Writing a blog is not exactly the easiest task, we understand that. It takes numerous hours and days (sometimes weeks), of planning, interviewing, writing and editing to build out a great blog. But, what’s even more frustrating is when the blog that you have spent so much time and energy on, does not receive enough views or engagement, making the whole process that much more sour and gets you questioning whether blogging is actually worthwhile or not.
We’re here to tell you, that it is! Once you are done reading this, you will have learnt all the tricks and skills of how to blog effectively and the art of cascading your work!
1. Pick a topic that’s your niche
It’s easy to get swept up and start writing about various different things, but this may not necessarily be the best route as you will end up confusing your readers, who may eventually lose interest. Every business/brand has a target audience, hence, it is crucial to first identify who that is and narrow down the niche/topics that would be of most interest to your readers.
If you don’t know the topic or niche you would like to write about, there are numerous ways to discover the most trending topics that can help you narrow down your search, for example, reading other articles and blogs of people or businesses in similar industries as you or using the below tools to gather more data:
Google Trends – This is a very handy tool that shows the most talked about topics currently, along with how the interest has increased or decreased over time.
BuzzSumo – a great platform that identifies what content will work with 4 areas of focus: discovery, research, influencers and monitoring.
SEMrush – this tool shows what keywords your competitors are ranking for in Google, and it gives you an idea as to how difficult it will be to rank for it.
2. Evergreen content
What is evergreen content? Put simply, it is content that essentially has no ‘expiry date’ and the value of the blog/article will be retained years later! To make it simpler, below is a list of things that would not be considered as ‘evergreen’:
- News articles
- Statistics or numerical reports that are likely to change and go out of date
- Pieces about a specific holiday or season
- Articles focused on a current trend or pop culture fad
- Latest clothing and fashion trends
3. Create a keyword strategy
An easy win to receive more traffic to your website or blog, would be to ensure your blog has been optimised with a strong keyword strategy. Think of the words that you think your readers would search for to find the information about your blog, and then incorporate these in many places as possible, such as the title, headlines, within the content, image descriptions and in the page link. Having a strong keyword plan in place that is visible throughout your content is helpful for Google as well to understand what the page is about, and accordingly drive more traffic from the search engines.
4. The perfect Title
Titles are the first pull for readers, hence it needs to be enticing and informative enough to tempt the reader to click and continue reading. When titles are not relevant, and optimised for keywords, as mentioned above, it can lead to a higher bounce rate which Google would take a note of and mark you down. The perfect title should encapsulate what the reader is looking for in one short sentence. Other title formats that equally work well are questions and including a number, so for e.g. ‘Learn 5 ways on how you can increase your followers on social media now’, or ‘Ever wondered why your follower count on Instagram has dropped?’.
5. Images that are SEO optimised
Let’s face it, images are more attractive than words. People are drawn to images, which is why it’s so important to include them as they make the post more visually appealing. A common mistake with images is not fully optimising it. To boost the SEO value your blog has, be sure to include keywords in the Alt image tag on the photo so it can also be found via Google images search.
6. Video, Video, Videos!
We cannot emphasize enough how impactful videos are. Videos generally have a higher engagement rate, and they are most definitely more entertaining than written words. YouTube is also the world’s second largest search engine and huge social media platform, but we can understand if creating a video sounds daunting. To start off with, here a few examples of how you can create videos with some of the basic content you already have in place:
- Create slideshows of ‘how to’ tutorials with voice over
- Create screencasts
- Recording interviews with key people within your industry, or influencers/bloggers in the same niche
- Start vlogging your content in selfie mode. This could be the same content you have written about, but also in a video format.
7. Internal linking
It is important to link to your articles from your existing blog posts. This is called internal linking, and it plays a huge role in SEO. Internal links aid Google in understanding the context and relationship between different articles on your website. It then uses this information as ranking signals. Internal links, when placed strategically and in context, can help you increase page views and reduce bounce rate. Rather than asking third party websites to link to your own articles, it is more efficient to create links onto your own site!
8. Add Social Media sharing buttons to the blog post
At the top and bottom of your blog posts, make sure you include social sharing buttons for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Twitch etc. By doing this, you are encouraging them instantly to share your post on their own social platforms. This should be an easy and painless process, hence it needs to be easily noticeable and accessible!
9. Cascade to all your Social Media channels
Social media is a great way to get traffic to your blog. From posting it on your stories (and adding a swipe up link if the accounts are over 10k) to leaving a link in your bio, or a feed post with the correct call to action, you are reaching your followers and increasing the number of eyes that will read the blog. You have already built an account with engaged followers, who are following you for a reason and want to be updated or kept in loop with your opinions/announcements.
