Your big blog idea was amazing and as time went by, it took on a life of its own. You started putting an increasing amount of time into it and were left with no time for yourself. You feel overworked and exhausted. Friends and family complain that you’re always stuck to your laptop.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
In the words of Be A Better Blogger, “The more time you put into your blog, the more successful it becomes. The more successful your blog becomes, the more it demands of your time.” And so the cycle continues.
Luckily time management doesn’t mean desperately rushing through everything trying to get it done. Most of it is just getting organized enough to free up blocks of time when you can actually work. Organizing your schedule, organizing your thoughts and organizing your posts.
Whether blogging is your career or a part time gig, the question remains, how to make sure that managing your blog doesn’t take over your life? Fret not, because we’ve got you covered. Follow these 10 simple tips to ensure constructive and organized blogging time:
Remember when you first started out your blog? You knew exactly what you meant to do with it. You had a clear vision for it. And now it just seems like a mishmash of posts thrown together. So sit down, clear your head and figure out the goals for your blog. When setting goals, use the S. M. A. R. T. method i.e. your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timely.
So e.g. if your goal is to increase traffic on your site, your S. M. A. R. T. goals would be:
Keep in mind that these goals won’t be achieved in a week or two. This is your game plan for the next 6 months to 1 year.
An easy way to stop your blogging activities from taking over your life is to have a blogging planner or blogging schedule. Blogging is no longer just writing and publishing a post. It’s a whole industry of online publishing now. Plan when to research, when to write, when to edit, when to reply to comments, when to promote your content, when to read other blogs, when to comment on other blogs.
Now that you have your schedule sorted – stick to it! Focus on the task you’ve set for yourself and get it done. You can watch those captivating food videos later. There’s no use of creating a schedule if you choose to ignore it and do what you please.
Got an idea for a blog post? Write it down. Always keep a pen and notepad handy. Although many people now prefer note taking apps instead of the paper and pen route. If you’re a part time blogger, chances are you won’t have time to sit down and brainstorm ideas. Your best ideas are going to come to you when you’re making tea, eating out, commuting to work or buying groceries.
Use that camera shortcut key on your phone wisely. See something you could blog about? Take a picture! It doesn’t have to be perfect, with the best lighting – it’s a reference of what you saw and liked. Having an interesting conversation? Record it with your phone’s voice recorder. Although, be careful about this one. Many people may not like being recorded.
So you’ve chosen a topic to write about and are sitting down to do some research. Although the Internet serves as a good resource – fast and easily accessible, everything online is something someone has already read. In my opinion, nothing matches the quality of first hand feedback. One thing I like to do (and annoy my friends with!) is call up a couple of friends, ask them what they think of a specific topic and jot down their replies.
This way, your content will always have a fresh angle. Of course, if your friends threaten to cut all ties with you like mine have, it may be better to switch between various friends and members of the family to annoy, I mean, question.
Sign out of your email, close your Facebook and put your phone on silent. To focus, you need to cut off all distractions. Don’t get up when the doorbell rings, let someone else handle it. Turn off the TV, or close the door to tune it out. Don’t cook the healthiest dinner and order Chinese food instead. Don’t clean up the mess your kid made on the kitchen floor – let your husband (or wife) do it.
Basically, unless it’s an emergency, don’t leave your work mid-way. You only have a limited amount of time allotted for your blogging activities, don’t give it up.
Finally, it’s time to write. Arguably, the most difficult part is how to craft that perfect opening sentence. The answer? Don’t. Wasting time and energy at the start will leave you demotivated for the rest of the post. Instead, focus on writing as much as you can – leaving the editing for the end. Nitpicking will only hamper your writing.
How I like to start is by creating an outline or template of what I want to write about. Then I focus on writing the rest of the post. Somewhere in the middle of it, I come up with the right sentence on how to start the blog post.
Write your posts in a way that makes even you want to read them. Relatability and ease in understanding is the key here. Of course, every blogger has their own voice and however objective or intense it may be – it isn’t worth anything if people don’t read your blog.
Don’t try to be the Jack of all trades. It doesn’t work. Focus on what you are best at – creating quality content. Instead of trying and failing to manipulate pictures, or edit video content, outsource it. Use freelancer.com, elance.com and fiverr.com to get the best quality work at the lowest price. You can even set up a virtual assistant who will take care of any projects you throw his way.
Of course if you’re a newbie, this may seem expensive. But since more and more people are opting for blogging as their side gig and a day job as their main source of income, more and more blogs get neglected just because people don’t have time to do it all anymore.
Schedule that social media and automate whatever processes you can. For social media scheduling, a number of paid options are available like Hootsuite, Everypost and Buffer. These tools require you to sign in with your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr etc.) and then schedule what you want to post.
