Blog Management

8 Proven Blog Management Tips For Startups And SaaS

Nadav Dakner July 6th, 2021

Did you know that effective blog management increases lead generation by 67% and improves your chances of converting unsure buyers by 61%?

But here’s the other side of the story.

The majority of B2B and startup blogs never add any tangible business value and become unprofitable money-sucking platforms.

The reason? Poor blog management.

In this detailed article, I’ll tell you what blog management means and how to do it the right way to turn your blog into your biggest lead generation source.

Keep reading.

What Is Blog Management?

Blog management involves aligning your blogging strategy with your company’s broader marketing goals. Its purpose is to ensure that your blog consistently publishes high-quality content that builds brand awareness and generates traffic and leads for your business.

A blog manager brings consistency to your content by creating style guides, designing templates for various content types, developing on-page SEO checklists, and sharing operational guidelines for content creators.

Blog management also involves day-to-day tasks such as comment moderation, plugin updates, and other technical maintenance tasks.

In short, effective blog management ensures your blog’s growth and turns it into a valuable business asset.

How To Manage A Startup Blog The Right Way

Want to be one of the rare startup blogs that actually drive traffic, leads, and customers? Follow these blog management steps.

Step 1: Determine Your Blog’s Business Goal

Blog management starts by questioning your blog’s existence. 

Why does your business need a blog, and where does it fit in your overall marketing strategy?

These are crucial questions because they’ll determine the kind of content you create.

If your blog’s purpose is brand awareness only, you’ll create completely different content from a startup that wants to focus solely on traffic generation.

Groove’s customer service and startup blog is an excellent example of using content for building brand authority.

Groove's article: "From aha to oh no, I've shared it all"

It’s not like they ignored SEO, but traffic was never their primary concern.

Instead, their blog’s primary role was to build authority with original content based on personal experiences, case studies, and research.

Alternatively, HubSpot used its blog to target every high-traffic keyword in its niche and became the industry leader on the back of SEO-optimized content.

HubSpot's blog

So what do you want to achieve from your blog, and what KPIs will you track to measure its ROI? 

Your answer will largely determine the content structure, type, length, and many other aspects of your blog.

Step 2: Identify Your Core Topics And Keywords

Successful blogs are built around a few closely related core topics. These are the topics you want your startup to be known for. 

Every article on your blog needs to fall under one of your core topics.

For example, Shopify’s core topics are entrepreneurship, eCommerce business development, and sales & marketing.

Shopify's blog core topics as part of its blog management

Similarly, HelpScout’s blog mainly covers customer service, business growth, and company news.

The Help Scout's blog core topics as part of its blog management

Finding your blog’s core topics is easy (your industry + the top three problems your product solves).

For example, the core topics for a design tool like Canva would be all things related to design, conversion, and business tips for design professionals.

But how do you find keywords for your core topics?

Let me give you some quick tips to come up with ideas your audience wants to learn about.

  • Search for your topic and scroll to Google’s People also ask section to find all the questions people are asking about it.
Google's People also ask snippet for the keyword logo design
  • Search for your core topic and analyze the top ten competitor blogs for content ideas.
  • Check Google’s suggested searches and related searches for your topic.
Google's suggested searches for "logo design for"
  • Search for your topic in tools like Answer the Public and BuzzSumo.

Read this keyword research guide for more details on finding keywords and topics for your blog.

Step 3: Create Your Blog’s SEO Guidelines

68% of all online experiences start with a search engine (read Google Search.)

Which is why you need to have clear and well-researched SEO guidelines for your content creators. Here’s a sample checklist writers can use before submitting an article to your editor.

On-Page SEO Checklist

1. Use the primary keyword in the following places.

  • Article title
  • URL
  • H1 heading
  • At least two H2 sub-headings
  • In the first 100 words
  • Multiple times in the body content
  • In image alt-text
  • In the last 100 words

2. Add an internal link in the first 200 words.

3. Add an internal link to the relevant pillar page.

4. Add 1-2 relevant internal links for every 1K words.

5. Add 2-3 external links to highly credible non-competing sources.

6. Write an enticing meta description.

7. Use at least three original images/product screenshots for every 1K words.

Read our complete guide to on-page SEO for more details on building a strong SEO strategy.

Step 4: Develop A Blog Style Guide

Creating a style guide is among the most important jobs of a blog manager. A style guide brings consistency to your content and gives your writers the necessary insights to create valuable content.

In easier words, it gives your writers clear guidelines on your content style.

Upworthy’s “25 headline challenge” is an excellent example of a content style guide component that guides writers on developing an article title.

Upworthy's editorial process for blog management

Here are the key components of a blog’s style guide (with sample benchmarks)

Target Reader: Reference to your buyer persona

Title Style: Start with a number, keep them guessing, click-bait. Submit at least five titles per article.

