.blog Featured Site: montana-cans.blog

For a business, creating a blog and finding the right balance between spotlighting its products/services and engaging the consumer can feel like a challenge. However, our next featured dotblogger shows with the right approach, it can feel pretty simple. Montana-cans.blog shows they know their audience, and positions the brand as an expert voice on graffiti and art culture.  

Who is the blogger?

Montana-cans.blog is run by Montana Cans, a German manufacturer of spray cans and other paint products. The founders of Montana Cans have their roots in graffiti and the urban art movement, and they see montana-cans.blog as a platform to communicate with their community of friends, artists and enthusiasts. 

Who is the blog for, and what’s it about?  

Montana-cans.blog is for consumers and artists. The blog shares product news and videos as you might expect. However, the blog also shares everything from DIY projects to murals created by artists using their products. 

The blog acts as a source of inspiration for artists, while also highlighting how their products meet the unique and constantly evolving needs of graffiti artists.

What makes it special?

More than simply highlighting their products, Montana Cans uses their blog to position themselves as an integral part of graffiti culture, which allows them to show their expertise in the field as a lifestyle. They aren’t simply selling products. Instead, readers can see the company is immersed in the world of graffiti art. It shows they have a clear understanding of the needs required by these artists, and how that fits into their everyday lives.

The in-depth coverage of exhibits and the work of local artists allows them to connect with the graffiti community of artists, while also highlighting what their product lines can do.

What can we learn?

It’s apparent the bloggers behind montana-cans.blog intuitively know what their audience wants, and they are well connected within the art community. In addition to sharing the benefits of their products, they spotlight and feature artists’ work such as the all-female collective SISTERHOOD. Montana Cans’ culture is clearly communicated through inspirational and engaging content. 

6 Questions Every New Blogger Asks

Running a blog is a fun and rewarding experience, but it also takes time, resources, and effort. Many new bloggers realize they need a little help figuring out the best ways to get their blog off the ground. 

They don’t just want to know how to start a blog; they have questions on everything from generating traffic to creating content and making money.

Here, we’ll show you what new bloggers are searching for online, what type of content works best, and the tools required to get started and run a successful blog.

1. How do I start a blog?

This is the most commonly asked question for new bloggers. They have great ideas and feel the urge to write, but don’t know where to begin. For businesses, they want to know how they can add a blog that works with their existing website and marketing plans. 

This seemingly simple question often prevents new bloggers from getting started. Sometimes the hardest part of starting something new is just getting started. 

There are a number of easy-to-understand guides on everything from choosing a domain name to building a website. Here at .blog, we’ve written a number of step-by-step guides to enable aspiring bloggers to get online. Here are just a few recent examples:

How to Start a Blog in 5 Simple Steps

5 Tips for Selecting the Best Domain Name for Your Blog

In addition to articles like these, you can also find a number of helpful podcasts or videos showing step-by-step how to do things like choosing a blog theme, buying a domain name, and setting up web hosting.

2. How do I choose a niche?

Choosing what to write about is one of the next most-searched-for questions by new bloggers. They want to know several things:

  1. What is a niche?
  2. Does my blog need one?
  3. How do I choose one?

While some bloggers come into the industry with a clear idea about their goals, many new bloggers need help to refine their vision. One way to build clarity is to start by asking a few key questions.

In our guide Why Your Blog Needs a Niche and How to Find the Right One, we ask aspiring bloggers the following:

  • What is your passion?
  • What do you do in your free time for fun?
  • What are your hobbies?
  • What do you enjoy talking about?
  • What do you enjoy learning?
  • What are you good at?
  • Which topics do you know well?
  • In which areas do other people constantly ask for your help?
  • About which topics could you talk to your friends and even strangers for hours?

All of these questions are designed to help bloggers define and refine their goals and, ultimately, their niche. 

This process does not need to feel overwhelming for new bloggers, finding your niche can be simple and fun by exploring your own passions and strengths. 

3. How do I get traffic?

Another top question for new bloggers, especially those blogging for business, is how to get people to read their content. 

Bloggers can attract traffic to their website in a number of ways and there is a variety of content on topics ranging from:

  • Building up a social media following
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)  
  • Paid advertising

It’s a good idea to review content that covers a number of topics like 5 Essential Steps to Grow Your Audience. More in-depth blogs for each tactic are also helpful as bloggers move to implement a few of the ideas.

Likely, not every piece of advice will apply to every blogger. Bloggers can identify which ones are most interesting and applicable to them.

Beyond just reading articles it is a good idea to review real-world examples of blogs using each tactic to see it come to life. 

4. What tools do I need to be a blogger?

Many new bloggers are looking for help through third-party tools that will help them craft the best possible content. 

