Blog Management for Beginners

So, you want to start blogging, huh? Great choice! 


At Sentry Collective, blogging is our bread and butter. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – we love blogs. So much so, that we help our clients to keep their digital blogs alive with fresh articles, designed and written to appeal to their audience and spread the word about what they do.


If you’re new to blogging, we’ll share some tips to ensure you make the most of your blog and deliver the best value that you can for your clients. In our blog management for beginners guide, we’ll first talk about how to create a framework for your blog, then we’ll talk about how to create some great articles.  


Are you ready to transform your blog? Let’s dive into it.


Creating a framework


Before we get stuck into creating articles, it’s important to start planning a schedule of what you’re going to post, when you’re going to post, and what your post is going to focus on. If you consider this as your success criteria, it helps to ensure that each of your articles contribute to your original success criteria of a blog.


#1 Understand why you are starting a blog


If you’re starting a blog, you have a vision in mind of what you’re looking to achieve. This could be:


  • To create a wealth of knowledge and value available to prospective and current customers
  • To increase website traffic
  • To establish your business as experts in your field
  • Other motives.


It’s key to understand these motives as these will help you shape your articles later.


#2 Building the base for your blog


Once you’ve mapped out your motives for a blog, now is the time to start building some ideas to help you achieve those motives. It’s important to build some ideas for your articles, as this allows you to allocate time for each article and set expectations on key dates later.


In addition to this, when building some ideas, you’ll set yourself up with a list of things to work from. This means that when it comes to creating your articles and planning your monthly articles, you’ll have all the resources you need to jump straight in.


So how do we build blog ideas? Let’s explore some questions to help you build some great blog ideas.


What is the purpose of your blog?


There’s a reason why you’ll want to start your blog. From a business perspective, this may be to share more information about your products, engage with your customers more and provide them with valuable content, and share newsworthy updates.


Understanding the purpose behind starting a blog is paramount in helping you achieve the reason when you get into the details.


What industry is your blog going to target?


Understanding the industry that you’re focusing on will help you to find relevant keywords and engage with the right audience. As an example, we at Sentry Collective focus our blog around providing useful content for our clients and all things content marketing. For that reason, we wouldn’t post an article about the latest Barbie Dolls. (or would we? 👀)


Remember, a blog should be about providing valuable information and content. By recognising the industry that your blog is going to target, your blog will become a place full of useful content for people who are interested in that industry. This is a huge benefit for your business because people that are interested in your industry are your ideal customers.  


Once you’ve got these two questions answered, your articles can now stick to this purpose and industry, keeping your articles in the interest of your future customers. 


#3 Planning your month in articles


So, now you’ve got a plan for your blog. Great! But now what?


This is where breaking down each month will help. By breaking down your content into a monthly timeframe, you’ll be able to control how much content you share at any one time to make sure that it’s evenly spread out. This helps to deliver lots of value consistently, as well as setting achievable deadlines for your articles.  


To plan a month in articles, answer the following:


  1. Are you sharing any campaigns, or are these just standard articles?
  2. How many articles are you planning to share?
  3. Are there any key dates to share articles on/for?


Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a better idea of the amount of content you’ll be sharing that month. You can easily break that down into your articles and make sure that you continue to provide value, whilst keeping to the purpose of your blog.


For example, let’s answer some of the above questions:


  1. For this example, they’re going to be standard articles.
  2. We’re planning to share two articles this month.
  3. We’ll aim for one article mid-month and one towards the end.


This means that we can visualise what the month is going to look like for our articles to make sure we set aside the right amount of time to create them.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Creating your articles

 

Now that you’ve got the framework built, it’s time to dive into the fun part. Creating your articles!

The next section of this article will talk through how to create your articles, giving you some tips to help you on your way.

 

#4 Preparing to create your article

 

Now we’re ready to move on to creating the articles themselves. Because we have a plan of what the month is going to look like for our blog, we can then fill those placeholders with some awesome articles.

 

To write your article, the first step is to prepare your keywords and understand what you’re going to focus on in the article. Let’s start with the keywords first.  

 

Preparing your keywords

 

Once you know the amount of content you’re going to be sharing for that month, you can then start to understand the keywords you’re going to focus on. Keywords are crucial in making sure that each blog post contains the words that people are searching for, making your blog more visible to people online.

 

There are some great tools out there to help you find the keywords to focus on. If you search for ‘keyword finder’, there are plenty of options that can help you start mapping out what the keywords are. A great place to start is to think about what the article is going to be about. For example, this article is ‘Blog Management for Beginners’, and that’s our first keyword.

 

It’s important to make sure your main keyword is in your article heading. This helps search engines to find your article and rank it better for that keyword, so make sure that you cater for that.

