BUILD A BETTER 17 tips from the pro’s
YOU HAVE A BLOG Congratulations! You have a blog. The set-up is over. Now it’s time to get to work.
A BLOG WITHOUT TRAFFIC It used to be (in the Palaeolithic Age) you could write a blog and get traffic. Good luck with that. Competition for eye balls is huge and you need to start thinking like a marketer. The smarter you get with content, positioning, promotion, and follow up, the more traffic you get. And (good news) the more readers you get the more people share, post, tweet, and get you… MORE TRAFFIC.
HERE WE GO… HOW TO BUILD A BETTER BLOG 17 tips from the pro’s
#1 - IT’S A LONG WAY TO TIPPERARY Blogging is not quick and easy, like advertising. The good news is, blogging can create longer and more trusting relationships. AND you have to be willing to take the long road.
“If you want to make a quick buck, blogging is not for you. The main purpose of a blog is building an audience who trusts you, likes you and wants to buy from you.” Peep Laja, www.conversionxl.com
#2 - BUILD YOUR AVATAR Start with a buyer profile (avatar) of your ideal customer (background, demographics, buying preferences, interests, etc.) Now, write your blog as if you are talking to that person. not that kind of avatar!
“Content curation is not about collecting links or being an information packrat, it is more about putting them into a context with organization, annotation and presentation.” Beth Kanter, www.bethkanter.org
#3 - DON’T GUESS - ASK THEM Nothing beats asking. Phone them, run a survey, ask questions on social media, and in your posts. Start with history (purchases, experiences, results), then move to needs, desires, fears, and preferences.
“We’re surrounded by data but often starved for insights. Customer interaction is the raw material of marketing greatness.” Jay Baer, www.convinceandconvert.com
#4-THINK LIKE A PUBLISHER Break your main topic into sub-topics and plan your posts to match your marketing campaigns, holidays, seasons, and client buying cycles. Simple math: the more relevant the post the more it gets shared.
“With an editorial calendar you can give your subconscious a chance to chew on your topics in advance.” Stan Smith, www.pushingsocial.com
#5 - DO THE GRUNT WORK Use your top ranking posts (see Google Analytics) when choosing new topics and selectively use popular, low competition, keywords (see Google Keyword Planner) in your headline and content. A little grunt work NOW will get you more readers LATER.
“The keyword game isn’t just about traffic. It is also about quality. You have to look at conversion rates to make an educated decision.” Neil Patel, www.quicksprout.com
#6 - DON’T MAKE IT ALL ABOUT YOU Share content from other experts and you’ll add variety and attract new readers. Reference their content or ask for a guest blog post. Share the love and you’ll get lots more back. “Guest-posting is the single most important strategy for growing your blog readership and platform.” Jeff Goins, www.goinswriter.com
“There are two kinds of content that can bring people to your business. Primary fuel is the content you produce regularly (e.g., your average blog posts). Nuclear fuel is the kind of stuff that’s really complicated but is stuff that people go crazy over (e.g., reports that they normally would have to pay for but are free).” Michael Stelzner, www.socialmediaexaminer.com
#7 - SURVIVE YOUR FIRST DRAFT Here’s the formula all experts agree on: the better the value, the more your blog gets shared. To create real value you have to put in the time, survive a bad first draft, and keep improving your work(even after it’s posted). BONUS TIP: MORE than 1,500 WORDS “All of my posts that are more than 1,500 words receive 68% more tweets and 22% more Facebook likes than the articles with fewer than 1,500 words.” Neil Patel, www.quicksprout.com
“Everyone writes badly on a first draft; the key is to be an excellent editor of your own work on subsequent drafts.” Ann Handley, www.annhandley.com
#8 - BE A NAME DROPPER When you quote (or interview) experts, you can attract new fans and you position yourself as an expert. Journalist, authors, even podcasters all do this. So can you.
“The best way to promote a blog post is to ensure your content references influential people. Make it a part of your process to interview people, quote them in your content, link to their websites and they will help you spread the message.” Russ Henneberry, www.CrazyEgg.com
#9 - SOLVE PROBLEMS The most successful blogs simplify problems and offer proven solutions. Keep asking yourself: 1) what’s the problem? 2) how can I make this stupid- simple? 3) what solution will move them forward (and make me a hero)? Opinions are nice - but people pay for solutions.
“If you want to attract and engage your prospects and lead them down the sales funnel, you need to focus on them and their problems.” Rich Brooks, www.takeflyte.com
#10-EACH POST IS A PRODUCT Before you “ship”, give a little extra attention to the research, content, grammar, and image (even spelling) for every post. Your next blog post could be your first impression to a (huge) new client.
