We believe that creating a website for your app is a crucial part of your app marketing plan. But if you add a blog to your website, or not, will depend on several different factors.
On one hand, a blog is a great way to get useful or entertaining content out there so your site starts generating more organic search traffic. On the other hand, it does take a lot of time to create material for your blog and maintain it.
In addition, not all apps would necessarily benefit from having a blog. If you have a simple flashlight app, there probably isn't too much that you could write about. But if you have a fitness app, then there are a lot of health and fitness related topics that you could post that would attract readers to your blog and possibly download your app.
If you decide that you want to put in the time to maintain a blog, here are five things that you must do to give your blog the best chance at success.
Just like most people will not want to go to a party that only has two other people, visitors will not want to visit a blog that only has a couple of posts. Make sure that you create 5 to 10 solid posts before you even launch your blog.
Answer common questions that your audience might have, post tutorials on how to use your app, or provide useful tips on topics that are related to your app. Take some time to search for questions and frequently searched for keywords that you can target with your blog posts.
One mistake we see developers making is that they start talking about the development of their apps, their sales numbers or other such information on their app blog. This is fine if you also do app development consulting, but if the primary goal of your blog is to attract people who will download your app, then you should keep that information to yourself, or create a personal blog where you can share that information.
You need to create a picture in your mind of who you are talking to when you write your blog posts. This will determine the content that you create on your blog. Is your ideal reader a teenage boy who likes to pay war games, or is it a middle aged, stay-at-home Mom, with three kids? Clearly define your audience and you will get a better idea of what to write about.
Following a regular posting schedule (and posting quality content, of course) is the best way to build a following. Readers will know when to come back and check your blog and knowing that they will get fresh posts on a regular basis will keep them interested.
Sure, as long as it is quality content, then more is better. But do not kill yourself with the posting schedule that you choose. If you can realistically only post once a week, then just do that. You might only be able to post twice a month…that is fine. A schedule that you will actually stick to is worth infinitely more than a lot of good intentions that never get done.
If you do not use social media to promote your blog, you might be talking to yourself for quite awhile before your blog starts to gain readers. Set up a simple Facebook page and a Twitter account and start posting your blog content, as well as related content that you think would be useful or entertaining to your target audience. Also consider paying to promote your Facebook page, so that you get some followers right away.
Once you are able to post to social media on a regular basis and it is comfortable for you, then branch out to Facebook groups and other networks such as YouTube and LinkedIn. Be careful not to overextend yourself however. Focus on the networks that give you the most traffic for the least amount of work.
After you have all of the above taken care of and you are humming along nicely, then start to think about other ways that you can promote your blog and your app. If you have a game, having users share their gameplay on YouTube might be something that you could implement to get the word out about your game. You could even start a hall of fame (or shame) on your blog with these videos.
Maybe you could go old school and have some business cards printed up to hand out to people you meet on a daily basis, that would be interested in your blog and app. Try commenting on related blogs or buying advertising. Experiment with different promotion techniques and you may discover something that works unexpectedly well. The beauty of having a blog is that you now have a resource that you can point people to, for a variety of different reasons, not just to download your app (although that is the ultimate goal).
A blog is not a good marketing strategy for every app, but creating some quality content now can reward you for years to come with free organic search traffic. If you do decide to create a blog, we hope that these tips will get you started on the right foot. If you do not have time to do some or all of the above, consider hiring someone to help you.
Do you use a blog to promote your app? If so what has been working for you? Leave a comment below.
Photo Credits: Launch by jkbrooks85 via Flickr CC, Reliable by hryckowian via Flickr CC, Megaphone by scottiet812 via Flickr CC