Did you know that brands who use blogging as part of their content marketing plan gain 67% more leads than those who don’t? Well if you didn’t, you certainly do now! In addition to lead generation, blogging can also help your brand work its way to the top of search engine rankings. Furthermore, sharing tips and insights related to your field makes your brand come across as more credible and trustworthy. Even if you’re just getting started as a blogger or are anything but a natural writer, you can still employ similar blogging methods to gain your first visitors, increase website traffic, and enhance brand awareness. Here are 15 tips to help you capitalize on the power of blogging and become a better blogger!
The Hubspot blog generates nearly 8 million page views per day and has experienced a 25% boost in traffic year after year. They have also tinkered with and developed numerous strategies that can make any blog a huge success. They’ve learned how to capture the power of SEO and research to provide their readers with valuable content, while also generating massive amounts of organic traffic at the same time.
Pick the right topics to become a better blogger
Select topics that speak directly to your target audience
It is vital that you truly know your target audience and that you write for them. Furthermore, it is important to invest the time in figuring out your target audience and identifying their problems. It also helps to figure out what they’re interested in learning.
Developing a customer persona for your target audience can help you throughout this process. Remember that your blog should strive to connect with people who are likely to engage with your brand.
In order to become a better blogger, your customer persona needs to determine factors such as:
- Their ideal job
- The goals they want to achieve
- The pain points they deal with on a regular basis
Once you develop a sound understanding of who you want to target, this knowledge can inform not only your topic selection, but the tone, format, and complexity of your content. Without this fundamental understanding of your audience, you simply cannot connect with the right people in the right way.
It’s wicked easy to cast a wide net and write about just about everything in your industry. However, what sets better bloggers apart from okay bloggers is their ability to focus on the content that they’re creating.
It is also helpful to identify the niche that your company fills. Once you accomplish this, you need to write highly specialized content for that niche. It may be tough to cease writing about any topic that comes to mind, but the final result will be quality content that raises your voice and profile in your field.
Brainstorm evergreen topics to become a better blogger
Evergreen content typically touches on high-level ideas that simply will not go out of style in the near future. One example is a post I published months ago titled “What is Digital Marketing?” Even though I’ve updated this post a number of times since publishing it, the core content and definition of digital marketing remains the same at its core.
Instead of breaking news content, evergreen content features tips, tricks, and stats. This sort of content doesn’t require major updates or rewrites soon after publishing. Since they feature valuable insights, evergreen posts remain relevant far longer than a post that discusses a news topic that could potentially change overnight.
For instance, news about a petition to change an FCC sponsored content law might become out of date quickly. This is because readers will skip this post to read about the newer news items covering this topic. On the other hand, a post that highlights examples of sponsored content as well as current laws, such as How to Grow Your Personal Brand via Social Media, is evergreen and in turn, makes you a better blogger.
Example of evergreen content
An example of evergreen content is Instagram marketing. Why? Well, consider the fact that it is a major topic that marketers are interested in reading about. Evergreen topics serve as your content pillars. These pillars provide essential information on a topic and work to build domain authority.
Identifying pillars for content is important. However, it is vital to take things a step further and create long-form posts known as pillar pages. Pillar pages provide readers with all-encompassing information about evergreen topics. Furthermore, they link to a variety of your best blog posts on said topics.
While stats and facts may require slight updates from year-to-year, foundational topics like Instagram marketing doesn’t change drastically. This means the content will be relevant for far longer than non-evergreen topics like breaking news.
Content that stays relevant for longer is also more shareable and linkable for longer. This means that it will also gain a higher search authority and hold a higher result page ranking for a longer period of time.
Focus in on industry trends to become a better blogger
While evergreen content is amazing, it is also important to explore industry trends. This allows readers to stay up-to-date with new trends, while still covering more stable marketing topics. Evergreen content is an essential element of any successful content strategy. However, it is important that you don’t ignore the trends within your industry. Providing your take on industry trends is a chance to build a presence as a thought leader and show your target audience that you’re both knowledgeable and active within your space.
Outline your posts to become a better blogger
It is extremely helpful to draft an outline with the basic structure and major points that you plan to use in your full blog post before you start writing. Doing so can help you write a clear and well-formatted post in a short period of time. While veteran bloggers may cringe at the idea, creating an outline can have a large impact on the overall clarity, organization and flow of your final product. This is especially true when trying to convey a complex idea. It is often rather easy to figure out when a blogger has bypassed the outline phase of the writing process.
You should also write posts that get to the point and that people can read in a fast-paced environment. Many a time, someone who’s reading your post is on the train to work, walking in the hallway of their office, or otherwise busy and rushed. This means that they’re more than likely skimming the piece.
Try starting each paragraph with a quick reminder of what you’re talking about to help readers have an ideal experience. This is especially helpful for readers who are simply skimming your post. A quick reminder of the topic at hand is a great way to incorporate long-tail keywords, which help improve your overall SEO.
Seek out content from contributors
It’s next to impossible to be an expert in every facet of your industry. However, you want to provide your readers with a well-rounded offering of posts. One way to go about doing this is by working with a contributor who’s knowledgable in a particular aspect or subject within your industry. Coordinating guest pieces from qualified experts on subjects you wish to cover can help fill voids in your knowledge on your own content team.
If that contributor is well-known in your industry or if you consider them a thought leader, this could also make the post more shareable on social media or through backlinks. Furthermore, if you are unable to land a full blog post from a contributor, you can always reach out to experts for quotes that will provide a touch of professional insight to your own work.
