February 27, 2012, 2:13 pm

    Hi Greg,

    Interesting post. Well marketing is not to create need for your product but its to influence targeted audience for its demand. Treating a blog as a product is a new concept of thinking about a blog and it also change the perception about a blog. Considering blog as product not only allow the blog owner to change his thinking about the blog but also let him to recognize which audience to target. No matter which marketing plan is adapted the thing matter is that the blog must satisfy the needs of visitors.

    Regards.
    John Cooper recently posted..Crohn’s BlogMy Profile

  • Blazing Minds February 27, 2012, 1:08 pm

    I think a lot of new bloggers go in completely blind and really don’t realise, that it takes hard work to produce a blog that will get the readers and commentators stopping by. This blog post is a great read for not only those that have been blogging for a while like myself, but a must for those new to blogging.

    As they say, you never stop learning ;)
    Blazing Minds recently posted..Win A Copy Of Blogging The Essential Guide On Blazing MindsMy Profile

  • Ted Pass February 27, 2012, 10:27 am

    A lot of great tips here. Thx. This gave me plenty of food for thought about how to develop my own blog. I’m a newbie and the buzz around blogging is so strong that it looks like all you need to do is just start blogging. Which is so untrue.

  • Tina Zennand February 27, 2012, 9:11 am

    100% agree – writing a post without determining who it is for is an absolute disaster in almost cases. To have a successful blog, we should make a careful study of the auditory, know their interests, follow them (be up to date what’s going on in their lives and careers) and give them in our posts exactly what they need/would like to learn.

  • Jim Bath February 27, 2012, 7:46 am

    I suppose that it can be a vicious “cycle” for some people (though the term “cycle” implies some movement..) as it’s hard to get noticed until one is noticed. I would suggest trying to make your content as “important” as possible – give potential readers something nobody else is giving.

  • Amanda Silver February 27, 2012, 5:42 am

    it is interesting that your first advice is about how not to make ‘the big mistake’ and this is indeed the hardest task to accomplish when writing for a commercial blog… but getting ‘friendly’ with the target audience is always a matter of ‘heart’ whatever we are writing about. Focusing on your target needs will also help your post being inspired and having a real chance to succeed when the only ‘problem’ unsolved will be promoting your article on different online resources
    Amanda Silver recently posted..Top 5 silver jewelry trends 2012 (part II)My Profile

  • Paul Anthony February 27, 2012, 3:33 am

    Thanks for the tips. Surely, pursuing your goal in writing and knowing your targeted audience are big factors to be successful in blogging. Also, writing with consistency and interesting content is a plus.

  • Jamie Northrup February 26, 2012, 9:15 pm

    Great points Greg. Most people put all their time in writing posts but don’t take nearly enough time to plan it and the promote /market it after.
    Jamie Northrup recently posted..30 Things You Don’t Want To Know About Me!My Profile

  • James February 26, 2012, 2:41 pm

    great post, the purpose is the main key to look in every blog post,
    thanks for sharing

  • Steve February 26, 2012, 10:28 am

    Some great tips here. Specifically about the press releases. Press releases are some that are ignored too frequently by bloggers, but there are great additional source of traffic. Press releases something I’ve only got involved with recently but I will receive my spike in traffic from noon the occasional press release.
    Steve recently posted..13 Ways to Use Fiverr.com as the ULTIMATE Link Building Service [Niche Affiliate Income #4]My Profile

  • daisy February 26, 2012, 10:11 am

    Thanks for the info Greg, it really is a very helpful tips for me as newbie. Looking forward for your always brilliant ideas.

  • Kimberly Gauthier February 25, 2012, 8:20 pm

    I love the recommendation to treat our blog posts like individual products; it’s given me something more to think about. Especially now that I’m building a business with each blog.

    I want to send out more press releases, but I’m a little green in this area and I’m not certain what I need to do, but I’m going to look into it today.

