Are you tired of pouring your heart and soul into your blog, only to hear crickets? You’re not alone.
According to HubSpot, 61 percent of marketers say generating traffic and leads is their top challenge.
Sometimes, it likely feels as if you’re fighting an uphill battle. Competition is fierce. Changes in search engine algorithms and marketing tactics can impact how content is discovered. And it can be tough to create content that resonates with your audience.
With all these challenges, you’re probably tempted to throw in the writing towel, so to speak, and look to other ways to increase your customer base. Not so fast!
And here’s why: Blogging is a worthwhile investment for businesses, no matter how big or small. Why? Well, it comes with many benefits. Here are just five:
It helps drive traffic to your website
Want more visitors heading to your website to see what you’re all about and what you can do for them? Of course you do! Here’s the beauty of blogging in a nutshell: everytime you hit “publish” on a post, it’s one more indexed page on your website, which means it’s one more chance for your business to show up on search engine results pages (SERP) and get people to your site. Incorporating keywords into your blogs (we’ll get to this a little later) helps with this, so while it takes some grunt work (i.e. research) at the start, it’s absolutely worth it. By consistently blogging and adding content to your website, you begin to highlight to Google and other search engines that you’re consistently updating your website, which helps to improve your page rank and domain authority. Plus, every post provides you with an opportunity to rank for a number of relevant keywords for your business. The more you write articles about those focus topics or keywords, the greater your online presence will grow over time, as well as your authority around those topics.
It helps build authority and trust
By consistently creating high-quality, informative content on a particular topic, you can be on your way to establishing yourself or your business as an expert in that field. This can help to differentiate you from competitors and position you as a thought leader in your industry. Secondly, by addressing common pain points or questions that your target audience may have, you’ll demonstrate that you understand their needs and are committed to helping them solve their problems. This can help to build trust with your audience and make them more likely to view you as a valuable resource. And thirdly, you can showcase your unique perspective, voice and personality. This can help to humanize your brand and make it more relatable to your audience, which can help to build a stronger connection and sense of trust.
You can repurpose blog content for social media
Let’s face facts, shall we? You’re busy. Like, really busy. And it can take some serious brain power coming up with creative content for all the social media channels you need to maintain for your business. Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, TikTok…we could go on and on. But if you have a regular blog to pull from, you can be one step ahead of the social media game, so to speak, for the 4.80 billion social media users around the world.
Other than sharing your blog on social media (we’ll touch more on the importance of that in a bit), here are a few ideas:
- Create social media posts. Use quotes, statistics, or key takeaways pulled from your blog for quick posts in a pinch. They’re great for capturing attention of users scrolling through their feeds and are quick and easy to consume. An added bonus is that they’re great for kick starting conversation and can therefore help to drive traffic to your website and boost engagement. And finally, with this curated useful content, you can better position your company as a resourceful and helpful source, which can foster loyalty and build a strong online community.
- Create infographics using data and statistics from your blogs. Infographics are another form of visual content that can be used as social media posts. They’re an ideal way to simplify complex ideas and make them more accessible to your audience. Not only this, they’re a great way to build brand awareness and recognition.
- Create videos. Fun fact: 72 per cent of people prefer to consume video content over any other format, so if you’re looking to boost engagement, this is one of the best ways to do so. Also good to keep in mind is that many social media platforms prioritize video-based content over anything else, so by leveraging this format, you’ll be able to reach a bigger audience and make more of an impact. People also tend to share videos more than any other kind of content, so this can help expand your audience in a significant way.
- Create a podcast episode. Podcasts contain valuable insights, interviews, stories and discussions and they can be a great way to amplify the reach and impact of your content. This allows you to cater to users who may prefer consuming bite-sized content on social media.
- Leverage your Google My Business profile. If you have a Google My Business profile, this is a great way to showcase consistent content on your business profile and contribute to an increase to your local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) presence. According to brightlocal, “It isn’t an exaggeration to say that GBP is the single most important local ranking factor. Experts agree that how you set up and continue to manage your profile has a direct impact on your local search visibility.” More on that later.
Blogging helps with link building
According to Hubspot, inbound links or backlinks are among the 200 factors the Google algorithm considers when ranking a site on its search engine result page. So it makes sense to work that to your advantage.
It helps you connect with potential customers
And in this world, connection counts. When you provide your customers with valuable info, you can establish yourself and your business as a reputable authority in your field and help gain the trust of the people that matter the most. Answer questions. Address pain points. While you’re doing this, you’re getting the chance to personalize your brand and establish that valuable connection with your readers.