Identify and leverage highly-searched keywords and phrases in titles and headers
People go to Google, Bing, or other search engines when they want to learn about a topic. Making use of keywords or phrases throughout your posts to help polish your work. This will help search engine crawlers find and rank it more easily.
Upon developing a list of topics that you think might be of interest to your audience, research phrase or keywords related to them using a tool like SEMRush. When you find a phrase that has a high MSV (monthly search volume), you should work that phrase or keyword into titles and subheaders in your post.
Link to your own website’s posts and credible sources to become a better blogger
Interlinking your content throughout your posts is an essential tactic from both an SEO and content discoverability perspective. From an SEO perspective, any link to your page is similar to a vote. The more votes you garner, the higher your search ranking and authority. Linking to your content counts as a vote for yourself. Naturally, this should be a no-brainer.
Include data and original quotes from experts to earn backlinks
A backlink, or inbound link, is earned when another site links back to your blog post. As mentioned above, these links are like SEO votes. If more pages link back to you, search engines will identify you as a source with good authority. Since search engines want to show people the most credible and original content first, backlinks help you move up in search rankings. Aside from SEO, quotes, thought leadership, and genuine research will works wonders to improve the reader’s overall experience.
Optimize alt text and images
This is anything but a given, but even your images can hold your search engine rankings back. Search engines like Google sort through and parse the alternative text of your photos to make sure that they have consistent keywords in them. They also look at how fast the images load. To avoid any issues rooted in load times, make sure to compress your images as much as humanly possible before they lose quality. Don’t worry if you’re not a Photoshop pro. You can achieve optimized images with tools like Squoosh.app.
Refresh old content with new insights
When you update old content, you also have a chance to flesh out great SEO opportunities that you missed the first time around. For instance, if a phrase or keyword has a high search volume, but wasn’t included in headlines or subheaders of your first post, you can amend the text to include the wording.
Photo and video content
Test out infographics and videos
This may come as a surprise, but you don’t need a full-time multi-media team to experiment with different formats. You can use free tools like Canva or Venngage to develop visuals and play around with different post structures. Just remember to experiment with a purpose, not just for the sake of doing so.
When figuring out if you should create a video or infographic, you should ask yourself what this content could accomplish that text simply cannot.
For instance, you may want to consider an infographic that shows the stats in a visually appealing fashion if a piece of trend research has a lot of facts and figures associated with it. Furthermore, an interview with an outgoing, or interesting individual could make for a great video interview in lieu of a standard text-based Q&A.
When it comes to video, creating this content could be as simple as filming yourself explaining a concept. You could also film an interview with a customer. You’ll want to consider lighting and the overall quality of your content. However, you do not need to hire a pricy film crew to film it. If you’re looking to spice things up after recording, you can use low budget video editing tools to make quick clean edits and add interesting effects like transitions.
On the other hand, you can always consider embedding and sourcing videos that are already made. For instance, if you’re developing a post about hot products, you could embed demos created by other companies that you find on YouTube or Vimeo.
Cover customer stories or successes
Blogging may be your ideal tool if leads are your primary goal. If you’re managing a blog for a gym, you could interview a customer who’s lost weight or achieved an athletic accomplishment after developing a fitness routine with your help. Your followers may think it’s of value to them since they’re learning about a successful fitness routine. You could write a post about how a customer reached a business milestone thanks to your app or software if you work for a software company. Either way, this gives you an opportunity to showcase customer success.
Include offers for related resources, products, or services
If you write a post relating to your product or service, offer readers a free resource or discount. This might encourage them to convert to a lead. If your company sells food products, you can write recipe-styled posts that feature one or two of your ingredients. Then at the bottom of the post, offer them a coupon or free sample if they subscribe to your e-newsletter. Make sure to include a CTA offering any and all resources or services that you have to offer. Upon clicking the CTA, they could be sent to a landing page where they can get an ebook in exchange for their contact information. This blog-based inbound marketing strategy might help to attract, engage and delight prospects. Furthermore, they are likely to become more interested in your product offering.
Promote your content to become a better blogger
Promote your posts on multiple channels
Search engines can become incredibly competitive. Furthermore, algorithmic changes can affect how your content is ranked. That being said, you should promote your blog on multiple platforms including social media and marketing emails.
Yes, creating a promotional strategy may seem like a daunting task. However, it doesn’t have to be too much of a challenge. To get started, think back to when you created your blog’s reader persona and ask yourself the following:
- Which platforms would they use most often?
- Which types of social posts do they engage with on a regular basis?
These answers will aid you in determining which platforms you should focus on when sharing blog content.
Time to write your first blog post!
The above list is fairly comprehensive. However, there are a few key themes to keep in mind as you begin writing.
Write for your reader
What evergreen topics and trends would your target audience like to learn about? Brainstorm a list of ideas based on what they want to learn and what advice will provide genuine value.
Aim for a smooth user experience
Postes developed from an outline are easier to understand. This is especially true when it comes to readers who simply skim your content. Make sure your posts are easy to digest and understand. All in all, make sure to keep your thoughts clear and to the point.
Spice up your posts with videos, visuals, original research, or expert quotes
A list may be easy to read. However, if you’re simply regurgitating old info, it likely will not provide much value to your readers. Think of elements that can make your post stand out from the rest of the crowd.
Consider your plan of distribution
Make sure you draft your posts with SEO and social shareability in mind. Then develop a strategy to promote posts once they’re published. This will help them get see search engine users, those who subscribe to your email list, and social media users.