Kick-Ass Content: Business Blogs that Generate Traffic
This is the third post in my series on creating kick-ass content.
Blogs have been a popular communications vehicle since the late 1990s and have since evolved into an essential content marketing tool. For young companies especially, creating a blog is a worthwhile endeavor that can help drive website and search engine traffic, resulting in greater lead growth.
Today, blogs are everywhere. In fact, by the end of 2011, there were more than 180 million public blogs competing for people’s attention. To stand out among the glut of content, your blog needs to be useful and compelling. That’s why this week, I’m continuing my kick-ass content series (see my previous posts on case studies and reports), with tips to help create traffic-generating business blogs.
Tip 1: Write About Things Your Audience Cares About
Like them or not, celebrity gossip blogs TMZ and PerezHilton are wildly popular. The reason: They know their audience and deliver precisely the content their readers want…mind-numbing though it may be. Take a lesson from these examples and make sure that you’re blogging about the stuff your audience really cares about. Fail to do, and you’re wasting your time — no one will read your content.
Tip 2: Make Your Posts Informative and Instructional
Successful business blog posts should always be informative and are often instructional. Provide a list of tips or ideas, practical how-to instructions, your analysis of a problem, or anything else that your readers will find useful. Do so and your blog will become one that your readers turn to as a trusted source of information, making them more likely to do business with you.
Tip 3: Get Your Readers Attention with Engaging Content
Blogs aren’t a standard business communication, so don’t treat them as if they were. Sure, they should be professional, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show off a little personality or humor to make the content fun to read. For example, because I love movies, I wrote a post about what the Academy Awards can teach people about content marketing.
Tip 4: Consistency and Predictability Are Key
It may sound boring, but to some extent, your blog needs to be predictable. After reading your blog for the first time, your audience should understand what it’s all about, what your going to be blogging about next, and when they can expect to see your next post. Publishing on a consistent schedule about a finite range of topics will help you to increase engagement and readership over time.
Tip 5: Use Key Words, Links, and Images to Make it Searchable
To be effective, someone needs to read your blog (and not just your mom). Increase your chances of people finding your blog by using some simple search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, such as incorporating key words, links, and images into your posts. SEOmoz has created a great beginners guide to search engine optimization with specific details on how to do so.
Ok, so let’s assume you’ve created a blog post that you’re happy with. What next?
Promote It! Even with the best SEO, no one is going to find your blog initially. It’s up to you to promote it via social media tools such as Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also include a link to your blog in your e-mail signature block, register your blog so that it appears on other sites such as alltop.com, or write guest blog posts for other related sites to help drive traffic to your own blog.
Pay Attention to Your Comments. Just because your blog post has gone live, doesn’t mean that your work is done. Monitor your posts for comments and be sure to respond back to them promptly. Comments are the best way to increase engagement around your blog. If you’re not paying attention to them and your posts, no one else will either.
To find out a whole lot more about blogging, check out OpenView’s eBook, “The Ultimate Guide to Corporate Blogging.”