If you’re a new business owner, chances are you’ve realized how important original content is to your marketing strategy. In 2018, the best way to build a customer base is content. It will help:
- Drive traffic to your website
- Position you as an expert in your field
- Teach people something they didn’t know before
- Create loyalty and trust
- Build authority and credibility
- Improves brand awareness and recognition
- Provides value to your product
- Opens communication through social shares and comments
Blogging is one of the cheapest and most effective forms of content marketing. But if you aren’t a professional writer, nor can you hire someone else to do it, don’t fret. In just a few simple steps, you’ll be producing regular content in no time.
In this read, we’ll discuss the 5 basic steps to building a shareable, traffic driving, SEO optimized blog for your website including:
- Defining your strategy
- Picking a topic
- Structure your writing
- Sharing your content
- Monitoring your performance
So, let’s get started.
Define Your Content Strategy
“Seventy-two per cent of marketers have a content strategy in place.”
(LinkedIn Technology Marketing Community)
Just like starting a new business, you need to first build a plan. This strategy will help to define your goals, monitor progress and structure every decision you make from here on out.
Set your goals. In a poll from LinkedIn, the top three goals of content marketing are lead generation, thought leadership / market education, and brand awareness. Being that every business is unique, so will be your goals.
Research your audience. What are they interested in learning.? What challenges are they facing? What sites are they spending their time researching?
Brainstorm ideas. Do your own research, follow industry disrupters and influencers. They’ll point you in a direction that your industry wants to learn more about. If you’re not already an expert in your field, it’s about time to become one.
Pick your distribution channels. What’s your sharing strategy? Determine which social media platform and sites will produce the most interest and engagement.
Pick A Topic
Know your audience. Blogging is not just about creating brand awareness. It’s about knowing what they want. Start collecting ideas of topics that might be of interest them. Do some research, find their challenges, and offer solutions. It’s a great opportunity to become an expert in your field and a thought leader in your industry.
*But don’t forget to do your research. The last thing you want to do is report false information. It could lead to a lack of trust, bad press and potentially decreasing sales.
If you’re really having a hard time finding a topic, you’re not alone. Over 60% of B2B content marketers say producing engaging content is their biggest challenge (C/MarketingProfs). But good news, there’s some great resources like Hubspot to help. Just input a few keywords and they generate 3-5 topic options. Test it out here: http://www.hubspot.com/blog-topic-generator
Just make the content original and make it yours.
Structure Your Writing
Once you’ve decided on the topic, it’s time to start writing. But here’s where it gets a bit tricky. You don’t need to be the best writer but you DO NEED to know a little bit about structuring your blog well and making sure you can effectively carry your point across a minimum of 1000 words
“The average blog post is now 1,142 words (up 41% since 2014)”
while still accomplishing the goals you outlined in your strategy.
Start with a dynamic headline. This needs to command your audience’s attention immediately and inspire them the will to continue reading further.
Use an introduction that hones in on the purpose of the blog and begins to tell your story.
Make the blog relatable. Share a story, use examples, and verbally show the reader exactly what you’re talking about. It’s your job to identify the problems your readers may be facing and offer a solution.
Use Headings and Keywords. This will not only make your blog easily scannable by the average eye but searchable by Google, as well. Find some more tips about making your blog SEO optimized at OpenVine.
Link to previous posts. If you’ve written previously on a similar or related topic, it’s a good idea to connect the two with links. It will strengthen the value of the current post and position you as a topic expert.
Conclude with a direct ‘Call To Action’. Always include a link back to your website. This is absolutely a must to drive traffic to your business online, ask for a subscription and / or share on social media.
Sharing Your Content
Now you wrote the blog, what do you do with it? Since this was part of your original strategy, it shouldn’t be so hard. But, it can get time-consuming. Once you publish your content, you need to actively share it with the rest of the internet!
According to a CoSchedule study, there are some useful tips to help ensure you’re achieving your KPIs:
- Post your blog at optimal times
- Drive more traffic to your blog with image sharing buttons
- Allow your readers to share your blog posts with their friends
- Include links to new posts from your most popular posts
- Place social media sharing buttons somewhere prominent
Remember, you’re doing this for a purpose.
Social media can be your best friend, but it’s up to you to decide which suits your business needs. As referenced above, some of the most common are Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. But you need to know your audience and know where they spend most of their time. If you’re a tech company then you’ll probably even want to use sites like Reddit or Medium. There are so many industry-specific platforms out there to choose from.
Do your research.
Lastly, monitor your engagement. Most platforms include an analytics function. Check it regularly and pay attention to what day / time gets the most engagement, the type of content getting the most attention and whether or not your audience is interacting.
You may not see activity right away. But don’t fret. Just keep writing. Not every post will be a winner. The more you write, the sooner you will notice an improved / increased relationship with your audience.
You might even find writing to be fun!
For more details on any topic, please check us out at www.dotlayer.com.