Blogging is hard work. It takes time, effort and idea to consistently write new content. The beast keeps needing to be fed, and it needs to be fed often.
It explains why many blogs struggle to survive, even though there are tangible benefits for brand awareness, marketing and sales. Blogging is a grind with few, if any, moments of glory. Instead, blogs slowly move the dial. It is a lot like running. You pound away, even when it is dull as molasses because there are long-term benefits.
So what happens when a blog is sputtering or gone dormant? How do you jump-start a blog back to life?
Decide if blogging is going to deliver value
Your blog is struggling for a reason. Maybe not enough people wrote posts. It could have been a lack of ideas, or a lack of traffic was discouraging.
Maybe other marketing activities became a priority. Whatever the reason, it is important to determine if a blog is a relevant part of the marketing and sales mix.
If the answer is “no”, the blog is allowed to stay dormant to keep SEO juice, while any links on your Website are removed so people don’t think the blog is being ignored.
If a blog is going to be revived, the next step…..
Create a strategic and tactical roadmap
From a strategic perspective, it means setting expectations and establish goals. You need to determine what success looks like – e.g. pageview, visitors, leads, inbound links, comments or social shares. With benchmarks, it is easy to measure a blog’s performance.
Several key pieces are needed from a tactical perspective. One is determining how many posts will be created, the editorial focus and who is responsible for generating ideas, writing, editing and approving processes. An editorial calendar provides structure by laying out who does what, when and how often. It can also be used to collect ideas for potential blog posts.
Another important piece is selecting a blogging champion, evangelist or editor-in-chief. This person is responsible for making sure the blog stays vibrant and integral part of a company’s sales and marketing efforts.
Extracting more value from blog posts
The great thing about blog posts is how they can be repurposed to create more content – infographics, slideshows, ebooks, videos, Webcasts, and podcasts. This transforms blogs into content machines that drive a strong return on investment and generate more search engine juice. They also extend a blog post to new audiences who may not read your blog.
Establishing a distribution plan
It is one thing to create content it is also important to articulate how the world is going to discover it. It is about determining how to leverage different social media channels, the content to share, and how often it is going to be shared.
On the day a post appears, share a post on Twitter three or four times, and once on Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn. Posts can also be republished on Medium and Tumblr.
Blog posts can also appear in newsletters, email updates and industry “hubs”. Blog posts focused on marketing, for example, can be shared on Inbound.org, Quibb and Growth Hackers.
Maintaining your momentum
When a blog is rumbling along, the challenge is keeping it vibrant and relevant. It helps to have regular meetings about the blog’s progress, improvements to consider and ideas for posts or a series of posts that can be part of a bigger content plan.
It also important to celebrate successful blog externally and internally. A post, for example, that attracts a lot of pageviews, visitors, comments or social shares deserves to be in the spotlight.
More: For additional inspiration on reviving a blog, check out Neil Patel’s post. His adage is it’s never too late to bring a blog back to life. For even more inspiration, Andy Baio talks about why independent blogs are still relevant.
I’ve worked with dozens of startups and fast-growing companies looking to accelerate their marketing. My services are driven by frameworks and processes to create messaging, strategic plans and content. If you want marketing that makes a difference, let’s talk. If you are looking for hand-picked startup content, subscribe to my weekly newsletter.