They have features for shortening URLs, pulling pictures from various online resources like Instagram, Tumblr etc). You no longer have to jump between Facebook and Twitter and Google+ – you can do it all in one place! If you want a free option, then TweetDeck is best for Facebook and Twitter – however it only has limited features for Facebook posting.
Got freelancers working on your blog? Automatically track their time and progress on your project with Minterapp or Toggl, tools meant for freelancers and startups.
Running out of blog ideas? Got writer’s block? Didn’t finish that post you meant to publish today? The answer: guest blogging. Invite your readers and other bloggers of your community to send in their views and posts. Once a week, feature a post sent in by your readers or other bloggers. Guest posting allows you to get a fresh perspective and new content on your website. This is an excellent strategy for extending your reach and boosting your reputation online – as writers will usually post these to their own social channels. Alternatively, you can get user generated content by inviting readers to send memorable pictures from their travels or of a favorite book and a small paragraph saying why. These save time and keep your content fresh.
Last, but not the least, remember to read what other bloggers are writing about in your niche. Reading other blogs will open you up to new ideas and help you develop your own writing style. While copying and plagiarism is strictly prohibited, you are allowed to check out what works (and what doesn’t!) with the help of your fellow bloggers. You never know, reading other blogs might give you your next big idea. It also helps you connect with like-minded people and we all know how important networking is, when it comes to blogging.
Kamil Riaz is a Writer and Digital Marketer. He has completed his masters in Administrative Science from the University of Karachi. As a writer, he wrote numerous articles on management, technology and health. You can find him on LinkedIn
You can write the most well-researched, informative blog post in the world, but it doesn’t mean a thing if no one reads it. Promoting your blog posts is just as important as writing them.
Fortunately, there are several quick ways you can get your posts in front of a larger audience.
Researching keywords and then integrating them into your posts effectively is key for getting more traffic from search engines. The simplest way to optimize your use of keywords is by using an SEO plugin, such as Yoast.
When people like your content, they want to read more of it. Make that easy for them by crosslinking your blog posts to each other. Have you ever spent hours on Wikipedia from clicking link after link because each one sounded interesting? You can apply that same idea to your blog.
If you have a specific post you want all your visitors to see, put a link to it in a popup on your site. Worried your popup will annoy people? There’s always the smaller alternative known as the pop-in.
The easier your posts are to share, the more likely your readers are to share them. Add social sharing plugins to your blog so it only takes a couple clicks to share anything.
With the popularity of Facebook, your blog should definitely have a Facebook business page. Each time you publish a new post, share it on that page. Include an image and a short description to entice readers.
Look for Facebook groups that focus on the same type of content your blog offers and share your content with them. Before you share any posts, spend some time posting in the group and interacting with its members so that your message doesn’t look like spam.
If you’re willing to spend a bit of money, promoting your posts on Facebook is a great way to build your audience, as long as you promote them the right way. That means creating an attractive image for the post, writing a headline that gets people’s attention, and optimizing the ad for clicks to your website.
Just like on Facebook, you should also set up a company page for your blog on LinkedIn. You can then share your posts on LinkedIn right after you publish them. LinkedIn also lets you track the impressions your post makes and provides other useful data.
You can promote your posts on LinkedIn groups the same way as you would with Facebook groups, making sure you interact with the group first so you’re not simply spamming them.
Search Reddit for subreddits that relate to your blog’s content. Keep in mind that Reddit comes down hard on spam, so always read the rules for the subreddit you choose and make plenty of legitimate posts with your account before posting to promote your blog.
Google Plus may not be as popular as several more prominent social networks, but there are some parts with quite a few users. Share posts on your profile, and set your posts to public so anyone can view them.
It’s not difficult to build a large number of followers on Twitter, and once you do, you can share your posts with all of them through a few well-timed tweets. For the best results, come up with multiple headlines and images to mix and match, so you can promote your post several times without looking like you’re advertising the same post over and over.
You can add a link to either your blog or a specific blog post on your Instagram profile, so people see it whenever they visit your page. You’ll have to share images frequently and insert popular hashtags for the best results.
There are two types of Pinterest boards you can create to promote your blog posts. You can make a board exclusively for your blog and pin all your posts there, or you can create a board related to your blog’s content, and pin both your blog posts and other related content so it doesn’t look like you’re just promoting yourself.
Sharing your content on every social network multiple times is a time-consuming process. One tool that can help is Buffer. Connect all your social media accounts and schedule in advance when you want Buffer to post for you.
Meet Edgar is also a social media automation tool, like Buffer. The difference is that Buffer simply posts on schedule according to your post queue until it’s empty. Meet Edgar keeps your content in a library and shares it as much as you want.
Make sure your blog has an email opt-in box where readers can subscribe to your content. Whenever you post something new, email it to everyone on your list.
StumbleUpon recommends content to its users, and it can send you significant traffic if you build up a following. The best way to find followers is to follow others and liking the content they share.