“Treat each of your articles as a product. Simply starting to think, ‘Would anyone pay for reading this?’ can immediately change the quality.” Leo Widrich, www.bufferapp.com
#11-GIVE READERS WHAT THEY WANT To get more traffic, follow this simple rule: give readers more of what they want. Upgrade and repost your most popular posts (regularly promote them in social media), create more posts on similar topics, and experiment with new formats (lists, infographics, video, interviews, guest posts, SlideShare, reviews). Your blog may be your “home base” (Chris Brogan), but it’s also a very cool laboratory for experimenting and feedback. What’s your next experiment going to be?
Neal Schaffer, www.maximizeyoursocial.com “The best way to promote your content is to ensure you create content that has one or a combination of the following things: • best or top lists, • infographics or other ‘shareable' images, or • posts that focus on the negative.”
#12-“MEN WALK ON MOON” Experiment with different types of headlines, like: news: “Google makes it easier to…” goals: “12 ways to…” problems: “Finally! Exercise without the…” how-to: “Learn how you can…”, and entertaining: “7 fascinating ways to…”. “MEN WALK ON MOON” ! Readers scan headlines - your headline needs to stop them.
“A great title for your post is essential for driving traffic to it, from social media to search engines.” Kristi Hines, www.kikolani.com
#13-INCLUDE EYE CANDY Even the most brilliant post gets better with a picture. Use unique, intriguing, original images (avoid boring stock photos and Google images). FACTOID: 94% more views were attracted by content containing compelling images than content without images. www.marketmesuite.com
“I use images for the same reasons magazines do: I want to pull my readers into the post itself. Pictures do that.” Michael Hyatt, www.michaelhyatt.com
#14-MAKE IT ABOUT YOU them It’s nice that you were once in debt, a lousy boss, lost an argument, and burnt a cake. But, your reader wants to know what they should do. Use “you”, “your”, and you’re liberally in your copy and headlines. Most Popular Words/ Phrases in Highly- Shared Headlines.
“Posts that used words like ‘you and your’ in their headline (from a study of over 1million blog posts) performed extremely well and were shared frequently. In contrast, posts that used ‘I and Me’ were three times less likely to be shared.” Garrett Moon, www.coschedule.com
#15-USE A TEMPLATE Save writing time and help your readers consume your blog with this six-part template: 1. Describe a problem (that you know they have) 2. Connect: share that you experienced this problem, provide statistics about the problem (e.g. 78% of blogs are never read to the end of the post), or give a client example. 3. Solution context: introduce a new approach, or new way of thinking. 4. Deliver solutions: a list of solutions is easiest to consume and share. 5. Motivation: summarize and encourage taking action. 6. Call To Action: ask for comments, feedback, examples, or…
“Low-quality content will de-value your brand and disappoint customers. As they say, ‘the cream will rise to the top.’” Melanie Duncan, www.melanieduncan.com
#16-SPREAD THE GOOD NEWS Even best-selling authors need to market their next book. Your blog is no different. Don’t wait for the traffic fairies - write other blogs, use social media, and your email list to drive traffic. Start today.
“My favorite method of promoting a blog post is pretty old school. If you publish an amazing piece of content that you feel is share-worthy (which should be every piece of content that you write), then you have permission to ask those who consume it to share it.” Pat Flynn www.smartpassiveincome.com
#17-BE CONSISTENT One of your blogging goals should be to build trust. Posting consistently does that. Block time each week, allow for revisions, and get into a routine of posting on the same day. Leave it to chance and chances are it won’t happen.
“Ask yourself this daily: ‘What action will I take today that will grow my blog?’ Consistent small action have a massive impact. Build a workflow around important small tasks - make them a habit.” Darren Rowse www.problogger.com
A FINAL THOUGHT “The world is full of mediocre me-toos, and does not need another one. Be so good they can’t ignore you.” - Steve Martin
Are you ready to… STOP Procrastinating TODAY! 8 fast strategies to get you from avoiding, to doing, to DONE.
Are you ready to… STOP Procrastinating TODAY! 8 fast strategies to get you from avoiding, to doing, to DONE. Download your FREE COPY! YES, I want my free book!
Are you ready to… STOP Procrastinating TODAY! 8 fast strategies to get you from avoiding, to doing, to DONE. Click here! YES, I want my free book!
PHOTO CREDITS: Selfie congratulations: www.flickr.com/photos/pagedooley/13961573320 Ancient cave drawings: http://www.flickr.com/photos/borderline_danni/3786178234/ Focus group: www.flickr.com/photos/tamuc/14407861125 Calendar: www.flickr.com/photos/nomadic_lass/6728580615/ Man with name tags: www.flickr.com/photos/rharrison/2190135304 Bicycle repairman: www.flickr.com/photos/decar66/6340584747 Shipping box: www.flickr.com/photos/superstrikertwo/4598928319 Man walks on moon: www.flickr.com/photos/fawbs/14954576196 Design tools: www.flickr.com/photos/mrbill/3267227227