Some of the most popular tools used by bloggers include:

Grammarly – A cloud-based writing assistant that reviews spelling, grammar, punctuation, and clarity.

Canva – A graphic design platform, used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents, and other visual content. 

Hootsuite or Buffer – A social media management platform that supports integrations for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.

Moz or SEMRush – A keyword research tool that helps maximize SEO, inbound marketing, link building, and content marketing.

In our blog posts, ​​12 Tools To Create Stunning Visuals For Your Blog and 12 Social Media Tools Every Blogger Should Know About, we list some popular tools by category so readers can compare features.  

5. What should I write about?

This question may seem to go hand-in-hand with the question about choosing a niche, but it’s actually quite different. It’s one thing to know what your niche is, but it’s another to know what you should be writing about within that niche.

Using tools like Keyword Tool, Google Trends, and Answer the Public will help new bloggers to find the most-searched-for topics in their particular niche. Doing keyword research with tools like Moz or SEMRush will also be helpful for new bloggers to uncover the ways readers currently find their content.

It’s not just what a new blogger should write about, though, it’s how they write about it. This is where a guide to blog formats will be useful. In our post Blog Post Formats: 10 Different Types and When You Should Use Them, we break down the different ways a blogger can write, including:

  • Lists
  • Interviews
  • Reviews
  • Personal stories (including longform content)

Once bloggers have decided what they want to write about, they’ll need ways to keep track of all their ideas. Content calendar templates – or links to third-party tools, like Google Calendar or Hubspot – to help them better manage their ideas and stay on track with their publishing goals.

6. Can bloggers make money?

Last, but certainly not least, one of the biggest questions new bloggers have is if they can monetize their blog. The answer is, of course – but how they get there is another thing altogether. There are a number of ways bloggers can make money, including:

  • Selling products
  • Sharing sponsored content
  • Selling services (such as photography)
  • Including affiliate links

In our blog How to Make Money Blogging, we cover each of these topics and provide some actionable steps to take. 

As you can see, new bloggers have plenty of questions when starting out. But it’s a lot easier than you may think. The internet is full of helpful resources that answer these questions and getting started is often the biggest hurdle. By using different tools and guides bloggers can learn what they need to start their new blogs. A blog can also evolve over time so new bloggers shouldn’t get too hung up on making the perfect decisions. Nothing is set in stone and the more you blog, the more you’ll learn. 

.blog Featured Site: bubblegumballoons.blog

This Valentine’s day our featured dotblogger is an expert in creating celebrations of love. Bubblegumballoons.blog is full of fun and unique ways to incorporate balloons into gifts, special events, parties, and more. They will wow you with their balloon creations and illustrate how a blog can showcase products and inspire customers.

Who is the blogger?

Bubblegum Balloons is the UK-based business behind the blog. Sisters Laura and Sally and their friend Megan, also known as the Bubblegum Girls, launched the company with the simple idea of creating personalized gifts for special occasions. After diving into gift market research, they identified a gap they could fill with high-end balloons.

In the past five years, the company has grown to include 26 staff and now delivers over 120 balloons a day. One of their major selling points is their skill and creativity in transforming balloons into showstopping displays. They create displays and installations for all kinds of events and celebrations.

Who is the blog for and what’s it about?

Bubblegumballoons.blog is a space for Bubblegum Balloons to showcase their work and inspire prospective clients. The gallery allows visitors to browse by event type including baby showers, weddings, holidays, corporate celebrations, and more.

The blog also includes tips and tricks for properly inflating and caring for specialty balloons. It is a helpful resource for clients and a source of inspiration. From the blog, you can easily access their online store to place your order. 

What makes it special?

Bubblegum Balloons is a creative company that designs bespoke pieces for clients. It is important that customers can see their past work, and envisage the possibilities for their own creations. A blog is a great way to highlight balloon installations in real-world settings, and the wide range of options available, from corporate branded balloons to seemingly endless wedding ideas.

The blog encourages visitors to move through the site by sharing related posts at the bottom of each page. You can easily fall down the rabbit hole of balloon decorations that will make you want to find a way to incorporate an installation into your next event or celebration. 

What can we learn?

Bubblegumballoons.blog shows us how photos can be used to share the feelings of joy and excitement associated with a product. It also shows us that posts don’t need to be heavy on text to be effective.  

Like the blog, the linked social media is characterized by colorful, appealing images of products and displays, offering inspiration and out-of-the-box ideas for a variety of events. 

Hopefully, bubblegumballoons.blog will give you the inspiration you are looking for in both blogging and gift-giving. This is a great example of how a business can creatively showcase its products through the strategic use of a blog. In addition, we hope their creative use of balloons provides you with inspiration for your Valentine.

