To succeed with your digital marketing efforts and establish a strong, online presence, your business needs to invest in blogging. Why? According to a study, 78% of internet users conduct product research online. Even if they’re not blog readers per se, most of the results they’ll find are personal blogs, corporate blogs or online publications. If your content isn’t there, people will turn to the competition for answers and to fill their buying needs.
However, you don’t want to post just anything. A successful blogging strategy takes time to develop, roll out and maintain, especially if you want to see results. To eliminate any guesswork, we’ve highlighted some best practices that will elevate your blog to the next level.
1. Keep the content fresh, relevant and valuable
A successful blog grabs the audience’s attention and keeps hold of it by providing value. You won’t get far if you repeat the same content over and over, as your site will be buried on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
To avoid this fate, you’ll need to do two things – set a goal for your business and uncover what your audience wants to read. Your approach to blogging will vary depending on your objective(s), be it generating leads, brand awareness or driving traffic to your site. Tailoring your content to what you’re trying to achieve will help you produce focused, quality content.
But a focused, well-written blog won’t matter much if it isn’t what your audience wants to read. To choose the right topics, you’ll need to do some SEO and keyword research before you start writing. Keep in mind, these need to be broad enough that you can write more than one article but specific enough to demonstrate your expertise to readers.
2. Keep our blog and website on the same domain
Where you host your blog is almost as important as what you choose to discuss. If you separate your blog and website, you’re also separating their respective SEO values and decreasing your organic ranking on Google! As such, you’re better off hosting everything from a central domain.
You have two different options as to where you can place your blog on your domain – in a subdirectory or on a subdomain. The former assigns your blog to a specific page on your website (i.e., themikeagency.com/blog/article-name). A subdomain appears before the domain in your URL like so: blog.themikeagency.com; ‘blog’ is the subdomain. The latter passes less authority in Google rankings initially but is useful if you have many different types of content.
3. Maintain accountability and a consistent publishing schedule
Blogging is a long-term, time-consuming process, so it’s important to remain consistent and organized. The better you outline your approach ahead of time and the more often that you blog, the better your results. Start by creating ownership for each component of the blog operation and staying organized. A content calendar is a great way to keep track of and schedule your blog posts.
With so many moving parts, you’ll also want to delegate responsibilities, outside of writing the blog, to keep things moving efficiently. These tasks can include:
- Topic creation
- SEO and keyword research
- Strategy and publishing
- Repurposing and updating content
Once you understand who’s doing what and establish a publishing schedule, you’ll want to make sure you get as many blogs out as possible without, of course, sacrificing on quality. According to data, companies that published 16+ blogs per month got almost 3.5x more traffic than companies that published between 0-4 monthly posts. This isn’t surprising as blogging often helps keep your readers engaged and interested, building anticipation for your next piece of content.
4. Promote and repurpose your blogs
Promotion is key. A well-written, relevant blog that no one can find, read and share isn’t doing your business any good. Make sure your articles are easily found on your website and have social share buttons within each one (these are shown to increase click-through rate by 55%). You should also reach out to influencers to expand your sphere of influence and get them to share your posts.
If your objective is to generate leads, this is also a good opportunity to include a call to action (CTA). This can be anything from a discount code to an offer for training or professional assessment on the blog subject. Your goal is to encourage readers to act without straying too far from the purpose of your post.
Even after you’ve squeezed every ounce of juice out of your blog article, you can extend its lifespan by repurposing it. This is a highly effective way to achieve the results that you want. Ranking in the SERP with net new posts takes more time than an updated post that already has traction.
This can be done in several ways, including:
- Auditing your existing posts and updating any outdated information.
- Converting several blogs on the same theme into an eBook.
- Turning them into downloadable lead magnets like a checklist or worksheet.
- Reimagining them into a video and posting it on YouTube.
5. Make them viewer-friendly
Presentation matters. The more attractive and accessible your blog is to readers, the more engagement you’ll receive. Make sure yours inviting, on-brand, well-organized and easy to navigate, even on mobile devices. When possible, limit the use of copy and embrace negative space, giving readers’ eyes ample room to rest, especially if it’s a longer post. Use images to your advantage too, but make sure they are optimized for the web page to reduce load time.
6. Identify your blog authors
If you want to have a unique voice in your industry, it’s important to attach your name and face with each blog you publish. This gives your audience something to latch onto, building your business’s credibility and trust. You’ll be able to influence and ultimately have your audience promote the brand on your behalf. If you need a further push, connect with other industry experts.
A great example of this in practice is internet entrepreneur and investor, Gary Vaynerchuk. His personal brand is so well established that it funnels millions of readers towards his content and ideas, who in turn share and promote him in a continuous cycle.
7. Use metrics and analytics
Using metrics and analytics is a great way to refine your blogging approach, pinpointing what works and what doesn’t. What do you want to measure?
- Number of readers and subscribers
- Page views per post
- Number of conversions
- Number of backlinks
- Overall traffic
Once you’ve established a baseline for these metrics, you’ll want to set goals for a 60-day period. These will be different for every business and what you’re trying to achieve.
An effective blogging strategy, however, is only one part of the SEO equation. if you want to increase your brand visibility and generate more sales, you need to check our tips for moving up the search rankings.