Whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve had your website for ages, your blog can be a useful tool for business growth. Here, I’ll show you a logical way to organise a blog focused on achieving your business goals.
This method works just as well for a brand new blog as it does for one that’s been around for years. I’ll cover everything you need to know to get organising your blog, including:
- Defining its scope
- Assessing and updating existing content (if you have any)
- Creating the ideal structure using categories and tags
- Ideas for easier long-term maintenance
Let’s get started!
First, define a scope for your blog
A good blog has the ability to achieve your business goals: you might want to make a certain amount of profit, reach a specific customer, increase enquiries, or do something else entirely.
Every business is different, as is every blog. So if you’re going to organise a blog successfully for your business, you’ll need to start by defining its scope within the context of your goals and target audience.
With this in mind, it’s time to define the following key areas:
- Your business goals
- Your target audience
- The purpose of your blog posts
Define these three areas and you’ll have a clear scope so it’s easier to make the right decisions day-to-day about what’s best for your blog.
Let’s look at each of these areas in a little more detail:
1. What are your business goals?
Your blog exists to achieve your business goals – being clear about what these are from the outset will focus your blog on success.
They’re a great check for filtering out topics you shouldn’t cover in your blog. They’re also useful when you’re stuck for new post ideas.
2. Who is your target audience?
Everything you write should appeal to your target audience.
You might have more than one target audience, in which case you’ll need to ensure you aren’t creating content that is appealing for some people and off-putting for others.
3. What is the purpose of your blog?
Your posts shouldn’t just exist without a reason – they should all do something. What exactly this is should relate to your business goals and your target audience.
Identify two or three achievable things your blog posts can do. This could include any number of things, such as selling a specific product, showing everyone your business is active, or communicating with existing clients.
Keep a note of your business goals, target audience and the purpose of your blog posts. You’ll need to refer back to these points when you make decisions about your blog structure, as well as every time you edit or delete old content and write new posts.
Below are some examples of goals, audience and purpose for a fictional florist business, which should help get your ideas flowing:
- Get a contract to provide flowers daily for 2 more coffee shops by the end of this year
- Increase sales by 20% within 1 year
- Increase number of wedding enquiries by 300% in 6 months
- Newly engaged couples looking for a wedding florist
- Funeral directors referring our services to clients
- Local coffee shops
Purpose of blog posts:
- Sell our wedding flower package
- Show our skills and knowledge as florists
- Show how great our flowers look
We’re now going to move on and assess the content you’ve already created. If you’re starting from scratch with a brand new blog, feel free to skip ahead to start making changes to your blog structure.
How to organise a blog: assess and update existing content
Now you have a scope for your blog, it’s time to check if your existing content still makes sense within the scope. Plus, there are a couple of extra checks you can do on top of this. In this section we’ll discuss the following three checks you can do to assess your blog:
- Does it meet the scope?
- What content is successful and what is not?
- Is your SEO up to date?
This might be a good time to create a spreadsheet – especially if you have a lot of blog posts to keep track of and update.
Rather than looking through and fixing each post one by one, the spreadsheet can list all your current blog posts, with columns for each of the three checks so you can make notes of what needs addressing. You can then prioritise what needs doing first and gradually make your way through the updates when you have time.
Right, let’s get stuck into the assessment.
1. Does it meet the scope?
Your business goals might have changed over time, so some of your older posts might not do a very good job of growing your business anymore. You might find your audience has changed a bit too, and your posts don’t meet their interests. Some of your posts may simply serve no purpose whatsoever.
Go through each post and check if there’s anything that doesn’t fit within the scope you defined earlier.
It’s important to note you don’t need to delete posts that don’t fit. You can instead edit, or if necessary, completely rewrite these older posts. As mentioned above, you don’t need to update your posts right away. Keep a note of what needs updating so you can do so when you get around to it.
While you make a note of anything that doesn’t fit your scope, you can also note down any ideas for content you think is missing. This will help later when you define your blog categories and tags, as well as when you’re coming up with ideas for new posts.
2. What content is successful and what is not?
Check out your website analytics and make a note of any posts that are particularly well received, and the ones which aren’t.
This exercise is useful in many ways. Firstly, it shows you which content you definitely want to keep – basically anything that is wildly popular. Secondly, if any content is rarely or never read, it helps you decide to update, or potentially even remove that content (see below for how to do this safely). Thirdly, it shows the sorts of areas that are (and aren’t) of interest to your website visitors.
Sometimes you’ll write a very popular post, which, while frequently read, serves no purpose for your business. Instead of just letting it sit there gaining traffic but not doing much else, why not work in a call to action? Or consider changing up the angle to better achieve your business goals.