    Thank you.
    Kimberly Gauthier recently posted..ProBlogger Blog Wise Review | Fab Productivity Tips for BloggersMy Profile

  • Dave Lucas February 25, 2012, 6:58 pm

    Sometimes it’s hard to target a niche – good marketing plan here! And good luck to you “niche folk”!
    Blog On!
    Dave Lucas recently posted..Micro transmitter brings WIOX to PhoeniciaMy Profile

  • Mark February 25, 2012, 4:34 pm

    Nice post Greg! I found your science references most entertaining. :)

    With respect to your point about your content not existing in a vacuum…I think you hit the nail on the head…our content definitely exists in a “pressurized” environment, meaning, there is plenty of competition to fill the void.

    Being that this is the case, I like to write about what people are asking about. To do this, I visit forums in my niche, see what people are asking, read all of the responses, and then put the whole thing in my words.

    I find that Google is very kind to these types of posts and the behavioral metrics surrounding the “written for actual people” type posts encourages their love.

    Mark :)
    Mark recently posted..Sticky: SEO 2012 And Beyond – Leveraging Niche Sites And Private NetworksMy Profile

  • Mark February 25, 2012, 4:18 pm

    I think the best way to getting attention to your blog is by doing some guest blogging. Most people follow those shiny techniques, but they forget about the basics of this business (which is networking with other bloggers as you mentioned). Thanks Greg

    M Mark

  • doug_eike February 25, 2012, 12:36 pm

    Excellent ideas, difficult to execute. I try to write each post in evergreen fashion, but the marketing portion is as time-consuming as writing the post. The entire blogging effort takes far longer to mature than one imagines at the outset. Thanks for the insights!
    doug_eike recently posted..FireMy Profile

    • Greg February 25, 2012, 12:40 pm

      Doug,

      I only write one post per week. And there are certain times that I miss that schedule because the blogging effort takes so much time.

      In fact, I spend about 6 hours per post, and I spend about 18 hours or so promoting my blog (or that post specifically) doing things like writing guest posts, emailing, commenting, etc.

      Hope this helps,
      Greg

  • Ryan Biddulph February 25, 2012, 4:28 am

    Hi Greg,

    Super tips.

    Target your blog, and posts. Using SEO has made a huge difference for me, in terms of readership and the growth of my gifting club.

    Have your audience in mind before penning the post. This means writing stuff based on the hopes, dreams, problems, concerns and general queries of your readers. Listen. A lot. Log conversations. I usually remember most conversations but if you have problems remembering, pull out a pen and pad and jot down what you talked about with readers, prospects, business buddies, concerning your niche.

    Tons of valuable blog post ideas in these conversations, a smorgasboard of post nuggets here. I write 2 to 4 posts daily between 2 blogs and never run out of ideas, because I am always listening. I used to do a poor job listening, then when I bumped up my posting sked, I had no choice ;)

    Thanks for sharing Greg!

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..Meditate on This – Why Meditating Makes You A Ridiculously Successful Cash Gifting SponsorMy Profile

    • Greg February 25, 2012, 10:08 am

      Thanks so much for your kind words, Ryan.

      I just started using Evernote to log conversations. I’m not exactly sure how it’s going to work out, but I agree, listening, and learning is the key to constantly having new ideas.

      Greg

  • Jeremy February 25, 2012, 3:19 am

    Thanks for this blog marketing plan. I’m pretty new to blogging and still figuring out where I’m going with things. Interviews definitely sound like something that I could integrate into my blog. I may have to rethink my general plan as I read over some of your other suggestions again. Good stuff Greg!
    Jeremy recently posted..My Decision To Live In An Expensive CityMy Profile

    • Greg February 25, 2012, 10:10 am

      Jeremy,

      I’ve interviewed best selling authors in my field and have gotten a ton of traffic to previous blogs. It’s amazing how generous people are with their time.

      If you are new, they might not have the time for you during the week of their launch, but wait a month or two and approach them.

      Greg
      Greg recently posted..6 Fast Ways to Grow Your List and Kick Start Your BlogMy Profile

  • Rick February 25, 2012, 3:07 am

    Good advice! In addition to what you already have mentioned, i could also recommend getting a few backlinks to your blog post. Submitting the blog post url to free services like socialadr, onlywire and/or socialmonkee could help the post getting higher rankings in the search engines and as a result more targeted traffic.

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