Blogging is not just a great way to let your creative juices flow and practice your writing skills. It’s also an awesome chance to engage your audience and promote yourself as an expert.
Regularly crafting and sharing a blog post gives you an easy way to share your voice with the world.
But that same simplicity can also make it harder for you to stand out from the crowd. It’s recently been found that there are over 2 million blog posts written each day!
Yet the blog post as a marketing medium is far from dead. You’re reading one right now, after all. But it does mean that you have to take a bit of a different approach than every other blogger out there.
So how do you make sure that you can rise above the blogging noise? Simply put, you need to look at your blog post as a product that needs promoting.
Let’s take a look at the anatomy of a perfect blog post:
• Come up with a unique and validated idea
• Find what you need to produce your post
• Package it in a pretty and easy-to-use way
• Market your product to the right crowd
• Track your results and make tweaks if needed
Step 1: Find the Right Topic
Whether you have tons of ideas for your blog or no clue where to start, your first step needs to be separating the good ideas from the bad.
You don’t want to spend your time writing about a topic that nobody’s interested in reading about. Or one that has already been written about almost to death.
Your goal here is to find a topic that is worth your time and effort. One that is already in demand and is ready for your unique take on the subject.
Check out these free resources to find blog topics worth writing about:
• Google Trends helps to reveal topics that are currently trending online.
• Reddit and other online communities allow you to delve deeper into trending topics.
• Keyword Planner helps you to evaluate how many people are searching for your topic.
• Buzzsumo will show you popular content that’s already been written on your topic.
Step 2: Craft a Clickable Title
Once you’ve found the perfect topic for your blog post, the next step is to come up with a title that draws people in and has them actually wanting to read it.
Think about the types of titles that have caused you to stop scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed. Then ask yourself what it was that hooked you about those headlines.
Want some quick headline creating inspiration? Check out these attention-grabbing title templates:
• X Little Know Ways to ________
• Who Wouldn’t Want to ________?
• Here’s the Simple Secret to ________
During this part of the writing process, your goal is to simply do some brainstorming for blog post headlines. Don’t feel pressured into perfection right now!
You just want to have a working title that will help point you in the right direction. You can always come back after you’ve written your post and craft the perfect blog post headline.
Want to test the effectiveness of your title? Try running it through a free headline analyzer tool to see how it will perform for you.
Step 3: Write to Market
It’s important to have a plan in place before beginning to write your blog post. This is where using a simple outline can come in very handy.
Lay out a raw “sketch” of what you would like your post to look like, including your title, subheadings, and a snippet of detail that you want to cover in each part.
Then you just have to fill in the blanks!
Be sure to keep your “ideal reader” in mind as you’re outlining your content. You’ll find that writing is much easier when you’re focusing on a specific audience.
Make sure that your blog post offers your ideal reader:
• Value that they can immediately recognize
• Easy-to-follow language (no “insider lingo”)
• Factual content that entertains as it informs
Step 4: Proof and Edit
Your next step is to make sure that your post is easy-to-read and error-free.
Look over your post and ask yourself if it’s structured clearly. Do your ideas flow in the most effective and understandable order?
Keep your sentences short wherever possible. You might even want to try reading your post out loud to yourself to see if there are any parts that cause you to stumble.
Chances are if your words are hard to read out loud, they’ll be hard to understand for online readers, as well.
And be sure to check your entire post for grammar and spelling errors. After all, you want visitors to comment on your insightful info, not your typos!
Looking for some extra help with editing your post? Check out the Grammarly Writing Assistant. This free web app checks your work for mistakes and makes suggestions for ways to correct them.
Step 5: Optimize for Search
You also want your post to be picked up by search engines to increase its reach. That’s where SEO (search engine optimization) comes into play.
Here’s how to make your blog post more attractive to Google:
• Use your targeted keywords in a natural, non-salesy way.
• Make use of keywords in the post body, title, and subheadings.
• Include keyword-rich descriptions in the alt-text for all images.
Step 6: Publish and Promote
Congrats on all of your hard work so far! You’ve finally made it to the point of publishing your post and sharing it with the world.
After spending so much time and effort on writing the perfect blog post, you might be feeling a bit anxious about hitting that publish button.
What if no one likes my post?
Criticism can definitely be a scary thing! But an even scarier thought is no one being able to find your post in the first place.
Check out these top tips for promoting your post once it has been published:
Promote it on social media. Don’t be afraid to share your post with your followers on Facebook, Twitter, or other social platforms. Sharing management services like Buffer can help make this easier for you.
Reach out to those you mentioned in your post. Ask them if they would be willing to link to your post or share it on social media.
Answer questions about your blog topic on Q&A sites like Quora or Reddit.
Pin some of the images from your post to related boards on Pinterest.
Share it with your email list if you already have one. If not, this is the perfect excuse to get one!
Republish it on blogging platforms like Medium, Wordpress.com, or Tumblr.
Step 7: Check on Post Performance
It’s human nature to want to improve over time. But that can be hard to do when you aren’t sure what you got right or wrong in the first place.
You want to make sure your blog performs well and that you’ve come up with a technique that can be replicated for future success, right?
