The 4 Most Important Parts Of Your Blog Strategy

I’m so happy to have Krista Rae on the blog today. She is the WordPress developer and strategist behind the new look of Successful Blogging. 

Creating a defined blog strategy is one of the most valuable actions you can take for your business. In doing so you’ll create a plan of action for yourself, a clear direction for your readers, and a more profitable blog.

blog strategyHow wonderful would it be to know exactly what you need to write each week for your blog and newsletter? Or to know exactly which items to include on your sidebar and even what order those items should appear in.

And from your readers’ perspectives, wouldn’t you love for them to have clear paths to follow?  Paths that lead them from first-time readers to loyal fans and customers?

Those are a few reasons that having a blog strategy is beneficial.

And while a blog strategy is important, it’s not an easy thing to create. Crafting the perfect strategy takes time, focus, and hard work. Today we’ll go over the four most important parts of your blog strategy.

Clear High-Value Goals

The number one thing you can do to create a profitable blog strategy is to define high-value goals. I have my blog strategy clients start by identifying the main goal of their blog and business. They then go on to choose three smaller supporting goals.

These four goals will then influence every other decision in your blog strategy.

To ensure that your goals are worthwhile, it’s important to ask yourself the following three questions for each goal:

  1. Will this goal keep my audience engaged and moving through my content?
  2. Will this goal build trust with my audience?
  3. Will this goal keep my business moving forward?

If you answered “no” to any of those three questions it’s time to take a step back and make sure that you chose the correct goal. To learn more about choosing high-value goals, check out this post on setting high-value goals for your blog strategy.

After you’ve defined your high-value goals, you can use them to take actions to improve your blog content and layout.

Get started by making a list of the actions you can take to reach each goal. For example, if one of your goals is to grow your email list you’d list actions such as adding a new blog header with an opt-in, adding an opt-in incentive to your sidebar, and adding some information on your free course and an opt-in on your Start Here page.

Next, it’s time to prioritize all the possible actions you’ve identified. The point of this step is to avoid overwhelm. Sorting everything based on effort, effect, and cost will give you a good idea of what actions you should start with to get the most out of your time and money.

To set your high-value goals and identify which steps to focus on first join my free 8-day course, Jumpstart Your Blog Blueprint!

Focus For Yourself

Next, you want to make sure that you have a clear focus for yourself. This aspect of your blog strategy closely relates to your goals, but is more focused on you. Here is where you want to make sure you know where your blog and business are going and what you’ll need to do to get there.

The biggest struggle I see with this aspect comes from those who aren’t quite sure what they should be blogging about to sell their product or service. Maybe you’re someone with 3 or more topics you’d like to blog about, but don’t want to have a separate blog for each.

It is possible to be successful with multiple topics on one blog, especially if your topics share a target audience, but it’s important to be organized and consistent. Without consistency, both you and your readers will end up confused and less engaged. Take the time to clarify your ideas and identify how you can separate them, making it easy for your readers to focus on the topics they care about.

In doing so, you’ll come up with a plan for yourself. Things like:

  • How often you’ll post
  • Which topic(s) you’ll advertise on your homepage
  • And what will give you the most benefit in your sidebar and footer.

Without a clear direction, each post, newsletter, and social media update will become a struggle so it’s important to define a clear focus early on.

Focus For Your Audience

After finding focus for yourself, you’ll want to make it easy for your audience to navigate through your content. Most importantly, you want your audience to feel as though everything you do works together.

Have you ever been on a blog and struggled to decide what to do first? You start out by clicking all the shiny buttons only to find yourself with 15 tabs open, becoming overwhelmed, and closing them all? I’ve been there. It’s exciting until you need to decide where to start.

To give your audience a clear focus, choose one main call to action for each page. Each of these calls to action should support one of your high-value goals. For example, if one of your goals is to grow your social media following, the main call to action in a blog post could be for your audience to share on Twitter. Or if you want your homepage to increase email opt-ins you could include a large banner image with a strong call to action and an opt-in button for a free course or workbook.

To take it a step further, each call to action should feed into a path that you’ve created. A path is something that leads your audience through valuable free content up to paid content. These paths are beneficial for both you and them. You’ll increase conversions while your audience is consistently shown material that is relevant to them and their needs.

