Setting your team up with a blogging success plan
In part 1 of this series, we looked at why setting your team up with a blog might be counterproductive if you want fast duplication. In part 2 we covered 7 strategies for getting your team started on Facebook and in part 3 we covered the secret to Facebook’s News Feed optimization. So now that we have your team online without the overwhelm of starting a blog right of the bat, it’s time move to the next level. This post is not meant to be a tutorial for setting up and installing your blog, but rather an overall game plan for launching and beyond.
Many current bloggers (myself included) will tell you that after fumbling through the frustrating learning curve of setting a blog up, they suddenly realized they didn’t have a plan. They don’t have a clear idea on exactly why they’re blogging, other than it seemed like something they should be doing. Ahh the beauty of hindsight! If I only knew back then…. well you know the rest of the saying.
So the first step, is getting clear on why you’re blogging and what it’s main purpose will be
- Generating leads for your primary opportunity?
- Raising your credibility through personal branding?
- Build a relationship with your niche?
- Creating an extra stream of income through affiliate products?
- Or all of the above?
Once you’re clear on why, the next step is how. You need to choose a theme that will serve the strategies above. Now I know this is a getting started post but it’s worthwhile thinking about search engine optimization and squeeze pages etc even if you don’t quite understand what they are right now. If one of your aims is to generate leads for your primary opportunity, you might want to consider a theme that already has squeeze pages built in. One of the newest and most stylish looking themes on the market that has this option is Optimizepress. If you’re on a budget, you can still use a great free theme and buy a squeeze page plugin down the track. One of the best free themes I’ve seen is the current WordPress default theme, twenty ten.
Now it’s time to cover your branding
If one of your aims is to raise your credibilty through personal branding, you absolutely must have your photo in your banner. In the online social marketing age, people are looking to connect with real humans more than ever before. A block of colour and a slab of text just doesn’t cut the mustard anymore and the competition for attention is fierce. If you’re just starting out and on a budget, you can get a personalized banner done over at Logonerds.com for $27.
Next is your tagline
As internet connections increase, attention spans decrease. You have a couple of seconds to make a good first impression or it’s sayonara baby! Your tagline needs to be one or two catchy sentances that let your visitors know how your topic will serve them. The process of crafting a tagline will also help with defining the main theme or your blog.
What topics will I specialize in and who to I want to attract
A lot of people get really stuck when it comes to deciding what to specialize in because they think they don’t have any value to share. This is so far from the truth it’s not funny. Each and every one of us has had totally unique experiences in life that have formed who we are today. Not another person on the planet can explain the pearls of wisdom you’ve gained from a book or course in the same way that you can! Just as my unique blogging experience has allowed me to write this post. You don’t need to know everything about your topic right now, you just need to choose something you’re passionate enough to keep learning about. Once you have this in place, decide who you want to attract and what problems your blog can solve for them.
While having your own blog is great for increasing your online visibility, it doesn’t become a marketing strategy until you have a way of capturing leads
So the next step is to create an offer for your opt in box. Ultimately the end goal is to create your own product or tutorial, but since this series is about coming online without the overwhelm, lets start with a solution you can have up and running overnight! If you haven’t heard of PLR products before, they are basically content packages that you are given the right to put your own name on for a fee. If you google PLR products you’ll find lots of different sites but make sure their quality is exceptional before you make a purchase. You also want to email them first to find out what the cap is on how many copies they sell. Decent sites won’t sell more than about 100- 200 hundred. It’s worth paying the extra for sites that have a cap so that you don’t end up with a product 5000 others are using as their opt in. The best way to use a PLR product is to treat the content as a template and change it around enough so that it’s unique to your personality.
Now that we have our opt in offer, it’s important to have a content strategy before you start posting
This is probably the most important step that I missed when I was starting out.
- Based on the marketing strategies you are already using, how much time can you dedicate to blogging?
- Once you’ve worked out the time you’ll commit, how many times a month will you post?
- Which day of the week will you set time aside to reply to your commenters, and leave comments on other blogs?
If you can write out a clear content plan before you start, it will save you a lot of headaches down the track.
Blogging will be a complete waste of time if you don’t have enough traffic to generate leads and build community
The two best sources of traffic are social buzz and organic search engine traffic. In part 2 of this series we talked about hooking up with an online tribe to create buzz on your Facebook profile. If your Facebook tribe are already bloggers, then you will already have an awesome strategy for creating social buzz. If not, you can read this post on creating your own tribe or check out some of the places I hang out to create awesome blogging alliances.
I’ve found that almost 50% of my traffic comes from social buzz. That said, we don’t want to leave out the other 50% that are coming from the search engines. Over time, you’ll find visitors naturally coming in from the search engines but you’ll have far higher traffic numbers if you create posts that get their attention. The easiest way to do this is to decide on a keyword you’d like your content to be found for and then optimize your post. If you have no idea what search engine optimization or optimizing posts means don’t worry, I’ll let you in on my secret weapon. It’s a paid plugin called SEOPressor. This little gem will literally hold you by the hand and tell you what you need to do every time you post which will make a huge difference to your organic traffic.
How to launch your blog with maximum impact
I remember chatting to someone one day to see how their blog was going after their launch, only to find out they had already quit. When I asked why, they replied “I don’t think Google even knows I exist.” So I zipped over to do a site search on Google and sure enough, they hadn’t even been indexed! Don’t let this happen to you! One of the easiest ways to get indexed is to submit your first post to Digg. And if you head over to fiverr.com Sir Fred (as he likes to called) will submit your post and get you 25 Diggs for 5 bucks. Another one of my secret weapons! To check if you’ve been indexed, head over to the google search bar and type in “site:http://www.yourblogname.com” without any spaces.
Once you’re indexed, make sure you have all the right social buzz and community widgets installed. Once you’re all set, send a shout out to your tribe to come and join/like them to create social proof before you officially launch. When the grand day arrives, it’s time to transform your Facebook profile, into one very cool advertisement for your new blog. To do this we are going to convert your 5 thumbnail pics at the top of your profile page into your blog banner so that it looks similar to this:
And guess what, you don’t need to know how to do this as I’m going to let you in on another one of my secret resources. If you send a file of your blog banner to my friend Jon at Facebook Custom Pictures, he’ll do it for you. But wait for the best part……it’s only 5 bucks! I don’t know about you but these 5 buck services are really growing on me :) The only thing left to do now, is to let your tribe know you’re blog is ready for lift off. Now you can sit back and relax as you watch the power of social buzz unfolding. Just one of the many rewards of starting your online presence on Facebook and launching a blog after you’ve built those connections.
If you think the post or any of the posts in this series can help your team, there’s a Facebook share button below :) And as always if you have any questions or want to share some of your own strategies, your comments are always welcome.