Cross-promoting your content on various social media platforms can also help drive more traffic to your blog. However, it should be noted that the messaging for each should be tailored. If you push out the same message to all of your social media accounts, you’ll miss opportunities for outreach, as every platform has different functions, different methods of engagement, and a varied audience. However, fret not, very minor changes are required to see great results.
10. Boost your post with Paid Acquisition
If you believe your audience is spending time on Facebook, occasionally investing in sponsored posts would be recommended, especially if you’ve noticed that organic views have not been as great as they should be. A very small amount is required to boost your post to increase its reach significantly, so why not spend a little extra money for all the hard work that you have put in?
11. Posting on Forums
Forums such as Quora or Reddit, which have a huge amount of subscribers and daily readers, are an easy way to link back to your blog. Look out for questions that relate to your blog then link your blog in your answer; however, be sure not to make it ‘spam’ like, as users of those platforms are very particular about being fed information as a form of advertising or marketing.
12. Posting on Facebook groups
Everyone loves Facebook groups! They bring together individuals that share a common interest. When you join a group that’s made up of people who are similar to your target audience, you’ll have multiple opportunities to improve awareness of yourself and your business by being helpful and be portrayed as someone in a place of ‘authority’ and ‘expert’. Facebook Groups can be a powerful and useful way to establish and share your knowledge and expertise; create an engaged community; and find new customers, peers, and partners.
13. Share with your contacts and network
What are family, friends and your acquaintances for, if not for sharing your work around?! It’s time like these that you can share your well written, informative and interesting pieces of work with people you know, who could potentially be your target audience to begin with, but also share the blog within their network and circle of friends. This is a great way to tap into a wider circle of network and increase your blogs reach and awareness
14. Add to newsletters for your current clients/customers
This is a useful way of re-engaging with your clientele database. Not all your customers/clients will be active on your website or social channels as frequently, hence adding the blog onto a bi-weekly/monthly newsletter is a great way to draw them back in with the answers they may be looking for and need! When the blog is smoothly introduced, for e.g. answering a valid question within the newsletter, there is a higher chance of it being clicked on.
Another great way to mention the blog and drive traffic to the page is by answering questions in your FAQ section, that direct the readers to the page in question. The FAQ’s can also be tailored so that they deliberately ask the questions that the blog answers, and re-directs the reader to the relevant page. This would also have great SEO value by interlinking your web pages, as we discussed in point number 7.
16. Backlinks to your blog/web page
A backlink is an incoming link to your content from an external website and they are very influential for signals in Google’s rankings. Although getting backlinks from reputable websites and blogs can be difficult, it would add great value if your blog received a backlink. Something to note would be the domain authority (DA) of the page backlinking you. The higher the DA, the stronger the backlink, and there are several and easy ways for you to check the DA of a page before you reach out. Moz and Website SEO checker are very handy tools that are quick and reliable in giving you the breakdown on the authority of the page.
17. Optimise for speed and mobile
18. Guest Blogging
Firstly, guest blogging saves you from writing the content yourself, but it also brings another layer of expertise as someone with authority and vast knowledge of a certain topic adds value to your business for your readers. Secondly, it brings an extended circle of network and friends that would also read and share this blog to your ecosystem, as the guest blogger is likely to spread the word about their writing on your website, on their website and other social platforms too. Along with guest blogging, you can also co-write it with someone else as an interview format or as an article, if featuring yourself or your business in every piece is important.
19. Link your blog in your signature
If you are someone that sends many emails outside of your company numerous times a day, then linking your blog to your signature would be an easy win and drive extra organic traffic.
20. Engage with other communities
By engaging with other communities of bloggers, you are increasing your chances of receiving more traction and eyes on your blog. It is crucial to be an active member and supporting others, by sharing, commenting and liking their blogs, as they are likely to return the favour when it comes to you!
And, there you have it! 20 tips, if practised religiously and effectively, is bound to increase traffic to your blog, which in turn can make those readers into potential loyal customers and clients for your business and brand! If you know you are not the bestest of writers, or don’t particularly enjoy the process, then there are plenty of copywriters and content creators that specialise in doing just that.
At CEEK, we have a team that specialises in content creation for a range of different sectors and industries and have vast experience in quick turnarounds. Give us a call to see how we can help you create relevant and engaging content!