Most people are intimidated by the idea of blogging because it summons this idea of technical jargon, programming, servers, DNS errors, SEO, and algorithms. Interestingly enough, if you ask anyone who has been a blogger for a while now, he/she will tell you that starting a blog is easy; it’s how you get traffic to your blog that’s the challenge. And traffic generation starts with content creation.
Developing and publishing great content for a marketing strategy isn’t just about having great blog post ideas. A successful content marketing strategy is the culmination of many small things done right on a consistent basis. This includes catchy headlines, quality research, a compelling story, a unique value-add, and ultimately some kind of x-factor that makes readers appreciate investing the time they spent reading your work.
How to Write Great Content and Start a Successful Marketing Strategy:
Here are some tips to keep in mind when building content for a blog.
Come Up With a Great Title
A good title gets the reader to click, and that may be a skill that takes time and experience to develop. For example, experienced bloggers know to:
- make an outrageous statement with a twist
- provide statistics on how valuable the content is
- make a promise (that will be delivered)
- publish tutorials, guides, and resources
The easiest way to find great titles that work for your industry is to read your competitor’s blog and analyze their social shares.
Learn To Write Well
Once your readers have clicked on your title, you need to keep them on the page.
First, you need to hook them with an intro that will make them want to continue reading. Ask questions that will make them think. Offer statistics that they can relate to.
Second, build on your intro. Why did you ask those questions? How is the statistics relevant to your article? More importantly, if your title makes a promise, make sure you deliver on that promise by explaining how to achieve something.
Third, close with certainty. No one likes to be left hanging. Write a closing paragraph or statement that will give your readers a sense of closure – essentially summarizing what they should have learned from your content.
Provide a Unique Perspective
What’s a unique post? Being unique doesn’t mean you can’t cover a topic that has been written about by someone else. If that was the notion, bloggers wouldn’t have to compete for rankings.
Being unique means that you take an existing idea, theory, principle, or way of doing something and offer more value. For example, there are thousands of blog posts that discuss how to write great content, but none of them have ever explained the same concepts, in the same order, and in the same way as this one. This article is unique. Whether one article or another resonates with you, as the reader, depends on how well and succinctly I present the information!
If you need another reference, here’s how Google defines duplicate content.
Always Add Value
Yes, you can write about topics that have been written about before; but why should readers go to your blog instead of another in the same niche? This is where added value comes into the picture.
What is added value? It comes in various forms:
- Tips from your experience. This personalizes your blog posts and adds to your credibility as well.
- Ask your readers what they need/want – and provide a solution. You can do this via a poll widget or a straightforward post with a comments section.
- Offer a step-by-step guide on specific topics. This is a form of providing a solution to your readers’ needs.
- Challenge your readers by giving them ideas to implement after reading your post. This can be done in the closing.
Be Timely – Publish Content Regularly
Covering recent news when it is trending has its pros and cons. The trick is to pick which trend to take advantage of.
Don’t join the fray “just because you can”. Choose a trending topic that is related to your niche and one where you can either be breaking the story or offer insightful thoughts. Just because something is trending doesn’t mean you have to stretch ideas to take advantage of it. That may even end up backfiring and dilute the focus of your blog.
Refer or Even Interview Experts
You want to build authority and credibility? Learn from the best. Read them. Refer to them in your writing. Sometimes, you’ll come across an article written by an authority source that explains your point of view better than you might be able to. Don’t hesitate to quote that source. It can only help your readers and it will designate you as an authority for bringing it to their attention. Just make sure to avoid plagiarism and always cite your sources clearly.
One important aspect of blogging is building relationships. If you end up referencing another blogger, reach out to them and let them know. They will likely appreciate the nod and, therefore, share your post.
But how do you build relationships? For one, you must interact with other bloggers. This means that you explore the world outside your own blog. Read other blogs. Leave sensible comments that spark conversations.
Another tactic is to interact with your own readers. There’s a reason there’s a comments section in most blogs: for people to “talk”. If your post inspires your readers to leave comments, you owe it to them to reply and engage in conversation; you may just end up responding to an influencer who appreciates your work.
Guest Blogging at Large Publications
While there have been many calls that guest blogging is dead, it isn’t. The trick is to be picky, and here’s how to pick the best online media properties to work with:
- Only request guest blogging opportunities on websites that are relevant to your niche.
- When writing a guest post, provide your best content. Create content that you will be proud to show off to the world.
- When looking at guest post proposals, be strict about quality and check links that may end up harming your blog. For example, don’t link back to your site a dozen times within a single post. Be generous and reference multiple quality resources.
While the tips above may require you to spend more time developing content the right way, quality blogging always wins out in the long-run. Invest in your blog and yourself, especially if you plan on earning a part or full-time income from your endeavor. Like anything else in life, instant gratification is often short-lived and over-hyped. Build something you can be proud of.