After you’ve chosen a blog niche, a name, domain name, and Web hosting company for your new blog, it’s time to think about marketing (yes, even before you start posting!).
Many bloggers make the mistake of looking for things like blog promotion lists, and following every tactic they can find. That’s not smart. It amounts to a huge amount of wasted time, and contributes to blogger burn-out (when bloggers run out of steam and let their blogs die).
The problem with simply promoting your new blog in the same ways as everyone else is that not all tactics work for all niches or target markets. You have to fully understand who your blog is targeting, and how those potential readers are best influenced, before you can really write for them or effectively market your new blog.
Here are a few steps to help you create your blog marketing plan:
- Do Market Research – Find out who your potential readers are (think demographics – age ranges, professions, locations, etc.), and learn as much as you can about their blog reading habits. A Myspace profile may be a great way to promote an indie music blog for example, but it could be an extremely poor place to promote a blog on small business accounting. Also find out who your biggest competitors in the niche are, and thoroughly look into what they’re doing to promote their blogs. Doing this background market research will help you throw out time-waster marketing tactics and focus on ones with a better ROI.
- Come up with a Marketing Tactics List – Now is the time to start sorting through lists of blog marketing (and traditional marketing) tactics, weighing them against each other based on your market research. Choose tactics that will have the most potential for your specific blog, and don’t simply get caught up in fads just because they’re there (such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. – if they don’t apply to your audience, don’t waste your time).
- Write Your Marketing Plan – A lot of bloggers skip writing a formal marketing plan, because they think it’s going to be too time consuming. I’ve created a one page marketing plan that’s ideal for bloggers – it allows you to keep track of vital information, plan marketing tactics throughout the year, and easily make updates all on a single page plan.
Only after you’ve considered your audience and marketing plan should you start planning your content strategy for your new blog.
This post was originally featured on December 18, 2007.