3. Is your SEO up to date?
Things can change quite quickly and what was common practice 5 years ago, may negatively affect your SEO now.
Take a look back at your posts and check up on any obvious problems with your SEO. Here, you’ll want to check all your posts have at least the following:
- A unique keyword/keyphrase
- A title tag (also known as an SEO title) and meta description
- A minimum of 300 words, preferably more
- 2 or 3 links to other posts on your website
The WordPress plugin, Yoast, is a handy tool to use for your SEO as it follows Google’s best practice guidelines and will flag up any issues for you.
A note on safely deleting posts
If a post is detrimental to your business and you can’t see a way to update it, then it could be time to delete it altogether.
However, once you delete a post, any links to that post won’t work anymore. If someone clicks on a link to the post, an error page will show by default. This is annoying for readers and isn’t great for SEO.
It’s best to add a permanent redirect from the post to a new location before you delete it. You could choose to redirect to a similar piece of content or to your blog page, for example.
Do contact us if you need any help setting up redirects for your posts.
By now, you should have a clear idea of how your existing content is performing, with some potential areas for improvement. It’s worth addressing any quick fixes before moving onto the final step needed to organise your blog: creating a good structure.
How to organise a blog: create a good structure
Once you have a scope for your blog and you’ve assessed your existing content – or if your blog is a brand new one – it’s time to get cracking on creating a blog structure that will achieve your business goals.
WordPress comes with an inbuilt way to structure your blog: categories and tags. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly these are and how you can make the most of them.
What are categories and tags?
Both categories and tags let you organise your posts in WordPress.
Categories are designed to broadly group your posts into topics. You can think of tags a bit more like hashtags or keywords – they’re more specific than categories.
Categories can also be hierarchical, so you can create parent categories, much like you can for your website pages.
Both categories and tags serve to make it easier for readers to navigate through your blog to find topics they’re interested in.
Every post will usually have one, perhaps two categories at most. On the other hand, you might have none, five, or lots of tags per post.
Using categories and tags to organise your blog
Like organising books in a bookcase, there are almost infinite ways to use categories and tags to organise your blog. Here, I’ll show you one approach that will suit most blogs and make it easy for readers to navigate your posts.
Refer back to your blog scope (i.e. the goals, audience and purpose you defined earlier). What are some broad areas you can write about that will appeal to your target audience and meet your business goals? These broad areas of interest can form your categories.
For our flower business above, one category might be “Weddings”.
At Callia Web, we’ve chosen the categories: Web Design, Website Advice, Blogging Tips and Callia Web News. Soon, we’re introducing a new category, Small Business.
These categories allow us to write posts on topics we’re knowledgeable about, that our target audience will be interested in, and that relate to our business goals. All things you’ll want to keep in mind when you organise your blog with categories.
You can create or edit categories in your WordPress Dashboard by heading to Posts > Categories:
If you’ve previously created categories that are associated with very few posts, consider removing or renaming these categories to better suit the topics you write about.
On the Callia Web Blog, we’ve given our categories a prominent spot at the top of our Blog page. This makes it easy to navigate to topics you want to read about:
If you align your categories with your blog scope, they’ll remain constant for as long as your scope does.
Tags on the other hand are a more specific way of organising posts, so you’re likely to add new ones fairly regularly as your blog grows.
It’s still worth periodically taking a look at your existing tags to see if they need cleaning up. Sometimes you’ll add a tag that isn’t necessary, or you might be able to consolidate two very similar tags.
You can check out all your current tags in your WordPress Dashboard by going to Posts > Tags. Here you can edit, add or delete tags as needed.
Many people display their blog tags alongside each of their posts, or in a tag cloud, making it easy for readers to navigate to other posts of interest.
Staying organised: maintaining your blog over time
With your blog all nicely organised, you’ll have a solid foundation for when it continues to evolve.
A growing blog does of course mean coming up with new ideas and writing new content. Perhaps you’re now brimming with ideas and excited to get blogging – hopefully the scope you defined earlier will help with this.
We’ve previously talked about common website mistakes that make people think you’ve gone out of business, and a blog without any new content is one of the biggest red flags.
Don’t panic! If you haven’t the time or budget to regularly post, there are other options for maintaining your blog that don’t rely so heavily on creating new content.
A wiki-style blog, with evergreen content might be a more appropriate approach.
Or you could opt for a blog layout that doesn’t put too much emphasis on your latest posts. You could, for example, show “featured” posts more prominently than “latest” posts.
We can help you choose and execute the best blog and website layout for your needs. So do get in touch if you’d like to talk through a new approach for your blog!