Blogging is a great content marketing strategy. Here are six best practices to make your brand's blog shine.
Given the extent to which content is driving digital marketing, branded blogging is a must. Especially with businesses that are looking to build an audience, blogging has to be a consistent practice. Not only does one have to produce quality content, one has to do it consistently, and keep getting better at it. That’s a tall order.
There are many aspects to a successful blog. Let’s look at a few things beyond SEO, grammar, consistency of posting and sharing on social to find out how can one keep a quality blog going.
1. Use a blogging tool such as Buzzsumo
As content creators we are consistently battling the challenge of producing great ideas on a daily basis. It’s tough work, but thankfully there are a number of tools out there that can help us generate ideas.
Buzzsumo is a great place to start. They have a free version which tells you about the most loved/shared topics in your niche. You see the number of shares trending topics receive on each of the most popular platforms. You are able to find key influencers as well as set up alerts and track mentions.
Portent, Google Trends, and Answer the Public are some other tools that can help you keep the content machinery oiled.
2. Search within social
A lot is being written about everything. To avoid sounding repetitive, you might want to first conduct a fast search on the topics you are writing about. The best place to do so would be social, where you would eventually be promoting your own content.
With the help of hashtags, search within Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or Pinterest. Not only will this tell you what’s trending, but also give ideas to produce a unique twist on the topic. Quora is another platform that content creators absolutely must refer to during research. After all, the usefulness/relevance of topics is what will bring the target audience to you.
3. Find your audience
More important than knowing your audience is knowing where this audience is found. Internet marketing delivers its messages via a number of devices. Is your target audience going to be consuming your content via a mobile device or on a desktop? Your content needs to be shaped accordingly.
The requirement of content to be read on mobile devices is slightly different due to the smaller screen sizes and also because it would likely be consumed on the go.
You want to use words that are easy to comprehend, structure your posts to aid readability on phones, introduce a number of breaks, and make sure to use sub headings or bullet points so that readers can glance down the post and determine if it’s something they would want to read. Infographics and podcasts are a good idea, too.
4. Join an online community
Nothing better to challenge your existing views, expand your horizons, or remain in the know about hot trends. All of this fuels informed writing. You will also acquire a ton of new ideas, something of direct relevance and hence importance to the target audience.
While online communities abound, and you should be able to find one that relates to your business without much searching. We recommend Medium. Insightful articles are published here on a daily basis.
5. Develop expertise in your field
Shallow blog posts are a dime a dozen. There’s so much out there that barely skims the surface, but that is not because content creators are lazy, it’s because there is only so much one can cover in a 1,000-odd words.
It’s helpful then to take one topic and write extensively about it. Not all in one post, of course, but spread it out over weeks or months. That kind of insight is rare, builds up gradually for the readers, and should win you new followers. It’s beneficial for your online profile to be known as an authority on something and expertise only comes about when you immerse yourself in a topic.
In case you have a team of content writers working for you, you could assign each of them a beat, the way it works at newspapers. That doesn’t mean they aren’t allowed to write on anything else; only that the more they engage with a subject, the better their understanding on the matter, and ultimately, the greater the content they produce.
In the end, this is what helps a blog stand out. To be known for something – that one thing that it does better than anyone else. Tools can help you generate ideas, but the best ones will still come from your own deep understanding of a topic and a unique take on it.
6. Produce evergreen content on a regular basis
Every few months, you want to write about a topic in depth. When you cannot do it through blog posts because of length constraints, do a special. Like a series, whitepapers, guides or even e-books. Evergreen content is deemed that way because the topics it covers remain relevant for a very long time and also because the content is exhaustive in nature.
This content will rank you as an authority in your niche and continue to bring greater organic traffic because there will always be people seeking this information as they discover (and try to understand) the online medium.
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