23% of the hours Americans spend online are dedicated to reading blogs and cruising social media networks. Blogs have gone from an obscure tool to a major highway for exchanging information, education, and influencing purchase decisions. Studies have found that small businesses who blog generate 126% more leads. It’s never too late to start creating branded content and improve your SEO, lead generation, and brand awareness.
To give you a boost, we’ve curated 7 of the best-kept blog secrets about how to launch and maintain a successful content marketing strategy:
1. Visual Content Matters
40% of people respond better to images than plain text. The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than plain text. There are few immutable laws in the world of content marketing, but making sure to always include an image is critical. Master blogger Chris Brogan admits including at least one image per post to draw his reader’s eye is among his most effective blogging secrets.
2. Don’t Neglect Blog Titles
Your blog titles are arguably the most important part of your content marketing. Not convinced they matter? Data scientist Dan Zarrella recently found in a study of 2.7 million blog titles that 16.12% of content is tweeted more than it’s viewed. Great blog titles can be the difference between being ignored by your potential customers and earning viral levels of social sharing. Invest in titles that engage, surprise, intrigue and capture the attention of your readers.
3. Opening Lines are Crucial
Once you’ve captured the attention of your reader with a well-written title, your work isn’t over. You’ve got to keep them engaged enough to read your content by including a fascinating opening line. The following tactics can be incredibly effective ways to infuse your opening line with lasting sticking power:
- Ask a Question
- Make a Shocking Statement
- Include a Power Stat
- Tell an Engaging Story
4. Formatting is Key
Reading your content shouldn’t make your audience feel like they’re struggling to stay awake, or doing a homework assignment. In fact, studies have found that only 16% of consumers read every word on web pages. Keeping your readers engaged requires the use of effective formatting, including numbered lists, bullet points, and short, easy-to-consume sentences. Break your content up into logical sections with the help of subheaders to accommodate both readers and scanners.
5. Length Matters Less than You Think
It’s less important to write 600 or 1000 words each time than to ensure your content marketing is really high quality. In fact, Brogan is a firm believer that brevity is more important than any word count goal. One of the best-known marketing bloggers, Seth Godin, is famous for writing blog posts as short as 150-500 words in length. Striving for high-quality posts which add value to your field, regardless of length, is among the most important blogging secrets.
6. Strive for Quantity and Quality
Companies that blog 15 times a month get 5 times more web traffic than their non-blogging competitors. One of the least-known blogging secrets is that quantity of posting really is correlated with results. The more often you publish high-quality content, the more visitors, leads, and customers you’ll win through your website. Never sacrifice your research and editing time to write more posts, but try to bump up your posting frequency to increase your traffic and exposure.
7. Promote Your Content
There are no blogging secrets which can compensate for the importance of a content promotion strategy. Respectfully publicizing your work on major social media networks and with the help of a guest blogging strategy can help you build a dedicated audience of fans and followers. Create an email newsletter, and promote other quality blog articles to build relationships with other content marketers in the process.
There are few shortcuts to a successful content marketing strategy other than hard work, continual commitment to producing quality content, and a dedicated content promotion strategy. The most effective blogging secrets won’t drive results overnight, but they’re sure to help you exceed your goals over time.
Interested in learning more of the world’s best-kept blogging secrets? Check out our free eBook, Blogging for Beginners!