So you’ve decided to launch a blog! Maybe my post on how a blog can boost your coaching business visibility convinced you. What are the first things you should be thinking about?
Choose Your Market
You’re about to commit to a long term strategy for marketing your coaching business. You will pour a lot of passion and brilliance into it. The best way to make sure all that energy doesn’t go to waste is to choose a viable coaching market to focus on, BEFORE you start planning your blog.
Think about it. The reason blogs are such powerful visibility builders is that they SHOW your market that you have valuable solutions to their most important problems. For your blog to bring you clients, the solutions you write about need to:
- be distinctive enough that your audience knows you are speaking to them and identifies with what you have to say, and your writing stands out from the flood of free content available on the Web.
- have high perceived value, so that your audience is motivated to invest in working with you.
Your blog will meet this test naturally and easily, IF it is focused on a narrow, accessible, lucrative coaching market. That’s why choosing a viable market is the most important step toward a successful blog launch.
Own the Domain
Host your blog on your own domain, not on a blog publishing site like wordpress.com or blogspot.com. Choose your domain name carefully. It will be with you for a long time to come. As much as possible, your domain name should:
- relate to your market,
- reflect your brand or company name,
- include one or more top SEO keywords for your market,
- be clear when spoken aloud, and
- be relatively short.
But these goals may conflict, so don’t get hung up on combining all of them. You’ll want to host your blog on the “.com” version of your domain, but it’s smart to also register the “.net”, “.org” and “.biz” versions. Don’t use a domain that you know to be someone else’s trademark, even if it’s available.
If you have a website on your main url that you intend to keep, buy a domain that adds “blog” to the end of that url (eg, ProsperousCoachBlog.com). If your blog will be your first website, or will replace your existing website, use your primary brand as your blog domain (so if your brand and company name was Executive Success, your blog url would be ExecutiveSuccess.com).
Get Ready to Write
Choose 5 – 7 categories to write about regularly. (You can always add categories later.) Pick categories that cover the most relevant topics for your market. Keywords in your category names are helpful.
Each post you write will fall under one of these categories. There’s no need to keep the same number of articles in each. The categories where you are doing the most to build your brand and expertise will naturally amass more articles. But you’ll want to prepare at least one post in each category to launch with.
Create a dynamite freebie to entice folks to subscribe to your blog, either by email or RSS feed. This freebie is your best opportunity to build credibility with your audience fast, so make it valuable. When you design your blog, place the invitation to subscribe and freebie offer “above the fold”.
Watch and Learn
Before launching a blog, get in the habit of reading them. Look around enough to decide which blogs you get the most value from. Subscribe to your favorites. Choose blogs that are relevant to your business and your market.
Watch how your model bloggers work:
- How often do they post?
- How long and “meaty” are the posts? What do you appreciate about their content and writing style? How are they using keywords in their posts?
- How much do they market their own products and services? How much do they link to resources provided by others?
Get ready to do what these bloggers do. If you emulate the best, your blog will be a powerful marketing tool.
In future posts, I’ll talk about managing your blog launch, and some tips on posting.