The pros use a blog strategy: Here are two things you need to start
Originally published Oct 2017, updated with more awesomeness May 2020.
Have you noticed that health, wellness, and lifestyle influencers seem to have really successful product and program launches? And that they’re part of larger industry events that involve a lot of other influencers in the same niche? And they often have amazing content that aligns with brand-specific awareness days?
One of the critical pieces to this kind of success is a blog strategy. A blog strategy helps you
- Grow your list between launches/promotions
- Warms up your audience in the weeks leading up to a launch/promotion
- Aligns your brand with other like-minded brands to help elevate your authority and get you more visibility
But, what all this really comes down to is that you purposefully use your blog content to attract more perfect-for-you readers and convert them into paying customers, clients, and patients.
Imagine knowing exactly what content to create on what day that promotes what opt-in incentive/lead magnet. And saving time every single week (or two) figuring out what to post. And knowing what to publish when you’re in “email list building” mode. And then having your audience ready and engaged when you’re in “launching/promotional” mode.
An excellent blog strategy will encompass these things to ultimately make your business more successful.
What is a blog strategy and how do the pros use it?
It comes down to investing a few hours three or four times a year to brainstorm, strategize, and plan your content so that your ideas are all set for those upcoming months. It’s putting your CEO hat on to run your business (and blog) like a CEO.
In a nutshell, a blog strategy involves creating and documenting your:
- Business vision and goals
- Content mission statement that encompasses these goals
- Strategic content plan/editorial calendar to make this happen
As you can see, your blog strategy is your long-term vision for your content marketing. It incorporates your mission, vision, niche, target market, and how you help them. On the other hand, your editorial calendar maps out topics, types, formats, and categories of content for every week (or however often you publish) for the next several months.A content strategy outlines the direction and goals for your online content. An editorial calendar lists the steps to reach those goals. Click To Tweet
Here’s how these are foundational for the kind of success you’ve seen online (but almost nobody is teaching you how to do this—amirite?). Your blog is the foundation for your digital content strategy (your email and social media marketing strategies follow your blog strategy) and should demonstrate your business excellence while positioning you as the go-to expert in your niche.
Let’s say you have a signature program or service that launches quarterly. You have a website, blog, email list, and social media accounts. How do you figure out what content to create and promote when?
Without a blog strategy, some practitioners publish OKish content on general topics and then at promotion time, send out sales emails. This can work, but only to a certain extent. That’s because your blog (and email and social media) strategy isn’t aligning with your launch strategy. You can incorporate both of these together for a much more powerful content strategy.
You’ve probably seen major health, wellness, and lifestyle influencers have way more success. If we break down what leads to this success, there are some pretty fundamental things that would be part of your blog strategy. For example, they:
- Build their email lists with targeted ideal clients between launches using content designed to build brand awareness
- Nurture their subscribers with valuable niche-specific quality content every week or two to increase engagement with their brand and even do some market research
- Create content to “warm-up” their clients in the weeks leading up to the launch by addressing common hesitations and questions customers have (but not in a salesy kind of way; instead it’s in a “providing valuable content” kind of way)
This is how health, wellness, and lifestyle influencers strategically use content to set themselves up for an uber-successful business!
How do you make this work for you? What are these two things you need in place so you can dive into creating your business-building (and time-saving) blog strategy?
Before you create your blog strategy you need . . .
Your business blog/vlog/podcast should be designed to organically grow your business. It’s not a hobby blog or an online personal journal (although you most certainly can have these!)—it’s a business blog. Its main function is to market your business using valuable content that attracts ideal clients, demonstrates your business excellence, and positions you as the expert.
And your business starts with your:
Once these are clear, you have a direction to base your blog strategy on.
These ensure your messaging is clear and targets the people who you want to work with. Now, let’s group these into two categories: your vision/mission and your niche.