But how do you know how well your post is doing, other than checking on how many shares it’s getting on social media platforms?
Take a look at these other important parts of blog performance monitoring:
• Number of post views
• Time spent on page
• Bounce rate
• Visitor sources
• Number of comments
• New subscribers or sales
Want to know what readers are saying about your post outside of of your blog? Just paste the URL into the search bar on social sites like Twitter or Facebook.
You’ll be able to see who has shared your content, what they’re saying about it, and even engage directly with your readers via post comments.
Taking part in conversations about your content will stoke the “flames of interest” and get folks even more excited about future posts on your blog.
Want to know where else your post is being shared? Install the CrowdTangle Link Checker extension for Chrome to see the other places your content is popping up online.
The Better Blogging Bottom Line
Writing a blog post that attracts both readers and search engines is definitely an investment of time and effort. But the ROI that you get from that hard work can be bigger than you’ve ever imagined.
Your content marketing success or failure ultimately depends upon how well you serve your target market through entertaining and helpful blog posts.
As for the bottom line on what it takes to write a better blog post…
Just make it all about your ideal reader and you’ll never fail to come out on top.
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Thanks to the evolution of content marketing, building your brand and increasing sales is no longer as simple as sharing content that extols the benefits of your product or services. Letting the world know about how wonderful your company is and how it can help solve their problems should no longer be the sole focus of your content marketing success strategy.
Instead, product and service descriptions should stay on dedicated pages on your site, and your blog should be all about building a connection with your audience through catering to their chosen lifestyle and how your company fits into the type of life that they want to live.
Think about this…
People build certain preferences during their lifetime in regards to the car they want to drive, the clothes they want to wear, and the home they want to live in. Some of these preferences are built by personal experiences with specific brands, of course, but not as much as you might think.
The media that people are exposed to is also a key factor in choosing the brands that they want to use. When someone sees a commercial, blog post, or other piece of media that shows folks living an amazing life, they latch on to it, and hard. “These people really get what I want,” they think, and consumers are then encouraged to use the product that they see on the screen, thinking that choosing that specific brand will lead them to live the lifestyle that they see portrayed.
Take Mountain Dew, for example. Their commercials, content, and all other forms of their brand marketing show people that drink their product live an exciting, adrenaline rush fueled kind of life – they show us surfers, mountain climbers, and skateboarders enjoying their beverage. And they’ve built an empire by embracing a specific culture, all through lifestyle marketing.
So, how do you cash in on this brand building phenomenon?
1) Choose the type of lifestyle that attracts your audienceThis might seem like a pretty obvious first step, but if you have a large marketing department or multiple pieces of input from your team (no matter the size), your lifestyle marketing message might become muddled and seem overwhelmingly complicated.
To define the best lifestyle message for your brand, ask yourself:
What does your ideal customer like to do with their free time?
Where do they go for entertainment?
What’s important to them?
You can also create a survey asking your customers for their input, and offer them a coupon or other special offer to increase your chances of getting a higher number of responses.
2) Create content that caters to your audience’s lifestyleOnce you have a firm foundation in regards to the lifestyle that calls to your audience, your next step is to create content that shows them that you understand their chosen lifestyle and what it will take to lead that type of life.
Take the opportunity to really connect with your audience…
3) Keep your lifestyle marketing message consistent
Content marketing that is well done does more than just drive traffic to your company’s website or blog – it cements you as an expert in the lifestyle that your audience craves.
Continue on that path by consistently creating content that speaks to your audience and shows that you understand them. Stay on course with regular, targeted lifestyle marketing focused content and you will see a huge impact on your brand – and your bottom line.
Do you have a blog (and use it)?
If you haven't been living under a rock since approximately 2006, you know that blogging is not just big, it's huge. Blogging can make the difference between your business thriving or failing. Honestly.
Think about it. The Internet is out there 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It's answering people's questions, giving them directions and helping them figure out what products and services to use.
If you're not putting your own content out there for potential customers to see, guess what they're doing? If you thought that they're sitting around hoping and praying for a business like yours to fall into their laps, you're dead wrong. They're finding your competitors content and buying from them, instead. Yikes!
So what can you do? Get yourself out there. You don't need to spend a fortune on digital marketing firms or fancy schmancy website design. You need a URL and a blog. That's it. If you don't have a blog, get one. Seriously. Right now.
Are you sharing valuable and well-written content?
Ok, so you got yourself a blog. Awesome. Now, what? You start sharing your knowledge. Yep, that's it.
You offer what you know in an effort to help others, establish yourself as an expert in your field, and watch your SEO grow exponentially.
You're trying to do it all yourself? Seriously?
The one thing that all business owners have in common is the lack of enough hours in the day to get everything done. They are just stretched too thin between administrative tasks, staffing concerns, and making sure that their business runs as smooth as possible.
So how are you supposed to implement an amazing content marketing strategy?
One word: outsourcing.
You don't have to do it all yourself. You can delegate the content creation to a freelance writer and focus on what you do best - running your business - all while you have that warm fuzzy feeling that comes from knowing that your content is making (and not breaking) you, after all.