November 20, 2019// Category: Digital Marketing
Although it may come as a bit of a surprise to some, blog posts aren’t just something that your mom or aunt make to post their latest crafty creations or girl’s night out. Despite many marketers and entrepreneurs turning to social media platforms and video marketing in lieu of this ‘outdated’ method, blogging is still one of the fastest ways to gain new clients and get yourself recognized online.
With a bit of skill and an understanding of your industry and your audience, you can quite literally draw new customers in without a single penny spent in advertising and social media campaigns. However, it does require you to be a blog-savvy industry leader in order to succeed to your full potential. In fact, there is a particular finesse and method that comes with expert blogging which is essential for any business looking to engage and expand over time.
Just as you wouldn’t go cliff jumping into the rocky waters below before learning to even swim, you can’t simply start a blog page and consider it to be ‘good enough’. So, how do you take these blogging principles and make them work without fail? In essence, how do you create share-worthy blog content that is guaranteed to engage your desired audience and help your overall page rank with time?
To answer these questions and many more, let’s take a look at five of the best ways to write share-worthy content for your business blog. By doing so, we can begin to finally get the kind of site traffic and engagement we are looking for without a penny spent in advertisements or marketing whatsoever.
Let’s be honest with ourselves for a second; not a single business owner truly wants to acknowledge everything that their competitors are doing right. It’s the equivalent of telling the dude that’s full of himself in high school that he’s actually a pretty impressive guitarist and watching him for pointers for your own band.
However, the truth is that the best business owners are the ones willing to put their pride to the side in order to grow as a brand. Instead of looking at this process from the ‘cool guy ego stroke’ perspective, look at it from the ‘cool guy tutorial’ perspective. This is how you build a stronger brand image without making a single ‘trial and error’ mistake along the way.
As this proverbial ‘cool guy’ plays his guitar, watch him flub certain notes, memorize the ones he’s playing, keep track of every chord, recognize his biggest fans and what they all have in common, figure out his flaws, and learn all that he knows in half the time. In this way, you become an expert guitarist without any of his flaws almost overnight.
To put this analogy simply, you don’t just have to recognize what your competitors do well. In fact, it’s best that you also look at what they do wrong and learn from it without making those mistakes yourself.
This allows you to learn from their experiences and actually surpass them right out of the gate. It also helps you to determine who your audience should be based on who engages most on their posts and content as a whole.
To understand how to recognize what a competitor does well and doesn’t do well, let’s look at the example below:
As you can see, this brand understands how to market to its audience, it knows what kinds of sports and pastimes its demographics enjoy, and it respects the use of great visuals and cross-platform marketing techniques. These are things you can learn from them with your own brand and marketing. It may lead you to come up with articles like “The Top 5 Diving Spots in Northern California” or “What Makes a Great Pair of Sports Sunglasses?”
However, what you can learn from them in the mistakes department if you were also a sunglasses brand is that they are not going far enough or engaging with their audience. Assuming that the audience wants to speak with you is absurd. Instead, perhaps, ask a question like, “have you ever been diving in San Francisco? If so, tell us about your diving epxerience in the comments below!”
Once you have a clear image of where they succeed and fail as well as who you are targeting with your content, it’s time to begin creating blog posts that take all of this data into account.
The topic is truly the ‘meat’ of any great article. When making a sandwich, you could slap together two pieces of bread with a million different sauces and garnishes and culinary techniques. But, without the main attraction, it’s nothing more than a plate of products without the substance. In the same way, a blog post without a quality topic is nothing more than a pile of meaningless words plastered on a page.
However, finding a quality site topic can be difficult. After all, it is highly likely that every single business in your industry already has an article just like the one you want to write. So, how do you set yourself apart and create something unique or engaging nonetheless?
The answer is simple;
Every blog post should seek to fill a gap in your industry in a personalized way
To explain this further let’s take a look at one of the best and one of the worst article topics for a particular industry—home renovation.
Here is a bad article topic example for the home renovation industry:
The main reasons that this is a bad article topic are shown above. Essentially, you don’t want to click on it because of the boring topic that doesn’t seek to answer anything or fill in any gap. It also doesn’t stand a chance being on page 16 of Google, but this is absolutely due to the fact that nothing about this article is optimized in the slightest.
After all, it’s not just the content itself that attracts readers but its juxtaposition online and its readability. As such, the content needs to not just be great but also look great and rank great too.
A good rule of thumb is to focus on keywords, the readability of the article, its Flesch reading score, the amount of internal and external links in it, the length of every paragraph, the density of subheadings, and the meta tags, titles, and descriptions. You will also want to use several photos throughout the article and optimize them as well. Furthermore, according to SEMrush, “62% of content marketers consider video very effective for audience engagement and lead generation.” With this said, you should also be including videos wherever you can to keep people on your page longer thus reducing high bounce rates.
