A solid blogging strategy is the be-all and end-all of many digital strategies.
For one, it's an essential part of a consistent SEO on-site.
Second, you have the opportunity to introduce and showcase your expertise and value to the world.
Third, visitors get a glimpse of your brand personality and can get relationship building rolling.
You have just set up your WordPress site and you want to start blogging. What are your first steps
Many website owners make the mistake of blogging head-first without a solid, long-term plan. You can definitely take the "spray and pray" approach and hope something sticks, but you probably won't see good results for a while – if you see results at all!
Let's talk about how you can get your blogging strategy off the ground to improve your WordPress site.
Committing to a calendar
The first step in establishing a blogging strategy is to create a content calendar and most importantly, stick to it! All too often, site managers start super jazzing about blogging and posting large numbers of posts in a short period of time. While this is great at first, it usually tapers off quite a bit once the big ideas dry up.
Because of this, it is very important that you commit yourself to a realistic blogging calendar early on to avoid burnout and keep the workload going. It's much better to regularly post a few blogs a month as opposed to a time of quick fire followed by radio silence.
Many companies are committed to this two to four Posts every month. EVERYONE. MONTH.
CoSchedule has a fantastic WordPress plugin that you can use to map your calendar. You can easily collaborate with other content creators on the site, create task templates and streamline the process.
To delve deeper into the weeds of this study:
- Post blog posts on Mondays at 11 a.m. EST for the most traffic.
- Post blog posts Monday and Thursday at 7 a.m. EST for the most inbound links.
- Post blog posts on Saturday at 9 a.m. EST for the most comments.
Of course, these numbers are not universal truths. As you publish more and more blog posts, you need to watch your analysis closely to determine which days / times are best for your website individually.
Plan the column content
Now that we've covered the basics of defining the framework for your WordPress blogging strategy, let's move on to the fun things: creating the actual content!
The first part of this process is to map the topics that you will be covering. Ideally, these should be overarching categories of your business idea and topics that you will be blogging about. This is known as the column content.
For example, if you are a digital marketing agency, your columnar content could include broad topics like SEO, web design, content marketing, social media, e-commerce, etc. Whatever pillar content you choose, there has to be a lot of potential for expansion through more specific and focused blog posts – so called cluster content.
Ideally, the pillar content should serve to let the search engines know what your WordPress site is about and what value it is offering to users.
While you continue to create blog posts that fall within the scope of your pillar content (and link accordingly), it is the goal of Google to consider your website as an expert source of information on the matter. In return, the algorithms rank your website higher in relevant searches.
Now think about that the ranking on page 1 of the search engine page results (SERPs) for very broad terms like "social media", "e-commerce" and "web design" will probably not take place in a million years – no matter how your blog posts are great.
The purpose of your pillar content is to act as the core for mapping subsequent blog posts. Ultimately, this helps both users and search engine robots to navigate your WordPress website more easily.
Let keyword trends guide you
Now is the time to get down to the key aspects of planning the individual blog posts that you will be writing about on your WordPress website – also known as topic clusters.
This is where your blogging strategy and SEO will be very closely related.
For starters, you need a trusted tool in your back pocket to do basic keyword research. Two of my favorite keyword research tools are:
- Keywords Everywhere – Extension
- Ubersuggest – by Neil Patel
Keywords Everywhere can be integrated directly into your Google search and shows you some important information.
When you do a Google search, it shows you the search volume of the query you entered – along with the CPC and the competition. Second, it shows you a bunch of related keywords sorted by search volume, CPC, and competition.
Ubersuggest is another super easy-to-use keyword research tool. The web-based tool gives you the search volume of a term, the organic difficulty, the paid difficulty and the monthly search. In the side menu, Ubersuggest has related keyword ideas as well as a content brainstorming tool.
The best thing about these two resources is that they are FREE!
If you want to learn more about keyword research, check out paid tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush.
To reiterate, your keyword research should more or less determine the topics you are writing about. To start with, you want to target the low hanging fruit keywords with smaller search volume. This makes it easier to get traffic to your website.
For example, suppose your website has travel recommendations. You want to write a blog post about traveling to Dubai. Let's take a look at the search volume on this topic.
As you can see, Travel to Dubai has a search volume of almost 10,000 / month. If this is to be the keyword of your blog post, it will be extremely difficult to rank well on Google searches – especially if you are first starting out.
Instead of trying to rank for "Travel to Dubai", look for more specific, smaller search volume keywords.
Given what we are working with, it would be better if you started your blogging strategy by posting on keywords / phrases like the following:
- Americans travel to Dubai (90 / month)
- How To Explore Dubai (20 / Month)
- Dubai travel tips clothing (70 / month)
- Dubai POI (30 / month)
When you start getting rankings for your posts on keywords with lower search volume, it means that Google is considering you as an expert on that particular topic. In future posts, you can gradually start creating content on related keywords / phrases with higher search volume.
