The most effective way to use content marketing is starting a blog. However, you can’t throw out a few blog posts and expect results. You need to do much more than that, which is where many fail. There are plenty of reasons why people start blogs but for many, it’s about exposure and audience building. And you simply can’t do those well without consistency.
The Importance of Blogging Regularly
Consumers and search engines love active blogs or sites that update regularly. Though that doesn’t mean Google or Bing bot won’t return to crawl a static site. They will but it’ll be less frequent. Crawling consumes resources. So we can hypothesize that the more often your website is crawled by search engines, the more authoritative or important it’s perceived.
Starting a blog allows prospects to interact with the company and learn about your services/products on their terms. Think of a blog post like a piece of real estate on your site and the World Wide Web. The more content you create, the more visibility gained and keywords you can target. More content also means you’ll occupy more search engine results pages (SERP).
Two Rules You Shouldn’t Break When Starting a Blog
There are two rules you must adhere to when starting a blog. The first rule is to own your domain name. This is because you want to build authority on a domain you control, not the blogging platform itself. I worry whenever a person is spending way too much time building authority on platforms they do not control.
For example, let’s assume your website is hosted on WordPress. Using a subdomain like mysite.wordpress.com eliminates control and builds authority on the platform. But you can maintain control if you own a domain name. All the authority that you build on that domain can be easily transferred if you ever decide to use a different platform in the future.
The second rule is to have a way of bringing users back. Your blog should be engaging and give visitors a reason to come back. This is key because most of your visitors will be first-time users that won’t return. So devising ways of re-engaging some of them is important.
Opt-in forms for email list building and providing any additional value to the audience are great ways for attracting people back. The means could be via a newsletter, niche-specific tools, push notifications, or something else.
Content Creation Tips For Your Blog
Is starting a blog worth it? That’s a common question people ask when contemplating starting a blog. And yes, it is but you have to be exceptional to stand out from the crowd of bloggers out there. Here are some tips that can help you do so.
1. Create Searchable Content
Write articles about things that not only interest your target audience but also would be searched for on search engines. This is very important because organic search is the primary driver of online traffic across industries. A BrightEdge study revealed that 53.3 percent of all trackable web traffic is driven by search.
2. Create Highly Targeted Content
So how do you write content that attracts highly targeted consumers? I’ll explain with the following example.
A gardening tools shop decides to write ‘how-to’ articles about gardening on their blog. They use keyword research tools to uncover content ideas and queries that have search volume. Their articles begin to attract people that have an interest in gardening after a few weeks, resulting in big ROI wins.
The aforementioned scenario/example is common. However, your content must be useful to prospects and length doesn’t really matter. The value provided matters more but keep blog posts at a minimum of 500 words or more (300 words if it can’t be helped). But never sacrifice quality for quantity.
3. Expand on Topics
Always expand on the topic and provide useful links to other relevant articles or content outside your website. Yes… send prospects to your competitors if it helps them but be sensible about it. Also, use visuals within your post to improve engagement.
4. Keep Content Fresh
To keep content fresh, publish consistently as previously noted. Also, you can invite others to contribute articles or hire someone from time-to-time. Guest bloggers can add diversity to your posts and credibility to the brand. Committing to daily content is great but depending on the situation, you might miss some days. So be flexible and forgiving in content creation.
Furthermore, it’s easy to burn out or hold yourself to an impossible expectation, which can lead to quitting. So at the very least, I’d recommend that you publish one compelling post per week. Trust me, it’ll help your business.
5. Craft Winning Titles
Your titles need to capture attention and the target keyword needs to be in them. A good title entices consumers to click-through from the SERPs, social media, etc. Every headline must have at least one of three things to work.
- Able to spark the prospect’s curiosity
- Implied instant gratification
- Communicate definitive value
The best copywriters can have 2 or all of the aforementioned in one title.
Consider the following simple exercise. Put yourself in the shoes of the searcher for a moment. You find ten links on page one for your search phrase. Which one do you click on? Probably the one that catches your attention, correct? Even if your first instinct would be to choose the first result, it would immediately be disqualified if you saw an attention-getting title.
Getting a post to rank at the top of the SERPs is hard work. But, the three title factors I mentioned earlier (curiosity spark, implied instant gratification, and value) can give any content a significant boost.
Additional Content Creation Tips
- Keep up with your industry or niche and be current with each post. Share information that’s still relevant and useful.
- Focus on satisfying the needs of your audience. Find the ‘sweet spot’ between getting what you want and pleasing visitors.
- Commit to continuous learning. Things change and making learning a habit is how you stay ahead of the competition.
- Utilize examples and statistics to prove your points accordingly.
- Use stories to convey messages whenever possible.
- Talk less about yourself and more about the given topic.
- Find a consistent voice by adding personality to your content. The best blogs read like you’re talking to a friend.
Starting a Blog
The tips shared here can help you succeed with blogging. However, you have to commit to excellence to increase your chances of success even further. The beginning will probably be a learning curve but keep at it. Learn to write or hire professionals depending on the situation. A business that doesn’t have an in-house team of writers should outsource to content agencies. Personal bloggers should learn how to write well but can also outsource as necessary.