You may or may not have decided that maintaining a blog is a part of running your business. If you have then this post is for you. If you haven’t then this post is also for you.
Blogging is an extremely powerful and proven way of generating new leads and increasing your revenue, especially if done right.
So whether you are fully dedicated to your blog or only spend a little time here and there, we are here to help you increase your revenue through your blog.
We’re here to demystify exactly what makes some blog posts soar to success, and help you get better results for less effort. The fact is, blogs should be at the core of your content marketing because they allow you to accomplish the following six things, each of which are key to building your business:
- Become a trusted authority in your business,
- Generate plenty of valuable content,
- Rank high in Google and other search engines,
- Generate a quality audience of followers,
- Engage with your audience,
- Drive traffic to your website,
- Build your list.
Ultimately, we want your blog to benefit your bottom line, as you keep in mind that like all your business operations, blogging is about strategy. Here are seven simple ways you can tweak your blogging habit to target the six benefits above:
1. Become a trusted Authority . . . by Making Sure People Actually Read Your Posts
Blogging gives you a great opportunity to answer people’s questions, solve their problems and establish your authority in your field or niche. In order to do that, however, you have to make sure people actually read your posts.
First, ensure readership by starting each blog strong. Begin with a bold statement that hooks your reader by (1) asking a question, (2) revealing a powerful fact or statement that inspires curiosity or (3) focusing on the why behind your post.
Second, master the length. Ideally, blog posts should be short. While this isn’t a rule, the consensus is 500-700 words per post and no fewer than 300 for SEO purposes. If your topic requires more depth (at least 1,000 words), considering breaking it up into two posts.
Overall, don’t put pressure on yourself to write long, involved posts. The reality is that long posts won’t get read. Most readers only read about 50% of a given article. Be bold and succinct and you’ll be more likely to hold your reader’s attention. Another great way to make a blog post easier to digest is by breaking content into bite-sized chunks to help guide readers who prefer to skim for key information.
2. Generate quality content . . . by Blogging Consistently
Studies show that out of all the businesses that blog, 35% post at least once a month, while 65% haven’t updated their blog in a year or more. Get ahead of that 65% by understanding that what’s more important than posting frequently is posting consistently . Rather than posting five times within one week then letting your blog gather dust for three months, try posting once every two weeks or once a month.
Also, while blogging frequently isn’t a must, it can dramatically boost your business: 92% of companies that blog multiple times a day acquired a customer through their blog.
3. Rank Higher In Search Engines . . . by Choosing Keywords Carefully
Search engines and Google in particular LOVE quality content. So whilst you have been consistently blogging away, over time you would have created a wonderful amount of keyword rich content. Content that people love to read, but also that search engines love to index. That means you will rank higher than others with poor or very little content. That is a FACT!
Optimize content for search by focusing each post or piece of content on a specific keyword phrase. Include it in internal and external links, and add appropriate search-friendly text to non-text content. When planning posts, you can begin by researching the keyword with Google AdWords Keyword Tool. The tool will show you how much traffic any particular keyword receives and how many sites are competing to rank on that keyword.
For example, let’s say you wanted to blog about cat videos. Even though “funniest cat videos” doesn’t have too much competition, with only 1,900 searches a month you would greatly limit your potential traffic. However, “funny cat videos”-with monthly search of 40,500 and low competition-would be a great phrase to use in your title and give you the chance to get a slice of a much bigger pie. (Of course, then you would also have to write a blog post about funny cat videos.)
After you’ve carefully chosen the topic and keywords, sprinkle them throughout your post. The key is not to overdo it. Going crazy with keyword density may look unnatural to your readers and may be perceived by search engines as spammy.
4. Generate a quality audience / followers.
Over time whilst you are posting consistent and relevant articles and posts, you will organically attract many followers.
Because you have laid out your plan and been consistent with your blogging, the followers that you attract will become more than just one time visitors.
As the trusted expert, with fresh and relevant content on your subject, there will be no need for your audience to go anywhere else.
You can’t buy customer loyalty, you have to earn it and there are not many platforms as powerful as a blog in allowing you to do that.
5. Engage with Your Audience . . . by Incorporating Multimedia
Multimedia is a great way to increase readability, engagement and readership. Consider incorporating the following:
- Images: Good images can dramatically increase readership. Articles with images get as many as 94% more views. Use them to attract attention to the content by putting them at the beginning of the post, to break up long posts or to supplement your content with additional information, diagrams or visual aids.
- Audio : Blog posts don’t have to be in written form. Feel free to post podcasts, interviews or audios that you’ve recorded. You can also record a short audio introducing a written blog post and explaining why you decided to dive into the given content. This can give your blog a personal touch and allow you to interact with readers more directly.
- Video: Videos are a great way to give demonstrations, communicate directly with your audience or post content from live or virtual events. Make sure that like your blog posts, videos are bite-sized and that you stagger longer content across multiple posts.
- Slideshare: Slideshare is a growing way to generate content or simply give an overview of your post. Create the presentation on Slideshare’s website, then embed your presentation within your post.
6. Drive Traffic to Your Website . . . by Promoting Your Blog on Multiple Channels
First, make sure that you promote new blog posts on your social media channels. Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great places to start. When posting about new blog posts, make sure you make the benefit of your blog article clear in your post. Don’t be subtle about the value of the content, and don’t forget to give a call to action, directly asking your followers to click or read.
You can also share your blog posts on Pinterest and Instagram, two of the newer, more visual social networks. On both networks, the keys to promoting your blog post are (1) choosing an interesting, relevant image from your blog post, (2) adding an overlay of the title of the post to the image and (3) utilizing hashtags and keywords to give the pin or Instagram image a search boost.
Finally, you can email your list with your most successful or most popular posts once a month, reminding your audience that you have new content for them to explore. Focus on added value, be clear about exactly what they’ll learn in each post and make sure to include an image relevant to the blog post to catch their eye.
7. Build Your List . . . by Including an Opt-In On Your Blog
According to new data, small businesses that blog experience a 126% higher growth in leads than small businesses that don’t. Take advantage of the extra traffic to your site by making sure you have a functional lead capture form on your blog page. Here are several ways to dramatically increase your conversion rates:
- Include concrete, relevant calls to action within your opt-in forms. For example, you can say, “To receive more great content about [your blog’s niche topic] on a regular basis, join my list.”
- Place opt-in forms in multiple places on your blog. Some readers are drawn to sidebars, and others are drawn to headers and footers. Experiment with both for maximum visibility.
- Offer a free download in exchange for their name and email address. Since readers will already be reading free content on your blog, offering a higher level or premium quality download on the same topic is a great way to incentivize opt-ins.
If you can commit to utilizing at least one of these strategies, you’ll start to reap the benefits of maintaining a blog for your business. The bottom line is that while blogging doesn’t have to monopolize your time, it is an unparalleled way to add value to your prospects and customers.
So how can you get a bigger bang for your blog? Blog smart, blog strategically, and blog with your end result in mind: a bigger expert presence, more traffic, more leads and ultimately, more customers.