Next, let’s take a look at what makes a great article:
As you can see above, there are multiple ways that this article stands out from the crowd. Unlike the countless ‘Do’s’ articles out there, this one also covers what you shouldn’t do as well to fill in a clear void in the home renovation industry. On top of this, they utilize the highly popular list format, have a clear topic, an enticing outline, and are on the first page of Google as they should be for these keywords.
They also focus heavily on search engine optimization tactics as this is what is helping them achieve this rank for these keywords to begin with. Through the use of optimized images, clear keywords, easy-to-read formatting, and meta tags and titles that pull it all together, they are able to attract readers and impress Google at the same time.
With all of this in mind, you will be sure to create the perfect topic for your next blog post and be able to move on to the enticing title that pulls it all together.
With your target audience and topic down, it’s now time to move onto the first thing people see and what will hopefully make them click on your blog— the title. There is quite a bit that goes into the perfect title, but the best thing to remember is that it should capture the feel and topic of your post expertly with a bit of a hook to entice the average reader. Essentially, if you read your title and you wouldn’t click on it, what makes you think someone else not invested in your brand would?
In fact, Hubspot had this to say about the creation of a quality blog title, “The most important rule of titles is to respect the reader experience. If you set high expectations in your title that you can’t fulfill in the content, you’ll lose readers’ trust.”
With this in mind, when creating a quality blog title, start by putting in your keywords on Google. Next, look at other blog titles using those keywords and create a unique one that fits in with these titles but also seeks to fill in the gaps surrounding the topic that they do not. Lastly, make sure that you use your main keyword in the title so the reader knows what the main topic is and so the article ranks higher on results pages. In this way, you will be sure to create the best article title possible without fail.
For instance, if your keyword is ‘dog beds’, you may search on Google for ‘best dog beds’ and find these results:
Although all of these answer the question of what dogs beds are best, none of them explain why they are best or why other dog beds are bad options. This is a void you can now fill with an article title such as “The Top 5 Qualities Found in all the Best dog Beds—and the Ones Found in the Wost” Sounds like a pretty good article, doesn’t it? It also uses your keywords and answers a question that many dog owners are sure to have after reading the articles found above.
This aspect of blog writing is where countless companies fail and inevitably lose their audience that they were forming so expertly over time. Have you ever been enticed by a blog title such as ‘Top 10 Celebrities That Look Completely Different After Surgery’ and immediately clicked on it to only find that it is one giant ad for an ‘anti-aging cream’ or ‘poreless foundation’ brand? This is what is known as ‘clickbait’. In fact, 25.27% of articles in 2016 used clickbait titles to their benefit.
Yet, no one wants to read a clickbait blog post. With this said, as quickly as the article drew you in, you left. But, why? Did it not give you the answers you wanted? Did it not show you the 10 celebrities in between the blatant ads? Well, the reason why this article detracted you is actually because we as consumers hate nothing more than feeling like we’re being unapologetically marketed to. This is why any quality salesperson will tell you the best way to get someone to buy something is by gaining their trust and keeping it through the entire process.
Since you can’t prove your trustworthiness through a computer screen necessarily, the best way to do so is to create content that doesn’t sound like an ostentatious ad. Unlike the Billy Mays OxiClean ads that encompassed all of those old school sales techniques, your articles should barely cover your brand but rather give an educated opinion on topics in your industry with a final call to action at the very end.
In this way, you can keep the trust of your readers, prove your experience and skills in your industry, get more traffic to your website, and still encourage them to work with you in a way that doesn’t dissuade them.
The final thing that is so important when dealing with creating the ultimate blog post is knowing your limits. Think about any person you idolize in a place of power. Perhaps, it’s a famous CEO or a professional athlete. Maybe a political figure or even a famous musician.
No matter who you are currently thinking of, you can bet your butt that they have their own personal team that takes care of every aspect of their day. The clothes they wear, the places they go, the people they meet, and even the way they market themselves. It takes trust, of course, to let others into your circle, but this is one of the reasons these people are so successful. Delegation is a power they aren’t afraid to yield.
When it comes to blog posting, you don’t have to be a professional writer to create articles. Sure, you could create content that covers all kinds of popular industry topics, local news, and business updates and create a small following through this. But, what about true actionable engagement that leads to profit? What about engagement that converts into new customers for your company?
This is where delegation may be useful to you. Instead of working on all of the elements above and trying to squeeze in time to write cleverly crafted articles each week, why not hire a professional to do it for you? The truth is that practically every blog you read likely has at least one or two writers creating their content. For some of the business and entrepreneur icons in the industry such as Forbes and Inc., it is almost entirely made up of freelancer content.
On top of this, you can work with a company that understands search engine optimization for blogs specifically and even simply take your current content and make it optimized to increase blog post traffic moving forward.
In the end, blogs are not just for angsty teens and crafty Karens. In fact, every business should have one and know how to create content for it that benefits their company. With a bit of research, a lot of devotion, and a grip on the SEO fundamentals, you can take your bland blog and turn it into a cash cow in no time.