How to Start a Photo Blog: A Quick Guide for Beginners

People have been using photo-sharing sites like Flickr or Google Photos for years but there has been a shift towards sharing photos in a more personal way. Linking to other sites or sharing on a social platform like Facebook gives up some control over your photos and content. Instead, professional and amateur photographers are using custom domains like dominey.blog to showcase their work. Whether it’s professional photography or just a hobby, the .blog extension is perfect for anyone looking to start a new photo blog and take full ownership of a little piece of the internet. 

Getting started with a photography blog is simple, and you can be quick to set up. Here, we explore some of the main points you’ll want to consider before you start your photo blog and how to set it up and make it successful.

Before You Start

Determine Your Why 

The first thing to determine before you begin working on your photography blog is your goal and motivation in creating one. Photo blogs can be used for a number of reasons:   

  • Sharing photos with friends and family
  • Creating a portfolio of your work for potential clients
  • Organizing your personal photo collection in a more accessible and easy-to-search way
  • Starting a professional photography business
  • Building up your personal brand online to showcase your talents and interests
  • Showcasing your love for photography and wanting to extend your hobby to others

Each of these are great reasons to start your own photo blog, but determining your specific focus before you start will help you to refine your vision.

Choose a Focus or Niche

Another important consideration before starting your photo blog is the type of photography you want to concentrate on. There is a wide variety of possible themes, such as these to name a few:

  • travel photography blog
  • food photography blog
  • fashion photography blog
  • street photography blog
  • food blog photography
  • family photography blog
  • maternity photography blog
  • lifestyle photography blog
  • landscape photography blog
  • nature photography blog
  • aerial photography blog
  • sports photography blog
  • architectural photography blog
  • wedding photography blog

Your options are almost endless, so having a specific focus will go a long way to making your photo blog stand out online and attracting your target audience. 

Finding the Perfect Domain Name

Now that you’ve refined your purpose and focus, you can start searching for the right domain name for your blog. 

When choosing a domain name for your website, it is recommended to keep it short, memorable, and easy to spell. Check out this article for more tips on picking the best domain name for your blog

With over 1.9 billion websites, you need to find a way to stand out. Using a .blog domain allows you to immediately communicate who you are and what you do. 

Take a look at the following photographers who use .blog domains, for some inspiration:

Emilysphotograpy.blog – Emily uses this for her photography business and has used her blog to brand herself in her niche: dog-friendly weddings and family portraits.

Natureview.blog – This blog was created to showcase high-quality photography of animals and nature.

Leica-camera.blog – This blog was created by Leica to showcase their cameras. It features photo essays that serve to highlight the quality and capabilities of their range of cameras. In this case, it is an extension of their main website which displays their products in this unique way.

Picking a domain name doesn’t have to be a frustrating process. Have fun and use your creativity to pick the perfect name for you.   

Getting Set Up

Now that you’ve chosen your domain name, it’s time to start building your blog.

Depending on your level of technical expertise, you can choose to build one using HTML, a website builder, or content management system (CMS).

There’s a wide array of web hosting companies to choose from too, so do a little research to select the one that best suits your needs. Here we cover some options on choosing the best blogging platform. Regardless of where you host your site, most will offer a variety of options including pre-made templates so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. 

WordPress, for example, has hundreds of templates to choose from, created specifically for photographers. To name just a few: 

  • Elegance Pro
  • Divi
  • Ultra
  • Neve
  • Coastline
  • Fargo
  • Shutterup

Keep in mind that some templates may come with a one-time cost.

Other hosting providers, such as Squarespace, also provide templates designed specifically for photographers. Their platform is designed in such a way that you can choose a template and then simply drag and drop new elements or delete old elements, so it is a good choice if you have never created a website before.

Your template is also not set in stone, so don’t worry about making the “right” choice – your needs will change over time, and so will your tastes! You can make changes at any time.

No matter how you choose to design your blog, you will want to ensure that you are focusing on the niche you determined at the beginning of this process. Give your best, most compelling photographs the starring role on your website to draw in the visitor.

Promoting Your Work

You’ve built and launched your blog – now it’s time to show it off to the world.

How you promote your work will largely depend on your goals for your photo blog. If you have created it to share photos with friends and family, let them know about your new website through social media or email. 

If you are building a business with your blog and need it to be properly categorized by search engines, you need to ensure you are optimizing your site. A few search engine optimization (SEO) principles to follow include:

Add alt-text to all of your images

Search engines do not have the ability to understand your photographs unless you provide them with a text description. You can do this by adding “alt-text” to each image, describing it. Doing this will also boost your chances of appearing in Google Image search results rather than just text-based search results.

