If you use a blog for your business, you will know how difficult it can be to continually provide fresh content and ensure that you are providing relevant content and information to your audience. You will also know that social media is changing all the time and it can be difficult to stay in touch with all of the new innovations and techniques.
This is why it is worth taking some time to stay up to date with the industry and here is a broad selection of tips and techniques utilised by some of the leading bloggers in the present day.
#1 Create Google Hangouts and turn them into mini courses on your blog
There is a great deal to be said for making your blog as multimedia as you can (We often use video in our blog posts). You don’t want to dilute the information or message that you spend but if you can increase the ways you try and connect with your audience, you will find that there are plenty of benefits of doing so.
A lot of experts are running a Google Hangout On Air, perhaps interviewing a specialist or expert in your field. You can then take this interview and use it as a mini-course for your blog. You should look to have the session transcribed and you can break the video content into a number of key sections. By adding branded content at the front and tail end of the video, you can help to promote brand awareness while ensuring that people come back to what you have to offer.
You can also provide the full video and the full transcript at the end because it is important to remember that different people like to learn in different ways. For some users, breaking the information into chunks makes it more manageable for them or it will allow them to focus on the topic that is most important to them. However, some people prefer to skim a lengthier piece of content, so choose this option if you are looking to appeal to people who like a lot of information.
Allowing people to structure their own learning experience is vital and will position you as a provider that thinks about your audience. Google Hangouts on Air can be recorded at the time they take place, and they can also be recorded as private events on YouTube too. This means that if you are not looking to publicly share this content on Google+, the option is still available to you. Being able to use the same content in different and relevant ways is a brilliant way to maximise the return on your time and investment.
#2 Create audio versions of your blog posts
A really strong tactic that many people are turning to at the moment is to create an audio version of a blog post and then share it on to a podcast feed. This provides you with content to share with the audience of your podcast and it enables people to find your content and material in a new way.
There have been reports of some bloggers experiencing a 2,000% increase in exposure by using this tactic. It also leads to a heightened level of engagement with your audience so if you are looking to connect, it makes sense to think about this different communication model.
You can do this by adding the audio blog to the podcast feed that you have set up, or you could create a new feed for this audio blog. You may be able to benefit from being recognised in the New and Noteworthy element on places like iTunes. You should be looking to share your content with as many people as possible and this is a great way to reach out to an all new audience.
#3 Get Mind-Mapping
If you feel as though you have a great number of ideas, but you never fully utilise them, or you never have the time to fully develop your ideas, it may be time for you to consider Mind-Mapping. If you are looking to create long posts, say posts over 1,000 words like 18 Ways To Shine on Social Media, you will want to be more organised for your content.
Starting with your headline as the anchor point, in the centre of your page or workspace, start to create sub-ideas that are linked to the headline. From here you can create a couple of sentences for each secondary idea, and it may be that this will take you further down the line. You should look to expand your mind-mapping until you have exhausted all of the ideas for a headline, and then you should look to start structuring your work, taking into account all of the different topics and ideas you generated.
There are Mind-Mapping software programmes and tools to choose from or you could go for the paper and pen approach. Look to use whatever is most comfortable for you.
#4 Provide data with your blogs
If you are looking to convince people or you want to make an impressive argument, be sure to include data with your blog posts. Numbers are often seen as boring but when it comes to driving home a point or making an action stand out or worthwhile taking, showing the return or impact that it had makes perfect sense. Always be sure to tell the truth when it comes to your numbers, if you lie, you will eventually be found out and completely discredited but if you have numbers that back up your argument, be sure to use them.
#5 Be social
You want to ensure that your posts can be shared, liked and spread as much as possible and this is why you should look to add embedded social posts. There is a way of creating prewritten tweets that will enable your audience to share your content with the message that you want to share. This will provide you with more opportunities to engage with your readers and will provide you with an added chance of making conversions.
#6 Integrate product messages into your blogs
While there are many reasons to undertake blogs, you will want to make sure that you are promoting your business or including some form of call to action with your posts. If you have product messages that you want to share, you will find that including references or links within your blog posts is an excellent way to spread the word and improve awareness of what you have to offer. Use your blog to ADVERTISE YOUR PRODUCTS.
