Blogs are like living organisms, providing the foundation of your content marketing strategy and needing attention and nurturing in order to grow. Like living things, they age and grow into different forms, and sometimes, they need care to become realigned to their original vision or to transform into something greater.
Rebooting your blog is a way of reinventing your content strategy from the ground up, giving you the opportunity to pursue new avenues of writing and appeal to new segments of your target demographics. Executing a reboot might seem intimidating, since you’ll be rebuilding your entire content strategy from scratch, but it’s a powerful move for the long-term health of your campaign.
There are five major signs that let you know it’s time for a blog reboot:
This is a common setback that plagues almost every blog at some point. If you notice more than 25 percent of your posts seem to be rehashing the same topic or range of topics over and over, it may be time to adjust the scope of your blog. Sometimes, the problem is minor, and simply injecting your blog with newer, more relevant topics is a suitable fix.
However, if you find that the vast majority of your blog posts are based on unoriginal or endlessly repeated topics, a simple adjustment may not be enough. Taking apart your strategy into its base components, then reassembling a new strategy from the ground up may be the best way to give your blog the new direction—and new topics—it needs to continue to thrive. Reassess which subjects are most important to your users, and consult new sources to reboot your blog into something more immediately relevant.
Your user comments can tell you a lot about the health and direction of your content marketing program. For example, if you notice that your blog comments are starting to decline in volume, it could be an indication that your topics aren’t as insightful or as stimulating as they used to be. Perform regular checks to analyze the growth of your blog comments—you should be getting more over time in a healthy campaign.
Of course, more isn’t always better. If you notice that you’re getting the same kinds of comments repeatedly—such as “Thanks for the info, this will help my business,” it could be an indication that your content isn’t stimulating active discussions or new ideas. If you start to notice that your comments are dwindling in number or originality, it could be time to reboot your blog from scratch.
If you only have one person writing in your brand voice, it’s easy for that voice to decline in quality over time. Much like an image that’s copied repeatedly, the integrity of the original fades with each iteration. If you notice your blog is losing some momentum or isn’t as tight as it once was, take a look at the presence of your brand voice—is it as strong as it used to be?
If not, you definitely have a problem on your hands. In some cases, correcting this is a simple matter of auditing your writing strategy and reproducing a voice that’s closer to the original voice of your brand. In other cases, you’re better served redrawing a new brand voice, one that has the capacity to evolve with your readers’ interests and needs.
If you’re used to updating your blog from the early days of blogging, it’s natural that you would be used to making exclusively text-based posts. You might also be stuck in the text-based medium if you’re relatively new to the content marketing scene.
However, if you’ve been relying on the same old medium for the entirety of your content strategy, you definitely need to reinvent your content strategy with a reboot. Today, users demand multiple forms of content, especially visual mediums like images and videos, as part of their content consumption experience. If you aren’t offering multiple channels and multiple formats for your users, it’s a good idea to dismantle your current editorial calendar and rebuild it with more opportunities for multimedia posts.
The most successful modern blogs—and the ones that will survive the next round of Google updates and online paradigm shifts—are ones with an interactive element. Sometimes, that’s a matter of relying on an audience to help generate content ideas and discussion topics. Other times, that’s including more posts based around surveys or quizzes. Exceptionally advanced blogs feature customized content based on the individual accessing them.
If your blog doesn’t have any interactive components, it’s a sign that you’re ready to rebuild from the ground up. Interactivity is going to play a major role in the development of content marketing over the next several years, and it’s going to do wonders to increase brand loyalty in your readership.
Rebooting your blog isn’t easy. It’s going to take time and effort to implement effectively. But once you’ve applied the changes and set the course for the duration of your content strategy, you’ll start seeing the impact immediately.
Analyze the Factors Burdening Your Blog
Your first step is to audit your current efforts and uncover all the factors that are preventing them from succeeding. The five signs in the previous section of the article should guide you to uncovering most of these factors. For most businesses, blog staleness will be a result of a lacking brand voice, a lack of innovative new topics, an unsuccessful direction, or some combination of those qualities. Understanding the root of your problem is the first step in addressing it.
Form a Plan
Next, you’ll need to make an outline of your rebooted blog—start by addressing what changes you’ll need to make, such as making a sketch of a new brand voice or brainstorming different subject matter to cover on a regular basis. Ask your customers and followers what they would like to see in your blog moving forward, and incorporate that feedback into your plan. Put together a solid editorial calendar extending out for at least the first month, and prepare enough resources to sufficiently execute these efforts.
Announce Your Unveiling
You might be tempted to start making your new blog posts in immediate succession with your old ones, as if there was no change. However, it’s better if you make a formal announcement of your intentions. Write a celebratory first post announcing your blog’s new direction, and tie in posts on your social media accounts as well. Let your audience know that you’re listening to their opinions, and that you’re making a dedicated effort to improve your content offerings for their benefit.
One reboot isn’t enough to keep your blog healthy forever. Once you’ve successfully set a course for a new, refreshed content marketing strategy, you’ll have to perform regular audits and regular adjustments to ensure the long-term health of your campaign. Listen to your readers, read other blogs to keep your ideas fresh, and strive to constantly refine your processes.
Want more information on content marketing? Head over to our comprehensive guide on content marketing here: The All-in-One Guide to Planning and Launching a Content Marketing Strategy.