Add text content to your photo blog

Even if you are using your blog as a portfolio, which means it will be image-heavy, you need to add some textual elements to your blog to help search engines understand what your website is about. Add in keywords and keyphrases that relate to your specific niche, like “wedding photographer in Detroit” can help you show up in search results and get traffic to your blog.  

For more SEO tips check out these articles, 7 SEO Best Practices That Every Blogger Should Follow and How To Grow Your Blog Audience.

Ultimately, remember that there is no one correct way to start a photo blog and no one way to promote it — every blog creator has his or her own story. From picking a theme to posting with clarity, these tips should be able to help guide you towards launching your own successful photography blog.

.blog Featured Site: 35hunter.blog

Blogging has evolved over the years to mean different things to different people. Blogging can be a passion, a profession, a way to add income streams to a business, or a way to engage with clients, prospects, or a community. This week our featured dotblogger, 35hunter.blog, is a personal photography blog that maintains an authentically personal feel.

35hunter.blog is a photography blog started by a photographer using his 35 mm camera to hunt for the best shots. The tagline of the blog is “Hunting for beauty and balance, camera in hand”. 

Who is the blogger?

35hunter.blog is the creation of photographer Dan James. He has an open dialogue with his blog readers, which he maintains by being extremely active in the comments and interacting regularly with his audience. He also shares little pieces of himself throughout his blog posts.

The About page on the blog shares updates on what’s happening in his life at the moment. This includes aspects of his personal life such as what music he’s listening to, what he’s reading, exercise updates, and more. Dan remains relatively physically unseen on his blog but you still feel like you get to know him through his blog posts. 

Who is the blog for and what’s it about?  

This blog is for those who are passionate about photography and those who enjoy art. Dan shares tips for readers who wish to improve their own photography skills, including the type of camera he’s currently using and how he’s using it. 

35hunter.blog is also a platform for Dan to share his own photographs. Recently, he decided to give priority to quality over quantity on the number of images he’s taking, and so, shares fewer than before but each image is unique, creative, and serves a purpose.

Dan also shares his thoughts and perspectives on photography and other areas of life as they relate to his posts and photographs. It’s both educational and entertaining.

What makes it special?

The simplicity of this blog is part of what makes it so appealing. Like other personal blogs, 35hunter.blog maintains the intimate feel people have enjoyed since blogging began. In addition, there is a sense of mystery that draws you into the blog. There is a level of anonymity that exists, even though you’re able to learn about different aspects of his life. He tells you enough about himself that it makes you want to learn more, which helps you connect with the blog over the long term. 

What can we learn?

35hunter.blog keeps people reading. There are lots of internal links in each blog post that make it easy to lose track, as you move from one blog post to another. This keeps readers on the website longer, and also lowers the bounce rate which in turn helps to improve SEO for the blog.

This blog also reminds us that blogs don’t need to be over-the-top with design to engage readers. There is a simplicity in the design of the blog that allows the photography and content to shine. A common challenge that many bloggers have is getting readers to comment on blogs and engage with the posts. Dan accomplishes that by staying active in the comments section for each of his blog posts.

35hunter.blog is an incredible example of a successful passion/hobby-based blog by an individual blogger. We appreciate the photojournalistic approach. It’s a unique way to present a photography blog that connects with the reader. 

Why All Businesses Should Blog

While podcasts get all the press, blogs are quietly delivering on targeted marketing goals.

And here’s the proof. Businesses that blog get 55% more visitors to their website than their non-blogging competition, according to research by HubSpot. Those visitors can then become customers thanks to sales and marketing efforts. They can also make purchases based on the compelling content on your blog.

Plenty of businesses turn to blogging to create an impact on everything from sales to brand building. Tyson Foods, for example, uses thefeed.blog to share important behind-the-scenes stories of their business, from diversity and inclusion efforts to sustainability in their factories. By using a blog on a custom domain, the Tyson Foods team is able to connect directly with consumers in an authentic way. You can read more about them, in this article we posted earlier this month.

Build Your Brand’s Voice

In marketing, authenticity matters. Each business has a brand voice ー one that conveys the company’s message to consumers in a unique way. 

How do you define your own brand’s voice? Here’s a helpful chart:

Brand Voice

Think of your business as a person; if they were a person, who would they be? How would they talk? What would they like? This is a great exercise for all businesses, but it’s even more important when you are setting out on your blogging journey. You want your readers to know what to expect when they come to your blog, which in turn helps you to build authority in your particular industry or niche.

Another way to build authority through your brand voice is to conduct research on what consumers are searching for when it comes to the product or service you sell. Websites like AnswerThePublic are free tools that allow you to determine the questions people are asking about your industry or niche ー use it as the basis of your blogging strategy. If you are writing blogs in your own authentic voice and you are answering the questions that real people are asking, having a blog will pay off for you. 