Promoting your blog posts may seem like a lot of work, but all of these methods are fairly fast. Try them out and see which ones give you the best results.
To discover more ways to promote your blog posts, read this article.
Author: Mel Devent is a passionate blogger who enjoys writing about all things digital marketing. She is currently working as a Marketing Associate at Blogger Sidekick, helping small businesses build authority brands with content marketing. In her spare time she loves scuba diving, watching movies and catching up with friends.
In today’s online marketplace, content marketing is one of the most efficient marketing strategies. It can generate positive short and long term results, and it becomes passive and free after everything’s set. Text-based content is the most used form of content nowadays, and people leverage blog posts in order to generate traffic.
Good blog posts that catch people’s attention is the fuel that facilitates the main engine of websites and blogs. The better the blog posts, the more traffic your blog will receive, and the more you can profit from it. If your blog posts are extremely relevant, unique, and impeccable, you will have the following benefits:
Google, Yahoo, AOL, and so many other search engines will begin to index your content and display it as a relevant first page result for different sets of keywords. So when someone searches for something, your blog posts will be the ones who will capture the attention.
Here’s an example from our blog. 8 of the top 10 landing pages for our site are blogs. These blogs deliver residual traffic.
Successful blog posts sometimes become viral; therefore, your blog will be flooded with a lot of traffic. You’ll be able to sell more products and services in no time!
Here are some resources on some of the most popular posts of this past year:
I’m strictly referring to two forms of direct advertising. First is the backlinks that you’ll receive after publishing a valuable instructional blog post for example. The second one is the word-of-mouth marketing, which happens through the use of social media communication channels or through face-to-face interactions.
Now let’s get a little practical and talk about the best types of blog posts that can bring you more page views and an improved business performance:
When people enter the web, they’re looking for something. What could it be? Well, most of the search strings are questions. People tend to ask Google something, and expect to get the best answer. If your business is solving other people’s problems and needs, you can start writing how-to guides and tutorials that show the explanation to your target audience’s issues.
Blog posts are the perfect content format which is meant to train and teach someone how to do something. It could be anything; how to workout, how to learn, how to paint, how to do business, and basically every possible subject that’s out there. Nowadays, we live in a digital era in which every subject and domain of activity are filled with information.
You can be the one who educates your interested buyers how to solve something through the use of your products or through the use of affiliate products. These types of blog posts capture a lot of attention and they’re extremely profitable in sales.
Here are some resources on how to write a kick-butt how to blog post:
We all know the “Top Ten Tips On How To Do X Activity/Thing”. These type of articles gain a lot of social media traction and are extremely easy to write. You just decide upon an article subject, and you find ten assembling facts/tips/strategies concerning that subject. Exactly like the article you’re reading right now.
Think about it, why did you start reading this article in the first place? Well, an answer could be the fact that you’re used to this form of content, and you find it easy to digest and remember. It’s all organized, and it usually contains straight-to-the-point information.
Controversial subjects are a great way to capture the eye of your future readers. Find a subject that could be either sarcastically stated through a title, or find something that is actually controversial and you believe it would gain interest. It could be a controversial idea about something, a controversial statement (but watch it), and something basically out of the ordinary.
People are extremely curious and intrigued by these types of titles. Imagine reading a subject like: “President Obama Hasn’t Told the Whole Truth About The Journey to Mars”. It’s something that makes you click. You want to know what he has hidden. This type of statement is kind of controversial; usually these subjects are overly exaggerated.
That’s why you must not overcome the limits of common sense and decency.
Infographics, if we split the words, it results: information + graphics. It’s basically a long “kind of” article with a lot of statistics, text, and graphic content like images. An infographic’s purpose is to educate the reader/viewer in a short period of time. All the information is written strictly to the point, making it more like a map of information.
Product reviews are also a good way of getting more traffic to your blog or website. I’m not talking about the 300 words product reviews. I’m speaking of in-depth explanations of how a product works, how it solves your problems, and why it’s completely important to purchase it. These products are reviews are usually written by professional copywriters who know how to pitch products and services.
Blog posts are a gold mine when it comes to traffic generation. You can get so many page views by making few of your blog posts rank better in the SERP’s and also make them popular across social media. With a little bit of your time, effort, and commitment, you will be able to improve your blog’s popularity and the number of your sales.
Micheal Gilmore is a Content Manager at Resumesplanet. He’s psyched about marketing, business, blogging and SMM. In his parallel life, he loves hiking and can’t wait to see the Himalayas one of these days. Connect with Micheal on Twitter
Copyright: csabino / 123RF Stock Photo
You may think writing a blog is easy. You just sit at a computer, pick a topic and write. But for a successful business or promotional blog, there are some key steps you can take to ensure your information is organized and readers keep coming back for more.
