You have a lot in common with your customers. For starters, you both want the highest possible quality for the lowest possible price. However, one area where you shouldn’t penny pinch is your content marketing. At the same time, it’s difficult to begin if you don’t know how much the process will cost you. That’s why it can be smart to handle your content creation in-house. Learning how to run a blog on your own can net a ton of benefits.
While you will need to dedicate suitable time and resources to the task, you might find you’ll save money in the long run. Plus, you’ll be afforded more control over your content marketing, and you won’t have to worry about unpleasant surprises.
In this post, we’ll discuss how to run a blog almost completely in-house. However, first let’s talk about why it’s a good idea!
Why you might want to run your blog in-house
Running a blog in-house isn’t necessarily simple. There are many moving parts to consider — you’ll need to assemble a team and create a marketing strategy, and then you’ll have to actually write and promote your content.
While there’s no denying the work that’s involved, the benefits of running your blog in-house far outweigh the negatives:
- You get greater control over the quality of your output.
- You can manage your blog more completely.
- You have more options for scaling your blog.
- You can better communicate your company’s philosophies.
Of course, not every business will benefit from this approach — whether yours can is largely a question of how balanced your resources are. A limited budget will mean you’ll have no choice but to begin internally. On the other hand, even if your coffers are stuffed, you might find you prefer your voice to that of someone you’d hire.
How to run a blog (almost) completely in-house in 4 steps
Decide on your blog’s focus.
Write compelling and captivating content.
Set up a regular content schedule.
Promote your content and gain traffic.
If you’ve decided to manage your blog in-house, you’ll first want to assemble a dedicated team. Then you’ll be ready to dive into the process!
1. Decide on your blog’s focus.
First up is to decide on the focus of your blog. What is it going to do for your business? By nailing the answer down now, you’ll have an anchor for future decision-making.
Ultimately, choosing a focus for your blog comes down to a few key steps:
- Brainstorm a list of what your business offers.
- Create a target reader or customer based on that list.
- Hone in on your focus by balancing your initial goals with your target reader.
Once you have a focus in place, you can then decide what kind of content they’ll appreciate.
2. Write compelling and captivating content.
When we talk about compelling and captivating content, we really mean highly-converting copy. It night seem obvious, but engaging content will provide you with authority throughout your industry, shine a light on your business as a whole, and encourage readers to consider your services in the future.
There are plenty of tutorials across the web about writing solid content, but the task can be boiled down to the following aspects:
- A killer headline.
- A structure that’s easy to read.
- Body copy that’s designed for the web.
- Relevant contextual media.
- A solid and engaging call-to-action.
This is arguably the most important step besides deciding on a focus, and you’re likely to constantly refine your approach as the blog evolves. In short, don’t worry too much if you don’t get it right first time.
3. Set up a regular content schedule.
The term “setting up a content schedule” refers to nailing down a regular publishing time and date for your blog entries. There are a number of benefits to doing this. For starters, your readers will begin to expect content at the same time (which keeps them coming back regularly). What’s more, you’ll be able to develop a content delivery cycle internally.
Again, there are a number of steps you can take to set up an effective content schedule:
- First, decide how often you want to post. Plan for the short to medium term here, around one to six months.
- Plan around key industry dates.
- Use a tool such as CoSchedule to help manage your blog.
There’s no need to overthink this step. Ultimately, you’ll want to focus on getting content out on a regular basis and consider other aspects as you need to.
4. Promote your content and gain traffic.
You wouldn’t think twice about promoting your products and services, and the same goes for your blog. It goes without saying that if you can’t get eyes on your content, it’s as good as useless.
The good news is that while there are a multitude of ways to promote your blog, you only need to consider two initially:
- Set up active social media accounts and publish to them regularly.
- Begin a newsletter to advertise your posts and gain a readership.
Finally, you can also use additional tools such as Buffer, which helps you optimize your social media posts’ delivery times, and Meet Edgar, which enables you to automate your posts.
While you can manage with a razor-thin budget in some areas of your business, content marketing is not one of them. However, it can be difficult to find quality content marketing services if you have few resources.
Running your blog almost entirely in-house is the solution, and in this post we’ve offered four steps for getting started. Let’s recap them:
- Nail down the focus and goals for your blog before you put virtual pen to paper.
- Make sure your content is well-written and engaging.
- Schedule your posts so both you and your readers know when to expect new content.
- Promote your blog in order to get more eyes on your website.
Now that you know how to run your blog in-house, get to writing! Need a platform for your new venture? Check out GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress for a quick and easy setup.
Also published on Medium.