Through blogging, you can refine this voice to be the most authentic version of your brand possible. Customers will instantly know what company has written content they find online. That’s the power of brand building through blogging.

Connect to Your Audience

Notice how we refer to “audience” and not “customers”? Yes, blogs are a fantastic way to stay in touch with your existing customers, but their real power lies in helping you reach a much wider audience.

In the example of Tyson Foods, their custom blog thefeed.blog, allows them to have a less formal voice than on their corporate site, which opens them up to new audiences that might not normally have connected with their message.

By blogging, you are creating a way to establish direct contact with your target markets and personas, while building trust. Stephen R. Covey, the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, wrote, “When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant, and effective.” Don’t get us wrong: it takes time to build trust, just like it does in any relationship. But if you are blogging consistently and providing high-value content (meaning you are not constantly selling to readers, but are providing them with information), the trust will build. Through building trust, you are establishing yourself as a company that customers will want to do business with ー and they’ll think of you first when the time comes for them to make a purchase.

Drive Traffic

As we mentioned earlier, businesses that blog receive 55% more traffic to their websites than those that don’t. Even more mind-boggling is the 97% more inbound links that businesses that blog have and the 434% more indexed pages.

If you’re not fluent in search engine optimization (SEO), here’s what this means for you:

First, the simple act of blogging means you are creating a new page on your website. When you create a new page, it gives Google (and other search engines) another reason to index your website. It also demonstrates to Google that your website is active and that it should be crawling your site more frequently to check for new content to index. All of this equates to your website appearing more frequently on the search engine results page.

Second, the more quality content you create on your blog, the better chance you have of getting the all-important backlinks (or inbound links) from other websites. Backlinks are one of several criteria that Google uses when determining where to show a page in search results. If it finds that one of your blog posts has been linked to multiple times from other websites, it demonstrates that it is an important post that people want to read and it will rank higher. This is why it’s imperative to write content that people want to read and share.

Finally, using the keywords and key phrases that your target audience is already searching for is another way to organically increase website traffic. Perform keyword research prior to writing each blog and determine the 2-3 phrases you’d like to focus on ー then use them to optimize your content. Keep in mind that you don’t want to “keyword stuff”, which is when you use your keywords over and over in an effort to trick the Google crawlers. Google knows what you’re doing and they will tank your rankings. Instead, write with your brand voice in mind and keep it natural ー like you’re speaking to someone in person.

Providing Evergreen Content for Other Channels

If you are at a loss for creating engaging social media content, having a blog is a built-in way to create evergreen content (that is, content that can be used over and over and does not have a “best before date”).

But it’s not just your social media accounts that will benefit from your blogging content: you can use blogs in your marketing emails, in your customer account portals, and even as part of your paid advertising strategy.

Repurpose your content. Use blogs to create infographics, as the basis for podcasts, or to pitch your expertise to news outlets (which could lead to even more backlinks).

The possibilities for sharing and repurposing your blog content are practically endless.

Why Businesses Should Blog

Blogging is a great way to build authority in your niche and attract potential customers, but it’s also a fantastic way to share who you are in a real, authentic way. If you are intrigued by blogging, make 2022 the year you add it to your strategy. By using a .blog domain name, you’ll stand out even more.

.blog Featured Site: thehome.blog

If you want a modern and organized space, but feel overwhelmed on how to get there, thehome.blog might be the answer. This week we feature an interior design blog that teaches readers how to organize and design personal spaces to create spaces where they can thrive.

Who is the blogger?

Thehome.blog was founded by home organization enthusiast Adam Jernigan. He believes that happiness starts at home and is passionate about helping others enjoy their home, including apartments or other small spaces. 

Who is the blog for and what’s it about?  

The blog is a go-to for home organization tips, especially for those looking to rent an apartment, organize their home, style their rooms, and more. Adam shares the best tips to help people turn their space into a home that makes them proud. 

The blog is full of advice: moving and decluttering tips, modern home design and home organization advice, as well as more general interior design. In addition, there are tips for first-timers and advice for those renting apartments. As well as traditional home interior tips, the blog also shares advice on organizing and decorating your home office.

It is worth noting that thehome.blog takes advantage of affiliate marketing, one of the sources of passive income available to bloggers. The blog includes affiliate marketing links for many of the products recommended on their website and mentioned in their blog posts. 

What makes it special?

Interior design and home organization is a niche with many different categories. Thehome.blog has found a way to narrow the niche even further by focusing mainly on those with smaller spaces and those who are renting. This helps make it easier for readers to identify the relevance of the blog, since all of the content is focused on the same area.

