If you need dinner tonight, planting a garden isn’t going to help. You would be better off to go to the grocery store and buy food that others have harvested (adwords, display advertising, social advertising). However if you’re interested in growing your own vegetables for the long term so that you can have abundant, cheap, fresh and nutritional food, then planting a garden is an excellent idea . Blogging works in much of the same way. Your first post is unlikely to bring you large amounts of traffic. Search engines are pretty smart and their going to make you work to prove you know what you’re talking about before they will display your blog posts to others on their search results page. In other words, it will take some time before you can harvest. So using the garden mindset, here are steps you can take and questions you should be able to answer to have a successful blog.
Before you just start blogging you should have a plan in place. How many resources can you devote to it? How will you come up with content ideas? How will you help spread the word about your blog? Who will be doing the work? What tools do you need? What do you hope to harvest? These are just some of the questions you should think about and come up with answers for before starting.
Identify and Gather Your Tools
Digging a garden by hand would be back-breaking and time consuming work. There are a considerable amount of tools at your disposable and unlike garden tools, many digital tools are free of charge.
Trello – Content calendar and planning
Buffer – Schedule posts and shares to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. I can also get analytics to see how engaging my content was
Longtail Pro – This is my tiller. Keyword research can be a very manual task. This is a paid tool but well worth for me because I can put in the parameters and it will run in the background. This tool has saved me countless hours of work and headaches.
Ubersuggest – Keyword and content ideas
Feedly – An rss reader so I can keep up with others are writing. I often get inspired by other articles and sometimes I am just nosey to see what my neighbors are growing.
WordPress – I built my blog on WordPress which is a free and open source content management system. About 20% of all websites run on WordPress.
Yoast SEO (plugin) – Helps ensure that I have search engine friendly titles, meta description as well as giving me feedback about the content I wrote in relationship to the desired outcome.
These are just a few of the tools that I use. Your tools may include an email newsletter or social network and more.
This should be part of the planning stage. What is the makeup of your current soil (what are you already known for)? What is the pH of your content? Is it too specific? If so it may never get the chance to grow because it will only have a very small audience. Is it too broad? If so, it may drown in the sea of other similar blogs. Hopefully you can build a niche blog that can speak to and inspired your targeted audience.
Selecting and Spreading Seeds
Now that you have your soil pH figured out, what types of content do you want to be known for? What questions can you answer for your customers? What questions did you wish your customers asked? How can you prove that you are the experts that clients should be selecting? Again, use your tools to find content ideas and read other blogs to see what they are posting about that resonates with you.
Watering & Sunlight
Plants and blogs need nourishment to grow. How are you going to shine light onto your blog posts? Obviously social media is a great way to connect with your audience. It is also helpful to build relationships with influencers who may act as your sprinklers. Just like in garden, don’t over water it, you don’t want your audience to drown.
You’ve put in the hard work and now it is time to reap the rewards. This chart may not look exciting; it isn’t a very steep line but it shows what investing in content can do. Steady and sustainable growth that will keep you fed for a long time.