Tips For Making Your Blog A Content Marketing Success
Your blog is a venue for your business to regularly and directly interact with your customers. You publish information that they find relevant and useful, and you get to build a direct connection with your readers.
Setting up a blog is the easy part. How do you build traffic to your blog once you set it up?
If you choose to self-host, your domain, content, design and work are owned by you, and you are not dependent on the terms, conditions, and changes of free blogging sites such as WordPress, Blogger, or Tumblr. For this reason, buy a domain, self-host your business blog and implement these great SEO tips.
So, there goes the easy part. Now, how do you get people to visit your blog?
Make your blog a content marketing success with these tips.
1. Determine the message you want to get across.
Once you have the technical aspect of starting a blog accomplished, determine the core message of your blog. This can be sharing promotions, new product launches, industry insights, or educating the public about the company.
Most commonly, business bloggers try to establish their expertise and authority in an industry by sharing their knowledge. They do this in hopes of developing trust with readers so potential customers have faith in purchasing their products or services. However, your business may not be set up to sell online.
What do you hope to achieve with your blog?
2. Identify your target audience.
Now that you know the purpose of your blog, it’s time to identify your target audience. Depending on the message of your blog, you can determine who would be interested in hearing it. You’ve probably done market research for your business, so take advantage of that data.
Also, zone in on specific demographics and personas, such as age groups, occupations, shopping preferences, spending habits, wants and needs, etc.
Having this information on hand will help you craft content targeted at the specific groups you want to reach, and this is what will help you with converting readers into paying customers.
3. Brainstorm content ideas for your target audience.
For example, if your business is selling men’s suits and tuxedos, you can write and share articles about fashion trends, fabric quality, manufacturing practices in different countries, up and coming designers, how to tie a tie, etc.
While you need a central focus for your blog, mixing topics up is a good way to keep your blog fresh and interesting. No one wants to read about 50 different ways to tie a tie or in-depth product descriptions of your suits.
One way to get blog post ideas is to find other competing websites and enter their URL into SEMRush.com. Click under “Organic Research”, choose “Positions” and you will find a list of the organic keywords your competitor ranks for. Leverage those concepts and build on them.
Other tips to keep in mind:
- Schedule evergreen content on a regular basis. These are longer articles content that can still be applicable months, or even years, later. They will draw consistent traffic to your blog over time, as well as gather more shares on social media. Examples of evergreen content are how-to articles, checklists, tutorials, and comprehensive guides (like this one on domain authority).
- Take note of holidays, seasonality, and launches of new products/services. You can then arrange your editorial calendar to slot in posts relevant to that period.
4. Write your posts.
After planning your content, it’s now time to do the actual writing. If you hire freelance writers, review their writing to make certain that they are producing high quality, accurate content. After all, you are the business owner and expert.
Here are some things to consider when writing/looking at the content:
- A great title. A great title grabs the attention of readers, making them want to click on your article. It can be in the form of a question, a shocking statement or statistic, or a “promise”.
- An effective lede. A lede (or lead) is the intro to the main article, and is meant to hook the reader in so they keep reading. Tell them exactly why they should be reading and what practical lesson they will learn.
- An informative body. You’ve gotten the reader this far. Don’t let them down. The body of the article needs to offer insightful information backed by facts, statistics, and step-by-step directions to solving a problem.
- A concrete closing. Don’t leave the reader hanging. Always end your posts in such a way that the reader knows that he didn’t waste his time and learned something useful. You can also encourage user engagement or interaction by asking a question, and requesting readers respond in the comments section.
5. Promote your content.
You’ve created excellent content. Congratulations!
But what good is content without an audience to read and put it into practice?
This is where promotion becomes crucial. Here are some ways you can promote your content:
- Be active on social media. Assuming you already have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and other social networks, your activity on these platforms is paramount to content marketing success. This is where you share your content, further connect with your readers, build relationships with other industry leaders, and generally try to get as much free traffic as possible.
- Use plugins that make sharing easier. Automating the sharing of your content will take a load off your back. Check out BufferApp.com for automation as well as sharing plugins to encourage social shares from your readers.
- Interact with your readers. One of the most important concepts lost to most business bloggers is the significance of real interaction with readers. Don’t be a mere broadcaster of information or solely a self-promoter. Respond to reader emails and comments on your blog, share relevant content from other sites, and link out to resources if they will benefit your audience.
- Connect with influential people in your niche. There will always be other people who have a more established online presence than you do. Connect with them by sharing their tweets and/or posts. Try to start a conversation with them via their own blog’s comment section. However, don’t spam them with promotional requests. Instead, build a relationship with them. Later on, you can ask them to share a specific post that they might find interesting. If you do things right, they might even share your content without you having to ask.
- Launch a guest post campaign. Guest posting is very much alive, and you should not overlook this activity. What you need to do is to find the right sites to pitch guest posts.
6. Measure your results, and get feedback.
You can build a blog and spend a ton of money doing it, but you will not know if your content marketing is a success unless you measure the results, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
The former requires the use of analytics tools, of which Google Analytics is perhaps the most commonly used. However, there are other options that you can look at, so that you can determine which tool suits your needs best.
The latter is directly asking your readers for feedback. This can be done in a variety of ways:
- Write a short blog post with a poll. You can use a poll widget for this, or just ask your audience directly in a post.
- Ask specific questions on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter, and encourage your followers to provide feedback. You can even run a contest as an incentive.
What about you – where do you stand in terms of your blog and content marketing plan? Do you have any new and unique strategies you’d like to share?
About the Author:
Gary Dek is a professional blogger, writer and SEO expert. He is the founder of StartABlog123.com and specializes in content marketing, link building strategies, and helping entrepreneurs grow online businesses.