When you jump out of an airplane, you better have a plan ready.
Step one is a parachute, and step two is learning how to hit the ground. Paratroopers have a technique for this that allows them to land safely. They call it a PLF (parachute landing fall). It goes like this:
- Balls of the feet
- Heels of the feet
- Side of the thigh
- Side of the hip, or buttocks
- Back of the shoulder blades
Make sense right? There’s nothing like easing into it. Now, what about your blog? A blog launch is a lot like the initial jump out of an airplane. It is exhilarating, fast paced, and comes with an amazing view, but what happens after the free fall?
Eventually, as a blogger or content marketing pro, you need a good plan in order to breakthrough the initial launch and begin running high-traffic blog.
Are you really getting the traffic and attention you hoped for?
Does your content have an ROI?
Are you going to be able stick the landing without breaking your legs?
Just like parajumpers, bloggers need a 5-point plan for sticking the free fall. Maybe you just launched a new blog, or maybe you are looking to revitalize a long-held content marketing plan. Either way, you need to have a process ready and that is what I have tried to compile in this post. I am calling it, The 5 Point Plan For Running A Breakthrough Blog, and it’s actually pretty doable.
This guide is designed to take your blog from launch to high-end breakthrough traffic. The following five steps are what it takes.
1. Develop A Super-Human Understanding Of Your Audience
We have been spending the entire month of August blogging about finding, growing, creating, and (most importantly) understanding your blog audience, and we’ve been doing it for good reason – it is the cornerstone of any breakthrough blog. Your blog exists for the pleasure of your audience. If you don’t understand them, then how will you ever reach them?
Too often, we take the Field of Dreams approach to content creation. We believe that if we write it, they will come. Wrong. We need to have purpose in what we publish.
One of the things that we talk about often is learning to expand your content core. The purpose of this exercise is to understand the difference between what you do, and what you need to talk about. This is where you start to understand your audience.
The key is finding the content that your audience really cares about, and using those topics to reach them directly. It is a crucial component for any breakthrough blog.
2. Find A Truly Unique Voice
Let’s face it. You’re aren’t the first person in the world to launch a blog in your niche, industry, or even on your city block. When it comes to blogs and content marketing there are few new ideas. Been there, done that.
Don’t let this dismal take on blogging stop you from trying though. The reality is that you don’t have to be doing something new to be doing something great.
Truthfully, most blogs are simply doing the same thing as everyone else. They’re not that great. The key is to figure out how you’re different. At CoSchedule, we call this a Blue Ocean Strategy, and it works because it is strategy without real competition.
So, what is your Blue Ocean Strategy?
The main quality of a Blue Ocean Strategy is that it is completely unique. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. You will need to come up with something on your own, but done correctly, it should provide you will a clear path to creating a blog that your audience loves to read.
3. Create An Achievable Publishing Schedule
You have to set a schedule detailing how often you will blog. If you don’t, you will fail. It’s as simple as that.
For early bloggers, I like to suggest that they start posting content as much as five times per week. This is a great way to start learning the ropes and get used to pressing that daunting publish button. As good as that may sound, though, it won’t always be achievable, and that’s really the most important part about setting a blogging schedule: You need to find something that you can set, and achieve.
Once you know how often you will post, you need to develop an editorial calendar and process for planning our your content before you start to write. Here at CoSchedule, we provide a free set of editorial calendar templates that make this process easy.
These free templates are designed to break your content down into three tools:
- An annual overview to rough-out your content plan for the entire year.
- An idea zone to plan out individual posts and content ideas.
- A one-month calendar to plan out specific posts for each day of the month.
You can download these free templates and an easy step-by-step guide on how to implement them into your daily workflow from our website. Just follow the link above.
The best part about using a paper editorial calendar is that it can help you start the habit of using one to plan your content marketing. Eventually you will need bigger and better tools like CoSchedule itself, but this is a great way to ease-in without a major financial investment.
4. Write Amazing Content That Is Undeniably Sticky
This is a biggy: To break through with your blog, you need to create better, and more original, content than everyone else. This can come in many unique forms.
- It could be longer (long-form content).
- It could be more visual.
- It could be better at telling a story.
- It could excel at SEO.
Really, it could be anything. Even in a time with Google, bots, and SEO, quality content is still the line that we need to measure ourselves by, and it isn’t always that easy. Sometimes content flows from our fingertips like lightning, and other times it drips like a painful leak in an old faucet. This is may require an adjustment to your process, but you must find a better way.
One of first places to start writing sticky content is with a great headline.
Before you even start to create your content, headline generation is a good way to think through your post before words meet the page. We like recommend writing at least 25 different headlines during your early brainstorming process. This will get things flowing, and help you frame your content properly before going too far. You can also measure the emotional value of your headlines to ensure proper reach.
5. Learn How To Promote Your Content Like A P.R. Wizard
One of the saddest stories in the world is the blog post that is published and never heard from again. After pouring all of your effort into an outstanding and insightful post, it will be up to you to make sure that it is heard around the world. In order to run a breakthrough blog, you are going to need to have a promotion plan in place. There are two big things that you need to be doing.
First, you absolutely must have a social media promotion schedule in place and a method for executing it.
This type of schedule will ensure that your content is distributed via social media on a regular basis. Here at CoSchedule, we have developed a near scientific schedule for making this happening across dozens of social media channels.
Second, you need to be repromoting your content across a variety of channels.
This includes something called repurposing your content, and it is simple to do once you know where to make it happen. A great example of this in action is this post about (ironically) repurposing your content. The post originally showed up here on blog, but was repurposed on SlideShare as a simple slide deck, resulting in thousands of additional views and shares.
Again, this is something that those who own breakthrough blogs are doing on a regular basis. Why not you as well?