Blogging Best Practices: How to Blog Successfully
Recently we discussed the benefits of starting a blog for your business. But successful blogging involves more than just writing and hitting the send button.
Blogging success is measured by
- Audience Interaction & Engagement – what people say about your content
- The number of people who share your content – and the size of their audience
- Subscribers to your blog — growing your audience is an ongoing task, conversions are key
Here are some sure-fire ways to make sure your blog is successful:
Know Your Audience
A thorough knowledge of your ideal prospect gives you insight into potential issues and problems your customers encounter on a daily basis. This allows you to imagine the solutions they might be searching for and, finally, the keywords they are typing into a Google search to solve them. As much as you would like to be all things to all people, we know from experience that it’s better to attract a smaller audience that you can provide in-depth content for than find a broader audience and deliver only shallow content.
Know What Your Audience is Looking for
Let’s say your potential customers are software companies who develop products for what is known as the Internet of Things, or IoT. Try searching the Internet for information about IoT in order to find topics that will allow you to provide solutions to your customers. You will quickly find that typing Internet of Things into your search engine isn’t helpful. Oh, you will get results – about 293 million of them!
In order to gather useful information from among that mother lode, however, you will have to narrow things down. So specify more precisely what you are looking for regarding the Internet of Things. If you search “high bandwidth data transmission to and from Internet of Things sensors,” or “robust, reliable transmission of real-time data IoT,” you’ll have a much more usable set of results to work with. Your content needs to be timely, relevant and meaningful (TRM). Much of it depends on what you find in early searches that might provide a hint of deeper content.
Let Audience Preference Drive Your Content
“Long-tail” search terms result in more specific search results. To assist Web searchers who are looking for this specific content, place these long-tail phrases in the headline of your post and, if you can, in a blog header and in the text of your blog. But remember, you are writing for people, not search engines. Placing words logically for readers will get you more subscribers than randomly inserting words in these places.
Think about all the information you consume on the Web. There are many different types of content that have caught your attention: a YouTube video, a blog, an infographic, as well as short lists and long research reports. Don’t be afraid to offer your readers a variety of formats. After blogging for a while, you’ll notice that some blogs have attracted more attention – views, shares or comments – than others. Was it the topic, the headline, or the format? Look for patterns to help you determine what resonates with your readers.
There is an exception to this rule. If your audience craves a certain type of information in a certain way, give it to them. If you haphazardly posted a cute kitten photo on your blog, and it attracted four times more people who fit your buyer profile than you normally get, you know what you have to do. Even if you hate cute kitten photos, you are not your audience. Hold your nose and give your readers what they want.
Let Data Guide You
Often the posts we believe are the ‘best’ just don’t seem to get any traction with our intended audience. Other times, an idea that we just “threw out there” becomes an overnight sensation. Don’t take these situations as mere coincidence. Although there may be a tinge of luck associated with your high level of interaction with a particular post, dig deep into the data. It is there you may find the keywords, topics and feedback that an audience desires. Mining the data identifies what your potential clients want.
Maintain a scorecard of blog traffic and interaction and give your readers more of what they consume. If a blog with a video clip dramatically increased views that week, feed that beast.
Show Them Who You (Really) Are
Your blog reflects, and helps create, your brand. Readers want more than information. They want to connect with you when you they read your blog. Whether you write it yourself, delegate it to an employee or hire a freelancer, your blog should tell readers who you are and what you stand for. When you deliver your information in story form, your message is more relatable.
Let the tone of your blog reflect your voice and the tone of your company. That doesn’t mean you can’t convey a serious message even though you are generally light-hearted. But it does mean that you must find a way to inject your personality – your point of view – into your blog. By doing so, you are more likely to attract customers who will subscribe and follow you.
Show up Regularly
To keep readers once you have them, you have to maintain a publishing schedule. That means if you decide to publish once a week or once a month, stick to it. Decide beforehand what kind of publishing calendar you can maintain. When you blog on a regular, consistent basis, the details become a part of your routine. If your analysis shows that short posts work best, you can post more often and be confident you won’t run out of topics or time to produce them. If your best posts are the result of time-intensive research that requires long stretches of uninterrupted concentration to create, figure out how often you can do that. And don’t assume that one or the other will be better. Make your decisions based on historical data and consumption.
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A blog is an opportunity to showcase your industry knowledge. Over time your capabilities and expertise will attract others to engage, return, and hopefully turn them into loyal fans and followers. As in many areas of marketing, there are a million little things necessary to make a blog successful. Improve your chances for success by incorporating these six techniques:
- Know your audience
- Know what your audience is looking for
- Let audience preference drive your content
- Let data guide you
- Show them who you are
- Be consistent — show up regularly
What makes your blog successful? Let us know in the Comments section below. A real person reads and responds to all comments. If you found this article helpful, share it on social media. Have questions about your blog? Contact me anytime.
Want to get more readers for your blog? Download HubSpot’s free eBook How to Get 100,000 Readers for Your Blog.
At Crest, we help companies
- Create content that separates them from their competition
- Become subject matter experts in their field
- Measure the effectiveness of their marketing $$
- Generate a consistent pipeline of high-quality leads for less
- Turn clients into evangelists