I like to create paths in reverse order.

Take one of your paid products and services to be the end of a path. Think backwards and decide what kind of free material your audience would need to discover, be interested in, and want that paid product. The last step before your paid material should be some of your most high-value free content, such as a workshop, free course, webinar, or actionable workbook.

Then, take another step backwards and decide what kind of easily digestible free material would lead into your workshop or free course. Things like blog posts, Periscope broadcasts, and social media updates are great options for this step.

The most important part of your path is to have at least 2-3 steps before your paid content is presented. Your free material is used to prove your expertise, give great value, and show your audience that your paid material is important for them and their business.

Creating these paths will keep your audience focused and ensure your blog content fits together.

A Strong Message

The last thing I want you to think about when developing your blog strategy is the overall message given by your blog. This message is given through your content (blog posts, newsletters, workshops, Periscopes, etc.), your calls to action, your social media accounts, your branding, and more.

A reader shouldn’t leave your blog feeling empowered to improve their design only to look you up on Twitter and see that you’re talking about how to increase your social media following. Consistency is key to the above points of focusing yourself and your audience. While it may seem simple, it’s easy to let yourself stray from your original goals.

Where Will You Start?

Now that you know about the most important parts of your blog strategy it’s time to get to work. Where will you start? Let us know in the comments!

Krista is a blog strategist and WordPress developer who helps female creatives elevate their business, increase conversions, and boost engagement through crafting strategic blogs. She uses personalized, goal-driven strategies to set her clients apart from the competition and highlight their unique offerings. Learn more over on her blog!

Comments

  1. says

    Great article, Krista.

    Thanks for linking to my huge roundup post 🙂 That roundup post was one of the things that helped me build my blog and brand FAST. I got 20 000+ page views in 6 days, 1500+ shares and 82 comments.

    I really liked this part “After finding focus for yourself, you’ll want to make it easy for your audience to navigate through your content.”

    High five to you!

    *SLAP*

    Best,

    Tor
    Tor Refsland recently posted…How To Get Featured On 85 Blogs In 12 Months – Blogger Outreach StrategyMy Profile

    • says

      Hey Tor, thank you for checking out the post and for taking the time to comment! I haven’t done a large roundup post yet, but maybe it’s about time I give it a shot. 🙂 I’m glad you resonated with that quote, it’s something I’m really working to get people to try out!

      Thanks again!
      Krista

  2. says

    Hey Krista,

    That’s a wonderful post indeed! And I can relate to it so much 🙂

    It is very vital that we have super focus for our readers and for ourselves. Whatever we do on our blog should be aligned with our long term and short term goals.

    And yes, giving a strong message is very important. The message should be unique. It should be something valuable and strong enough to make an impact in our readers’ lives.

    Thanks so much for putting this together!

    Cheers,
    Jane.
    Jane recently posted…Why your business is not making any progress?My Profile

    • says

      Hi Jane,

      I’m so glad you resonated with the post! And YES to a unique and powerful message, I love it! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

      Krista

  3. says

    I am glad to read this great post today, Krista!

    I am just working on my yearly plan and realized that goal setting for a blog is a bit different compared to a traditional business. Your tips helped me a lot! I worked on my goals with the SMART model, but never asked myself the 3 questions you mentioned in the post.
    Will start working on that and create an action plan 🙂

  4. says

    Hi Krista,

    I want to thank you for talking about the importance of a “message” when it comes to business and the communication of that message in this instance through a blog.

    I found a great formula a few years ago: Clarity + Focus = Execution

    What I discovered in over ten years of entrepreneurship and working with hundreds of clients in a web development I used to own was that business owners have no idea what their message is and they wonder why they fall flat online.

    They tend to run straight to strategies and get the cart before the horse and wonder why they end up in the ditch.

    Clarity is the process of defining ones message. It’s the foundation of the business and everything is dictated by that message; including systems and processes. Here is why. One has to be able in depth to answer these questions:

    1. What problems are you passionate about solving?
    2. What are the tangible values people experience through your business and how do they feel about the experience.
    3. What are the highly detailed and “specific” problems you are solving for each tangible value.
    4. Who are you “specifically” solving each problem for?
    5. How is your product or service a part of “a” solution?

