What are your Blog Goals for 2016?

The New Year offers a natural reflective point to set blog goals for 2016, whether you are a new or seasoned blogger.

We all want to see more traffic. We want our blogs to serve as our sales force, working to bring in new customers, even while we are sleeping. We want natural exposure for our businesses. Some common blogging goals include increasing sales, the size of our platforms, engagement, comments, and traffic.

Get as specific as you can in determining blog goals, if you haven’t already. It will be much easier to declare success down the road if you understand what you are looking to do. For instance, it is easier to declare success if you want 20,000 page views than if you arbitrarily say you want to increase your web traffic.

No matter what your blog goals for 2016 include, there are some sound strategies to improve your blog.

Evaluate Your Time

Many people start the New Year with the best intentions, and time gets in the way. They want to blog more to promote their business, but they just don’t have the time to write as many posts as they want.

It might be time to evaluate how you spend your time. Can you wake up a half hour earlier? Do you need to spend as much time on social media as you do? Is every meeting that you have for your business necessary?

Chances are if you look hard enough at your day, there are blocks of time that could be eliminated if necessary. A basic level of accounting and bookkeeping is necessary for a business owner. Writing is just as important for your marketing efforts. Make sure you value it.

Write More

Your blog serves as a way to get the message out about your business online. It serves as a natural channel for you to build credibility, and expand the size of your audience.

In order to serve this purpose you’ll need to write more. It’s not always easy, but you’ll want to make time to establish further online visibility. In order to maintain a certain level of visibility, you’ll probably want to write at least once a week. At that schedule, you should be able to come up with a consistent stable of blog ideas to write about.

If you can produce quality blog posts more than once a week, it will certainly help. Your blog is often the first impression that a customer might have of your business, so the quality of your writing is highly important.

If making the time to do this remains a problem, hiring a marketing writer can be an effective way to help you meet your goals.

Value Quality Writing

Clear, quality writing is paramount if you are looking to develop your blog as the centerpiece of your digital marketing efforts. Is your headline working to lure readers in? Is your content interesting enough to keep people reading? Do you have a clear and direct call to action?

All of these things matter. Your writing needs to be strong and memorable. It’s not always easy, and each post serves as a learning process. Here is a checklist to go through before you publish. If it helps, print it and leave a copy next to your computer.

Evaluate Your Promotion Methods

No matter how good the blog post, simply publishing it and forgetting about it not an effective way to garner web traffic. Make sure that you promote your blog posts on all of your social media platforms.

Are you in professional LinkedIn and Facebook groups? Those might offer good places to share your material. Do you have a business email address? Make sure your blog or website link is listed in your email signature.

Do you have a lot of in-person meetings with customers or clients? Your blog posts can serve as printed informational resources or sell sheets during these meetings. There are a variety of ways to get the word out about your blog. Make sure you’re doing everything you can.

Consider Syndication and Guest Posting

Even if you are among the largest, most successful businesses in your industry, chances are there are important industry conversations happening on platforms other than yours. Syndication and guest posting are two great ways to get your name in front of people within those conversations.

Many industries have publications that will publish the blog posts you already published on your site. This is blog syndication. Some platforms will require you to send a link or the text of the blog post, and others might be able to run each post published on your site by using your RSS feed. This can be a great way to get in front of a new audience.

Another way to join that conversation is through guest posting. What industry resources do you read the most? Are they accepting posts from contributors? A Google search can show you who is accepting posts.

This can be a great way to bring traffic back to your site and to attract new readers.

Conclusion

Keep these strategies in mind as you work toward your 2016 blog goals. Blogging is a long process that doesn’t produce overnight success. Producing quality, valuable content for your audience will help you increase your business however. So be patient, keep at it, and have a great 2016!