Creating a Bigger and Better Blog for 2017
It’s no secret that the most, if not all, profitable niches in online marketing are already highly saturated. If you think you have an idea for a new blog topic, there are probably a thousand blogs that already published the same post. And in time, there'll be more content than humans can consume – resulting in “Content Shock."
Remember that the fundamental law of supply and demand affects everything. The price for any commodity falls when supply exceeds demand. But when it comes to content marketing, you end up paying your audience to consume your content because there’s no price for them to begin with.
In addition to time, thriving bloggers now need to invest in tools and resources that help with content creation. It’s also common for bloggers to bribe their audience into subscribing with free eBooks, discount coupons, and free trial periods.
Whether you feel that your blog is better than others is immaterial. If you want your blog to stay relevant for the upcoming years, you need a solid strategy that efficiently produces and delivers great content to your target audience.
1. Review and Refine Your Content Plan
A blog that stands the test of time is built correctly from the ground up. The first thing you need to look at is your content plan. Start by getting to know your target audience from the inside and out. If you want to build readership, you need to write for them – not for yourself and see who’ll be interested in your stuff.
The online audience is attracted to value. If you consistently provide content that educates, entertains, or encourages action, then people will be naturally drawn to your blog.
To determine what topics matter to them, one strategy is to use Alexa to profile your competitors’ readers. Simply key in your top competitor’s URL to learn information about the audience such as gender, browsing location, and popular search keywords. You can also use Google Keyword Planner for more search keyword ideas.
Next, you can gain an idea of your audience's content preferences using a content research tool like BuzzSumo. Not only will it help you determine the topics and content types that get the most engagement, but it will also help you identify key influencers that can help promote your blog.
To put everything together, make sure you define your blogging milestones that will help you track your progress and tweak your strategy over time. There’s no specific rule for this, so feel free to write anything like the following:
Now that you have a good idea on what you want to achieve with your blog, it’s time to develop a content plan for your blog to ensure that your goals will be reached.
The Smart Insights Content Marketing Matrix above should help you determine the main goals that you need to accomplish for your blog this year. Developing a content marketing strategy around your goals will make for an organized plan so you can engage and captivate your audience by producing the right content types.
Below are practical tips for each quadrant that you can use on your blog.
2. Set up Your Landing Pages
To build your blog readership, you need a lead generation strategy that can turn visitors into subscribers and potential customers. A key component for this would be your landing pages where most conversions happen.
To be efficient in converting your audience, a landing page must be well-designed. It must include all the right elements that will draw your audience’s attention and eventually lead them to the subscribe button:
Darren Rowse is one of the most popular bloggers in the world. The homepage of Problogger.net, reflects this.
Looking at the above the fold section, you will easily read a short and clear description of what the blog is all about presented as a series of tasks. It cuts right to the chase and gives visitors a quick taste of what to expect when reading through its content.
Speaking of the content, browsing down the homepage will reveal to you a section of topics covered by the blog. The heading “I need help to…” speaks from the position of the visitor, which is a perfect way to cue them into the categories found in the blog. Clicking on any of the topics will bring them to the page that contains the posts about the topic.
3. Build Evergreen Content
You can’t count on new content to bring steady traffic to your website. That’s why you need evergreen content as the foundation where your blog rests on.
Simply put, evergreen content offers information that has relevance and value for the long-term. To write them, focus on fundamental knowledge, actionable tips, time-tested strategies, or the history behind something.
Below are other tactics that you must implement to ensure that you content stands up to the test of time.
Looking at WHSR's SiteGround review as example, you will easily see how this post will be very informative for its target readers. The way the review breaks down SiteGround into its most important elements and distinguish each as pros and cons makes it easier for visitors to see what makes the tool good. Also, the screenshots featured all over the page showing how fast and reliable SiteGround is serve as social proof to readers.
All these elements in the content not only helps readers understand how SiteGround operates, but also allows them to make an informed decision on whether to purchase it as their web hosting or not. These are the reasons why this type of content can be described as evergreen.
4. Learn Where to Promote Your Content
Bringing people to your blog isn’t about who has the best content anymore. It’s all about positioning and promoting your website for better discoverability.
While well-established blogs have the upper hand when it comes to the resources and connections that bring exposure, you can still keep up with them by making an effort in optimizing sharing and distribution channels for your content. Social media is a great example since it is used by billions of users with different preferences.
You can also leverage the online reach of influencers by launching a blogger outreach campaign. This involves associating yourself with the main influencers who can write or share posts about your brand.
Below are other tools you can use to look for influencers:
You can refer to this post to learn more about promoting your blog through social media and blogger outreach.
5. Track and Measure
If you want your blog to proliferate, you need to treat it like a business that requires constant attention. Aside from using your blogging milestones as a guide, you should also specify key performance indicators or KPIs that can help you check what’s working and what isn’t.
For most blogs, below are the KPIs you need to look at:
One of the best tools that can help you with your tracking needs is Google Analytics, but you’ll also need analytics platforms for SEO, social media, and email marketing. You can refer to this post for a long list of the best tools you can use.
If you want to succeed as a blogger, you need to up your game and settle for anything less than your best job. The things outlined above are only guidelines on what you can do to improve. Ultimately, it’s up to you if you’re willing to put in the extra work for making your blog grow and shine through the content noise.
Thanks to Christopher Jan Benitez for sharing their advice and opinions in this post. Christopher Jan Benitez is a professional content marketer and writer. He has helped small businesses achieve their goals by implementing a strong content strategy that emphasizes their unique selling points and promoting created content using effective online channels and methods, in particular social media
marketing and search engine optimization techniques.
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