[This article was written by Dave Brown.]
Most businesses now recognize the power of blogs when it comes to marketing their products and services. Producing good content, however, is not an easy task.
To create a successful blogging platform, you have to carefully plan and strategize beforehand. This means investing a lot of time and money into every blog. On the flipside, if you want to justify the effort you’re putting into your blog posts, they have to be profitable and produce a positive return on investment (ROI).
While there are a lot of different factors which affect a blog post’s ROI, there are some simple things you can do to get instant results from your blog.
1. Know Your Audience
The first step to writing a successful blog post is to know who you are writing for. Identifying your target audience helps you establish the tone of your content. It also allows you to research that specific market and understand what exactly they are looking for. Once you have this information, you can tailor your blog posts to meet those needs.
The aim of your content should be to connect with your audience, and elicit a response from your readers. That’s the whole point of businesses putting out blogs now- they want to engage the reader. There’s so much content out there on the internet that the reader will simply move on to another piece if you cannot give them something that they can connect with. So do your research, and know who your reader is.
2. Craft a Good Headline
One of the most important things in your blog is its title, perhaps even more important than the content itself. When a reader types in what they’re searching for, they see a long list of results. Your blog post’s headline should be good enough to make someone click on it. Going back to the previous point, there’s so much content out there already, and it’s very easy for a reader to simply scroll past yours. Research shows that on average, 80% of readers read the headline, but only 20% go on to read the rest of the blog.
A good headline should be catchy enough to attract a potential reader, but simple enough to keep their attention. It’s a delicate balance; you can’t give too much away, but you also can’t be too vague. Headlines that are direct and specific, using numbers, colons and hyphens, tend to perform better. You can use a number of online tools to help you analyze and improve your headlines.
3. Use Visual Content
A great way to engage your audience is to add visual content to your posts. This can be in the form of images, videos, infographics, illustrations, and animations. Not only do these add aesthetic value to your posts, but they also help make the content reader-friendly. As a reader, it’s difficult getting through long blocks of text without losing focus. Images help to break up your points, while also providing a visual reference for what you’re talking about. If the topic of your blog is a little complicated, infographics like charts and graphs can really help the reader absorb more of what you’re saying.
Different readers, however, have different preferences for how much visual content a blog post should have. If there are too many large pictures, it can disrupt the flow of the article. If there are no visual elements, it can make the post look a little boring. This is something you will have to figure out with a little bit of trial and error, by utilizing visual content in a number of ways and seeing which posts perform better.
4. Employing SEO Practices
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the visibility of your content to search engine users. There are a number of SEO tools that you can use to improve upon the quantity as well as the quality of the traffic directed to your website. One of the easiest ways to optimize your blog posts is to use keywords. You can start by identifying a few of the main relevant keywords that a user might type into a search engine.
You can use some free tools, like Google Adwords to help you identify these. The idea is to place keywords strategically into your blog post in a way that will help both readers as well as search engines to pick up that text. Other SEO practices involve adding a subscription button or an RSS feed to your blogs, optimizing your images with keyword-rich descriptions, and using internal links which direct to other pages on your own site.
5. Creating Evergreen Content
While it’s tempting to get in on the latest trend and put out a blog post that’s relevant to what’s happening now, that kind of content can get too old too fast. Seasonal marketing is a good way to garner traffic, but in order to keep a steady flow of traffic over a long period of time you need to create evergreen content as well. These are the kind of blog posts which can be reposted, repurposed, and reused for months and even years to come.
An easy way to create evergreen content is to think of topics that are evergreen and likely to interest readers even years from now. Articles which explain common concepts in your industry are likely to be searched again and again by different readers over time. Advice, tips, and “how-to” posts can generally expand the lifespan of your content. Another trick is to answer frequently asked questions in order to create a post that users can keep referring to.
You need to put in a lot of time and money to produce great content. Don’t let your efforts go to waste, and use these simple tips to increase your blog post’s return on investment. Anyone can start a blog, but maintaining it is the key. Blog writing services can help you get the results you need to grow your business.
Dave is a senior writer at Content Development Pros. Even after spending years in the industry learning everything there is to know about digital marketing, his love for writing content that can help business grow remains unchanged. When he’s not writing, he can usually be found at the local farmer’s market, stocking up on organic food for himself and his 2 kids.