Focusing on a narrow niche like this is also an effective way to keep readers engaged in the blog for longer. If they’re interested in one blog post, they’re likely to be interested in others, since they are similarly focused. However, where thehome.blog really succeeds is in continuing to cover several different topics while sticking within that narrower niche.

This blog is also special because it’s a great example of someone starting a blog from their passion. This blogger started out by creating content around a topic he was interested in and then sharing helpful information that attracted those interested in that same topic. This broad audience includes people in desperate need of help organizing their space along with those who share the passion and hobby of organization and interior design. 

What can we learn?

Thehome.blog shows us a number of key concepts in blogging. The first is how to turn a passion into a blog. Adam created content he was interested in, related to a passion he had, and it allowed other people to find and connect with him. The global reach of the blogosphere makes connecting with others who have shared passion easier. It gives you a platform at your fingertips to share your experience and expertise. 

In addition, the blog shows us how to diversify within a niche. There are many topics similar to interior design where you can further narrow the niche. This can help you focus on a specific area, making it easier for your target audience to find you and engage in your blog. 

If you’re interested in starting a blog based on the niche you’re passionate about, check out our previous article on the topic.  

7 Secrets to Building a Successful Blog

Creating a content calendar for your blog can feel daunting. Many bloggers and businesses write content as the ideas come to them. While there’s nothing wrong with this strategy, the results may be frustrating at times, if, for example, the post you spent so much time writing is not read or shared by the people you wrote it for.

How do you solve this? For starters, put together a content strategy for your blog. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 60% of individuals and businesses with a written content strategy have effective blogs, compared to only 32% of those without one..

Here is our step-by-step guide to building a content calendar. Get started now and take the stress out of content creation in 2022.

1. Set Goals

You need to be very clear about your goals before you even begin to build your content calendar. Content goals can include things like:

  • Generating online sales
  • Building overall brand awareness
  • Getting people to visit your physical store
  • Building your personal brand through thought leadership

It’s best to focus on one or two goals to keep your blog content as clear as possible. Take your top 1-2 objectives and transform them into SMART goals to make them even more actionable. To do this, you need to define your goals in the following ways:

  • Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
  • Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
  • Achievable (agreed, attainable)
  • Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
  • Time bound (time-based, time limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)

Rather than simply saying, “I want to generate leads”, the SMART goal for your blog content would be, “I want to generate 100 new leads per month through entertaining blog posts that can be easily shared on my social media profiles 4 times a month.”

While tackling this step, it can also be helpful to define your call to action. This is what you want someone to do immediately after reading your blog, such as “sign up for my newsletter” or “place an order”.

2. Do a Brain Dump

This is the best way to start your content strategizing ー write down all of your ideas, no matter how big or small. It’s through this “brain dump” that you will discover the topics you are most passionate (and knowledgeable) about, and which will bring the best visibility to your brand. 

During this exercise, you’ll likely find yourself returning to similar themes. This is an effective way to discover keywords for your content ー to help your blog get found on search engines. Yes, we’re talking search engine optimization (SEO), the often misunderstood art of crafting content in a way that boosts your ranking on Google (or Bing). 

Once you’ve got a few themes and ideas down, you can input them into SEO tools to discover the keywords people are using to find similar content. There are plenty of free keyword research tools available to you, such as AnswerThePublic, Ubersuggest, and Keyword Surfer.

Choose a few keywords to focus on per blog post and include them throughout your content. Resist the temptation to add the keywords to every sentence; that’s called “keyword stuffing” and you’ll find that Google and other search engines actually punish websites and content creators that do that. Rather, simply add the keywords 3-7 times, depending on the length of your post.

3. Get Inspired By Others 

Don’t know who your competitors are? It’s time to find out. Not only will 

Check out your competitors’ content and how people are responding to it. This will help you stay on top of trends and serve to inspire the content you create. Are they getting a lot of shares or comments? What topics do they cover on their social media accounts that get a lot of engagement? Read reviews of their products or services to see what pain points they are solving for their customers. 

Remember, however, that being authentic to your brand and your story is key. It’s great to be inspired and informed by the content your competitors are creating, but to differentiate yourself from them you need to be yourself.

4. Use the Ingredients You Already Have 

If you have been creating content for a while you already have analytics to draw from. Take some time to review content you’ve already published and how it performed. You might discover surprising facts about how your blog performs. Dig into the numbers to uncover what your customers and readers are consuming. 

You can also repurpose old content to fit with your new strategy. Spruce up blog posts from a few months or years ago to take into account new information, and add your new-found keywords to give old blog content a new life.