Think your business isn’t suited to a blog to connect with people? Think again! No matter the industry you’re in, you’re going to find people that have questions they need answers to, and problems they need solving. And they’re going to head to the Internet to find what they need. Don’t you want to be the first one they go to?
If you’re a plumber, for example, you could write a blog titled “The Top Five Plumbing Problems and How to Fix Them” or “The Benefits of Regular Plumbing Maintenance.” Are you an Executive Director of a tourism agency? Write a blog about the top 10 things to do in your area that most visitors don’t know about. Or a blog that gives readers the ultimate guide to planning a family vacation?
When you really think about it, there’s no end to the topics you could write about. Especially when you know with every word you write, you’re building a stronger connection with potential clients.
Blogging Best Practices
When you put all that work into writing a blog, it’s super deflating when it seems to fall flat. The traffic is low. The comment section is empty. There are no shares. And you’ve had no boost in business as a result. It’s simply not getting the attention it deserves.
Take heart. There are ways to level-up, increase that viewer count and make all that hard work worth it.
Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting out, these tips and tricks will help you attract more readers, boost engagement and craft copy (i.e. write stuff!) that truly resonates with your audience.
Read about how to optimize:
Create High-Quality, Informative and Engaging Content
The most crucial factor in getting traffic to your blog is to produce high-quality content that is informative, engaging and relevant to your target audience. Remember: your content should always provide value to your readers and answer their questions or solve their problems.
Not sure where to start? Here’s our top tip. And it’s not fancy!
Get out a piece of paper and a pen. Any pen will do. We’re going old school today, so leave your computer or mobile out of the equation. This process is all about brainstorming, so don’t overthink it! Just scribble down the top 10 questions you get asked by current or prospective clients. And voila. There are 10 blog topics for you. (Told ya’ it was easy.)
Next up, head over to your social media channels. What are customers talking about? What are some problems they’re having? What are they complaining about? Check out your competitors’ social media, as well. If you’re really stuck, you can also head to a searching forum or website like Reddit or Quora to see what people are asking in real-time about a specific problem.
When you’re done with all that, it’s time to pick the brains of your customer success and/or sales team (if you have them). Enlist their help to scour customer reviews, surveys, support requests, and more to find even more topics to write about. You’ll be surprised at what jumps out at you. Add those ideas to your list.
So that covers the informative and engaging part. But what about the “high-quality” bit we mentioned? Well, it’s as simple as this: the content has to be good. This means proper spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax.
Not a wordsmith? If the mere mention of “sentence structure” makes you shake in your boots, it’s okay. You can always hire a professional writer. But if that just isn’t in your budget, check out the plethora of free tools out there that can help take your less-than-stellar writing to the next level.
Here are a couple of our favourites:
An AI-powered writing assistant, Grammarly helps you improve the quality of your written content by providing real-time feedback and suggestions for grammar, spelling and style. By using Grammarly, you can improve your writing skills, create more polished content and untimely attract and engage more readers. If you feel like getting fancy, you can spring for a paid account, which has additional features. But in our opinion, the free version does just fine.
This tool helps you simplify and clarify your writing style. It provides feedback on the readability of your text, highlighting sentences that are tricky to read and offering suggestions for improvement.
As a copywriter myself, I employ a few of my own methods to ensure quality writing. Here are a few of my own tips:
- Read out loud. Feels silly. Looks silly. But it can be hard to spot errors when you’re reading silently.
- Take a break. It’s easy to miss errors when you’ve been staring at something for a long time.
- Get someone else to review it. This is so important. A fresh set of eyes is going to catch errors you will inevitably miss. Get a friend or colleague to review what you’ve written.
At the end of the day, error-free copy is crucial in blogs because it helps to establish credibility and professionalism.
When your readers come across grammatical errors, punctuation mistakes and misspelled words, it can be distracting and detract from the overall message of the content. In addition, errors can create confusion and can even change the intended meaning of the text, leading to miscommunication and misunderstandings.
By producing error-free copy, you can demonstrate attention to detail and a commitment to quality, which can help to build trust with your audience and establish authority in your industry.
Optimize Your Blog for Search Engines
New to blogging? You’ve likely heard the term “SEO” thrown around a lot, but you might not know what the heck it is and why it’s important.
In short, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and it refers to the process of optimizing your website and content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
Why does this matter? Because when your blog ranks higher in search results, more people are likely to find and read your content, which can help to increase your traffic and grow your audience.
The proof is in the pudding, so to speak, so check out this stat: According to Hubspot, 56 per cent of surveyed consumers have made a purchase from a company after reading their blog and 10 per cent of marketers who use blogging say it generates the biggest return on investment.