If this is a personal blog, pick a topic and think through the message. Is it a blog about fall dinner recipes? If so, come up with a catchy title for each post that describes what it will be about while catching readers’ attention. If you plan to include bullet points, or steps as in a recipe, start with an introductory paragraph that leads into the main content of the blog. localmilkblog.com combines country recipes, beautiful photos and clever writing about how each recipe came to be and a personal narrative about the food. It’s inviting, warm and informative.
If you are promoting a skill, such as carpentry or cake decorating, use headers that include a story about yourself, your expertise, products you offer, videos or media clips and a link to order. Include videos. A blog can be arranged like a mini website and if the content is well organized, people will come back for new information. Ana-White.com is a good example of how information and her carpentry services is well organized and well written. She posts excellent how to videos that explain each project step by step. She keeps the tone light and friendly so readers feel as though they know her, her work and her family. A blog is different from an editorial in the New York Times and should have a friendlier tone.
You could write a blog with lower case and text abbreviations that is meant just for your inner circle, but for any kind of business or professional blog, correct sentence structure and grammar are a must. Grammarly.com is a good website to check your grammar. You can find spell check, which will raise red flags about improper grammar in Microsoft Word. Also, try to find your voice and be consistent. Find your audience and fine tune your voice.
For example, if you’re blogging for a ballet barre company, you should be familiar with ballet terminology and identify your audience. Is it ballet teachers? Ballet studios? Ballet companies? Become familiar with your product and your audience and people will come back to read what you have to say.
You want readers to remember whom you and what you have to say. The blog drillbitsharpener.com is exactly what it says it is. It provides information on drill bits and how to sharpen them. Coming up with a blog name that describes exactly what someone will find on your blog is a great way for people to remember who you are.
If you are a cake decorator try to attach your name to the blog, such as Joannesuniquecakes, for example. Since there are so many domains with generic names, having your name, or the name of your company attached to the web address, will help you and your blog to stand out.
Utilize blog writing websites such as Writerswrite.com, that offers information on how to start a blog, how to write and organize content and how to use SEO text that will help people find you on a Google search. This is key if you blog for a business or any organization that you want readers to know about.
The website rankingcoach.com provides software that will optimize your blog text through SEO portals. It’s a valuable investment if you want your product or brand to come up at the top of search engine lists.
Be sure to include badges for all of your social media platforms, especially Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Vimeo or YouTube. They should be placed right up front on your blog-landing page so people can easily link to them. If you don’t have social media platforms, it is a wise investment in time and money.
If you don’t have time to post on social media, you can find a college student to post your social media if you provide them with the content. Keep the content fresh and announce special sales, or new items if you’re selling a product. Hootsuite is a great and easy-to-use tool to link and manage your social media. This way you’re not posting the same content on different platforms. Hootsuite manages it for you.
If you need help writing content, there are plenty of quality blog writing services that are cost efficient. Many businesses do not have the staff to write daily blog posts and outsourcing is a good idea. How it works is you post the topics you want blog content for along with guidelines and timeframes and these companies have a list of freelancers on hand that write them. You pay the company and they pay the writers. If there is one writer you really like, you can request that specific writer.
godotmedia.com, blogmutt.com, and solidessay.com are just some highly-rated writing services. Better yet, post a message on your blog’s social media that you’re looking for a writer. This means you may find a good writer who is also familiar with your brand or product.
Your blog can stand out from the thousands of others. Organizing your thoughts and content, creating visual content that is engaging and writing in a style that addresses your audience will surely help your message and brand.
Author bio: Ben Russel is a content marketer who writes for godotmedia.com and solidessay.com. In addition, Ben also works as an academic writing expert at several educational websites.
The best policy that entails the concept of guest blogging is give and take. Guest blogging basically means to create and publish content on someone else’s blog or website, just as a guest. In return, the guest blogger can get quality backlinks, a massive online exposure and of course better business relationships. On the other hand, the owner of the blog can attract better traffic in his blog with the help of quality content.
Building a career on guest blogging can actually seem quite scary. But, there are millions already there making a handsome amount out of guest blogging. If you too want to earn similar or at least decent sum, check out these most important tips that can help you to earn money by guest blogging.
First thing first, you have to look out for opportunities. You can either search in Google by typing keywords like submitting guest posts and guest blogging opportunities. Or you can also find some opportunities in sites like myblogGuest and Be A Freelance Blogger. These sites can help you landing up in those blogs that can actually make you pay $50 or up.
Writing about something that is completely alien to you is a cardinal sin for every guest blogger. Make sure that you choose a topic or a niche in which you have a strong grasp and in which you have ample confidence and knowledge.
Why would a blog owner let you add content? He/She is already getting traffic or earning money from the blog whether or not you submit an article. This has to be first question before opting for a guest blogging opportunity. While introducing yourself, make sure that you are able to give a prolific image of yourself and of course, of your skills and caliber. Your approach should be massive and confident enough to create a lasting relationship.
