Do You Blog Strategically?

Blog Traffic Tips Weekly Newsletter

by Yaro Starak – The Blog Traffic King

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I’m a member of a coaching program and my mentor-coach is Rich Schefren, a well known Internet business strategist. His program costs $400 USD per month for 12 months, so as you can imagine I’m pretty serious about it.

I joined the coaching program to learn how to improve the structure and strategize for the future of my online business. My blogs are a big part of my future plans and I’ve come to realize that I need to start thinking strategically when it comes to blogging.

BLOGGING BY THE SEAT OF YOUR PANTS

Most of my blogging is ad-hoc, which means I tend to fly by the seat of my pants and come up with ideas for topics on the spot or maybe a few days in advance at most. I would hazard a guess that you are probably like me – I don’t know many bloggers who plan their blogging to the finest detail well in advance, though I’m sure some do.

I’ve written a ton already about having a clear purpose and goals for your blogs and blogging. It’s much easier to achieve something when you have a clear “something” you want to achieve.

Strategic blogging can help you reach your goals quicker because you produce a framework for getting there. Once you build the steps you just have to execute and follow them. That’s what strategic blogging is all about.

DO YOU NEED TO STRATEGIZE?

Not every blogger reading this will need to blog strategically and in fact trying to may be the worst thing for you. If your blog is purely about creative expression forcing yourself to follow a strategy may stifle your spontaneity. If you restrict yourself to writing only about certain topics you may reduce the quality of your content, or create writers block when you can’t come up with new ideas for topics that fit within the “box” you have permitted yourself to write within. It is possible to blog strategically and retain your creative expression, so I suggest you read the rest of what I am going to say, but if you are an artist (creative blogger), don’t let systems get in your way from writing what you want to when you want to. Use a strategy that enhances your flexibility and creativity, not hinders it.

STRATEGIC BLOGGING

Strategic blogging is all about writing down what you are doing now, how you do it, what you want to be doing tomorrow and how you will do it.

Strategic blogging is great for professional bloggers (blogging for income) or bloggers with a very specific goal that would benefit from having a roadmap for getting to their desired destination.

The trick is to really break down the little steps.

Let’s say you want to be generating as much m.oney as you can from your blog. To do this you need to test all the different methods of monetization and come up with a combination that maximizes your return. Of course when it comes to testing monetization methods that should also be broken down into a step-by-step testing process too.

Plus, as always, you need traffic, you can’t test m.oney making techniques if you don’t have traffic to play with.

A BASIC STRATEGIC OUTLINE FOR MAXIMIZING FINANCIAL RETURNS FROM YOUR BLOG

Here’s a somewhat-off-the-top-of-my-head strategic plan, albeit a very simplified model, but I don’t have a lot of space in these newsletters or you guys get bored and run off. This is for a blogger who focuses on financial return.

1. Traffic.

You need traffic so lets say you need to write at least 4 good blog articles per week. That’s your first process to maintain or the rest of this activity is useless.

There’s a whole lot more to building traffic of course, but I’ll keep things simple and assume you maintain whatever it is you do to bring traffic to your blog.

2. Monetization Methods

Next you need to know how you are going to make m.oney. Create a list of different monetization methods to test, things like AdSense, Text-Link-Ads, AdBrite, banner networks, affiliate programs (this could be broken down into it’s own category – test each affiliate program against each other) or in-house advertising.

3. Testing Techniques

Next you need to have a system to test all the monetization methods to find the combination that provides maximum return. This should be completed for each blog, don’t assume any one blog will have the same results as any other blog.

1-2-3 LETS PUT IT ALL TOGETHER

Let’s say for the sake of this example that each week you test two monetization methods against each other. The method that makes the most m.oney is called your “control”. Each week you drop the less effective method and test the control method against another method. When something beats the control it becomes the new control. Each week your aim is to beat the control by testing a different monetization method.

In order for this to be as accurate as possible you must keep the advertising variables constant as best you can. What I mean by this is that you must keep the positions you place advertisements on your blog the same – if you have a left sidebar area for advertisements only use that area to test each monetization method. Your traffic should be kept relatively constant too, so keep up your process for generating traffic.

Over time you will learn which methods make the most m.oney. It’s far from an exact science but at least by doing this you have a process, a system to follow. It’s your strategy for making more m.oney from your blog.

The best thing about this is that psychologically it will be easier for you to stick to your strategy just because you have one. When you blog ad-hoc, without a strategy, it’s much more likely that you will be lazy or inconsistent and that slows down results.

STRATEGIES FOR EVERYTHING

The example I provided was about making m.oney from your blog, but you can apply a strategy to any element of your blogging. A very good example of a strategy is my course, Blog Traffic School. The entire course is a strategy for blog traffic.

Within the course are activity lists to help you build your traffic. By having activities to complete you remain motivated and ensure your energies are focused on the tasks that help you meet your goals in the most efficient manner. This is what strategic blogging is all about.

Other possible areas you could create a strategy for your blog include:

  • Generating media exposure from blogging
  • Building a large email list
  • Maximizing the number of sales of a product via your blog
  • Attracting a certain demographic audience
  • Building your personal brand
  • Increasing the number of votes for you in an election

The important thing is to have a strategy and not to blog aimlessly “hoping” for results. Only with a strategy can you get to where you want to be in the quickest possible time.

Here’s to your blogging success,

Yaro Starak
Blog Traffic King

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