7 Easy Steps to a GreenBiz Blog Plan that Rocks!

August 27, 2013 by Frontline Copy

by Faith Attaguile

Green Business Blog PlanStarting a blog for your green business? Already have one that’s not working for you? Discover what your blog needs for you to get the results you want.

Your Blog Plan: A small package packed with big goodies

Sure, there are only seven steps in this little package.

But don’t skip over any one of them. Walk each one and think about your answers. Mull them over. Play with them a little. Your blog will benefit in the end.

Why? Because each step is a foundational rock that will guide the successful growth of your green business blog.

Don’t forget to date your plan! Yes, really. In about a year you’ll revise it, taking into account what you’ve accomplished … and what you still need to do.

Are you ready to start? Then let’s begin.

(You can skip the questions that follow and go directly to the Slideshare below for a more visual presentation of these ideas if you wish.)

Step 1: Why do you want a business blog?

This is where you list all the goals you want to achieve with your green company blog.

It could be any one or a number of these:

  • Lead generation
  • Increase web traffic
  • Sales
  • Special promotions
  • Build brand reputation
  • Improve customer service
  • Industry influence
  • Product/service education
  • Show community participation

Do some brainstorming. If you work with others, call them in to play the game, too.

Write down anything that comes to mind (having to do with blogging, of course!) … and have some fun.

Once you have your list, check it over. Then choose the three goals that are the top priority for you.

Write them down on a new list in complete sentences. (Yes, that’s what I said.)

Underneath, state your time frame for reaching each of these goals. (Be realistic about the time needed to do what you have to do.)

Step 2: What’s your budget?

You may have some great goals. But do you have the budget to go after them? If not, you may have to put some of your goals on a To Do List.

Pretending you have money to do something when you don’t will only end in frustration and disappointment.

Budget items can include:

  • start-up costs
  • ongoing management costs (i.e., domain name, blog design, outside writers)
  • unique campaigns (production education, video production, new product launch, etc.)

So get out a piece of paper and start itemizing the costs involved in achieving each of your goals.

If one of your goals seems to be outside your current budget, set it aside for now. Then pull a more (financially) reachable goal from your initial list and put it into your top three.

Remember, this is just an estimate. You can always refine it later.

Step 3: Who’s your competition?

If you don’t know who your competition is and what they’re doing, you won’t be able to develop your business blog in a way to stand out in the crowd.

As Corbett Barr said, “The difference is the difference.”

So start by thoroughly checking out your competition. List the top ten company blogs in your industry.

Browse their websites and their blogs. Familiarize yourself with what they’re writing about and how they’re writing it.

On a separate sheet of paper, fill out the following information for each one:

  • Name:
  • URL:
  • Is the blog on the business site?
  • Why I like it:
  • What’s missing:
  • Who’s their audience:
  • Of often do they blog:
  • What they blog about:
  • Most popular posts:
  • Free downloads:

When you’re done, choose the three company blogs that you like best. Discover as much additional information about them as you can. These will be your top three GreenBiz blog competitors.

Step 4: Who’s your audience?

Just as you develop business personas for successful advertising, you should develop reader personas for successful business blogging.

Your reader personas can include existing customers, but they can include other groups as well, like industry influencers, influential bloggers or journalists.

Each profile should include:

  • Demographics (age, gender, address, marital status, etc.)
  • Psychographics (what keeps them up at night, what they’re passionate about, their likes/dislikes, what they read, etc.)
  • Reader persona keywords/keyphrases (what words/phrases they are likely to use to find your business blog, product or service in search engines)
  • Photo

Yes, I mean “photo.” Each post you write will be written to one or more of your reader personas, just as though you were talking to a real person. When you’re writing a post to a specific reader persona, having a photo in front of you helps.

Trust me.

Step 5: What makes your business blog different from all the rest?

You've discovered important things about your competition in Step 3. Now you have to think about what makes your product/service/business blog different from them.

That’s where your Unique Selling Proposition comes into play.

You’ve seen M&M’s tagline, “Melts in your mouth, not in your hands,” right? Eight words, and they’ve said it all. (O.K., so even if you don’t like M&M’s, you can see my point.)

That’s their USP. It’s what makes them stand out in the crowd of all the other terrible candy out there.

Looks simple, but it isn’t, and such taglines often take lots of tries before the right one comes along.

Now it’s your turn.

Start developing your USP by deciding what benefits and solutions your business blog will offer your readers. Things your competition doesn’t offer.

That will put you on the path to developing a killer USP. Don’t worry if you can’t come up with anything “cute” right now. Start the process and keep working on it. That’s the important thing.

Step 6: What type of content will you produce?

You discovered the kind of content your competition produces in step 3.

Now it’s your turn. What works for your competition may or may not work for you. But let your Step 3 discoveries guide you as your build your own content list.

Your list can include:

  • product information posts
  • story posts
  • manifesto posts
  • videos
  •  industry news … and much more.

Check out the Slideshare below to see more ideas.

Deciding on the type of posts you’ll include in your business blog can have an impact on your budget (i.e., videos), so keep that in mind and revise your budget estimates accordingly if needed.

Step 7: What’s your GreenBiz blog marketing plan?

Make no mistake: This is what underwrites the success of your blog.

If you write great posts but don’t have a plan for getting them into people’s line of vision, you’ll be wasting precious time.

There are nine areas for you to consider under this step.

(OK, so that’s sneaky of me, but it’s all part of the bag of tricks I’m offering here.)

Four of them will help you develop the strategies and tactics you’ll need to achieve your three top goals. They include:

  • How will you publicize your business blog?
  • Who will integrate your GreenBiz blog into your other social media channels?
  • How will you attract readers to your company blog?
  • How will your build your audience?

The other areas include these considerations:

  • Have you set up each post to be easily shareable (i.e. share buttons, email sign-up form, comments section, call-to-action questions/buttons)?
  • How often will you publish?
  • What’s your editorial calendar?
  • Who will write your posts?

So, take a look at the Slideshare below, and then begin your GreenBiz Blog Plan adventure:

Are you ready to start but have some questions? Need some advice on an existing business blog?

Ask them in the comments box below, or contact us here and we’ll get right back to you!

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If so, contact me at faith@frontlinecopy.com to publish it here. Or write your ideas in the comment box below and send them on to me. If you’re ready to write your story now, check out our post guidelines here. Then write your post and submit it to faith@frontlinecopy.com.

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2 Comments

  1. Anne Michelsen

    Great article, Faith! It's so important to think these things through before starting a blog.

    • frontline

      Thanks Anne! Always great to be complimented by someone who knows the blogging business.

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