    This process creates tremendous clarity to the point that you can answer the question “what business am I “really” in?” from the consumers point of view.

    Because one has so much information through this process they can now “focus” on creating the right strategies. That includes creating a website and blog that is no longer focused on “me” but specifically on the one problem/need/desire of the visitor and offering one solution per piece of content.

    I have a lot of research, data and statics on how powerful this is and even what consumers are saying. In just one study recently put out by IBM, marketers by 90% said they were doing a great job of talking to the needs of consumers. However, 80% of consumers said the businesses had no relevant message for them and that they in no way spoke to their needs.

    Thanks so much for bringing this up Krista. As artificial intelligence gains steam on search engines and social media; they will be looking to match up a businesses message with the consumers needs because “message” is what ultimately created tremendous value.

    It’s great to meet you. Have a Happy New Year!

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum recently posted…Leadership Influence vs SellingMy Profile

    • says

      Wow, Don, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! I love your execution formula, I’ll definitely have to quote you on that one!

      I’ve also found that most people run straight to strategies and that’s exactly how I started. The shift I saw when I started putting more thought into why I was doing what I was doing, who I was helping, and how I was helping them was incredible and I’m hoping to lead others to the same realization.

      Thank you so much for adding to my post with your thoughts and experience!

      Krista
      Krista Rae recently posted…Does My Blog Need A Sidebar? (How to make the most out of yours)My Profile

  5. says

    Hey Krista,

    This is the type of post that’ll keep me on the right track. One thing I really need to work on is how I can make my blog posts easier for my reader to navigate. I have a few of banners around my blog that I believe is confusing my readers. I want to keep them more focus on the content.

    Second, although you use it as an example, but I want to focus more on building my list. I need to clean up my opt ins and create more landing pages that are attractive to specific audiences. With that said, I need to create more list specific to their interests.

    Lastly, I want to focus less on publishing blog posts. Why? Because of the little time I have, it can be overwhelming. Especially for the fact that I want to be more detailed with my posts and add more visual content. I want to give my readers just enough information for them to opt in as well as use some of the simple tips I convey in order for them to instantly apply for themselves.

    Thanks for the tips Krista! Happy New Years to you and Sue!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…My Top 6 Posts For October and NovemberMy Profile

    • says

      Hi, Sherman!

      I love that you’re working to focus more on what’s best for you and your readers. I agree that having several menus, banners, etc. get’s confusing for readers. While it seems like a good idea at the time it’s important to think about what will be best for them.

      I also like that you’re planning to create separate lists, based on your audience’s interests. I only have a few separated out right now, and while targeting different content towards the lists makes for a lot of work it’s definitely beneficial for both sides!

      Good luck with your list building efforts! I try to make sure each and every page has something that would attract my target readers. Don’t want to miss anyone!

      Thanks for your comment and Happy New Year!

      Krista

  6. says

    Definitely food for thought! I have a blog and a Facebook page with the intention of gaining exposure as an emerging Freelance Writer. I recently changed careers so am conscious that for now I need to focus on creating quality content and to get my work out there; with the hope that at some point someone will start taking me seriously.

    The difficulty I have when considering your advice in this article, as well as others on this website is that I’m not necessarily selling a product but am selling myself. I want to demonstrate my varied writing abilities, therefore don’t necessarily want to narrow my topics or themes but appreciate that the risk is that readers will feel confused. I certainly get that I need to strategise the links between all of my social media accounts and perhaps have a more structured plan. It’s a huge work in progress.

    I do enjoy your advice. Will continue to read.
    Many thanks,
    Tammy

    • says

      Hi, Tammy!

      You have some great points here. What I’d say to the trouble you’re having with this advice is to consider your service as a product when thinking through your whole plan. I too provide services, WordPress development, and even if I weren’t developing products I would still be doing the same thing I’m doing. Why? Because both my products and my services are aimed at the same audience.

      Although I do see how you have even a wider audience as you have to demonstrate different types of writing, as you said. If you’d like to shoot me an email sometime I’d be happy to learn a little more about you and do some brainstorming!