5. Explore Other Ways to Share Content

Blogs don’t have to be only written content. Find where your customers are online and meet them there. This could be TikTok Videos or Instagram Stories that share quotes and images from your latest blog post, with a link to read the entire piece on your website. Instagram allows anyone to share links through Stories making your blog more discoverable. It could also look like video content, infographics, podcasts, custom emojis, and more.

6. Set Up a Content Calendar 

Now that you have identified your ideas and your keywords. It is time to plan your content calendar. 

A content calendar can help you plan a month, a quarter, or even a year into the future. This is a great way to keep yourself (and your team) on track. By using a content calendar, you can better manage your time and plan sales or other promotions.

You can easily find free content calendar templates online. Your calendar can also be something that you create yourself in an Excel spreadsheet or something you share with your team via Google Docs.

HubSpot is a great example that you can download directly for free or use as a template to create your own. You can also try out paid options (many of which have free trials) for content calendars that are more interactive and easier to share with a team, such as Trello.

You can also use content calendars to store the backlog of ideas that you don’t yet want to include in your content strategy, but that you also don’t want to forget about. A tool like CoSchedule will keep track of this content, or simply create a Word document.

7. Get Scheduling 

Now that you have planned out your content you are ready to write. 

However, your content strategy doesn’t end when you hit “publish” ー you need to actually promote your new content. The easiest way to do this is by using scheduling tools.

Get the word out through your social media accounts without even having to think about it, by scheduling posts to go out several times a month promoting your new content. Remember to use the keywords you identified for the content to stand out in the crowded online landscape. 

Social media scheduling tools such as Hootsuite, Later, and Buffer are great for scheduling or you can use some of the native tools provided by social platforms.

Takeaway

By using the tips and tricks we’ve laid out here, you’ll have a solid calendar of planned content to support the building of your brand or business. 

Remember: the secret to success is creating a plan and sticking to it. Here’s to making it happen ー in 2022 and beyond.

.blog Featured Site: thefeed.blog

There are many ways a blog can be utilized by companies with existing websites. thefeed.blog is a perfect example. The blog works seamlessly with the Tyson Foods website, allowing clients and consumers to easily navigate between the two sites.

Who is the blogger?

thefeed.blog is run by Tyson Foods. You probably recognize the name because they are the company behind popular brands like Tyson, JimmyDean, BallPark, SaraLee, Nature Raised Farms, Raised & Rooted, and more.

The blog posts are written by a variety of Tyson Foods staff such as Registered Dietician Nutritionists, the President & CEO, Chief Medical Officer, VP of Live Operations, and Director of Marketing, among others. The diversity of individuals behind the blog helps the company cover a wide range of topics while sharing the expertise present in each of their teams.

Who is the blog for and what’s it about? 

Tyson Foods uses its blog to share general company information, including new product information, sustainability efforts, animal welfare, and more. The blog is a communication tool to reach and engage with several different audience segments including job candidates, employees, consumers, and retailers. 

Content on the blog aimed at current employees or those interested in working for the company includes team member profiles along with employee programs. They also highlight farmers who work with their different brands.

thefeed.blog also covers topics of interest to consumers. This can include information to help people understand what to look for when shopping or solutions to common food challenges like how to plan meals. A few examples can be found in posts like Making Sense of Labels at the Meat Case and Get Back to School With Easy Meal Planning.

Tyson Foods also creates and shares messages that are relevant to their retailers and potential retailers. This includes things like Leading the Future of Plant Protein and Tyson Foods Enters Kids’ Snack Food Category with Hillshire Farm SNACKED!.

What makes it special?

Tyson Foods effectively uses thefeed.blog to personalize its brand and engage with a number of different audiences. They share lots of content related to awareness days and topics that will interest consumers. This allows people to connect with the brand, which can help them feel more reassured about choosing to buy Tyson Foods’ products to feed their families.

They also use the blog to create a positive image of the company and the people who make up their teams. They show a more personal side of the brand and clearly communicate an appreciation for their teams and the work they do. In addition, they highlight the many ways their company and employees are volunteering and making a positive impact in the world.

Allowing employees at different levels within the company to write for the blog helps show their authority in the marketplace and builds trust with potential retailers and consumers. The blog creates a “behind the scenes” feel and allows people to make a more personal connection with the brand. 

thefeed.blog creates an opportunity for Tyson Foods to show people the image and values of the company, without directly selling to them. 

What can we learn?

A .blog extension is effective for adding digital real estate to your existing brand. The design of tysonfoods.com and thefeed.blog is identical. Site visitors may not even realize that they’re moving back and forth between two different domains as they browse the blog posts and look for additional information on the company.

This is a great example of how a .blog domain can work seamlessly with your existing digital marketing efforts to grow your brand and company. 