When you start writing, offer a catchy and most importantly an eye-stealer headline. A bland headline can actually fail to create a bigger audience, even if your core content is impeccable. When you start writing, try creating a typical curiosity by using words like, “Last Wednesday, when I went to bodyboarding…” Such words can not only mean that you, as a person are quite interesting but can also show that you are successful enough to spare some time for exceptional hobbies.
Before writing check out how the other guest bloggers have submitted their posts and how they have arranged their content. Conduct a thorough research and ensure that your content is free from errors like grammatical issues and lack of statistics. Dont simply write a content as if you are compelled to do so. Inculcate your personality in it by saucing it with a unique approach. Spice up your content by writing in such a way that can keep your readers hooked up till the end. Also provide internal as well as source links in the content itself along with adding a a CTA while finishing your article. Before submitting the guest post, read your content aloud and check if that sounds literally interesting and can attract a good deal of audience. Make sure that your respective on-site SEO is definitely in check.
Your job doesn’t finish off as soon as you have submitted the content. To gain a bigger prospect, it’s also important to check out how your post is working out. Respond to your readers’ comments. This would not just help in building a lasting relationship with the blog owner, because that shows you are seriously concerned with the blog; but would also help in building a good rapport between you and your respective readers, which can also end you up being landed with some better business opportunities.
And lastly, if you do fail attracting audience in the first attempt, don’t give up. Keep writing and keep writing. Persistence is always the key to be successful.
In case you have any more tips to earn money by guest blogging, feel free to leave them in the comments below.
Most bloggers are under the impression that they only need to provide good content on a regular basis in order to see an influx of site traffic. However, this is not true, and many bloggers are left wondering why their site’s traffic figures are not as high as expected. Listed below are some of the most common reasons why your blog content may not be as popular as it should be and why you may need to consider investing in blog marketing services.
When visitors arrive at your blog, they are normally looking for answers to questions they have. If they arrive and are faced with content that has been so poorly crafted or that just seems to ‘skim the surface,’ they will go elsewhere in future. Instead of trying to pump out a host of short posts each week that don’t teach your readers anything, rather focus on one or two that provide them with the more in-depth information that they crave.
The days of expecting anyone to read long paragraphs of boring text are long gone. As a result, a blog visitor who finds themselves on a site that does not break text into smaller paragraphs and supply a few explanatory images or graphs will normally leave faster than they arrived. It is also essential for readers to be able to see user experience efforts from others, as this will serve to encourage them that the advice does in fact work.
Most people learn by being able to watch and physically see how something is being done, which is one reason why blogs without supporting videos will not receive much traffic at all these days. Although it is not necessary to include a video with every single blog post, it is recommended that you make use of this form of media – especially when writing more detailed posts, as this will help boost blog traffic substantially.
Although many blog owners think that SEO is dead, this is not the case. It is still important to ensure that all content is of the highest possible quality and that no duplicate content is present anywhere on your blog. Regardless of the main language of your blog, its content should always be written by native speakers of the language and outdated SEO tactics such as keyword stuffing should be avoided at all times.
You want to make sure you have the following:
Compiling blog posts is hard work; however, this doesn’t mean that you can sit back and relax after you have hit the ‘publish post’ button. Blog posts that are not shared by means of social media will not stand a chance of receiving the amount of traffic they deserve. It is recommended that blog posts be shared as soon as possible after being published.
If you are finding it overwhelming to keep up with the various aspects of blogging, it may be a good idea to hire the services of a blog marketing professional. This will help ensure that your blog (and ultimately, your hard work) receives the online attention that it deserves.
Here are some areas you can share:
It’s a typical Monday. Most people are head down, churning out work, planning out their week. But you, you’re on the hunt for content that you can turn into actionable blog posts for your audience. You know what your audience is looking for and you know where they hang out online — the only thing you’re lacking is the influx of content to really drive SERPs and get people to your site. Here are a few ways to turn your daily business conversations into resourceful content:
Just because you’re an expert in your field doesn’t mean that your readers are. Provide resourceful content and ebooks that will help your audience get a deeper understanding of your industry, and better yet, help them rely on your site as a top resource.
While this may seem like a daunting feat, it really is as easy as writing down what you know. Ask the thought leaders on your team what they specialize in and what they’d love to write about; guaranteed, they each have an area of expertise which they are passionate about. Outline content requirements and even structure their posts for them; make it as easy as possible for them to jot down their wealth of knowledge. Have them turn in a piece of content (about 500 words is good) and have an editor spruce it up a bit (remember, not everyone is a writer). Easy as that, you just created some straight-from-the-source, resourceful content.
Want some inspiration? Check out Moody’s Analytics Insight publications— this is a great example of a company that turned its employees’ expert knowledge into a top resource for users.
