Blogging is a critical component of inbound marketing. Consumers read, on average, three to five pieces of content before beginning the buying process. Companies that place a priority on blogging are more likely to see a positive return than brands that don’t.
However, simply pushing out posts that are poorly written, contain irrelevant material, or are uninformative won’t help. Providing high-quality content on your blog page is important. Post content that is useful and usable, has an excellent value proposition and offers a full discussion of the given topic. Provide information, insight, and inspiration so your blog page becomes a communication tool and fosters an online community of brand supporters.
Establish and document a content strategy for your blog page. Traffic and leads are both likely to increase as a result of a carefully executed content strategy. It will also help to ensure that you are posting quality content on a regular basis. Your planning should include blog topics, the process from start to finish, and timing so you stay ahead of publishing deadlines. Set goals and establish how you will measure progress towards those goals. Part of your content strategy should encompass how you will get people to see your blog posts. Understand where your audience spends time and then push out a link to your posts on that platform. Do email outreach to existing followers and influencers.
Post to your blog page regularly. For best results, the current goal to aim for is 16 or more blog posts per month. Establish, in advance, topics as well as process (writing, scheduling, and posting dates). Work from a planning calendar so you schedule blog topics well in advance and avoid a last-minute writing crunch. A month at a glance also makes it easier to build multi-part articles and to repurpose or readdress hot topics.
Consistent blog posting is important not only for acquiring new subscribers but also for retaining those people who already read your blog posts on a regular basis. Once your readers have come to expect a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday blog post from you it is important to deliver on that schedule. The odds of someone returning to read your blog page after they’ve been disappointed by a series of “no-show” are slim.
Harvest blog post topics from your audience. Examine comments, tweets, and other posts from your followers for article ideas. Notice which industry and niche trends people are commenting on or liking. Post a question on your social media profiles asking people which topics they would like to know more about. Send out a survey to your email list for the same purpose.
Other ways to find topics are to investigate industry related keywords, common target audience pain points, trending forum topics and blogs that other people are writing. Research an area in your niche that hasn’t been fully or recently addressed or look through question and answer sites.
Find a unique approach to the topic of the day. Be different from others who have already published a blog post on the topic knowing that within any given industry, bloggers are covering the same topics. Decide on a direction that helps your content stand out from the rest whether it is in the way the information is presented or the angle from which you discuss the topic. You might also consider doing a deep dive into areas of a blog topic that others have only touched on.
Integrate more long-form content into your blog page. While not every post will exceed 2000 words, it is a noble goal to aim for each time. Look back through past articles and repurpose related posts by combining them into one, longer blog post. In addition to telling readers about a topic, include step by step instructions on how to do something or use a technology.
Take advantage of the public’s overwhelming propensity to watch video and integrate it into your blog posts. Video content encourages more engagement and results in people spending more time on your site. You can create “how to” videos that demonstrate product use or walk through a process step by step. With all of the resources available online and through software packages, you don’t have to be a professional videographer to create high-quality videos. If you are comfortable in front of a camera, make yourself the star! If not, find someone else to be your spokesperson or opt for a slideshow style or animated video.
Your headline is one of the most important parts of any blog post. Use compelling language. Make it interesting and engaging. Ask a question, be shocking, be amusing, or make people think. Most people decide whether or not to read something based on the headline so it is imperative that you draw in readers with something noteworthy that makes them stop scrolling and start reading.
Your opening sentence or two also help people determine whether or not they want to learn more from your blog post. Readers should be able to immediately establish what they will gain from engaging with your post. If you wait until further into the blog article to share the purpose of the post, many people won’t get to it. Start with a fabulous lead-in that is informative and engaging, yet clear and concise.
Throughout your blog posts, write for clarity and conciseness. A sentence that begins, “Very, very, scary, frightening, creepy, and disturbing,” might push your word count up but it won’t convince a reader to stick around to learn more. Eliminate unnecessary words. Avoid prepositional phrases and clichés. Minimize the use of confusing, complex sentences. Stay away from passive voice and, instead, use strong action verbs. Include creative metaphors and descriptive detail that appeal to a reader’s emotions and senses.
Stay focused as you craft your blog posts and be sure to stay on topic. Keep in mind, as you write, your post title and what you want to communicate. There will be times within a blog post that you investigate and discuss further some subtopics to provide a more robust blog post. However, if you find what was intended to be a quick side trip has become an all-out detour, perhaps that subtopic might better be written about in its own post.
Be purposeful in the formatting of your blog posts. Most people prefer to scan pages, slowing down only for the parts of the article they find interesting or useful. Use headers and subheaders to assist quick read-throughs. Bullet points and lists also aid in the scanning process. Large (12pt or larger) font in a color that contrasts well with the background color palette makes content easier to read. Visuals and images should be used not only help break up chunks of text but can also be used to present information in a manner more easily consumed than text.
Include a call to action on your blog posts. If you want readers to sign up for your email list, create an eye-catching button with that message. If getting someone to follow you on a social media profile is the goal from your blog post, create an engaging call to action for that purpose. Make it easy for readers to convert and take whatever action it is you desire them to take after reading your blog. Just remember odds are that if you don’t ask, they won’t do it.
Writing blog posts is an involved activity. As you plan out your schedule of process and topics, provide yourself time to step away from a piece for a bit after the first draft is completed. The ability to come back to an article with fresh eyes and a rested mind will help not only in regards to proofreading but also with the quality of the content in your blog post.
Make the content on your blog page easy to share by including social sharing buttons on the page. If people have to expend much effort to share your posts, they won’t do it. Also include options for emailing, printing, and messaging your posts so readers may utilize their preferred channel and method of sharing.
Build your email list. Building relationships with consumers is challenging work but email provides a free channel through which to connect and communicate. Even if you don’t sell anything, email allows you to promote your content and regularly provide valuable information and insights to your followers. The best part is that your content is delivered directly to a channel already in use as most people spend up to four hours a day checking email.
Document your content strategy to encourage regular blog posts and plan a schedule of topics. Aim for 16 or more blog posts per month. It was found that traffic will increase by over 75% once you’ve built your blog up to 52 or more posts.
Don’t wait for traffic to come to you, push out your blog on social media channels and to the people on your email list.
Create interesting, informative, and engaging content. Be different. Find a new perspective or a new way to present the topic. Consider integrating video to take advantage of the increased engagement that results from the use of that format.
Aim for long-form posts whenever possible. Make the old new again by repurposing and combining older content.
Give your headline and first sentence or two special attention. You only have one chance to make a first impression, one chance to entice someone to read further.
Use spellcheck, Grammarly, an editor, whatever you need to use to ensure an error-free presentation of your content. Use clear, concise, and compelling language. Format your posts so they are easily scanned.
Include a call to action on your blog page. Theoretically, you have provided your readers with something valuable so ask for something in return. Whether you seek an email address, a Twitter follow, or something else, ask for it specifically in a clear, persuasive manner.
Give your readers more ways in which to share your posts than they would ever use.
Cultivate a healthy email list and then use it to push out your content on a regular basis.
Content is indeed, king and engaging blog posts are an effective way to build content on your site. Stuck in a writing rut? Not sure how to begin the blogging process? The content experts at Strategy Driven Marketing can guide you through the development of an effective content strategy and help you with quality content for your blog posts, website pages, email newsletters, and more. Contact us today!