We’re deep into the throes of football season, and as we go through this Marketing with a Blog series, there are a few lessons we can learn from the big play makers on the grid.
My brother and I don’t always see eye to eye. His alma mater is in a no-name conference that doesn’t get much attention, and although it’s in the same state as my team, they have never played each other. My team is having a pitiful year, even though they ended last season in the top 5 nationally and were ranked in the pre-season top 10. Naturally, he believes his team can beat mine. And this year, they probably could.
But, in order to get the opportunity to play with the big boys, you have to first go through the necessary steps to position yourself as worthy to do so. You have to prove you’re a play maker. The same is true in blogging.
How does one position themselves as a play maker?
In football, you have to construct great facilities, recruit great players, gain great publicity, build a great fan base, develop a great training program, and (typically the first step) hire a great coaching staff.
My brother’s team recently hired a great coach. And he comes with a backstory that keeps his name in the news, well at least in the realm of sports. This new coach, along with the athletic director et al, released plans for new facilities – a huge, expensive project that will make them attractive to recruits. Which means they will soon have more great players. All the pieces of the puzzle are coming together for my brother’s team. Soon, they will likely be a contender – a play maker!
And, to compete well with all the literally millions of other blogs out there, we need to implement those same elements into our blogging gameplan,
- You have to construct great facilities. That means building your blog on the right platform and constructing it in the right way. I use and recommend WordPress for a lot of reasons – for one thing, it’s the easiest platform in which to market your blog. I have written a lot of posts about how to get started with a blog, and I put them all together in a handy resource list titled, “How to Start a Blog.” That list will help you get your facilities game on.As far as structuring goes, create landing pages with pillar articles and include a specific call to action with a lead capture form on all of those pages. I suggest starting with at least 4, and adding 1-2 each month.What topics should your landing page content cover? Look through your analytics and see which keywords are driving traffic to your site already, then create more content on those topics – but place that content on a page, not a post, and add your lead capture form. Here’s a sample landing page from one of my other sites: http://creatingcompellingcontent.com/free/
- You have to recruit great players. For blogging, the “players” are the elements that comprise all the “positions” of your blog – the design, the content, the topic, the purpose — all these must work together in a cohesive manner to create a team. As you carefully select each component, think how it works together in your overall marketing goals.
- You have to gain great publicity. Great publicity doesn’t happen without a lot of behind-the-scenes work. I remember a quote from Queen Latifah, who said after an interviewer asked how she appeared so suddenly on the celebrity radar screen – “Yeah, it only took me 15 years to become an overnight success.” It might not take you 15 years in blogging, but it could take 15 months. Be patient. Be persistent. And soon, all your hard work will come to fruition as you see YOUR blog ranking consistently for all your desired keywords and the traffic starts rolling in.
- You have to build a great fan base. Your fan base (readers) in blogging comes through getting traffic to your blog. That’s done in a variety of ways, including SEO, word of mouth, social media, networking with others in your field, guest blogging, hosting webinars, and joint venture projects.
- You have to hire a great coaching staff. You, of course, are the head coach! And it’s your job to pull together a team of coordinators to help you keep your team (blog) going strong. Your offensive coordinator is your marketing plan. Reputation management and security and backup measures make up the defensive side.
- You have to develop a great training program. Keep informed about the trends in your niche by creating Google alerts for related keywords. Network with others in your industry through conferences and seminars. Read books about your industry. Continue your training in how to blog better by reading this blog and others.
Sometimes great teams call in outside help in the form of consultants and analysts. Bloggers do this, too. If you find you need further help to get your marketing gameplan on track, contact me and I’ll put together a consulting proposal.
Until next time,