In the world of internet marketing, blogging and content marketing are almost synonymous terms. At the very least, you can’t have one without the other. It’s one of the best ways to build awareness about your company, improve your organic search engine rank, and create connections with business prospects.
Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience, with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
Starting a blog on your own site is one of the simplest ways to begin your content marketing campaign. However, I’ve found that many people are overwhelmed by even the word “blog”.
Today, I would like to change the way you think of blogging. I’m here to demystify the term, and to show you that blogging doesn’t have to be painful or time consuming as you may assume.
Why Your Website Needs Blog Posts
Blogging and content marketing are taking the internet by storm! While content marketing campaigns can come in all shapes and sizes, one of the most frequent is “blog posts”. A blog post is essentially an online article that you can post on your website and push out to your social media accounts as well. The whole point behind these blog posts, apart from generating traffic for your website, is to make connections with prospects, solve their problems, and educate them about your services and popular topics in your industry.
Blog posts are also a great way to boost your SERP ranking on Google! Once you optimize your pages for specific and related keywords, Google crawlers can index your blog articles. This means that Google can scan your webpage looking for those optimized keywords, among other ranking factors they have, and compare your webpage to others of the same topic to determine SERP rank.
Publishing blog posts is also one of the easiest ways to make new connections within your target audience. Several research studies have shown that buyers are now going to the internet to do background research on the business and their products before they buy. Producing content will 1) make your business easier to find online and 2) present your business as a prominent leader in your industry (provided your website and information is top-notch).
The bottom line is, content marketing in the form of blog posts is the new norm. Your website visitors will expect to see a blog section, and if they don’t, they may leave your site solely based on that fact. You don’t want to lose business to your competitors because your website is deemed “lacking” by your audience.
How to Get Started Blogging
Alright, if you’ve read this far, hopefully you’ve seen the real value that a blog can have for your business success.
You don’t need to be the most amazing writer to start publishing blog articles, but you do need to spend a fair amount of time researching and crafting the best article possible. The more effort you put into your articles, the better they’ll perform once published. To start off, you should familiarize yourself with some of the most important ranking factors you want to optimize for. Knowing these practices will help you order your articles and formulate them to the best of your abilities.
Once you’ve gained some familiarity with how web pages are ranked in Google, now it’s time to understand the general guidelines of any successful blog content marketing campaign!
1. Define Your Goals
The first step to any successful strategy is to define exactly what you’re looking to accomplish. Start your content marketing campaign knowing what subject topics you’re going to write about, what social media platforms you’re going to share your posts on, and what schedule you’re going to use to decide your publishing times.
- Why did you want to start a blog in the first place?
- How are you going to drive traffic to your website?
- Are you just starting your business and looking to gain brand recognition?
- Do you have something important to say?
Figure out the answers to these questions first to help give your blog more focus.
2. Know Your Target Audience
You probably already know which industries you serve, and who your best customers are. Speak to your target audience. Often the hardest part about blogging is knowing what type of content you should be writing. When you’re just starting your blog look at your target audience first and ask yourself this:
- What do they want to know?
- How can I improve their lives?
- What would highlight my industry expertise?
Writing content to a specific audience can give you the inspiration you need to start off on the right foot.
3. Concise, but Comprehensive Posts
Online content does not need to be wordy in order to be substantial. Choose a specific focus and provide a comprehensive discussion around your topic. However, several in-depth research studies have shown that blog articles between 1,000-2,000 words get the best results in terms of traffic and interactions. While you want to stay on topic, you also want to provide all the information your readers will want or need about that topic in your article.
Get to the point, but be thorough!
4. Be Original
It’s OK to share posts written by others on your site, but don’t copy content from your competitors. Instead, use their content for inspiration! If you’ve read a great article, share the link and talk about your opinion. You can also find an already published article and use that as the foundation for a new article. Take a base layer article and expand it! Add a new angle, dig deeper into the discussion, and develop the discussion. Write articles that your audience would actually enjoy reading!
Most importantly don’t be afraid to take risks. Blogging should be fun, and the more you do it the better you will become. Everyone has to start somewhere; the expert in anything was once a beginner.
Blogging is a sure-fire way to launch your content marketing campaign. With blog posts, you can reach new audiences, share your knowledge, and raise awareness for your brand all at the same time!