So here you are – thinking about your blog strategy and what the results could be. Wondering what are the most critical rules to hit the least amount of bumps along the way? I know firsthand that bumps can be tough stuff.
Within our first year at Writtent, we went from 0 to 1000+ daily visits. And these 1000 visits cost us just 1 article a day - and our traffic continues to grow without any signs of slowing down.
I’ve decided to share a little insight into our blog strategy here at Writtent, and what’s actually worked for us. I’m a rule-breaker by nature, but I wouldn’t dare break any of the following rules:
1. Your Keyword Strategy Matters
When we published posts without keywords, they would consistently underperform. It's better to have an overall keyword strategy for your blog and preferably, a specific keyword selected for each post. You don't have to be strict about a certain keyword percentage in the body of the text. However, in my experience, posts that contained little relevant content or keywords to the primary keyword would consistently underperform.
What do I mean by underperform? We’re actually talking ten times less organic traffic over time. Seriously.
2. Co-Creation and TOP Lists Rule
Top lists have built-in virility mechanisms, especially if you reach out to companies mentioned in the post after publication. You remember that social shares are the SEO equivalent of backlinks, right?
The more shares your post gets, the higher it will rank for the main keyword, and traffic for long tail variations of your key phrase will follow. Here’s a post that illustrates what I'm talking about - The TOP 25 Must-Read Internet Marketing Blogs.
And, by the way, these kinds of content are also great for your readers, if done thoughtfully. Curated and well-researched information is useful. They save your readers’ time and solve your potential customers’ need for information.
3. The More Often You Blog - The Better The Results Will Be
Yes, there is a positive correlation between the amount of traffic your website attracts and how often you blog. To maximize your traffic, go for gold and blog 5 times a week. This is something that’s worked immensely well for us, our clients, and others.
Want proof? Just check out the success many media companies have driven by creating a high volume of quality content – HubSpot is one example of success from blogging multiple times a day.
4. Create Value For Your Readers
Solve pain points. I mean it. Fill your blog strategy with answers to questions your customers have, and you'll be driving traffic. Aim to be the best informational resource in your industry, and you'll outperform your competition. Strive to be the best and go for it - it's as simple as that.
The strategy is easy to bring to life. For blog strategy inspiration, look through your support chat logs, emails, messages, and conversations you’ve had with your customers. Brainstorm to come up with topics that directly address the questions your customers struggle with. Alternatively, use Qualaroo to ask your visitors specific questions, learn and improve.
5. Take a Test-driven Approach
Experiment and treat everything you do as a hypothesis that needs battle-tested validation. Ask questions. Find answers. Repeat quickly. Get into the habit of evolve, repeat, improve, and scale.
The era when marketers didn't know which 50% of their marketing budget was wasted are long gone. Now we have Google Analytics, Kissmetrics, Mixpanel, and Chartbeat to name just a few of the most popular ones. Your data is just a few clicks away, and it’s entirely up to you to learn how to apply it and learn from it.
6. Deliver, Whatever Happens. You Must Deliver, Consistently!
Stick to your plan and to your schedule. If your plan is to go with twice a week updates on Tuesdays at 10 a.m., you can’t jump ship at the last moment. Your article must be out there on your blog, at this specific time.
Consistency really matters – it matters a lot.
7. Come Up With Headlines That Rock
Spend time on your headline. You know - all has already been written and done for us. Here is a great guide from subject matter expert Jon Morrow, a Cheat Sheet for Writing Blog Posts that Go Viral. I’ve used it myself, and I believe it’s sure to help you get the necessary skills to come up with consistently R-O-C-K-I-N-G headlines for your posts.
Why are headlines so important, anyway?
It's the first thing your customers and prospects see in search engines, on many social media platforms, and in emails. A headline determines how many visitors will actually see your post, and it determines your click-through-rate. Think of article titles as top-of-the-funnel content for your blog posts.
8. Guest Blog For External Links
Aim for blogs that stand just a level up higher than your blog; with more authority and engaged audiences. You want to have your post out there on blogs in the same industry as yours, in front the eyes of your potential audience. Your guest blog can earn you the traffic, credibility, and recognition your company deserves.
I’m aware there’s plenty of controversy lately surrounding the idea of guest blogging. To learn more about the latest in this arena, I recommend 7 Reasons to Believe Guest Blogging isn’t Dead.
9. Make Social Shares One of The KPI's
If one of the main goals for your blog strategy is to earn more traffic and improve your inbound marketing presence, the metric you ought to keep an eye on is your total social shares. What we’ve learned is the more social reactions your post attracts, the more organic traffic from search engines you’ll win in the long run. Highly shareable evergreen content is therefore awesome for your business.
Achieving remarkable results from your blog strategy in just a year or less is possible, but it requires a bit of persistence and discipline.
What were your results with blogging over the past year? What did you achieve?
Share with us in the comments below!