Article Introduction – Get straight to the point, start with a question, or share a story in 100 words.

Paragraphs – 2-3 lines max.

Sub-headings – For every 200 words.

Content style – Semi-formal and conversational with frequent use of you, me, I. 

Grammar – Punctuation and capitalization standards. 

Images/screenshots – At least one for every sub-heading.

Image text – “Source” linking to the original image page.

Stats or examples – For every claim.

Conclusion – End with a question encouraging readers to comment or a CTA to a lead magnet.

Read this in-depth guide on blogging style guides for more detail.

Step 5: Design Content Templates 

If you’re looking to scale content production without compromising quality, use content templates.

What is a content template?

It’s a fill-in-the-blank document that gives your writers a partial outline for writing different types of articles.

For example, here’s a content template for a comparison article created by a learning management software company.

An example of a template

Templates take the guesswork out of content production and accelerate the writing process.

You can create such templates for all article types that you either outsource to freelance writers or create on a large scale.

Most startup blogs use templates for the following article types.

  • How To posts
  • Case studies
  • Comparison posts
  • Product Alternative posts
  • Best Of roundup posts
  • Product reviews

A template typically covers

  • The title structure
  • Intro length
  • Number of sub-headings
  • Each section’s content theme
  • CTA placement

However, it’s better not to create templates for thought leadership posts by your founders and senior managers since you don’t need to create them at scale.

Step 6: Brainstorm Content Themes And Ideas

After all the groundwork we’ve done so far, it’s time to come up with the actual content ideas and titles for your blog.

This is where you’ll utilize the insights you gained in Step 2 while researching your core topics and keywords.

So what are the best ways to find blogging ideas?

  • Start with a 10-min brainstorming session with your core team. 
  • Ask each team member to dump ideas on a blank piece of paper around the core topics you found in Step 2.
  • Find ideas for each stage of the content marketing funnel (click the link for details.)
  • Come up with 10-15 ideas for every funnel stage of each core topic (for example, 15 for eCommerce, 15 for marketing, etc.)
  • Don’t worry about writing perfect titles at this stage. Just write down any idea that comes to mind.
  • Now, spend 10 mins rating each idea on a scale of 1-5 (higher the better.)
  • Combine any ideas if needed.
  • Completely remove the ones that don’t make sense.
  • Now choose the top 3 ideas for each core topic for writing.
  • Prioritize these titles based on the importance of the core topic.

Now evaluate these ideas from the SEO perspective using a keyword research tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush. See if there’s enough search potential for the 

You can use this brainstorming process to find titles for a month, a quarter, or even a whole year.

Step 7: Develop A Content Editorial Calendar

Now that you have a comprehensive title list for your blog organize them in a content calendar.

A content calendar contains the following information about your content.

  • Your publishing frequency
  • Article title
  • The assigned writer
  • Publishing date

You can create your content calendar in a spreadsheet or a project management tool like Trello.

Here’s a good example.

A Trello board used as a content editorial calendar

What’s the ideal publishing frequency for a blog? There’s no fixed answer to this question. 

But you can come up with a number based on the following factors.

  • Your monthly content marketing budget.
  • The number and capacity of your writers.
  • The research required for your content.
  • The competition for your target keywords.
  • The publishing frequency of your closest competitors.

Having a content calendar doesn’t mean you’re bound to follow it. You can always adjust when needed. But it allows you and your writing team to plan and publish consistently.

Step 8: Finalize Your Content Promotion Checklist

A crucial part of blog management that many startups ignore is prompting your content.

Because without a content promotion strategy, even the best quality content fails to attract readers.

Here’s a checklist for promoting your content.

  • Share content from your company accounts on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and any other relevant social media sites.
  • Pull 3-4 quotes, stats, or interesting points from your post and use them for the description of your social media posts.
  • Use Buffer or Hootsuite to schedule social media posts for an article 4-5 times a month. Here’s a sample social media sharing schedule.
A sample social media sharing schedule for blog management
  • Tag any influencers, bloggers, or brands mentioned in your article.
  • Send the article link to your email list.
  • Ask all your team members to share the article from their personal accounts.
  • Launch a PPC campaign to generate early momentum for your article (read our PPC+Content Marketing guide for more ideas).
  • Share the article on reddit, GrowthHackers, and any other relevant forums for startup content.

Are You Ready To Improve Your Blog Management?

I’ve given you an overview of the various blog management tasks you need to perform to create a successful startup blog.

There’s more detail to each of these steps that we will discuss in future articles on our blog.

If you need help managing your blog or want to discuss your overall content strategy with experts, please contact us for a free consultation call.