When you are creating a blog it isn’t just a simple process of writing content and publishing it online to immediately see traffic arrive at your site; there are numerous stages in the life cycle of a successful blog. Here is our version of the blog lifecycle and what you can do to move your blog onto the next stage.
Blog Life Cycle Stage One: Planning
This is such an important step in determining whether your blog will be a success or failure – so planning your blog is essential. You need to decide on your target audience, the content you are going to create, how you are going to market the venture and how you are going to monetise it. Without answers for these aspects, you will be directionless and this can affect your performance.
Instead, sit down with your marketing team and flesh out the details. Decide who will do what tasks and when they will need to be done for the short, medium and long term. Ensure that everyone knows their role and has adequate support to complete their tasks. Only then can you move onto the next stage.
Blog Life Cycle Stage Two: The Birth
This is when you will go live with your blog. This can be the most exhilarating time for you, but many suddenly find the results to be underwhelming as blogs, when first published, rarely have significant amounts of traffic. Being patient is the best advice.
You can make this stage a success by setting up everything in advance. Days before going live, email clients about the new blog. Plan to have 5-10 articles ready to go live in the first two weeks to increase the amount of content published on your site. Have these articles written prior to the launch and published automatically at the best time. Finally, have your social media ready to kick in a few days beforehand and promote the new content like crazy when it goes live.
Blog Life Cycle Stage Three: Infancy
This can be the most dangerous time for blogs and when owners tend to ignore their blogs in favour for work. However, blogs are an important lead generation tool and should you ignore your blog without good reason (i.e. a website technical fault that prevents blogging or a seasonal holiday) then you will struggle to keep your schedule.
During this period there is often little traffic. Don’t worry, the main point of this phase is to build content and SEO. By gaining recognition on search engines you can grow your organic traffic which can represent a significant source of revenue.
This is why it is important to have all your content created in advance of the publishing date. This should be at least one month, although longer is better. You can always swap titles around or move them back should you need to do some newsjacking at any point.
Blog Life Cycle Stage Four: Rapid Growth
This is the stage within the blog life cycle when traffic starts to increase and you get more notice within your target audience. This can be an exciting time but it is also one where companies can lose focus. With the increase in traffic come more leads and sales. While businesses who get to this stage don’t often forget to blog, their topics can go one of two ways:
- Too simple – audiences bore easily and only return as a courtesy.
- Too comical – audiences lose interest as they want informative articles more regularly.
While posting entertaining stories that will attract audiences and encourage them to engage your brand is important, you do need to also carry on publishing content that is powerful and true to what has got you to this position in the first place: informative and helpful advice.
Blog Life Cycle Stage Five: Established
Few blogs ever reach this stage because the work and effort to achieve this is considerable. However, this is the period when everything becomes easier. Content becomes easier to produce and promotion is almost automatic as you have a steady stream of loyal readers. You’ll also find that leads and sales are happening on a frequent basis.
It is important at this stage not to be too rigid to your format and to continue looking at ways to improve your blog. Determine which formats readers are interacting with more and improve upon these further.
Blog Life Cycle Stage Six: Death
Blogs don’t last forever, some will die naturally at the close of a business or because the owner no longer wants the responsibility of creating content. Sometimes, the purpose of the blog has come to a natural end and there is no further content to create. Whatever the reason, there needs to be an announcement that the blog has shut down somewhere on the site.
That doesn’t mean that a blog becomes useless however, a blog can still earn the content producer money long after the site has closed if the content is still online. A good example of this would be affiliate marketing with online e-tailers like Amazon and Ebay.
The blog life cycle is an important consideration when you are starting your online marketing campaigns. Without understanding how a blog will progress and develop, you can become underwhelmed and lose hope for blogging success. Use the quick road map online to consider where you blog is at the moment and what you need to do to move it onto the next stage.