.blog Featured Sites: Registrars Using .blog

We have a fresh new take on our featured dotblogger series this week. We are featuring some of our partners! Just a few of the .blog domain registrars that have recognized the value of using a .blog domain to communicate with their customers. 

We’ve covered many different people and businesses using blogs to educate their audience while also highlighting their products or services. Now, we’re going to introduce some domain registrars that are using their blogs in different ways. 

Here are some of the registrars using .blog:

Hover

Hover is the retail division of Tucows, a domain registrar based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Through Hover, you can purchase a domain name, set up email inboxes, or email forwarding services.

What’s on the blog

Hover.blog allows the registrar to share helpful information for prospective domain purchasers. Posts are split into the following categories:

  • Insights – Everything from running a business to industry news and trends
  • Behind the domain – Specific information on different extensions
  • Inspiration – Stories and tips to inspire you 
  • Hover Updates – Updates and news specific to Hover

Blacknight

Blacknight Internet Solutions Ltd is an Irish-owned ICANN accredited registrar and hosting company. They provide a complete service, from presales to technical advice. 

What’s on the blog

Blacknight.blog shares a wealth of information in multiple formats. They have posts sharing sales and promotions, updates, blogging tips, and Irish bloggers of interest.

In addition to written content, Blacknight hosts a podcast for fans. The episodes feature topics ranging from technology and innovation to Irish business news and creativity.

The blog is rounded out by easy access to the company’s support section along with a clear link for purchasing a domain.

OnlyDomains

OnlyDomains is a New Zealand-based registrar founded in 2009. More than “only domains”, the company also provides WordPress hosting, website building, professional email, and SSL certificates.

What’s on the blog

Onlydomains.blog covers a variety of topics including:

  • Branding – Tips on brand awareness and choosing the right domain for you
  • Business – General information and tips for businesses
  • Domains – Information on new extensions and how to choose the right one
  • How-to – Diverse advice including SEO tips, designing a website, growing traffic, and more

The website is easy to navigate, with a categories section and a “most read” section in the sidebar.

Netim

Netim is a registrar company based in Lille, France. The company was founded in 2004 and is an accredited ICANN registrar. They provide domain name registration, web hosting, email service, site builders, and security certificates.

What’s on the blog

Netim.blog is an active blog with frequent posts broken down into several categories including:

  • Spotlight on!
  • Our favorites!
  • Most viewed articles
  • Netim takes on the news!
  • Did you know?
  • News Netim!

The index at the top of each post allows you to skip to what matters most to you. They also include their TrustPilot score in the footer to help build trust with their audience.

bNamed

bNamed is a Belgium domain registrar founded in 1999. They pride themselves on their ability to provide access to all domain extensions. They provide domain names, email management, and SSL certificates. They also work with resellers.

What’s on the blog

Bnamed.blog has a clean design making it easy to scroll through recent blog posts. Their posts fall into the following categories:

  • Tips and tricks – Offers creative ways to use extensions and general website information
  • News – Shares extension and industry news
  • About registrar – Introduces new team members and company news
  • Extensions in the spotlight – Highlights different domain name options to consider

Gransy

Gransy is a registrar based in the Czech Republic. This ICANN accredited registrar was founded in 2008. They provide domains, hosting, and registry and currently manage over 400k domains.

What’s on the blog

Gransy.blog has a simple format that keeps the focus on the information they are sharing. Posts are split into categories including:

  • News – Highlights trends and general industry news
  • Special offers – Shares special pricing on extensions
  • Cyber security – Latest news on cyber security and how to be aware
  • Tips and tricks – Information and tips for choosing a domain name
  • About Gransly services – News related to the services offered by the registrar

Club

Club is not a registrar like the others. It’s a top-level domain (TLD) that became available in 2014. They are creatively using a .blog domain to bring attention and awareness to their own domain.

What’s on the blog

Club.blog readers can easily register for a .club domain in the menu. They also make it easy for registrars to access information about their domain extension.

The posts focus on the following categories:

  • Press
  • Registrars
  • Live sites
  • Events
  • Podcasts
  • Case studies
  • Guest reports
  • Brand protection

Other ways to use .blog

In addition, some registrars are also using .blog domains to redirect to their existing blog. This allows them to own a .blog domain to protect their brand while sending traffic back to their primary domain. 

Examples of registrars with redirects include:

  • Domain.blog
  • GoDaddy.blog
  • enom.blog

Multifunctional use of a .blog domain

These blogs show how domain registrars successfully use a .blog to build awareness around their business while highlighting the benefits that a .blog domain offers. They offer great examples of how .blog can be successfully used.

As we sign off on what marks our final post for 2021, we take this opportunity to thank these registrars and all of the registrars who supported us throughout the year, and we look forward to working together next year!

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