Blogging remains the pillar of content marketing, particularly for SMBs. But when you browse many company’s websites, you realize their blog is under optimized.
So why is blogging for content marketing so difficult?
1. It’s hard to maintain the discipline: even when you have an in-house team of content writers, creating content is time consuming and it takes a lot of efforts to maintain the rhythm. Publishing great content on a consistent basis costs a lot.
2. It’s easy to get demotivated by the lack of impact. Initially a blog doesn’t get much traffic so for ROI-driven management team, it’s tempting to dismiss it into the “tried this; didn’t work” category.
Fortunately, getting results out of your content marketing in general and out of your blogging efforts in particular is accessible to anyone. Sure, it requires some particular techniques but the good news is they’re not particularly hard to implement.
28 expert bloggers reveal their #1 content marketing tips: here’s my top 3
Here’s for instance a list of great tips from 28 expert bloggers from which to cherry pick that was suggested to me by Bill Gasset. 28 can be a lot so if you’re overwhelmed by the length of this list, here’s my own Top 3 (beyond the obvious “create amazing content”):
1. Synchronize social and email distribution
#14 Check out how Joseph Ho combines careful content targeting (keyword choices etc…) with synchronized social and email distribution. SEO comes from being relevant and consistent but also getting natural back links which social and email distribution will augment your opportunities of getting. #16 by Kristi Hines is a valuable variation of this as well.
2. Create evergreen content
#22 by Sean Si is a very good one too: because blogs were originally web logs, we tend to see them as journals and often forget the role of evergreen content. On the Scoop.it blog, we also observe that our evergreen posts tend to be a significant part of our content and SEO.
3. Encourage genuine contribution from industry experts
#24 by Steve Brodsky reminds us that there’s been a lot of confusion about guest blogging since Google’s Matt Cutts announced its demise last year. What’s been targeted by Google is fake, non relevant guest blogging: the kind a blog will start to attract the minute it becomes successful with invites such as “publish this piece on LED or light bulbs which has nothing to do with your editorial line and I’ll publish anything you want on my own blog”. This kind of cheap trick used to work and Google killed it. But having industry experts contribute adding-value pieces genuinely to your blog and contribute to leading industry blogs your opinions, data or experience is invaluable and is a great lean content technique. Genuine guest blogging still works.
4 steps to creating the perfect blog post according to Jayson DeMers
Of course these are not the only good tips in that list which is pretty awesome and that I encourage you to check out, particularly if you’re struggling with scaling up the results of your blog. Another great series of advice that we like at Scoop.it is from blogging & SEO expert Jayson DeMers and is detailed here. His tips can help you write the perfect business blogpost, including one of the most important practices of blogging for marketing purposes: defining a clear strategy for each piece of content you create. Being “intentional” about planning out each piece of content you create, along with the goals of that piece of content and its distribution strategy, will take a lot of the pain out of creating original content for marketing purposes.
Here’s a summary of his blogging tips that we extracted from our recent free ebook, the Lean Content Marketing Handbook for SMBs:
1. Inventing a captivating introduction
Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and discern what you believe they will want to learn from this post so that you can tell them up-front that they’ve come to the right place.
2. Including a captivating image
Images take significantly shorter amounts of time for the brain to process, so winning the attention of your audience with a great one is the way to go and is likely to keep readers on your page for a longer period of time.
3. Citing outside data or information
Readers are 3x more likely to trust information coming from a third party.
4. Presenting content in an easy-to-read format
You may be starting to sense a theme here. Making content easy for your audience to consume is infinitely important.
Yes, we know ultimately that “creating amazing content” is super important but hearing that doesn’t tell you how to do it. That’s why we wanted to highlight actionable tips that are efficient and practical like the above ones. So tell us whether they worked for you and don’t hesitate to throw in your own tips in the comments: we’ll keep curating the best lean content marketing tips for the benefit of all content marketers.