Hoping 2018 will be the year you crack blogging? You're in the right place. Whether you’re brand new to the world of blogging or a seasoned writer with years of experience, it’s always helpful to get back to basics. Here is the ultimate guide to getting your content noticed.
Original content is at the heart of content marketing. In order to crack blogging, businesses need to think outside of the traditional sales-led approach. Instead, you should be asking yourself what expertise you can share that is unique to you and will help you stand out from the crowd. And this doesn’t mean writing a post all about the services your business offers and why customers should choose you.
Rather, you need to share something of value. So, if you are a tour operator that specialises in the Caribbean, you may want to write advice blogs about choosing the perfect Caribbean destination. Or if you are a tech specialist, you could share the latest exciting industry news, outlining the new opportunities it offers for tech start-ups.
Consistent, original and useful content will naturally attract readers to your blog and your audience will grow to trust your expertise and value the information, advice and opinions you share.
Keep it focused
Once you have found your niche, be sure to stick to it. Before you begin writing any blog post, make sure you know your topic and your keywords. Choosing keywords that your target audience will be using in search engines will help people find your blog.
Moz’s free keyword optimisation tool is a brilliant place to start when choosing keywords that are relevant and will drive traffic to your website. Try entering a few different keywords into the system and then decide which ones are most appropriate, taking into account the monthly volume and relevance measurements.
Here’s an example: if you were planning on writing about public speaking, you would explore keywords that relate to this topic. You might settle on “public speaking tips” because it is relevant and has a high monthly volume of searches. Once you have your keywords, you are ready to write a simple yet useful advice blog post offering tips for public speaking, repeating your keywords around three times throughout the body of the text and in your blog header. Be careful not to keyword stuff though as this can be detrimental, rather focus on the quality of your article. Carefully selecting and implementing keywords in this way keeps your content both focused and optimised.
For more advanced keyword analysis, you can seek out an SEO specialist.
To gain a readership, you must first persuade people to click on your blog post. This calls for a short, snappy title that will motivate people to learn more about your topic. An interesting question or something that taps into the reader’s emotions would be ideal, for example, “Could Your Workflow be Impacting Your Family?”
Personal pronouns also help to pull readers in. It is also essential to include your keywords in your headline for optimisation. For best SEO results, place your keywords at the start of your headline or at least within the first 65 characters. Using the previous keyword example, a good headline could be “3 Public Speaking Tips to Help You Nail Your Presentation”.
With these tips in mind, be sure not to sacrifice relevance for an optimised header. For example, the header “Shocking Findings Suggest Teamwork is a Dying Skill” is not appropriate if your blog post is actually about what you learnt at a recent team building workshop. You want to draw readers in, but also leave them feeling satisfied at the end of your blog.
Include a CTA
A call to action is a statement at the end of your blog that works towards converting your blog readers into customers. Your CTA should be placed right at the end of your blog, urging readers to explore your product. A good call to action is clear, assertive and enthusiastic, such as “Subscribe to our weekly magazine now to read the full exclusive interview” or “Plan your dream island getaway today and receive 10% off”. This second example also features numbers, which consumers respond well to.
It is advisable to turn your CTA into a hyperlink and then set up a method for monitoring the conversion rate using Google Analytics. This allows you to track whether your blog is converting into business and to compare the effectiveness of multiple CTAs. Google Analytics measures your conversion rate by tracking how many times readers click the link from your blog to your product landing page.
Break up the text with professional, relevant images
Content marketing is all about creating high-quality, engaging and valuable content and your blog images are no exception to this. Research has indicated that people prefer to read online content interspersed with high quality, engaging images, so it’s worth investing in a professional camera or the services of a photographer or digital artist.
Humans are visual creatures after all and pixelated or blurry photographs will not impress potential customers. Whether you include attractive photographs, useful diagrams or inspiring infographics, be sure to keep your images professional, consistent and relevant to your blog topic.
Include internal and external links
Internal links and external links are both invaluable for different reasons. Internal links are hyperlinks to other pages on your site which will keep readers on your website for longer, allowing them to gain a wider understanding of what you do and the services you offer. So, if you are writing a blog post about public transport in the south-west and touch upon the topic of cycle hire, you could make the relevant keywords into a hyperlink to another blog post on your site which discusses the benefits of cycle hire.
Meanwhile, external links that take your reader to an entirely different website give your blog credibility, connect you with the wider online community and improve your SEO. Try adding links to reliable sources with a high domain authority that add value to your topic and back up your statements.
Proofread your work
This may seem an obvious point, but it’s an important one nonetheless. A blog free of grammatical errors, typos and punctuation mistakes will communicate your ideas and expertise more clearly, as well as demonstrate professionalism and pride in your content. Noticing errors in your own writing can be challenging, so ask a second person to proofread your blogs or make use of Grammarly’s free service.
The world of blogging is an exciting, dynamic and fruitful avenue to explore. It allows you to connect with your customers, be a part of wider conversations in your industry and develop a readership of customers who trust you and value your expertise. If you approach blogging in this way, adding value to online communities and interacting with your readers, then your blog is bound to become a profitable avenue for driving your target audience to your product.
About the Author
The Click Hub is an independent digital marketing agency, specialising in intelligent and data-based approaches that help small to medium businesses grow their online presence.