There are a ton of ways to improve the SEO of your blogs.
Here are a few ideas:
- Choose the right keywords. According to ahrefs, “The keywords you choose can make or break your SEO campaign.” Better make them count. The best way to do this? Find keywords with search traffic potential, make sure you create content that aligns with search intent, and that the keyword has business potential. And finally, make sure you can rank for the keyword. If we’re speaking a language you don’t understand, we absolutely encourage you to head over to this blog, which summarizes everything we just talked about.
- Use headings to your benefit. These not only make your article easier to read, but headers and subheaders also help web crawlers understand your blog posts and the sections within it.
- Use internal linking. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, promise. This simply means that you should link to other relevant blog posts on your website to help users navigate your content and to show search engines the structure of your website.
- Optimize your title tag and meta description. Again, easier than it sounds. This article sums it up nicely if you’re a beginner. All you have to do in this case is make sure they accurately reflect the content of your post and include your chosen keywords.
- Use alt text for images. This not only helps the visually impaired, but it also helps search engines understand what the image is about.
Optimizing your blog for search engines is a crucial step in improving your online visibility and reaching your target audience. By implementing these beginner-level tips, you can improve your blog’s SEO and increase your chances of ranking higher in search engine results.
Just keep in mind that SEO is a long-term process and it may take some time to see results. So, be patient, keep creating high-quality content and stay up-to-date with the latest SEO best practices to ensure that your blog is optimized for success.
Use Social Media to Promote Your Blog
In today’s digital age, social media has become an indispensable part of our daily lives. From sharing personal moments to promoting businesses, social media platforms have revolutionized the way we communicate and connect with others.
As a business blogger, using social media to promote all your hard work is crucial to reaching a wider audience and building a loyal readership. With millions of active users on various social media platforms, the potential for your blog to reach new readers is virtually endless.
Share your blog posts on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and make sure to engage with your audience.
Here are some best practices to keep in mind when you’re getting social:
- Customize your post for each platform. What works on Facebook isn’t going to work on LinkedIn, so this means creating a few iterations of your social media posts to ensure they’re effective.
- Use relevant hashtags. Hashtags help your content reach a wider audience by making it more discoverable. This article demystifies the hashtag, so give it a quick read before you start going #crazy.
- Engage with your audience. Social media is a two-way conversation. So if someone comments on your post or asks a question, be ready to address it. And we mean ASAP. A whopping 40 per cent of customers expect a response within an hour when they reach out to a brand on social media. And 79 per cent expect to hear back within 24 hours. Tick tock!
Guest Post on Other Blogs
If you’re new to the world of blogging, you may think keeping your writing confined to your own website is the best way to build an audience.
However, one of the most effective ways to get your blog noticed is through guest posting on other blogs. This practice allows you to tap into existing audiences, build relationships with other bloggers and establish yourself as an expert in your field.
At its most basic form, guest blogging means writing and publishing one or more articles for other websites.
When you start guest blogging, you’ll find it comes with a whole host of benefits. Neil Patel, a well-known digital marketer, entrepreneur and blogger, outlines five major benefits in this article.
But here’s a quick round-up:
- You’ll get referral traffic. This means people that arrive on your website through another source.
- You can get more email subscribers.
- It helps with link building and SEO.
- It can assist when it comes to relationship-building and lead generation.
- It helps with brand authority. This means your target audience trusts you. And if you’re seen as an authority in your industry, you’re ahead of the game.
So it all comes down to this: guest blogging can be an effective way to build your brand, grow your audience and establish your expertise in your niche.
By creating high-quality content for other blogs and websites, you can reach new readers and potential customers, improve your search engine rankings and gain valuable backlinks to your own blog.
While it does require some effort and strategy, the benefits of guest blogging are well worth it.
So if you’re looking to take your blog to the next level, consider reaching out to others in your industry and start building those key relationships.
Build an Email List
Building an email list is a crucial part of driving traffic to your blog.
By collecting email addresses from your readers, you have a direct line of communication with them and can send them updates on your latest blog posts and other important news.
This helps you to stay top-of-mind with your audience and can lead to more engagement, increased traffic, and ultimately, more success for your blog.
This is all fine and well, you say. But the real question is: “How do I go about doing it?” Are we ever glad you asked!
- Offer a lead magnet: Freebies go a long way! Offer a complimentary and valuable resource to your audience in exchange for their email address, such as an ebook, checklist, or webinar.
- Use pop-ups and opt-in forms: Place opt-in forms and pop-ups on your website to encourage visitors to subscribe to your email list.