For on-site SEO for your WordPress website, familiarize yourself with the Yoast plugin. It is a necessity!
Conduct annual content reviews
Once your blogging strategy is in place, be sure to return to the war room regularly and evaluate your efforts with a thorough content review.
In a nutshell, a content audit is the process of collecting all of the blog posts on your website and carefully examining the metrics they bring in.
Use a tool like Screaming Frog to round out all of your content resources. By entering the URL of your blog section, you can quickly gather all of your posts and sort them as needed.
You'll also need to get your Google Analytics and Search Console information when categorizing and organizing your blog posts.
In a table, you need to identify the columns for the criteria that are most important to your research / goals. For example, some of your columns could contain the following information in each blog post:
- Release date
- Current category
- Content length
- Content State – (Evergreen / Time Critical)
- last update
- Focus keyword
- Page visits
- Number of shares
- Bounce rate
- AVG time spent on page
- Desired action
- Exchange rate
This is just a bit of information to get you started.
Your content audit results should be used to answer four key questions for each piece.
- Should this stay as it is?
- Should this be updated or expanded?
- Should this be summarized in another piece of content?
- Should this be deleted?
Ultimately, with a content review, you take the time to understand the results of your blogging strategy and plan / adjust for the future as needed. This process should be done at least once a year – possibly more, depending on how important blogging is to your bottom line.
How exactly do you answer the four main questions and take the appropriate action?
You need to have a good idea of what exactly defines a “good” blog post, a “good”, a “mediocre” and a “bad” one.
This criterion is unique to the goals you have with your website / blog. First, take a close look at which metrics are most important to you.
- When blogging, is your primary goal of generating web traffic?
- Rank for more keywords?
- Get conversions?
- All of the above??
With this in mind, develop a rating system to sort each of your posts.
For example, if a blog post receives more than 1000 visits per month, is on the page for more than four minutes on average, contains 10 or more keywords, has more than 50 approvals, and has a conversion rate of 8% or more, the Fall deserve a A.
On the other hand, if a post receives fewer than 50 visits per month, is on the page for less than 20 seconds on average, has no more than three keywords, has a conversion rate of less than 0.03%, and has fewer than 10 stocks, it could be a to earn F. Class.
The parameters you set, for which metrics determine a certain grade, require a thorough evaluation, especially when you have tons of posts on your WordPress site.
What action justifies a particular grade?
The grades you give your blog posts can warrant a number of actions regardless of the grade. Let's go over some common scenarios that warrant certain actions on the main questions of a content reviewer.
Action 1: Should this stay the same?
This probably goes for the evergreen blog posts that deserve one A or B. Class. If the examples, tips, and data used are still up to today's standards, then the post itself can likely be left alone. Why fix something that isn't broken?
If the blog post is very popular, you can turn it into an infographic, video, slideshow, etc. However, this is a topic for another day!
Action 2: Should this be updated / expanded?
This action can be applied to almost any post. However, if you have a post that goes deep into the F. Range, it might not be worth your time. In general, this action is more relevant to you A and B. Blog posts area.
For example, if a post is ranking well for a particular keyword, you can update it with new, similar keywords to improve your ranking even further. You can also expand it by adding it to the post or creating a new, related post.
Another situation for updating a post is that the topic is related to a rapidly evolving industry – such as B. SEO, web design, etc. Since tips and data in this niche get out of date relatively quickly, you can update your posts with new statistics, examples, and advice.
Action 3: Should this be summarized in another piece of content?
This promotion probably applies to posts in your B- to D + Offer.
Suppose you wrote a blog post about optimizing a checkout page for an ecommerce website that is not doing that well. However, you also wrote a post on creating product pages for an ecommerce website B + and over the area. You may be able to consolidate the checkout post into the post on the product page to potentially improve the latter's grade.
When consolidating, make sure you set up a 301 redirect!
Action 4: should this be deleted?
This is probably not a common action unless you have tons and tons of content on your website.
For example, let's say you wrote a blog post about praising a particular celebrity and their leadership style. If they were embroiled in a nasty scandal and all of their credibility and public perception went down the drain, it would be a smart move to delete this post to protect your own image.
While the reasons can certainly be different, a last resort should be to destroy a post that you have worked hard on.
This is just a basic overview of how to perform a content check on your WordPress site. If you need help with this process, be sure to check out the WordPress content review plugin! This makes organizing your content and completing the review process a lot easier.
Over to you
A blogging strategy is critical to making your WordPress site work better.
However, you shouldn't think of a blogging strategy just as being beneficial to you. We are at a time when more public information is available than ever before. Unfortunately, that also means there's a lot of sub-par, unreliable information out there – and Google is getting better and better at telling the difference.
The main goal of blogging must be to provide expert information that will actually improve people's lives. If you can do this with your WordPress site then you will be rewarded!
Image source: (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8)