You have a plethora of amazing clients you are helping to be the best. Why not turn the work you’re doing for those clients into blog content? For example, if you use influencer marketing for your clients, create a case study based on virality of the content you created versus the existing content the client had created without your help. Case studies are an awesome way to drive traffic to your blog and to grow your email list. Keep case studies gated (requiring an email address) and you can track popularity while you grow your email marketing campaigns.
For details on how to create a compelling case study, read this KISSmetrics post.
Your website is filled with content that’s crafted to make the sale, written specifically for your unique audience. Take the content from your landing page, your About Us, even your FAQ and expand on it for on-point, easy content. Better yet, if you have an existing blog, take your old blog posts that are still relevant and rewrite them with a 2015 twist. You may need to add new data and pictures, but a little rewriting of existing content is a sure-fire way to drive traffic without too much work.
When you’re looking at your content to decide what to repurpose, pull out great stats, data and strong sentences to turn into graphics. Whenever you’re creating blog content, keep in mind that everything can also be easily represented in visual form. While we may only remember 20 percent of what we read, Hubspot reports that we remember 80 percent of what we see. Visual content is great for social media and can also be used for infographics. A simple sentence in bold font can do a lot to drive engagement and can keep your blog post alive long after you post it.
Need I tell you blogger influence is growing? 84% of consumers now buy products or services they’ve discovered on a blog.
The findings revealed by Research Now show this influence extends across household items (54%), personal purchases (45%) and gifts (30%).
A quarter of 25 to 34-year-olds read a blog daily and 18-34 year-olds rank it as their most important decision-making source. But it’s not just for the youngsters; the over-55 category turn to blogs after seeking the purchasing opinions of friends/family/colleagues and editorial features.
Now I think we agree your products and services need to be appearing on quality blogs, but how do you achieve this?
You’ve just read the stats, now surely you’ll stop palming blogger relations off to the PR department/marketing intern? That’s not to say you can’t get others involved, however, you should have a firm hold on the way bloggers are approached and dealt with.
Read on and consider how you can weave points two to 11 into a formal blog communications strategy.
It’s easy to think of the blogger relationship as ad hoc for times of need. That’s fine and you may get some coverage, but are you going to get the same level of coverage as your competitors who prioritize a long-term approach?
You want to cultivate brand confidence and loyalty, which is built over time.
Sorry to get heavy-handed with you, yet there’s nothing worse than the furniture brand who approaches the fashion blogger with a random story idea.
You don’t have to read each piece – just enough to get the gist of the blog’s purpose and how it fits with your own.
Most bloggers make your job rather easy and detail this on their ‘About’ page. A quick skim also makes it far easier to achieve point 4…
Nobody is called ‘blogger’ – at least not that I’m aware of – so you shouldn’t be addressing them as such.
Open each email with the blogger’s name and remember we all have egos we like to please. Give them a compliment, and make it genuine.
You don’t have to be an avid reader or from the target audience to do this. Find something you like about the site, or mention a piece that caught your eye and made you get in touch.
Show them why your product or service is relevant to their content and audience.
Newbie bloggers may be excited to receive the same product as the rest of their community, however, experienced and professional bloggers are unlikely to feel the same.
Try not to target too many competitor sites with the same product: handpick the best sites and tell them why they’re the chosen few.
It may surprise that bloggers aren’t sat twiddling their thumbs and waiting for your email. Many have full time jobs, families and interesting lives of their own!
Don’t expect to send a sample and see it reviewed the next day. Furthermore, remember you’re unlikely to be the only brand communicating with that blogger and they may have a content schedule your feature will need to slot into.
Be organised and give the blogger time and space. If there’s a deadline on your feature – say an exclusive event or competition – let them know.
We’ve agreed bloggers are busy, and promoting your brand takes up precious time. To get your mention, the blogger has to go through a process of research, trial, photography, writing, editing, scheduling and promotion. Show you appreciate this!
Too many companies expect bloggers to fall goggle-eyed over a free sample, yet bloggers’ inboxes are rammed with such product offerings.
Remember the power of a blogger’s influence is often more valuable to you than your one or two product samples is to them (unless of course you’re a huge brand with guaranteed click-through potential!).
This ties in rather nicely with points 5 to 7 and makes for a serious brownie point-winning opportunity!
Want to know how your blogger works; which features they’re focusing on, how busy their schedule is, what the expected turnaround time is and what else is going on in their life? Just ask!
Showing an interest will not only deepen your marketing understanding yet further your long-term relationship.
So you’ve done it: the feature has gone live and you’ve got your coverage. Drop the blogger a quick note of thanks. Of course, it’s great to show you’ve clicked through and spotted something you’ve liked – be it their snazzy photography or reviewing prowess.
Never think it stops at the ‘live’ stage. Your blogger will likely include direct brand mentions in their social media promotions. Watch out for these and give them a like or retweet.
It benefits your brand to send additional audience the blogger’s way. Your audience gets to read some genuine praise from a neutral source, the blogger will like you for doing it, and the increased click-throughs will stand out in their analytics (motivating them to work with you again).
