Last week, Mike Murray posted a great, if somewhat overwhelming, blog marketing checklist on the CMI site. 57 tips is probably more than most folks, experienced or not, could digest at once and more than you could act on, but that doesn’t mean you should hit it with the “TL;DR” (too long, didn’t read) tag.
These are the kinds of articles that we encourage our clients to add to their tickler files so they can refer back to them from time to time. If you have a goal of incorporating just one more idea each time you refer back to the article, it becomes a much less daunting set of recommendations. And, you’ve got yourself on a path of consistent improvement.
Here are the items I would recommend tackling first.
The entire Blog Marketing 101 section: developing a foundational strategy that defines your audience, your goals, how you will differentiate yourself, and how you will develop the content you need.
Included in that should be the creation of an editorial policy. Will it be straight reporting, opinion pieces and commentary, or a combination of the two?
And don’t forget about tracking results. Decide what you will track to measure performance.
If you are just starting out, I would worry less about defining a niche right at the beginning. Write comfortably, and as you develop a rhythm and monitor your metrics, you’ll find the niche that is right for you and for your audience.
Similarly, a style and tone are important. Show your personality. But don’t fret over it at the start. Again, as you gain comfort, your style will develop naturally.
Stick to a schedule. Your audience will appreciate it and it will make it much easier to publish consistently.
Once you have these basics under your belt, revisit the article and incorporate some of the great ideas offered on SEO, on-page usability, and gaining attention for your content.