Is your blog is carrying its weight as part of your fitness, nutrition and wellness marketing strategy? These tips will help you do it right:
1) Post consistently
Pick a posting frequency you can live with. Tuesdays and Thursdays? Monday, Wednesday, Saturday? Friday only? Days which end in an odd number? If you can’t commit to a schedule, then ditch the idea of a blog. It’s just one piece of a marketing strategy, and plenty of fitness, nutrition and wellness businesses thrive without them. Better not to do it at all, than to do it poorly.
2) Use an editorial calendar
It doesn’t have to be fancy. We use Excel spreadsheets for our own newsletters and most of our clients. Any time you think of a good post idea, just add it to the calendar. Removes a lot of the stress of deciding what to write!
3) Assign responsibility
Actually, writing blog posts that achieve a business purpose is rocket science. Like doing your business taxes, or designing a new facility addition, it’s a job for professionals.
We can all do simple math, but we can’t all do our own taxes. We can all write our names, but that doesn’t mean we’re great bloggers.
It’s not enough to love fitness and nutrition, or to love writing. You also need a gift for knowing how to put all of that into a post that achieves a marketing goal – that distinguishes your business and demonstrates what makes it special and different.
With that in mind, decide who will be responsible for creating posts for your health club or wellness center. Will it be you, or someone talented on your team, or will you hire someone?
Bonus tip #1: Invite guest bloggers. It spreads the work of writing, and helps increase your visibility to their email list and social followers.
Bonus tip #2: If you hire someone, be choosy. I see a lot of folks hire ‘social media specialists’ (usually inexperienced and inexpensive recent college grads) to write their blog posts. And what they get are basically just rewrites of the same-old, same-old fitness and nutrition articles all over the Internet.
Remember: your blog posts exist to showcase your special expertise. They serve a marketing purpose. Generic articles like those you’d find in Shape or Mens Health do nothing to promote your wellness business. In fact, they just make you sound like everyone else.
4) Good enough is good enough
I see far too many great blog posts get old, gray and grow whiskers because their authors keep polishing, and polishing, and never actually publish them. Remember: you’re posting on a consistent basis, so you’ll get another bite of the apple in a matter of days.
5) Be different
Your posts should clearly illustrate what’s different and special about your business.
I saw a great comment from someone at the Dallas Running Club today.
To paraphrase, he said “Anyone can go to RunnersWorld.com and get training plans, but we teach you how to run in Dallas, where it’s 100 degrees and higher for most of the summer.”
Perfect content for a blog post.
Bonus tip: bring offline online. Write about what’s really happening in the world your business is part of. Are you thrilled to hear that a new bike trail is opening in a couple of months? Infuriated that a nearby community garden was just turned into a parking lot without any effort to find a new location?
6) Post titles = ad headlines
The headline on an ad is the most important part. If it doesn’t make your reader look more closely, the opportunity’s missed forever.
Blog post titles are like those headlines. They’re there to grab the reader’s attention. How?
By making it instantly clear that the post is relevant to the reader AND will deliver valuable content.
“Five Ways to Marathon-Train In 100+ Temps in Dallas, Texas”
7) Align tags and categories
Think about who you want to visit your site, what kind of info they’re looking for, and why they want it.
New runners (who) want tips on training in the heat (what) so they’re ready for marathon season in the fall (why).
Then use these terms to categorize your posts: new runners, heat training, summer training, marathon training. It’ll help SEO and it’ll help visitors find useful content on your site.
8) “Share this”
Add “share this” buttons at the top of your blog posts for Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn at a minimum.
And make sure you have a prominent “Get email updates” button and/or “Get our email newsletter” form.
That way you retain control over sending content to your readers.
If your website is WordPress-based, lots of excellent and free social media plugins are available and can be installed in a jiffy. You can also grab the free Constant Contact plugin.
Bonus tip: set up Google Authorship to improve your blog’s SEO visibility.