Every minute of every day, 347 people like you and me are posting to a blog – that’s 500,000 blog articles a day, or 182 million per year. So if you were wondering why your beautifully crafted story was getting zilch readers, then now you know the competition you’re up against. It’s a bit like dressing yourself up superbly, practicing all your clever lines than waiting at home with ever-increasing forlorn hope for the phone to ring with a date. Aint gonna happen, Baby!
You’ve got to get yourself out there, and know the right places to get noticed for the rewards you want. But first things first.
Blog is Not a Dirty Word, Just an Ugly One
A blog is a website with frequently updated content about a specific keyword- or topic-oriented subject. Your blog about cats likely will be more successful than a blog about all the animals in Noah’s Ark, because it is focused.
WordPress is the most popular software for a blog.
Blogging Can Mean Big Business
A weblog in business to help sell our product/service. The only way we could do that in the past was with paid advertising but, trouble is, people these days are wary of claims made in advertising. So you need to build trust, and a great way to do that is with content on your blog.
One of the prime movers in helping people blog better is HubSpot. They say “Blogging brings in business. Trust us — our HubSpot marketing blog generates 50K leads a month.” I’m already impressed. That’s 600,000 people a year that has visited their website. So HubSpot is certainly not staying at home hovering over the phone.
Content is King
Best blogs contain useful content for your intended audience. Google’s own computer banks are so big and so fast that they can assess your content for plagiarism against all the other blog articles out there, then rank you accordingly.
Content is not just written articles but includes white papers, guides, eBooks, templates, case studies, webinars, and slideshows.
How much content is about enough? Websites with 1- 50 pages get the least amount of traffic. Then gradual growth up to 300 pages. A big jump with 500+ pages, but most response comes from 1,000 + pages. And sites with more than 20 landing pages containing content have extra leads. In building those high volume leads, the biggest response comes from those sites that generate 15 or more blog pieces per month.
Distribution is Queen
“Content is King, But Distribution is Queen and She’s Wearing the Pants.” A now famous declaration by Chad Pollitt at DigitalRelevance.
Your content distribution channels include owned media, earned media and paid media. (There is a description of these terms at the end of this article.) Converged media is when you use one channel to re-enforce another channel.
A Nielsen study in 2013 found that earned media (also described in the report as word-of-mouth) is the most trusted source of information in all countries it surveyed worldwide. It also found that earned media is the channel most likely to stimulate the consumer to action.
Here are the 7 steps to get loads of visitors to your site so you can your way with them.
Step 1 – Recognize Strategy is Essential.
Plan and target boost brand awareness, promote thought leadership, and/or drive leads. your content promotion strategy before you create any content. Identify your blogging goals – options include trying to increase user engagement,
Step 2 – What Do You Know About Me?
Good promotion plans start with audience and media research. Understand your audience. What jobs do they want to get done, and what outcomes are not being achieved well? These are your best areas of opportunity.
Step 3 – The Secrets of Finding Your Targets
Where do your potential customers spend their time from a media perspective? These should be the places or channels where you distribute your content. For a content distribution business like NewsCred, LinkedIn generates the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate nearly 3x higher compared with Twitter and Facebook. Posting on Google+ results in improved search results on Google. And Pinterest drives more traffic to websites and blogs than Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, or YouTube. That means an emphasis on graphics.
Step 4 – How to Get My Attention.
On average, 80% of people will read headline copy, but only 20% will read the rest. So it’s not surprising that some marketers advocate you spend up to 50 percent of your content creation time on the heading and subheadings. Google “Headline Swipe Files” to get free lists of famous headlines.
Testing on options for one headline gave the following preferences in clickthroughs:
36% – Number – “30 Ways To Make Drinking Tea More Delightful”
21% – Reader-addressed – “Ways You Need to Make Drinking Tea More Delightful”
17% – How to – “How to Make Drinking Tea More Delightful”
15% – Basic – “Ways to Make Drinking Tea More Delightful”
11% – Question “What are Ways to Make Drinking Tea More Delightful?”
Step 5 – How Does Your Content Help Me Get My Job Done?
The more helpful your content, the more successful your promotion. Minimize the references to yourself to avoid the appearance of advertorials.
Step 6 – Are You Engaging Me?
Only promote high-impact, high-quality content. Timeliness of your content can lead to it being more widely read and shared. Include feeling words to engage. Be authentic. Work on minor changes that impact: for example, “a small $5 fee” had 20% more sign up rates than just “a $5 fee.” Use power words, such as the person’s name, free, because, instantly, new. Use images wherever possible. Tell stories. Include a call to action, to get me back to your landing page.
Step 7 – 3 Ways to Reach Me
Choose the Right Keywords. The best keywords to use in your headings and content are not the mass, obvious ones, but niche targets where you have less competition for your specific market.
Optimize your content for search engines. Always use your keyword in the title, also within the first 100 words, and at least 3 times in the full body. Build many inbound links to
your domain through content sharing, guest
posting, and outreach.
Optimize your content for mobile. If your content is not easy to read on mobile, you will fail to reach an ever-growing proportion of consumers whose first check for brands is on their phone.
Lexicon for Beginners
Content Distribution has brought in a new set of terms. I’ve used Wikipedia for most definitions.
Inbound marketing– refers to marketing activities that bring visitors into your site, rather than marketers having to go out to get prospect’s attention. Promoting a company through blogs, podcasts, video, eBooks, e-newsletters, whitepapers, SEO, social media marketing, and other forms of content marketing which serve to bring customers in closer to the brand, where they want to be.
Outbound marketing – where a marketer pushes his message out far and wide hoping that it resonates with that needle in the haystack, through buying attention, cold-calling, direct paper mail, radio, TV advertisements, sales flyers, spam, telemarketing and traditional advertising,
Earned media – publicity gained through promotional efforts other than advertising, and often refers specifically to publicity gained through editorial influence. Earned media is generated when content receives recognition and a following outside of traditional paid advertising, through communication channels such as social media and word of mouth. Inbound marketing earns the attention of customers.
Paid media – publicity gained through advertising.
Owned media – communication channels that are within our control, such as websites, blogs, or email.
Social media – publicity gained through grassroots action, particularly on the Internet.