As a low-cost solution to quickly attract prospects and customers, blogging is still the most powerful form of content marketing available. In the past, it was easy to get started creating content for your blog because there was a single site that was the leader in blog traffic. Now, with so many options available, it can be tricky to know where to start.
Here’s everything you need to know to be a highly effective and efficient blogger. From the most important habits to create a successful blog.
1. Creating quality content
The best content always wins. It attracts more traffic, it builds authority, and it converts well. It is truly the lifeblood of your business. But creating high-quality content for your blog can be difficult. You might have something to say, but it takes a lot of time to turn that into something people will want to read. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to create quality content quickly and easily.
There are many different writing styles and formats you can choose from, but the most important thing to remember is that your content should be interesting. You can create informative content, with a structure and flow that gives your readers a sense of progress. You can also write entertaining content, with a style that sets you apart from other bloggers. However, you should always focus on creating something worth reading.
The problem for a lot of content creators here is time. Time coming up with original ideas. Original points of view. Time researching a particular topic, before putting your own flair on it. Prolific blogger Kevin Lee of Buffer has been known to spend 8-12 hours per post, including research.
To cut down on time producing quality content, many writers and companies are looking towards AI. In 2021, 12% of small businesses surveyed in Semrush’s ‘State of Content Ops & Outsourcing Report 2021’ are leveraging AI to help create quality, unique content, and leaving the human element as the subject matter expert.
2. Be consistent
Creating high-quality, original content is one thing. But the real question is, how can you repeat the trick and create this high-quality content consistently?
Consistency in brand messaging is one of the many factors that determine the growth and success of your business. Your content needs to carry a unique and identifiable voice, style, and pitch across all distribution channels. Consistency here establishes your credibility, builds trust, and strengthens your reputation. And the more consistent, high-quality content you produce, the better it’ll be for your SEO efforts.
To give the over simplified version, the more consistent, high-quality content you produce and distribute, the faster your website will rank.
3. Set goals
A lot of businesses fall into the trap of writing for the sake of content creation rather than doing it as a way to achieve clear business goals. Overwhelmed by their to-do list, they find themselves writing content just because they feel like it’s something they should do – without any real strategy behind it. But if you’re not using content marketing to drive your business goals, then you’re missing out on the entire point of content marketing.
Before you can truly measure the effectiveness of your content strategy, you need to know what your goals are. You might have multiple goals, but you’ll want to prioritise them so you know which ones are most important. Being clear around your goals for content marketing will allow you to track progress.
Common goals across content performance include measuring views, shares and engagement data (such as comments and likes), but can also looks at more qualitative responses to your content, such as:
- How many people have engaged with your content?
- How much time have they spent on your page?
- What do they like about it? How has that changed since you started?
What can you learn from people who don’t engage with your content? What do they want? What do they think about what you’re doing?
You’ve created a blog. You are publishing high-quality, consistent content every week. You’ve even started to attract a few readers here and there. Now you want to make sure that you are regularly sharing the content you are creating.
But then inevitable question arises: how often should you share your content?
This is a bit of a “how long is a piece of string” questions, as the answer to that is going to depend on catalogue of factors such as the nature of the content, your intended audience, as well as their expectations. Share too little and you risk users being underwhelmed by your social media presence. Share too much and you risk overloading your audience with too much content.
If looking at Twitter for example, sharing content is a much more regular thing as it reads essentially as a news feed. Posting up to 5 times a day isn’t unheard of. At the other end of the scale, posting on LinkedIn is recommended not to exceed once a day, and keeping posts limited to weekdays where traffic is much higher than during the weekend.
5. Become a resource
It might sound a little obvious, but one thing nearly all successful content creators have in common is their credibility as a resource.
Credibility is the cornerstone of being a successful content creator, as your audience won’t read, reference, use affiliate links, and ultimately buy your products and services if they don’t believe in you as a subject expert.
If they don’t believe in your expertise, they won’t be able to trust you or your content. And if they don’t trust you, they won’t continue reading. This is why credibility is so important. It’s almost like a currency to your audience. Bloggers and journalists often have this credibility because of their qualifications and experience.
However, everyone has to start from somewhere, and there is a long line of successful bloggers who have started blogs with little to no background in the industry they’re blogging in.
If this sounds like you, there are a few ways you can build credibility:
- First, you need to know what your personal brand or point of view is on the topic, and how to communicate it clearly. This is a big topic, which we’ll cover in more depth in a future post. For now, just think about how you want others to see you. Remember – consistency is key here.
- The second way to build credibility is with great content that provides value to the reader. You should focus on creating content that solves problems for your readers, and demonstrating your knowledge on the topic.
- The third way to build credibility is with social proof. Social proof is when someone sees their peers engaging with your content, or using your product or service. This can be done through reviews, testimonials, success stories,
6. Write regularly
So now we’re creating high-quality, consistent content, we’re sharing it regularly, we’ve set goals around what we want to achieve with our content, and our credibility is on the rise with our readers. All is well in the world. But how often should we be creating content?
Again, “how long is a piece of string”, but as a general rule of thumb, you should be posting original and informative blog posts approximately 2 – 4 times per week, with 11 articles a month being the gold standard to ensure the highest results in terms of both traffic and conversions.
The number of quality articles you post will ultimately depend on how frequently you expect people to read them. Ideally, these posts should also contain images and videos that add to the content rather than distract from it. However, quality of content should always be the main concern, not just sheer quantity.
And there are good reasons to do so. The Content Marketing Institute found that companies that produce quality content on a regular basis see an average of a 35% increase in leads and a 26% increase in sales.
If you are not posting quality content on a regular basis, you will soon run out of people to read your articles. Conversely, if you have a lot of followers but you post only one or two quality articles each month, you might end up losing these allies because there isn’t enough content to keep them engaged.
Google’s algorithm is designed to reward websites that provide quality content with a higher ranking and more traffic. So, if you want to get your articles seen by more people, you have to provide them with something worth reading, and keep them coming back for more.