#7 Increase your email list
There is still a lot to be said for the fact that the money is in the list so make sure that you take the time to grow your email list as much as you can. This means that you should look for ways to reach out to people who have an interest in what you have to say and offer. You should be looking to reach out to an audience and you can attract people to your list with offers, promotions and bonuses.
You can also optimise your blog to improve your mailing list. You can do so by adding subscription boxes, pop ups and opt-in boxes.
#8 Use titles that grab attention
You want to make sure that you grab people’s attention and a brilliant way of doing this comes with the title of your post. Having a working title when you start off will provide you with focus for what you are about to create but when you finish the post, you should review your content and then consider the title. Is there a snappy way to inform readers of what you offer?
You want to tell the truth when it comes to your title, you don’t want to mislead people or make promises that you cannot backup, but you want to be exciting too. This is why knowing exactly what your product has to offer and then making it stand out will be of great benefit.
#9 Develop a strategy for your publications
If you are looking to run a successful blog, there are three main elements that will help you to be a success:
• You want to frequently publish on your blog
• You want to publish good quality content on your blog
• You want to have content that people will share
If you are able to implement these three aspects, you will find that you have a blog that people will look out for and have an interest in.
While the content you should post will depend on your audience, there is a great deal to be said for image based content, as this is the style of content that performs very well on social media. If you are keen to boost your presence on social media, you should be looking to increase your use of images and videos.
#10 Think about buyer personas and create content for these personas
Every blog post that you create should be linked to a buyer persona that you aim to reach out to. Thinking along these lines will guide you in creating relevant content and content that will chime with your intended audience.
You should also be looking to provide certain content at certain times, and this is why it is vital that you create a content calendar and share it with everyone that will have an input into creating content on site.
#11 Measure, react and measure again
With Google Analytics, there is no excuse for not measuring your performance, determining what works (and what doesn’t) and then making changes to improve your performance. Tools like the many inside Google Analytics or Crazy Egg, which provides a good quality heat map analysis, will provide you with the ideal starting point for evaluating what works and what doesn’t on your site.
#12 Have industry experts and leaders on your site
If you want your blog to be recognised as an important on in a particular industry, make sure that you have the best industry people on your blog. You will find that interviewing industry experts will give you kudos, it will lead to them linking to your site and it will ensure that people view your site in a positive and effective manner. You can develop great relationships with key people in your industry and you can develop your reputation.
(Partnering with Dan Bradbury was great for exposure to his audience)
#13 See what is working on other blogs
You are unlikely to be the only blog in your industry or sector, so have a look at what else is on offer. If there is a leading blog in your industry, look and see why it is performing so well. It may be that they have a strategy or a niche focus that helps them to reach out to their audience.
You should never steal from a rival blog or site but understanding what works and what your audience is looking for is a brilliant starting point for creating a blog that people want to read and share.
#14 Be Consistent
You need to make sure that you have a consistency in what you offer to your audience otherwise you will start to lose out on your audience. Whether it is when you post or the type of content that you create on your post, you will find that being consistent is a key factor in the success of many of the leading blogs.
You should look to ensure that you are providing your audience with what they want before you commit to providing this content on a regular basis. However, when you know the sort of content that your audience is looking for, you will find it simpler to create content on this topic or topics.
#15 Guest blog
While your main focus should be on your own blog, you will find that you can boost awareness about what you do by blogging on other sites. If there are blogs which are related to what you do and offer, why not see if you can create a blog post for this other site. This will allow you to tap into the audience of another blog and the other blog will benefit by having your content. You may decide to reciprocate this in the long run by offering guest blog slots on your site.
#16 Make sure your sub-headings are relevant
You may not think too much about subheadings but if someone is scrolling through your post looking to see if anything stands out, you will find that optimising your sub-headings makes sense. This is why you should look to break up lengthy pieces of text with sub-headings and you want these sub-headings to be eye-catching and relevant.
These sub-headings should be short, you should ask questions of your audience and you should utilise action words like “win”, “get” or “optimise”. There is also a lot to be said for the impact that sub-headings have on the SEO of your blog. You should look to code your subheadings with and tags and you should also look to utilise keywords and long-tail keywords in your sub-headings.