- Host a giveaway or contest: Encourage people to join your email list by hosting a giveaway or contest. Make sure the prize is relevant to your target audience.
- Promote your email list on social media: Use social media to promote your email list and encourage followers to sign up.
- Attend events and collect email addresses: Attend relevant events and collect email addresses from attendees who are interested in your business or industry.
Use Visuals to Make Your Blog Posts More Attractive
If you read a lot of blogs like I do, you know all too well how often your eyes can tire from sifting through a sea of text. You may find yourself longing for a splash of colour or an image to break up the monotony.
Good visuals are essential for any successful blog. Using images, infographics and videos can help make your blog posts more attractive and engaging. And in turn, this can help to increase your blog’s shareability on social media and other platforms.
Effective images in blog posts boost the overall impact of the blog by enticing readers, aiding in content breakup, and conveying information that words alone cannot,” says Crystal Wiesner, 1dea Senior Graphic Designer.
While the pros know best, we know that hiring an agency may not be in your budget.
Luckily, just as with copywriting, there are some handy tools out there that can help you incorporate great visuals into your blog without too much of a headache.
Tools like Canva are easy to use, allowing you to create all kinds of graphics with easy drag-and-drop tools. And for high-quality images, you can always check out Pixabay and Unsplash. But only use these if you’re in a pinch. Using your own company’s images in your blog comes with tons of benefits. It can provide a more authentic and personal touch to your blog, help to establish your brand identity, and it can help differentiate your content from that of your competitors.
All that said, don’t be afraid to get creative, try out different types of visuals, and above all, have fun with it! Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, so choose your visuals wisely and watch your blog come to life.
Why Not Let AI Write it For Me?
This year, ChatGTP (a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology that can help compose emails, write essays and more), took the world by storm.
It’s the fastest-growing app of all time. In fact, there are estimates that ChatGPT had 100 million active users in January, only two months after its launch. For comparison, it took nine months for TikTok to reach 100 million users.
It’s only June, and now there are tons of alternatives, each promising to be better than the one before it.
If you haven’t used one of them yet, we promise you the first time you give it a try, it’ll absolutely blow your mind. The tech can deliver a well-written blog within a matter of seconds. So we’ll be the first to admit: these AI writing tools are pretty neat because they can help you save a ton of time.
But there are some caveats – and they’re big ones.
- AI tools can produce false data. No matter how good of an AI tool you’re using, you’re going to need to thoroughly fact-check any data you use to ensure its validity. The way ChatGTP generates text is through a large database, but the content it generates isn’t always true. So if you’re using any information at all that could potentially be untrue, you need to do your due diligence and fact-check before publishing anything.
- AI-generated content lacks creativity. Bots struggle to produce creative content that goes beyond what’s been asked of them. It cannot think abstractly or generate imaginative ideas. And when you need to capture the attention of an audience, creativity counts for a lot.
- There’s a huge lack of human touch. AI-generated content lacks the human touch and personalization that can be achieved by human writers. It also cannot tailor content to specific audiences, and this means your brand will ultimately suffer because of it.
- Algorithms devalue AI content. In August 2022, Google stated that a search engine crawler will look for content written by humans, providing a more cohesive and satisfying experience with SEO. Its advice? Produce people-first content that demonstrates expertise, experience, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. And folks, this is something that AI-generated content just can’t do well. (At least not yet.)
With all this being said, there are ways you can leverage AI-written content and work it to your advantage. Here are three:
- Give Writer’s Block the Cold Shoulder. Sometimes, the words just don’t come. You’ll find yourself staring at the blinking cursor and blank page for what seems like hours, and still get precisely nowhere. Using an AI tool can help kickstart your creative powers and turn that always-frustrating situation around. Don’t use it for your whole blog – just leverage the AI to get your foot on the gas, so to speak.
- Create an outline. Need to write about something, and fast? Try using an AI tool to create your outline. From there, do your research, add quotes, statistics and sources and then make sure the tone matches your company’s brand voice.
- Be specific (very specific!) with your prompts. Sure, you can ask your AI bot to “Write a 500-word blog on [insert your chosen topic here]”, but here’s what you need to remember when it comes to prompts: you get back what you put in. Be very specific and get as granular as you can. This helps to ensure the the bot provides you with the best output.
Now Go Get Yourself More Blog Traffic
And there you have it. We covered just some of the best practices for blogging like a boss.
So, get your writing cap on, make sure you’re stocked up on caffeine, and go out there and write some killer content! And remember, if all else fails, just throw in a cat meme.
Those things are always a hit.