Time To Give Blog #1 Some TLC

The recap: I’m on a mission to revive six different blogs. All of them withered away over the past few years because I was busy with a separate project.Time to bring them back to life!

You can read more about the goals and the strategy here.

I’ve put together a generic list of actionable blog promotion items. They cover content creation, branding, social media and additional promotion strategies. As per the master plan to take over the world revive the blogs one by one, I’m going to start in July with CatsGoShopping.com.

What's in store for CatsGoShopping?
What’s in store for CatsGoShopping?

Today, I’ll go over the list of blog promotion ideas, analyze which to apply to CatsGoShopping and how.

I’m going to bold in green the items that make it into my to-do list and in red the ones I decide not to deal with this month. Bolded in gray are the items that I’ve already accomplished or that I already do on a regular basis, so there’s no need to add them to my to-do list.

Content creation

  • Create a content strategy and a content plan
    Check. All of my blogs currently have a content strategy and content plans. For CatsGoShopping, the plan includes a weekly post about a cat-related product, a weekly “eye candy” post and a weekly “something else” post which could be a blog round-up or a post on something else related to shopping for cats (I have lists of ideas to choose from).
  • Come up with ideas for SEO-worthy posts using a tool like LongTail Pro.
    Since I already have a content plan in place, I’ll use LongTail Pro mostly to fine-tune titles and key phrases targeting within the chosen themes.
  • Keep posting at a constant frequency.
    Check. Three posts a week it is.
  • Write engaging posts with a good readability score.
    Check. Using Yoast SEO for instant feedback on readability.
  • Write appealing titles (and check with a tool like this one).
    Check.
  • SEO content with a plugin like Yoast SEO.
    Check. I need to be careful not to over-optimize though.
  • Optional: Create repetitive features (such as weekly picture or quote).
    Check. Weekly cat picture post + weekly product review.

Branding

  • Decide on a color palette and a font (or two fonts) for the blog.
    I’ll be looking up palettes and deciding on a final one today.
  • Get a logo.
    I’m going to look up a designer on Fiverr and buy a logo for $20-$50.
  • Create photoshop templates for featured images.
  • This is something I can do once I have the logo.
  • Use an appealing “about me” write up, including a good picture.
    Check. Already done.
  • Apply colors, logo, picture and write-up across social media platforms and directories and in mailing list.
    Will be done following logo design.

Social Media

  • Formulate a social media strategy.
    I need to tread lightly here as I can’t spend too long on social media, so strategy focuses on some amount of automation. It includes:
    Pinterest – Using my existing account which already has 1K+ followers and pinning three times a week, two images at a time.
    Twitter – I’m going to set up an account for the blog and then have it auto-tweet new posts. I will follow other niche bloggers on that account but won’t have time for a more personal form of interaction. Will follow up on mentions etc but not much else.
    Facebook – The blog already has a Facebook page. Automated posts only there too.
  • Set up social media accounts as per the strategy and use tools such as Hootsuite to put it into place.
    Adding the following to my to-do list:
    Create Twitter account and automate posting.
    Pinning task 3 times a week.
  • Join forums and online communities relating to the blog’s niche.
    Nope. Not at this stage. This is one of the most time consuming ways to promote a blog. With the exception of webmaster forums, online communities are highly sensitive to spam. This form of promotion only works if you’re already an established and contributing member.

More Promotion

  • Comment on other blogs in the same niche. 
    Already doing that and will continue to this month. I have a recurrent task of commenting on least 5 blogs a day.
  • Mailing list: Set up a content strategy (automated RSS vs. newsletters).
    At this point, I’m going to stick with the existing RSS-generated mailings for blog updates. I won’t have time to manage an actual newsletter.
  • Mailing list: Set up a promotion strategy (type of blog ads, pop-ups and lead magnets).
    Major item here. I do want to experiment with different types of subscription forms, including pop-ups. I also want to experiment with a lead magnet. These are all aspects I don’t have prior experience with, so there’s a learning curve ahead.
  • Create giveaways/raffles with appropriate prizes.
    Another major item which I’d like to experiment with. I’m going to set a lower priority to this task because I’m not sure I’ll have time left to properly organize a raffle/giveaway.
  • Set up a guest blogging strategy. Who to approach and how to approach them, depending on your niche.
    I don’t think guest blogging is necessarily a bad way to promote a blog but it is time-consuming. I also have a hunch that it may not be the right time for this specific blog and in this niche. I think I’d like to network some more before asking people if I can guest blog for them. If I get an offer, I’ll take it. However, I’m not going to actively promote this at this point.

The Final To-Do List

Looks like I’m doing well on content creation. I just need to consistently keep at it.

As for actual promotion, the focus this month will be first on branding and a bit of social media. Then I’ll tackle a couple of big tasks: the mailing list and (if I have time) giveaways/raffles.

So, my new tasks for July are –

  1. Decide on a color palette and a font (or two fonts) for the blog. (7/5)
  2. Get a logo. (7/10)
  3. Create templates for featured images. (7/12)
  4. Set up Twitter account and put that on auto-pilot. (7/12)
  5. Apply colors, logo, picture and “about me” write-up to Twitter account, Facebook page and mailing list. (7/12)
  6. Experiment with other types of subscription forms for the mailing list. (7/15)
  7. Experiment with lead magnet for the mailing list. (7/20)
  8. Create giveaways and raffles with appropriate prizes. (7/25)

This in addition to the repetitive tasks for this blog –

  1. Post 3 times a week. Quality, engaging posts, SEO’ed and with catchy titles.
  2. Pin 2 images, three times a week.
  3. Keep commenting on niche blogs. Three comments a day linking back to CatsGoShopping seem like a good target.

Is this doable within 10 hours a week or have I bitten more than I can chew? I guess time will tell. I’m going to report back by the end of the month, along with the monthly traffic and revenue report. Stay tuned and if you have any tips, ideas, thoughts of commiserations to offer, please do so in a comment!

2 Replies to “Time To Give Blog #1 Some TLC”

  1. Hi Anne,

    I don’t thing you have bitten off more than you can chew because you have a well planned out strategy. Yes, it will take some work and some time but if you are going on this schedule, it looks like a winner to me.

    You have the experience and as long as you are consistent with your promotion I see no problem at all. Just a new way of crafting your daily routine.

    -Donna

    1. Thanks for the vote of confidence! I guess we shall see. This week was extremely challenging. I am behind on my posting schedule on at least 3 blogs and pushing hard to stick to my promotion plans. Fingers crossed things will fall back into line pretty soon (and having family over for the weekend isn’t helping 😉 )

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