#17 Prove to people they need your product
You need to know what your audience is looking for and then you should give it to them. This means answering questions and providing every bit of information that they could want or need to know when it comes to deciding to buy your product. If you don’t answer every question that your audience has, they will likely turn away and decide to shop elsewhere. This means that you need to think about your audience and that you have to give them everything they need to know.
#18 You can’t always be selling
You will find that a blog that is solely used to sell or promote products and services will become a blog that people eventually ignore over time. If you are looking to have a blog that is worth returning to, you should look to provide insight, news and relevant industry or area news. There is a lot to be said for including relevant call to actions, but this isn’t always about selling (at least not immediately).
If you can be seen as an industry expert that has a lot to say about the industry, you will find that there will be an increased level of interest in what you have to offer.
#19 Understand Google Trends
If you want to be found by people searching, you want to make sure that you have content along the lines of what people are searching for. However, how do you know what people are searching for? Google Trends can help and with Hot Searches and Rising Related Keyword Queries, you can find out what people are looking for.
Hot Searches is of great benefit in determining what is trending and this can be broken down into different countries, so you will be able to focus on a local audience.
#20 Provide content around your most profitable services and products
If you are looking to get the best return from your time, effort and energy blogging, it makes sense to promote the products or services that will provide the best standard of return. This means that you should focus on promoting the product or service that is profitable.
#21 Undertake keyword research before writing articles
If you are keen to obtain search engine traffic for your blogs, (and you should be), it makes sense to carry out keyword research before you start to write your blog. Knowing what keyword term you want to focus on before you start writing your content will ensure that you are optimising the content for this keyword or phrase.
You should utilise Google’s Keyword Planner to uncover the best keywords for your blog. Type in the keywords that you are thinking about using and then head to the Keyword Ideas tab to search for the best keyword that will match your topic. You should be looking for a keyword that has a high level of average monthly searches but which also has a low level of competition. If you are an established site you will be able to target a medium level of competition but on the whole, look for a low competition option.
After this, consider the Suggested Bid and the higher the level of bid, the more likely it will be that people will convert. Of course, you may not be able to stand your ground against the market leaders so don’t always go for the most expensive.
#22 Utilise conference presentations
If you carry out conference presentations, you should be looking to use these presentations as blog posts. Using software like ScreenFlow, you can record the presentation and then you can turn this recording into a downloadable movie file, which then makes it easy to upload to YouTube. You should also find that you can convert your audio into text, which gives you a transcript of the presentation.
This gives you something to offer to your readers, telling them that they can have the full transcript of your speech by signing up for your email list.
This video from the business show have been viewed over 6500 times. Only a few hundred could watch this live so it gave me exposure to a much larger audience.
#23 Make sure your blog is optimised for SEO
You should always be thinking about SEO and when it comes to making the best impact on search engines, make sure that your blog has been optimised for SEO. You should be able to identify your current audience and your intended audience. You should be able to pinpoint the keywords that appeal to your readers. You should use SEO keywords in your content to bring new readers to you and you should look to position yourself as an industry expert.
In an ever crowded marketplace, you need to offer the best standard of content and give this content the best chance of being uncovered, which you will do if you optimise your blog.
#24 Be current
There is a great to be said for linking your blog to current events, at least a couple of times a month. Providing a fresh and relevant take on something that people will likely be aware of or have an opinion on gives you an improved chance to make a connection. Writing well about a relevant topic will showcase your ability to be relevant and will also indicate that you are a site that provides fresh and relevant content that is well worth looking out for.
#25 Make sure that the quality of your content is good
You want people to enjoy reading your blog and for them to share it, so it makes sense to make your content as strong as possible. This probably should go without saying but far too many blogs let themselves down by not offering content which shines or grabs attention.
You will want to break up your content and you should look to ensure that your paragraphs are no longer than 6 lines. You should look to use bullet points, you should use short sentences and your blog should be easy to read. You will also want to add visual images and content to grab attention and break up your pages.
