If your business is lacking a blog, now is the time to build one. It’s one of the most effective types of marketing content for targeting potential clients, it boosts your website’s traffic, establishes your reputation and can build a strong online community around the brand. What does it take to build a blog and how do you keep the readers coming?
Choosing a blogging platform comes first. While there are a few options, WordPress is the most popular and one of the most user-friendly. For your company blog, you should invest in creating a WordPress theme that fits your brand imagery to keep it consistent with the site. Then comes the structure of the blog. Decide on what you’re going to write about and how to categorize it. You want the categories to be easy for the reader to browse, so think about the content they want to see and how you can separate it for their convenience.
The blog can generate a lot of traffic for your business site, but to do that, it needs traffic all of its own. Here are a few tips to help make that all the easier.
This is the golden rule of content. The reader has to want to read it. Therefore, you have to find the value in it. Content value can come in a variety of ways. Is it educational? Is it informative? Is it entertaining? Is it heartwarming? If you cannot find the value in a piece of content to your reader (not to you) then take it back to the drawing board.
Blogs are most effective when they keep readers visiting. For that purpose, you should create a content schedule. One effective method is planning a pipeline. You have the topics you want to cover, those that are relevant right now, those you are researching, and the content that you’re writing. At any one time, you should have at least one piece of content in every part of the pipeline so that you constantly have new content being developed while you publish.
For a business blog, potential clients may be top on the list of those you want reading your blog. All content creation should come with them in mind, or whomever your primary readership is going to be. Construct a reader persona for them, thinking about their age, lifestyle, challenges in life, and how your company can help with those. As time goes on, you will start to see who amongst your audience is sharing more of your content. Prioritize more of the content that this particular section of the audience shares
Though content might have you thinking primarily of long-form writing, it’s not always necessarily the best format to publish on your blog. Visuals matter a great deal, and choosing high-quality photos for all your content, whether you take them yourself or buy them, can attract a lot of attention to it. In the body of the content itself, try to present your information or ideas in the most engaging ways possible. Photo gallery posts, lists, and infographics are amongst of the most digestible and widely shared kinds of content. Videos can be even more popular if you have the time of budget to create them.
Following trends isn’t enough. You need to have your own insights, information, or take to offer alongside whatever is most relevant to your readership right now. However, if the content in your pipeline has a connection to a relevant trend or talking point at the moment, strike while the iron is hot and focus on that particular topic. Make the content itself more regularly to the news or development that’s trending. Sites like Google Trends and look at the top Twitter hashtags can help you stay relevant. While a topic is relevant, any posts related to it are likely to get a lot more attention.
We have all heard of clickbait. Snappy titles promising valuable payoff have been shown to tug on the curiosity of the online readership time and time again. However, actual clickbait content is established as a terrible way to build a consistent readership. Learn from the clickbait but don’t copy it. Use titles that offer an immediate solution or quick glimpses into the most enticing information you have to offer. Then ensure that its backed up with well-written content that actually gives readers the payoff that they expect.
Find the communities where your readership is already active. Most often this means putting effort into spreading your content through social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but forums like Quora and even Reddit have proven to be highly successful platforms for companies publishing their own content. Which you choose depends on where your audience is most active, not only as consumers of content but as sharers and participants in the conversation. Your content is likely to fare even better if you actually engage with that community. Respond to their questions, retweet their own insights or opinions, and foster a connection that can have them sharing your content time and time again.
One of the reasons that blogs are such an effective marketing tool for businesses is their search engine optimization potential. Blogs allow companies to write on a variety of topics and answer queries that web users are searching for right now. There are a few ways to make your blog more SEO friendly. Amongst them, keyword research is some of the most valuable. Find the particular language and words that web users use to describe terms and topics you’re writing on. Include the relevant keywords in your title and content, and those readers are much more likely to see your content first when searching with those keywords. Again, clear and compelling titles and headlines are valuable, this time helping to boost a post’s rankings in search engines. Scrub broken links and images in your site and blog, too, as they can drag your rankings down.
Site analysis tools like Google Analytics can provide a much deeper look at which content gets read most on your blog. Furthermore, they can show where the readership is coming from, whether it’s social media, search engines, or other websites. Finding those most popular entryways can show you where to focus your traffic-building efforts. What’s more, you can see which types of content are most popular and which of them go on to direct traffic further into your site.
Content goes out of date all the time. However, in updating it, you can make it even more effective than it originally was. Freshness is a key ranking factor in SEO, and updating a page raises its freshness, helping it climb the rankings if it has dropped some. Updating the content isn’t the only way to increase its freshness, either. Restructuring it to increase its user-friendliness can help your readership engage with it and share it more.
Blogging is not a simple discipline, it takes research, planning, analysis, and a dose of creativity to really make it shine. The tips above can help you establish a blog that builds real traffic, but if you want to keep the readership rising, you need to keep learning.