As any blog writer will tell you, a body of text on a page is never enough to bring people to your site.
You need to think about what you are trying to achieve with your content well before you decide to throw it out there for public consumption. In this article, we discuss how to define your goals for your blog and more importantly, how to achieve them.
Decide What You Want Your Blog To Achieve
Begin by asking yourself what you are trying to do with the content you are sharing. Are you planning to build a reputation in the industry? Establish links with other professionals? Or perhaps build an element of trust amongst your potential customers. It could even be a mixture of all three, but it is absolutely essential to know why you’re creating a blog in the first place, otherwise, there’s no real point to having one. Decide on whether you want to use this section of your site to boost sales, drive traffic, promote products or simply establish a presence. Once you have done this, you can move to the next stage of your research by looking at how the competition’s content performs from both an analytics and conversion perspective. Though meetings can be time-consuming, allocating time to discuss your blog in detail means that you can be absolutely certain about why it’s there, what it should be doing and what you need to do to make that happen.
Plan Content Well in Advance
Once you have established what you’re trying to do with your blog, try to collate a list of potential titles and topics that fit around this idea. For example, if you’re attempting to stand out as an authority in the industry with a view to generating more business, consider guides, top tens and news based posts that allow you to show off your knowledge. Alternatively, if you’re trying to take a more sales driven approach, consider writing articles that talk about products and services from a consumer’s perspective. Even though you will naturally want your own products to stand out, a well written and honest piece about the competition shows that you understand what your potential customers are looking for. This builds trust, which ultimately helps to sew the seeds of brand loyalty. Allocate time in meetings to discuss specific titles and even a series of posts if you can. That way you can plan effectively and ensure that you know exactly what you’re going to post for the coming weeks. This can always be adjusted or refined based on performance, but having a solid plan is always a good starting point.
You don’t have to guess or hope for the best when it comes to content, using Google analytics or the multitude of other software that’s available will allow you to see who’s visited the page, how long they’ve stayed and whether or not they clicked on any links you included. This is really something that you should be doing all the time so you can understand what’s working and what isn’t. If your goal is to generate as much traffic as possible, you might be using controversial or “click bait” style headlines to grab attention. If this works, there’s no reason to stop. Conversely, if people are simply reading the headline and then moving on because the content doesn’t hold their attention, you will need to change something in the body of the copy. Another option is to allow direct feedback from your visitors. Though it can be something of a double-edged sword, comments sections and feedback forms can allow people to comment on anything you’ve posted. Interactions like this are generally quite rare, but a genuine, positive comment from an enthused reader can work wonders for a blog’s credibility.
If you’ve promised a ten-part guide on fashion or a diary style series of commentary on recent industry development, ensure that you actually deliver this. Neglecting to post regularly can drive users away very quickly. If you consider this from the perspective of somebody browsing the web, it’s easier to understand. Every week for the past month, they’ve enjoyed reading your individual take on how to engage with digital marketing, social media faux pas or whatever your area of expertise may be and suddenly, when they return to see what’s new, they find nothing has been updated. As we mentioned earlier, planning content in advance can help you do this. In worst case scenarios, where a gap in content is inevitable, try to be honest and let your website users know in advance. This shows you’re aware of their presence and more importantly, that you value their interaction.
Consistency in tone is just as important as frequency of content and this should be monitored carefully. If you use guest bloggers, consider using an editor to ensure their tone of voice matches the one you use for the rest of your communications. It’s fine to move outside of the box from time to time, but a blog that seems disparate and inconsistent can be confusing to read and won’t create the kind of impression that you’re looking for.
Organic traffic is great and it proves your SEO is working but its also important to take some practical steps that can help to make sure people are actually seeing your blog. Carefully timed posts on socials, emails and even links in video descriptions can all be good ways to let people know your blog has been updated. Get into the habit of sharing other good quality blogs that are relevant to your industry and you may find that people start to return the favor. Overkill should always be avoided but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with boosting the hits you get from SEO by using a little old fashioned elbow grease. Coupled with a well-organized approach to timing your posting, a brief synopsis of the content in a tweet, Facebook or Linkedin update can work as a “teaser” that convinces the reader to click through to the blog itself.