Blogging is big business. Well, it is for some people. A select few individuals and companies seem to possess the secret of how to turn written blogs into a sales generating gold mine, while others seem to struggle to gain an audience.
Why is this, and what can ordinary bloggers do to improve their content’s effectiveness?
At greatcontent, we work with a lot of companies who want to optimise their website traffic via a killer blog but who lack the skills to make it flourish. We tend to tell them a similar message: growing your sales via blogging can happen — it just takes planning and creativity, especially when coming up with writing briefs.
So here are 5 tips that always seem to make a difference when briefing bloggers about what to include, and how to do so:
1. Always optimise your content for SEO
If you want your beautiful writing to be read, you need it to be highly visible online. Period. And this means optimising every posting for SEO.
When enlisting writers to contribute blog content, couple thematic briefs with detailed SEO instructions. Base keywords on in-depth research that’s relevant to the subject matter, and emphasise where keywords need to go in the body text, meta descriptions/titles and headers/subheaders.
But here’s the thing: don’t be too prescriptive. Be precise about your SEO requirements, but leave wriggle room for writers to work their magic. Never forget that keyword stuffing will not work in your favour and that professional copywriting skills are needed to ensure the KWs are integrated naturally in the text for optimal SEO results.
2. Publish frequently and well
While quality is more important than quantity, there’s no doubting that quantity (or, let’s say, frequency) matters when growing your blog.
Successful blogs combine an ambitious posting schedule with the hard work needed to implement strong quality control. They don’t spam their site with three texts per day, just to meet a quota. They invest in high-quality content that’s posted on a regular basis.
When your company is well established, start working on 1,600-word masterpieces that supposedly represent the gold standard. But until then, focus on your publishing frequency and the delivering of insights and updates in shorter form.
3. Don’t be shy: ask for guest posts
If you aren’t confident that your in-house team or affiliated freelancers can meet your publishing requirements, and you need to add third-party posts to meet your posting schedule, don’t be afraid to do so.
Guest posts play a key role in many popular blogs. They don’t just fill space. Insights from specialists can add totally new angles to familiar topics, and they can help you tap into the loyal audience of your guests (a clever co-marketing technique). It also boosts your profile, showing that you are willing to collaborate with others and join their community, which can be great for brand awareness.
Just be clear about your needs, and don’t post about irrelevant topics. Try to ask for brand-specific content that adds to your own work and that is mutually beneficial for both you and the guest poster.
4. Get active on social media
No blog can succeed in isolation. These days, it needs to be the central hub of a much bigger marketing world, and eCommerce companies need to promote it wherever makes the most sense.
Much of the time, this means becoming active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and even discussion forums that are relevant to your business. It means being available to field customer queries and sharing your blog content whenever it appears.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be continuously online, managing multiple social media channels. But successful blogs always leverage social media to promote every post, and keep doing so when those posts are relevant again in the future. The strategic use of social networks is simply a no-brainer nowadays, and no blogger can do without it.
5. Join the conversation and start commenting elsewhere
Finally, we’ve found that bloggers who take the time to comment on other blogs or media outlets are onto a good thing. Developing a persona as an expert in the right online locations is an excellent way to reach your target audience.
When people continually see your avatar with helpful advice attached, and they see it on sites they love, they will be much more tempted to visit your site. And when they do, they will be predisposed to spend more time (or money) there.
It pays to build relationships in any business, and blogging is no exception. People sometimes think that it’s about solitary writers, but blogging is a social activity, and a blog’s success will rise if it can become part of wider conversations.
Enlist expert assistance when building a stellar blog
These tips can help to point your blog in the right direction, but there’s much more to be said about how to make your specific blog thrive. Each site has its own factors, from the use of images and how to source the correct keywords, to finding the right SEO content length.
That’s where greatcontent can help. Our blend of SEO knowledge and high-quality content creation can apply these tips and much more. With our help, you can send your conversions soaring. So get in touch, and we’ll talk about how to devise a content strategy designed for your blog.
Text: Sam Urquhart