Two bonus tips: popping a link on your brand blog or press page will earn serious points; getting someone from the brand to leave a comment of appreciation on the original post offers a memorable extra!
We’ve mentioned the long-term relationship and encouraging bloggers to work with you again. This means you need to keep in touch. Newsletters are fine, but personal emails introducing new services are a whole lot better.
Gem Bolton is a CIM/CAM qualified digital content marketer, freelance writer and lifestyle blogger [http://www.buff-beauty.com]. Gem welcomes your connections on Twitter @buffbeautyblog.
Success came after several long nights of painstaking efforts, an idea was conceived and a new blog was born. Since its birth, I started addressing my blog as my baby and I am sure a lot of bloggers can relate to it.
“If you love writing or making music or blogging or any sort of performing art, then do it. Do it with everything you’ve got. Just don’t plan on using it as a shortcut to making a living.” – Seth Godin
A new blog is no less than a newborn baby that needs constant nurturing and attention in order to grow and stand out in the blogosphere while a new blogger is no less than a new mother to it. Just like a mother trains her child selflessly out of love and affection, a newly-became blogger also has to be passionate and enthusiastic in refining or maintaining his blog. Besides having a healthy ambition and consistency that comes first when it comes to blogging, the following are a few tips that might be helpful for the new bloggers:
Every great blogging website revolves around a certain niche that makes it distinctive in the blogosphere. Once you have pinpointed a niche for your blog, you will have to add a unique flavor to your blog posts in order to make your blog stand out from the rest. With a plenty of topics available, it won’t be tough selecting one for yourself; however, you should only write what you know!
Now that you have chosen a specific niche, the next step is about creating a blog, which may include choosing the right blogging platform, defining a suitable domain name for your blog, selecting a web hosting provider, etc. And in case you are wondering about the key pages your blog should be having, Inspire Blogger is there to help!
Of all the factors that make a blog successful, it’s the unique and crisp content that reigns supreme and defines a blog’s success. Whether you are running a personal blog or a corporate blogging site, it is advisable that the blog should be updated on a regular basis with content that is not only relevant but remarkable. Your blog should not only reflect your own opinions and experiences but it should offer something valuable and interesting to the readers as well.
“A blog is only as interesting as the interest shown in others.” As Lee Odden says,
The push for visual content in a blog is only getting stronger with time. Nowadays, the readers are not only interested in reading what you write but they also take delight in wading through the high quality images and illustrations supplementing your blog. Including visuals in the blog content helps increase the blog’s traffic and engagement and in this way, it not only works for you but it actually helps people see what you did there!
“If you want to continually grow your blog, you need to learn to blog on a consistent basis” As Neil Patel says,
and this is what requires an adept scheduling. Setting up an editorial calendar constitutes an important part of the blog marketing strategy and helps in providing a steady flow of new and relevant blog content without getting worried about having a writer’s block. While creating an editorial schedule, be sure to allot time not only for writing or creating content but also for research, moderating comments and engaging on social media platforms.
“What you do after you create your content is what truly counts,” According to Gary Vaynerchuk,
and Gary’s right!
Now that you are done with creating a compelling content for your readers, you need to hop on to the social media bandwagon and start sharing your work on various social media platforms. Moreover, make sure that you make sharing easy for the readers by including the social media plugins under the blog posts.
It should be kept in mind that blogging is not only about writing for yourself but it’s about building a community where people need to know that you are writing for them, and therefore, the usage of social media and social networking becomes a necessity for the new bloggers. While Facebook, Twitter and StumbleUpon have remained a few of the favorites, Pinterest has emerged as a new, effective tool for sharing content.
While there may be a lot of other tips and tricks to play, the above-mentioned pointers can help you kick-start your own blog on the road to success.
Do you have a blogging tip to share? Comment and let us know!
The goal of your site and blog is to be discovered on the Web so you can generate sales or just share your valuable content with the world. When people search for your topic, you want to land at the top of search engine results and to invite massive traffic and information exchange to your blog. Keeping up with search engine optimization is a constant challenge, however, because the major search engines are always changing their algorithms.
Inbound marketing strategies are currently the most successful ways to increase search engine rankings and build traffic to your web and blog sites. Using the methods of SEO consulting expert Neil Patel along with some effective strategies of our own, Stride was able to boost our blog traffic by 30% within 60 days – and so can you!. We’ll tell you how. Let’s start with an understanding of inbound strategies.
Inbound marketing strategies are techniques and methods designed to draw people in. Trust eMedia defines inbound marketing as “a marketing strategy where businesses implement tactics to ‘get found’ … by customers.” These tactics may include email marketing, posting of quality content, establishment of a reputation for thought leadership, sales and advertising campaigns and activities designed to build brand awareness, social networking, improvement of search engine optimization, and other creative ways to build credibility with customers and gain their trust.