      All the best and keep plugging along!
      Krista
      Krista Rae recently posted…Does My Blog Need A Sidebar? (How to make the most out of yours)My Profile

  7. says

    Krista,

    This post was exceptional. Thank you! Having a clear message both in your specific posts and for your blog more generally is crucial to creating high-quality content. Answering your three questions should be how everyone starts off a blog post. Very impressed. Keep up the great work!
    Bob Barocas recently posted…Link Building and Why Your Business Needs it NowMy Profile

  8. says

    Thanks do much for your reply Krista. Brain storming could be just what I need to help move this forward. How do I send you my email?
    Many thanks,
    Tammy

  9. says

    HI Krista

    I just loved reading your articles. 😀

    The best thing which I really like about your articles is, you covers each and every thing in your articles which makes your article more helpful.

    I have seen people love to read those articles more which are easy to understand and can help a lot. And you always write such kind of articles.

    I would also like to suggest you one thing.

    You should try to keep your paragraphs short so that people can’t scare before reading that paragraphs.

    Short and cute paragraphs increase interest of the reader to read the complete article.

    I hope you wouldn’t mind my suggestion. 😀

    Either way, Thanks for this wonderful article. 😀
    Suprabhat recently posted…Keyword Canine 3.0 Review : 89% Discount + $1300 BonusMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you for taking the kind comments and the suggestion, I will keep it in mind!

      Krista

  10. says

    Hi Krista,
    I really enjoyed reading this post. From the perspective of a new blogger, who currently has 10+ tabs open just from reading your post, (ha!) I really found this helpful.
    Those are from the links in your post because I can’t wait to read them.
    I love your writing style, it wasn’t over my head and it was clear to the point. Thank you for making something that is quite in depth, and difficult to do sometimes seem easier with simple steps to take and really great questions!

    • says

      Hey, Jen!

      Thank you so much for your sweet words! I’m happy to hear that you’ve learned something from this post and that I was able to simplify some things. Have a great day!

      Krista

  11. says

    Short, sweet, and to the point.

    Having your content blend well together is super important and easy to lose sight of.

    Do I want to talk about digital marketing, do I want to talk about social media marketing, or do I want to talk about productivity.

    Topics within topics and ideas within ideas. Sometimes it’s better to just decide on the overall theme and then slowly explore each aspect individually.

    I like your tidbit about reverse engineering from an actual product to the path a visitor would need to take.

  12. says

    Thanks so much for your comment, Daniel! I definitely agree that slowly exploring one idea at a time often leads to the best results and the most clarity.

    Krista

  13. says

    Thanks for sharing some awesome advice Krista!

    And your strategies are so straight forward and non complicated!

    And while you have certainly given me a ton of extremely helpful
    and (thank goodness!) extremely to implement suggestions!

    I love your advice on strategically working backwards, from your
    eventual paid product, through the path that leads our audiences there!

    I can and definitely will start applying that awesome strategy and
    suggestion!

    Thanks Sue! You’ve delivered another solid resource for us to
    benefit from!Krista your seven day course, definitely sounds like a must have!

    Thanks so much for making it available to us!
    Mark recently posted…Three Incredibly Simple Reasons Why Your Current Email Marketing Strategies Aren’t Working!My Profile

    • says

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Mark, and I’m really excited to hear that you’re going to give some of my suggestions a try!

  14. says

    Hi Krista,
    In your write up you extensively discussed two important blog strategy, which are “focus on yourself” and “focus on your audience”. As an individual who desires success, it’s very important to have a clear focus on what you intend to achieve with your blog within a specified period of time, you must have set goals and objectives for yourself and then work diligently towards actualizing those set goals and objectives.

    Another crucial blog strategy you mention is having a focus for your audience or readers, it is important or rather a must for you to give your readers a very clear direction on what action you want them to take on your blog, you must not leave them stranded or confused on what action to take when they visit your blog. These points are so important to the success of any blog, thanks for sharing your ideas and helping others understand better.
    Obodo Charles recently posted…How To Create Backlinks Using Web 2.0My Profile

    • says

      I’m so glad you agree, Obodo. I can see by looking at your blog that you’ve got those two strategies figured out quite well!

      Thank your for taking the time to leave a thoughtful comment!

      Krista

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