 

Here’s an example of an article to be written, with the keywords:

 

Title: Blog Management for Beginners

Main keyword: Blog Management for Beginners

Additional keywords: Blogging, blog, article

 

We can then use this information to guide our content and make sure we’ve got the necessary keywords included in our article.

 

Finding your images

 

Will you be including images in your article? If not, why not?

 

Images are a great way of boosting engagement with your readers. Images are proven to catch our eye and help to keep focused, so including them in your article helps to keep your reader engaged. It also helps to break up the content from just words to prevent the appearance of a ‘wall of text’, which can put a lot of readers off.  

 

A good rule of thumb is one image every 500 – 1,000 words. Any more will mean there are too many images, and any less will mean there are too few to be engaging. There are many sites out there with royalty-free images but do take care and be cautious that you use images that you are allowed to.

 

Additional links

 

Are you going to be linking to other pieces of content or your website within your article? It’s a great opportunity to drive engagement and traffic to your website, so make sure to consider this.

 

A great example is linking back to your services page(s) or product listing(s). If your service or product can help, then link to it! People primarily read articles to learn and engage with the business, therefore if you can provide further value with your link, then it’s worth it.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

#5 Writing your article


So now you’ve got your article planned out, you know what you’re going to share, your keywords, the images you’re going to include and any additional links that will be in the article. Now how do you transform that from a plan to a fully-fledged article?


Let’s break it down into common sections for you to fill the gap with:


Introduction


Introducing the article is crucial for both the reader and for SEO. By using an introduction that’s both catchy and contains your keywords, you’ll keep the reader engaged and you’ll rank better in the search results for your chosen keyword.


Main content


This is where you fill the article with your useful content. There are a few ways to do this, depending on your article, so choosing the approach early on will help guide your writing. Here are some examples of structuring your main content:


Top 5/Top 10 article – Commonly used to compare different products, services, or methods, this type of article will have a heading for each of the different sections within the content. See our Top 10 Reasons to Start a Blog in 2021 for a great example.


Instructions-based article – Similarly to this article, an instructions-based article will contain a heading for each step in the instructions. Each section can then be broken down into further detail if required, making it easy for your reader to follow.


Standard article – A standard article is a typical article on one subject. This can be broken down into multiple sections, under different headings, but the flow of the article remains on the same topic. For an example, see our What is an Advertorial article.


To help you further, we’ve put together an article that talks through various types of articles out there. For more information, head to The Different Types of Articles.


Additional/secondary content


Is there something that can provide value to the reader, but doesn’t relate directly to the primary content? Often the secondary content can provide unexpected value to the reader, making the article even more valuable to the reader.


Additional/secondary content is entirely optional, but it’s always worth considering. How can you provide even more value to your reader? How can you make your article the best article on the web on your chosen topic?


Outro


A paragraph to wrap up your article is crucial for making the article a good read for your audience. It also allows you to introduce a call-to-action where applicable, allowing you to introduce your services/products to your audience. Take some time to make sure you wrap up the article so the reader leaves with a good lasting impression. 


#6 Final steps


Now you’ve written your article, but it’s not quite ready to be published. There are a few steps to go before it’s ready to go, so make sure you set time aside for the below.


First draft – Your first written copy is known as the ‘first draft’ and it’s intended to be tweaked. Our advice to you is don’t read through your article as soon as you’ve finished writing it, as you’ll need a fresh pair of eyes to pick up on areas that don’t read well. Take a break and focus on something else before coming back to reading through your first draft. 


Proofreading and editing – When you’re ready to proofread your article, take some time to read it through and read each sentence closely. Does it read correctly? Could it be clearer? If you find yourself stumbling at any point, that section needs to be rewritten. If you stumble, then your readers most likely will.


Secondary eyes – If you can get someone else to look over your article, then it’s worth doing so. Because you wrote the content, your brain pre-empts the next words, commonly overlooking any grammatical or spelling errors. Someone with a fresh perspective may pick up on these errors and help you to get them corrected.


Automatic grammar and spelling tools – Use software to help you find errors in your work. These tools are great at suggesting areas that you can improve, however, do take their suggestions with a pinch of caution. Despite AI getting cleverer, the English language is filled with many quirks that make it almost human itself.


#7 Time to publish!


Once you’re 100% happy with the article you’ve produced, it’s time to get ready to publish! Publishing an article on your website is exciting, so take the opportunity to create some buzz with your network and your customers. There are a few ways of doing this, including:


-          Social media

-          Email lists

-          Newsletters

-          Podcasts


And many more. Take the time to think of how you can share your new article and make people aware. After all, your article is to provide value to them.


Remember, your article will last long into the future, so make sure to take the time to get it right and make sure you’re 100% happy with it. Once you are, don’t forget that it’s there. Articles last long into the future and, unlike social media posts, can circulate for many years to come. Make sure you’re continuing to share them long into the future!


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We look forward to speaking further with you to see how we can help your business.


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