Inbound strategies attempt to attract prospect attention and bring them on board in a credible, trusting relationship. People buy from those they trust – but first they have to find your blog. To be found and continue to increase your traffic, you’ll need to use the following strategies.
For his work on the TechCrunch site, Neil Patel, of Quicksprout and Kissmetrics, ensured that the tags and links on the site pages were properly formatted in accordance with current SEO standards. Search engine crawlers look for title tags and headlines that match and include prominent keywords. Also, you should include ALT tags and meaningful, keyword-rich file names on all pictures as Patel did. With regard to links, external linking to relevant pages whenever possible builds your credibility and authority as a source of useful information.
High quality, original content is the new metric for search engine optimization. Guest blogging is a content strategy that takes your current blogging efforts to the next level. Guest blogging is publishing your articles as an invited guest on other websites, with a strategy of selecting blogs that are quality, have a high following are relevant to your niche, and including a link back to your own blog. This not only builds linked interconnectivity with other blog sites but also helps you to reach new audiences and build your prospects and makes it simple for them to find out more about you.
Be selective and strategic about the blogs you choose to guest blog for. Offer to guest blog for sites that are authoritative are read by a large following of the prospects you want to attract. The more followers, the better. For example, if you find a site with 100,000 followers who would be interested in your product or service, offer to guest blog on the site and be sure to include that link back from the article to your own blog.
The moment your guest blog post lands on the page, you are granted the audience of those 100,000 new prospects. If your post is interesting enough, compelling enough, provides enough valuable information, and contains a strong enough call to action, you will both add value to this site, and draw in more followers and expand your credibility as a thought leader and go-to resource, and thus increase quality traffic to your blog.
At one time, site builders could reach the top of search engines by simply filling their pages with the most popular keywords as less sophisticated web crawlers searched for quantity of keywords rather than quality. Sometimes the keywords used had nothing to do with the business of the site – they were simply used as a means to lure people in. Other tricks, such as “hiding” text on the page by making it the same color as the background, were also used. Now these tactics bring penalties. The more high quality, pertinent information your blog contains, the higher you will rank in search engine queries.
To draw more attention to your site and improve your ranking, you should review your content and remove any duplicate content and misleading keywords. Patel and his team also sought to eliminate duplicate content which can preclude correct indexing by web crawlers. Repeating the name of your blog within page titles and using the same meta description on every page of the site can be reported as duplication errors by web crawlers and they will fail to recognize and index your individual pages. Review each page, clean up your keywords, and create a unique meta descriptions for each page.
Forum participation is another excellent way to use content management to get your site noticed. By sharing expertise and advice on discussion forums, you develop rapport and earn respect from other forum participants who share your interests. By providing helpful and valuable content to discussions, other participants become intrigued to hear more of what you have to say and will begin to seek further information and contact with you on your website or through your blog.
Patel’s team implemented XML sitemap instructions so that search engines would know how to index the TechCrunch site correctly. They included links to additional references related to the information on each page, thus increasing the index quality while providing site visitors with more information and raising the engagement level. Additionally, TechCrunch has a number of international websites that were not effectively linked together. The team also improved the internal link scheme between TechCrunch’s pages to create and build cross-referential authority. Also, If you have a number of domain properties, be sure to create strong inter-connectivity between them.
TechCrunch already had a strong social media network on which to build. If your social media skills are lacking, now is a good time to learn because social media is a powerful driver of website traffic. Patel and his team found that they could manage the places where TechCrunch’s content could be shared by being selective about which media share buttons to place on specific sites in strategic locations. They also focused on engaging the most active contributors on popular media sites so that the contributors’ responses created a much broader reach and in turn drove new traffic back to TechCrunch assets.
Another way to use social media networking to build traffic is to host contests and entice strong contributors to endorse your articles. By offering a good value proposition in a contest or valuable information in an article, you can greatly extend your reach as the active participants do the work of spreading the word. The key to your success with social media is engaging and strategic networking with power users online.
Although we may find our inboxes inundated with emails, an email marketing campaign is still a very effective way to disseminate information and build a mailing list of prospects. Hubspot also reports from the Social Media Examiner that 83% of marketers believe social media is important for building business.
Drip campaigns are a series of pre-written, strategically planned emails that subscribers receive over a set period of time. Your objective with a drip campaign is to keep reminding your prospect of your presence and to build rapport and trust. As time goes on, the prospect reading your emails is “getting to know you,” becoming familiar with your brand, and learning more about your product or service. By the time you make your sales pitch, and sources vary as to how many contacts you must make beforehand, your prospect is hopefully ready to buy.
Mike Kamo is the VP of marketing for Strideapp. Stride is a Cloud-based CRM and mobile app that helps small to medium sized agencies manage and track leads, as well as close more deals. They can be found on Twitter and Facebook.