1. Your vision and mission: your “why” and “how”
There’s a reason you started the business you did. You know why you studied those specific areas of health and wellness and these are the ways you help your ideal clients. These are your vision (your “why”) and your mission (your “how”)
Here’s my vision & mission (my “why” and “how”):
I help credible health and wellness professionals build their authority with strategically-planned and easy-to-read research-based health articles. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them build a reputable brand, establish trust with their audiences, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves.
My vision is to help research-based health, wellness, and lifestyle professionals stand out and have a bigger online voice and reach. Why? Because I want online health information to be credible and correctly based on the best science available. I want the general public to find the right information for their health goals so they can reach them en masse. I want people to not get caught up in fake controversies or over-hyped new studies.
These are the fundamental reasons I love to do what I do.
That’s my vision. That’s my “why.”
So, how do I do this? By creating epic easy-to-read research-based health articles. I also help strategically plan and promote blog content (via email marketing and social media). I work to boost credibility with solid research and content marketing expertise, and in turn, grow their businesses so they can reach more of the general public en masse.
That’s how I execute my vision. That’s my mission.
Having a concrete vision and mission direct your blog strategy.Having a concrete vision and mission direct your blog strategy. Click To Tweet
2. Your niche: your target market (“who”) and what you help them with
The second thing you need to have a pretty good grasp to begin creating your blog strategy is your niche.
Your niche includes who you help and what you help them with.
For me, I help credible health, wellness, and lifestyle professionals. That includes any science-based dietitians, nutritionists, fitness professionals, chiropractors, naturopaths, health coaches, etc. I’ve even helped several medical doctors.
What do I help them with? Credibility and content. I
- Boost credibility and authority with high-quality well-researched ghostwritten health articles
- Work 1:1 to strategize blog content to scale businesses by growing audiences, subscribers, leads, and sales
- Conduct blog reviews and create plans to optimize blogs for maximum engagement
- Repurpose content into blog posts (for example if my client has written a book, I can take excerpts and turn them into blog posts)
- Run brand-specific keyword research reports and optimize blog posts to start ranking for those keywords
- Find, sort through, and translate medical research for those who want to create the content themselves, but don’t love PubMed as much as I do. 🤓
That’s very specifically who I help and what I help them with. This is my niche.
Having this clarity makes strategizing, planning, and creating content easy!
If you’re not 100 percent clear on your niche yet, here’s a video by Tad Hargrave at Marketing For Hippies that may help you:
He also has an entire website dedicated to helping conscious entrepreneurs find their niches. You can find it at the Niching Spiral. #NotAnAffiliateLink
Ready to start your blog strategy?
When you have a clear vision, mission, and niche you’re set to get started! You can pull in those pieces to create goals for your content marketing which will define your blog strategy. This strategy and the actionable (week-to-week) plan to make it happen guides you before you publish anything. Staying in line with these ensure you’ll stay “on brand” and speak to your target market, thus organically growing your audience, email list, and customer/client/patient base.Refer to your blog content strategy before you create any pieces of content. #contentstrategy Click To Tweet
With all of these in mind, go ahead and start creating your blog strategy by documenting your content marketing goals.
*Want help documenting your content marketing goals and strategically planning your health content to get more readers, subscribers, customers, clients, and/or patients? Let’s chat about working together 1:1 with Content Calendar Coaching.
When you’re clear on your vision, mission, and niche, you’ll be ready to create your blog strategy. Documenting these and creating a plan to make it happen is how the pros use content marketing with such success. By demonstrating your excellence and positioning yourself as the go-to expert, you’ll organically get more readers, subscribers, customers, clients, and/or patients.
Signing off and toasting: To start creating your blog strategy so you can use it like the pros!
Over to you
What do you think? Have you seen how flawlessly some of the pros build their businesses with content? Do you have a blog strategy that defines your goals and how to reach them with content? Is your blog editorial calendar strategically planned to boost your email list at certain times and promotions at other times?
I’d love to know (in the comments below)!
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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.
Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.
I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.