#26 Share Content That Your Audience Is Interested In
If you are looking to be recognised as an industry leader, sharing content is a great way to do so. This can be done on social media but creating a blog post that rounds up a few news stories isn’t a bad idea. This provides you with content ideas but it will also provide you with the chance to share content, to impact on your audience and to make sure that people are interested in what you have to say.
#27 Optimise with brilliant images
No matter how great your content is, you will find that images are crucial in grabbing attention and ensuring that people hang around on site. You will find that images can grab attention, it can summarise your points and it can even provide a call to action. You don’t need great design skills to create memorable images so get looking for photographs that represent your site and business.
See how to make amazing images for your blog with Canva in this video above.
#28 Learn the burning issues of your clients and then address them
As a business, one of the most important roles you have is to solve the problems of your clients. This means it is helpful to understand what issues your clients have and if there is a burning issue for the people you want to reach out to, it makes sense to address this issue.
This means you need to research what makes your clients anxious and then provide them with solutions that will help them sleep at night. Whether this is through making a sale or you just benefit by being considered as the helpful firm who made life easier, you will find that resolving these issues is of great benefit to your business.
#29 Write about what you love
There is a great deal to be said for writing about what you are passionate about and have a genuine interest in. The passion and enthusiasm that comes from a writer when they are discussing a topic they love is much stronger than a writer being paid to limp through a topic that they don’t care about.
If someone is reading a blog post, it is likely that the topic will be of interest to them. This is why you should be looking to reach out to them in the best possible manner and when you write passionately, your enthusiasm will come across.
#30 Write a series of posts
If you are able to keep people coming back for more, your business and blog will benefit, so create a series. Whether you offer a numbered series of tips, an A to Z guide or even just related posts, a series is of benefit to everyone. You will be able to create a run of blogs and hopefully you will have an audience who are keen to come back regularly and find out what else you have to say on a related topic.
At Rocket Marketing Hub we focus on a topic for a period of roughly 4 weeks. So for example if we are talking about Facebook advertising all our blog posts for the month will be based around that theme.
#31 Promote your content
While creating great content is vital and the first step to develop traffic towards your site, it is unlikely that great content alone will be enough. Hopefully there will be people who find your site on search engines but you will need to promote your blog content. This means that you should be looking to be active on social media sites, promoting your content, talking to industry people and making sure that people can see you and your content.
Running a blog is not like the Field of Dreams, you cannot take the approach that if you build it, people will come. Create great content and then go out your way to promote it as strongly as you can.
#32 You can be controversial at times
You should never be controversial for the sake of being controversial but if you genuinely believe in something that others may not agree with, don’t hold back. There is a lot to be said for using controversial posts or topics to generate some interest in your blog. As long as you can back up your post and thoughts, you will find that choosing a controversial angle or approach can be of benefit.
When I started out in business Apple were clamping down on business owners who used the letter i in their domain related to Apple products and accessories. I used this as an opportunity to go to the press and turned it into a story of David and Goliath. I was featured in The Guardian, Daily Mail and over 50 gadget related news sites. Think how a bit of controversy when used correctly can get traffic to your blog.
#33 Answer the FAQs for your business or industry
If there are questions that are regularly asked about your business or industry, answer them. Creating blog posts for the most frequently asked questions about your industry is a great idea. It provides you with an excellent topic to write about and it is something that people want to hear about. This means that answering FAQs will meet many of the criteria you should have when looking to create content.
#34 Mix up your content
It makes sense to provide different types of post. If you have posted a number of text heavy blog posts, switch to a blog post that has a lot of images or which utilises video. The occasional infographic post will make a massive difference in reaching out to your audience and keeping your contest fresh and interesting.
#35 Analyse your rivals
There is a lot to be said for keeping tabs on your rivals blogs and a great way to do this is subscribe to your rivals via RSS and you can do this while using Feedly. This will provide you with the chance to look through the blog posts quickly and you will even see the blogs that have received the most shares on social media. This will provide you with a great starting point for the blogs that people love and share, which is where you should be taking your content.
#36 Audit your blog from a visual perspective
If you are using Pinterest, and it is a great tool, you can check up on how it is performing. You should look to see what pins are being shared by your audience and then determine if there are any patterns or themes that can be found in what is being shared. Knowing your most popular images will give you great insight into what your audience is looking for.