Only a few days ago I posted that I had changed my blog identity and that I’m going to be working on it as a brand and I have a number of ideas around this. You can see the post here:
Planet Simon rebranded to Beyond the Infinite
But what does this mean? What is a blog strategy and why does it matter? If it matters? What makes good blog content?
Those of you that visit regularly will know that I’ve been having a think around this and I’ve come up with a strategy, I have no idea if it will work but let me share my thinking with you all.
Blog branding that gives you identity
For a long time my blog didn’t have a brand except to say that it was random. There’s nothing wrong with that but if you’re trying to get out a message and have an identity for that you need a brand, this is the name, look, logo and what the reader generally sees and it need to tie up and make sense. Good blog branding will make your blog stand out and give the identity that is needed.
So if I was going to have a food blog, my content needs to reflect that so that the reader may well come back over and over to see posts on food, or people searching will find your posts easily. On top of this as part of the back you may have a look, it might be bright, dark, red blue or… you see the point.
This is something I’ve struggled with for a while many bloggers know me as a Sci-Fi fanand a lot of the work reflects that but in the case of Planet Simon I was struggling with now I can sell that as a brand. Not necessarily in the money way but in what I’m trying to give.
Content that engages
The next thing we have is a site, filled with stuff, posts, pages and all that. This is content and like anything what we put into it, it’s what we want people to read and engage with.
Now I know this sounds a bit daft, but we have to sell this content. Not for money, but for people to read it. That’s how I feel a blog post needs to be approached. When push come to shove if we want to blog to engage with or create an audience we need to create content and get them to stick around and subscribe or whatever. We’re building a relationship just as we would with a paying customer.
When and if we can do that then maybe, maybe we can sell something for actual money if that way inclined. Whether we are or not thinking about what you’re giving the reader is key. The kind of basic needs we’re looking to tempt our reader is:
Information / Knowledge.
Emotional gain or hit.
All these can be achieved with blogging and it might be that any number of these aren’t covered in a post or at all in a blog but something needs to be given in order for the reader to decide to consume or read or engage.
A Site that draws your audience in
The blog site is where I struggle, the question of do I have a front page and bring them into the content somehow or have the posts listed with a few favourites pinned at the top – what’s best?
Who knows? I don’t but think about what’s best, try things and see what works best. The key is to draw your reader in, to look around your blog site, love it and keep coming back.
So think about what they see, how the site is laid out and what it says about you as a brand.
Posts that are readable
What about your posts? I think this has got trickers even in the few years I’ve been blogging. I used to have a limit on a post of 1000 words in my head because that seemed to be enough but not too much. I think that a wall of 1000 words is too much now.
People reading a blog are trying to get through a lot and while they may like to read your 1000 words or so if you are going to post that much break it up, with pictures or a split the post into smaller pieces make it easier for the reader to digest. Even make two posts out of one. As always watch the spelling and grammar (I know please don’t point out all my errors – my bad)
Titles that create a question (where necessary)
There’s been a lot of topic over titles and using the right words to create impact and draw in the reader. This might be fine, but I’ve played with co-schedule and I’ve made some high scoring headlines that make no sense at all.
What I think is a better approach is use co-schedule or something similar fine but how about this as approach:
Make your title a governing thought or question where the reader is inclined to ask – How or Why.
What’s the point of this?
It’s searchable. One post from ages past still makes it into my viewed posts is entitled “What happened to bit strips?”
When bit strips vanished and I posted this I inadvertently created an experiment that shows a it about how posts work. If there’s a question or thought that you’re having – maybe someone else is having it and maybe they will search for it and find your post. It’s hard doing this and I sat here for a while thinking of the title of this post. I don’t think it’s a 100% search term but it’s close, There is a question that comes from reading it, I think it’s a “how?” question.
I get this doesn’t cover all posts and if you’re writing a story or showing off some other work then it’s a little irrelevant, so in these cases consistency and meaning are probably more important.
Don’t expect to sit back post and watch it happen. Interact and keep interacting. Keep talking to bloggers old and new. I say this becasue (and I hate to say it) blogger friends often come and go, those that interact with you now are likely to not be interacting in few months or years time let alone a few years down the road.
Some do, some stick around but in my experience many go. For all kinds of reasons, some have stopped blogging other move on some I’m sad to say get ill or die. So treasure those that are around – always.
Have fun doing this! That’s the most important thing. I hope this has been useful – all of this is based on my own personal experience and other might disagree. But it’s this kind of strategy I’m going to be pursuing from now on… well I’ll do my best!
What do you think? Any thoughts on this?