For those businesses that are doing it right, blogging can be hugely beneficial. The company will often see an increase of over 50% of website visitors and leads. However, many blogs also fail to make any positive difference to a business, so it is essential that before you waste time and resources you understand what you need to do to create a successful blog:
1. Set Goals and objectives
First of all, you will need to be clear about what your marketing goals are and set clear objectives for what you want to achieve from your blog.
- Example Goal 1 : Increase Traffic to website from blog.
- Objective: To achieve an increase of X traffic from blog.
- Example Goal 2: Increase the number of leads for product A.
- Objective: To gain X number of new opt-ins per week.
- Example Goal 3: To create interaction and engagement.
- Objective: To have at least X number of comments on each blog post.
- Example Goal 4: To become a thought leader in the industry.
- Objective: To write X number of guest posts per month/year.
- Example Goal 5: To increase the ranking of your blog in Google and other search engines.
- Objective: To achieve X number of backlinks from other websites in 6 months.
2. Create top content for your audience
Again it’s all about your audience and what they want, what they are interested in, what makes them tick, and what problems they need solved. If you can identify these things then you are half way to finding the valuable content that is going to keep your audience interested and engaged.
When you create your content it needs to be either inspiring, educational, informative, or entertaining. If you can create content that people really value, they are more likely to share your content, sign up for your updates, and come back looking for more.
Creating content around your product or services is not going to provide enough interest to your readers and it is unlikely to get shared. Of course the occasional post is okay, but try and keep away from this unless you can tie it in to something which is of real value to your audience.
3. Create a content publishing plan
Your content publishing plan is the backbone to your blog. You will need to decide what topics you are going to build your blog around so that you can stay consistent. There may be certain keywords you want to target and need to incorporate into your content. Once you know your topics or subjects, you can decide which types of posts you are going to create.
There are numerous types of blog posts you can use, such as tutorials, how to’s , interviews, reviews, book reviews, advice, Q and A’s, case studies, trend reports, and the latest news in your industry. Once you have decided on all this, you then write a schedule. If you have certain events that happen every year in your industry, make sure you include these in your plan.
4. Newsworthy, frequent posts
Make sure you are blogging about what’s new in your industry. Keep an eye on trending topics related to your industry so you can create blog posts that are really up-to-date. You can do this by checking out what is trending on the social sites and also signing up for Google alerts, which will keep you up-to-date on new info related to your interests and queries.
It is proven that the more high quality content you produce, the more views your blog will get. You will need to post at least once a week, if not more. Google loves fresh content so the more posts you have, the more opportunities you have to be found.
5. Optimize your blog for search engines (SEO)
Look for keywords and phrases that people are looking for. There are tools available to do this, like word tracker, Google trends, and Google keyword planner. You can find out the amount of competition by typing a phrase into Google search and seeing how many results it brings up.
In order to get found you will need to concentrate your efforts on low competition keywords and phrases, and the more specific your words and phrases are, the better. You can then create your content around your chosen keyword or phrase, as long as the content is highly relevant.
When creating your blog post, make sure you put the word/phrase in the page title, the header, and the body. If you put the phrase in your meta tag, it will be displayed in bold font in the search results, which will make it stand out even more.
Check our previous article: Onsite SEO Tips You Should Implement Right Now
If you’re using WordPress then make sure you install the SEO plugin by Yoast. This is a great free seo plugin that will help you optimize your content and blog for search engines. When you create a post check to have both readability and SEO tests on green light.
The Yoast SEO plugin also does a great job of formulating engaging meta descriptions. On top of that, it can check if the main keyword you chose had previously been used in other articles published by you. This way, you can make sure that you don’t compete with yourself.
Check this great video bellow created by Darrel Wilson. It guides you through absolutely all steps you need to install, configure Yoast SEO plugin and optimize your website for Google, Bing and other smaller search engines.
6. A great design
Your blog needs to be inviting, and although the content is what people are looking for, the blog still needs to be visually appealing and reflect your brand. If your blog is just text based, it’s going to look cold and uninviting and lack interest, so you need to include compelling images to engage your audience.It is definitely a good idea to spend time researching different themes. Another thing to watch with your design is your side bar. Make sure you have only what is absolutely necessary so you do not pull your readers’ attention away from the action you want them to take.
7. Attention grabbing headline
To catch your readers’ attention, you need a good headline. It should be a headline that will intrigue your audience enough to make them feel that they absolutely have to read this post. It needs to be simple and to the point, as well as contain valuable keywords. Here are some example headlines that really work:
- How to …….
- 7 ways to successfully ………
- Why you should do ….. to …….
- Secrets that every …… should know
- The secret formula for success in ……
- 5 quick and easy ways to ………
- What every serious …… should know about……
- 7 things every ….. should avoid to ……
8. Post Formatting
You need to make it as easy as possible for your reader to read and digest your blog. If you format your blog with headings, bold subtitles, and bullet points, it will be much more enjoyable to read than one long paragraph.
Asking a question at the end of your post is likely to provoke discussion. People like to think their opinions matter, and it’s a great way for your readers to interact and network with each other, too. Make sure you answer any questions your readers ask. There is nothing worse than seeing bloggers ignoring their readers.
Tags help people find your content within your blog and search engines. They also help group related posts together.
10. Social Media Share links and email optin box
People love to share with their friends and coworkers interesting things they found online. Find what are the social media sites that the follks in your niche are using and add share links on your blog posts. If you are into music you may add SoundCloud, Youtube along with the most used ones: FaceBook and Twitter. If you are into design, photography you should add InstaGram.
On Monetize.info at the top and bottom of each article we have added 5 social media share links: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Linkedin.
Also you should add social media boxes for Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and others. This way you give your readers the option to subscribe and stay up to date with your latest blog posts.
Email marketing is still a powerful tool in 2016 so don’t ignore it. Add an optin form on your site and invite your readers to signup for updates. If you offer them an incentive like a free downloadable gift, a discount coupon or something else they may be interested in you will have a much better signup for newsletter rate.
Ten Things For a Successful Blog Checklist
- Clear Goals and objectives
- Top content for your audience
- A content publishing plan
- Newsworthy, frequent post
- Optimized content for search engines
- A great design
- Attention grabbing headline
- Post Formatting
- Post Tags
- Social Media Share links and email optin box
This are, in my opinion, the ten most important ingredients a successful blog should have. Have you implemented most of them? Let me know in the comments box.