Do you keep following the same blogging strategy year after year?
Blogging strategy has changed in 2017.
The frequency of posting, link building, monetization, influencer outreach, and design are all different now. Follow the tips in this post to generate better traffic and keep up with changing trends.
Blogs Then vs. Blogs Now: The Key to Better Traffic Generation
By Raymond Crain
How to Generate Better Traffic:
Blogging, or as some refer to as new-age journalism, has seen quite the evolution over the last 10-20 years. What started as a way for people to speak their mind to an outlet that can be seen by everyone has turned into a widespread, information-sharing machine.
The very nature and purpose of blogs have undergone a sea change, owing to the lure of monetization, as well as businesses jumping in, making the practice indistinguishable from content marketing and SEO. There have been several shifts in the blogosphere that stick out today; let’s talk about some of them. They will help you generate better traffic as you change with the times.
- Daily Posting is Out
This is not because of any one movement like Slow Blogging. I will refrain from commenting on a particular school of thought because there is no conclusive SERP [Search Engine Results Page] evidence that one works better than the other. Let’s break this down.
Google is becoming more and more focused on understanding the “intent” behind searches initiated by its users. Yes, keywords are still important and SEO is non-negotiable. But, a more intangible “quality” factor has crept into Google operations.
And good quality content is content that has a good mix of “How to” and wisdom stemming from personal experience. But here is the thing – such pieces need time and effort to produce. You can’t really put one together every alternate day. Twice a month is more like it. Unless you are a business with a large or competent team like HubSpot’s, in which case you can go ahead and publish something daily and your output will always be stellar.
It’s All About Showcasing Expertise
Blogging has grown from a tool of self-expression to a way of being tagged an influencer. With a blogging platform, the rigidity of maintaining an official persona is not present. Readers can “bond” with the blogger. Dollops of humor go hand-in-hand with useful tips, tricks, and advice.
Who wouldn’t want that? In fact, something as complicated as the human psyche can become a cherished source of laughs and understanding, thanks to blogs like Derek Halpern’s Social Triggers. People eventually grow a dependence on these blog masters, looking to them for not only information but also products and tools. Blogging can create hugely successful brands. It just has to be done right.
It Has Become a Staple in E-commerce
In the vastly overpopulated e-commerce landscape, shoppers have no problem leaving an online store for the next company to meet their needs. For this reason, brands are doing everything they can to become a one-stop resource center. One of the most common ways business owners are doing this is by implementing a business blog directly on their e-commerce website.
The purpose is to showcase expertise and provide lifetime value while subtly guiding readers down the sales funnel. Even more, blogging provides an incredibly valuable, inexpensive way to provide user-friendly content on all sorts of things like:
- New products
- Industry breakthroughs
- Success stories
- Answers to pressing concerns in the field
2. If you run an online retail business, blogging simply cannot be secondary to product sales. Which is why most e-commerce platforms like Shopify will let you start publishing content directly on your interface, categorize posts, moderate discussions and comments, and tie content back to your online store.
By doing this consistently, companies are showcasing their devotion to the business for new and existing customers. In addition to publishing posts on the website, making use of all online outlets, such as newsletters and social media accounts, is essential for reaching a widespread audience.
With consistent, high-quality blogging, everyone wins. Search engines give you more visibility, customers get more value out of your business, and your brand gets more exposure. More exposure = more sales.
It’s a Constant Game of “Beat the Champion”
How do you go one-up on the title holder in any sport? By being better than all the other competitors? No. You challenge and beat the champ. Seize the top spot from them.
You can do the same thing with your blog post. Don’t lace up your gloves just yet, it’s a metaphor.
Brian Dean is known by his Skyscraper Technique to bring in web traffic. The gist of his advice is:
- Find link-worthy content.
- Make something even better.
3. Use this simple two-step commandment for every one of your posts.
Some questions to ask yourself are:
- Can I open the post in one window and my site in another and just follow the instructions?
- Do I come away with a new way of looking at things?
- Does it have stuff there I’m not familiar with or that I never would have thought of?
- Would it work better if it was more convincing?
- How would Google assess this post? What do content marketing legends like Jay Baer or Ann Handley think?
- Would people disagree with my opinion?
4. If you offer a post that contains advice from the best in the business to support your ideas, you’re delivering more value because the reader is reassured that you’re right.
5. Also, consider the impact if your post was better designed. I’ve seen cases where the actual content itself was awesome. But it was an effort to read it because it was laid out horribly. This is even truer for infographics and other visual content. The design is your gatekeeper – if it looks awful, no one will ever know how good it truly is. And by extension, if you can offer a better piece of content that also looks better, you’re onto a winner.
Blogging today is all about users deriving value from the post in an age where “what everyone already knows” is a couple of clicks away. If you want attention, you’ve got to deserve it by going one step beyond. Find the right mix of content, tie it to your products and brand, and make it more valuable than anything your competitors have to offer. Good luck!
Raymond Crain works for E2M, a social media marketing agency based in San Diego. He looks after content marketing and social media marketing strategies.
Readers, please share, so other bloggers learn how to generate better traffic in 2017 and beyond.
What did you think of the post? Which of Raymond’s tips to help you generate better traffic did you find the most valuable? I like forward to your views in the comments section.
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