“Content is king!”
“Content is the new SEO!”
“Content is the new PR!”
What isn’t content these days? You hear about it all the time, you know you have to do it, you might even be doing it. But, are you doing it right? Just because you’ve started a business blog, doesn’t mean you’re a content marketer. Don’t worry, though, I’m here with a few reasons why your blog might suck and some tips to change that.
1. You don’t have a subscription form.
If people are reading a post on your blog, it’s likely that they’ll be interested in your future posts. Make it as easy for your audience as possible to read everything you post on your blog by creating a form to collect contact information and send your new posts out by email.
How to change it: There are many ways to add subscription forms to your blog. If you’re using WordPress, there’s a simple widget for that. If you want to take it a step further, try out tools like MailChimp. You can create a form in the MailChimp backend and paste the code for it onto your blog’s sidebar. Then, all the email addresses collected will be automatically added to a mailing list and all you have to do is create a newsletter and send it out!
2. You update it once a month when you have time.
You might be a marketer, or an executive, or a community manager, or even a social media intern. If you’re anything other than a full-time blogger, you probably have lots of other things going on every day that take away from your precious writing time. Every week that goes by without a post is equal to potential lost readers.
How to change it: Curate content that’s been created by others. In this age of information overload, there is plenty of content out there that’s already been written and is relevant to your messaging. Read a few pieces at the beginning of your day and share them with your added insight to provide value to your readers while saving more time for your other work and original posts.
3. There is no call to action related to your business.
There’s a reason it’s called ‘content marketing’ instead of blogging. When you’re creating a blog for your small business, it’s important to remember to connect it back to actual sales in order to see results. If your blog is a separate website with no connection to your website where readers can make an actual purpose, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity.
How to change it: What action do you want your readers to take that will turn them into customers? Is it to sign up for a demo? Or to purchase a product online? Whatever it may be, you can easily create a widget on the sidebar of your blog using HTML and linking to the website you want your readers to visit. Additionally, tools like HelloBar allow you to create a clear CTA from the moment your visitor arrives on the site.
4. You don’t encourage readers to visit other posts.
Whether your website visitors are coming from social media, search, or other referrals, the more time they spend on your website, the better. According to Chartbeat CEO Tony Haile, 55% of readers spend less than 15 seconds on a webpage. That barely gives them enough time to read your blog posts, nevermind sign up for your newsletter or visit your business landing page. The odds of readers visiting other pages on your website – if they even stay on for longer than 15 seconds, that is – are slim to none. With some encouragement, you might be able to grab a few more moments of your visitors’ precious time.
How to change it: Make it easier to visit another blogpost on your site than to leave your blog altogether. There are numerous plugins that you can install to display related content at the end of every post, or even create a popup window when your reader scrolls to a certain point in the page.
Do you know which pages are visited most by your audience? Do you know where they normally give up and close the window? You should. Knowing where your readers go on your website is an extremely helpful way to provide more value to them and achieve your own goals at the same time. With Google Analytics, you can track the first and last pages of each reader’s website visit as well as the average number of pages visited and which pages lose the most readers.
How to fix it: When you’ve learned the behaviors of your readers, you can optimize your website to make the most out of said behaviors. There are also tools like bounceexchange and optinmonster that monitor where your readers go both within your site and on the pages that they visit and serve a popup before they leave in order to collect an email address, lead to another page, or encourage a purchase.
6. You don’t encourage social sharing.
This might sound like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised. If you’re not explicitly telling your readers to share your posts, they’re probably not going to.
How to fix it: Sidebars like ShareThis and AddThis are extremely easy to install on your blog and make sharing exponentially more convenient for your readers by providing simple buttons to click that lead to precomposed social media posts. If you want to take it a step further, pick out a few tweetable tidbits from within your blog posts and include a Click To Tweet link. (Tweet this tip!)
Make these six changes to your business blog today and you will, without question, see an increase in the ROI of your content marketing efforts.
What would you add? What makes your business blog rock?