There are so many blogs today that it is nearly impossible to count them all. Most of them never gain any traction and wither away. They’re not really forgotten, because nobody ever knew they existed. The problem, is that most don’t know how to create great content that gets read, shared, and linked to.
For businesses, this is a disaster, since the entire reason for the blog is to gain exposure, gain leads, and drive sales. There is no way to guarantee success, but by following the ten commandments of creating great content for your internet marketing blog, the chances your business succeeds online can be greatly improved.
1) Write For People First
Search engine optimization is an important practice, due to the huge amounts of traffic that search engines can send to websites that end up ranking well for large searches. However, writing for machines instead of people all but guarantees that any success you do have won’t last. Write for people and worry about SEO second. This will help to protect you from any changes in search engines’ algorithms and it will keep people on your site.
2) Still, Remember The SEO Process
While writing for people first is most important, remembering to include keywords, images with relevant alt-text, increasing the speed at which pages load, and writing descriptive meta descriptions are all still important for eventually ranking well in Google and other search engines. Still, the more content is found, the more opportunity you have to gain valuable feedback and expand your reach when people link to it or share it.
3) Improve On Already Popular Content
It is getting harder to find topics that haven’t already been covered, but it is easy to find content topics that haven’t been covered well. Look for content that has gotten a lot of comments, social shares and links, then find ways to address the same topic, but cover it far better than anyone else already has. It also helps if you cover the content from the unique perspective of your business or industry.
4) Focus On Readability
Content that is difficult to read doesn’t get finished or shared, and it doesn’t grow businesses. Remember to use font sizes at fourteen or higher, black font on white backgrounds, and break up paragraphs into smaller ones. These small changes can have dramatic effects on the number of people that actually end up reading and sharing your content.
5) Experiment With Different Formats
Different markets respond to different content formats. Experiment with starting blog posts with bullet point summaries, use block quotes at different points of the article etc. Whatever gets the message across and leads to the most opt-ins and exposure should be used as often as possible until it stops working.
6) Use More Than One Type Of Content
Internet users are increasingly responsive to images and video. Sometimes, an interesting topic that doesn’t justify an entire article could better be said through video. Others, it may need well written, long-form content or an infographic. Use different types of content when appropriate and always invest in making quality content, no matter the format that you choose to use.
7) Look For Opportunities To Guide Content, Product, and Service Development
Many businesses are surprised to find out how much guidance their business can receive if they track activity on their blogs. Paying attention to the posts that receive the most activity can help to guide future posts as well as products and services. In turn, knowing the products and services that perform the best can help to guide future content efforts, creating a virtuous circle of sorts.
8) Give People A Reason To Read More Than One Post
Blog posts that get read are great. Blog posts that get users to view other posts on that same blog are better. Use smart interlinking strategies to guide users around the blog from one post to another, using related content plugins if appropriate, and remembering to focus on engaging titles that entice people to click on them.
9) Develop An Elevator Pitch And Tie It Into Each Post
An elevator pitch is the short description that describes the mission or purpose of a company. Making sure that the elevator pitch syncs with the content establishes continuity and an identity for your business blog. Familiarity breeds trust, which leads to more leads over time.
10) Don’t Forget About Design
Blogs with poor design don’t get read. Content can be outstanding, but if the platform it resides on isn’t professional in appearance, it won’t be read. Invest the time and money into solid design that is in line with the values of your business.
Here are some great examples:
Sometimes, blogs just don’t work. Not every market is responsive to blog content, but for those that are, following these ten commandments to creating great content will significantly improve your odds of success.