What’s that one part about blogging that makes it such a challenging task?
It’s the part where you have to get your blog acknowledged.
To put this into perspective, roughly 409 million people read more than 20 billion pages on WordPress alone in 2020. In March 2019, over 4.4 million blog posts were published every day. To top that all off, the median average time that was spent reading an article was only 37 seconds.
What does this tell us?
Only that you don’t have the amount of time you believe you have to make the necessary impact on your readers. This and the fact that there are millions like you out there who are as brilliant, if not more, at what you do.
So how can you efficiently steer your readers in your direction and more importantly, engage them with what you have to say?
No matter how passionate you may be about blogging, incorporating these marketing and copywriting tips are the one thing that will set your profitable blog way apart from others. What are these golden-eggs of marketing and how can you employ them to translate into a blogging sensation?
1) Target Audience
Your blog’s target audience is that group of readers that values your articles the most and loves the content you have to offer.
How is your target audience different from your niche? Your blog’s niche is only the area of interests and includes multiple demographics who are in search of different things. Target audience, is a step further than that and in all simplicity, is all mathematics.
Your blog niche will help you figure out for yourself just how you plan to help people with your blog. Your target audience is the way to get there.
The very first tool you can employ while trying to identify your target audience is to use Quora’s help. Since Quora is a question and answer based platform, you can use it to figure out what questions are people asking about your particular blog niche. This selected group of people are the ones who are looking for answers in the domain that you write, and you can take it a step further by using the ‘Related questions’ on the right hand side and take it forward from there.
Another source of blog traffic that has come up recently is Pinterest. As soon as you enter a keyword in their search engine, it usually refers other Pinterest keywords as well which show what people with similar search queries are looking on Pinterest.
Now that you have enough information regarding where your target audience is most present and what are they looking for, you can move on to creating a ‘buyer persona’.
Simply speaking, it’s just a representation of your ideal reader. As a result, we have to be as detailed as possible and chart out their characteristics such as their age, gender, income level, education level etc. These are obviously examples and you can get as detailed as you like with them.
You should also consider their social behavior such as which platforms are they most active on and how much time do they spend online per day.
Doing this activity is important because not defining a target audience when writing a blog post is something like looking for a needle amongst a haystack- and just hoping that you’ll find it.
2) Create a Blog Domain
A blog domain is a place where you’ll be posting each and every blog. Maintaining your niche and target audience requires a definitive place that readers can identify with you and you can do this with the help of a content management system and a website domain hosting service.
The first step where a CMS comes in is to create a website domain where your blogs will be published. CMS will take care of managing domains – where you create your website as well as subdomains- which help you create a webpage that connects to your website.
Creating a domain for you blog will be something of the form: www.blog.com. On the other hand, if you’d like to create a subdomain, which essentially means a separate place just for blogs but still a part of your brand, it will look like this: blogspot.company.com
Creating a sub-domain with your company’s website means that you’ll have to register the subdomain with a website host. Some examples of efficient web hosting services are:
3) Choose Your Subject
Choosing what subject to write about can get tricky because you need to really evaluate how will your readers respond to a particular topic. Writing about topics that you’re passionate and know-about is okay, but you should also charter out how your target market likes to spend time and what they share on social media alternatively.
For example, suppose that you’re writing a blog post for a baking school and the baking equipment that it sells. As a result, you’ll gain in-depth knowledge about your target audience and instead of talking about the products or the brand (which is what landing pages are used for), you can talk about a few of the topics below:
- Why is different bakeware used for different dishes and how does it affect them?
- 7 tips for when making your own homemade pizza dough
- 5 Baking equipment staples you just shouldn’t do without
One way to ensure that you’re not a hit or miss case with your subject is by studying blog categories and tags. You can use a topic-driven navigation for that as blogs usually lists links to blog post categories and tags.
When using Google Analytics or other such tools, you can actually evaluate the page views regarding each topic. Once you have narrowed down the categories, you can take the help of tag pages to get an even more specific idea.
4) Know your content- and make it accessible
Now that you have picked a subject to write about, you must start your research regarding the topic. Roughly, 60% of blogging involves research and it’s hard to act all-knowing if you , well, aren’t.
Blogs that are backed by facts tend to instill a little more faith in your readers regarding your claims and abilities. Good research also helps you to stay well-rounded and within the boundary of your topic, not causing you to digress simply because you don’t know enough about what you’re saying in the first place.
When trying to make your blog more search-engine friendly, you should perform strong keyword research. Then, rather than overcrowding your post with keywords, you should focus on adding a relevant meta description as well as meta tags.
Also make sure to alternate your keywords whilst optimizing your content. Don’t just stick to the same exact keywords each time, but throw in a few terms that could help you land views from other users as well.
Till now you have taken some great measures to get your blog noticed-and loved. But now that your content has been published, how can you make sure that you’re doing the right thing?
This is where you’ll measure the success of your content. You can use the help of Google Analytics for reviewing your content’s performance. You’ll be able to gain an insight for yourself as to which posts are doing better than others and how closely are your target audience and actual audience linked. Some of the ways that you optimize the use of Google Analytics is through:
-Pageviews: This feature helps you measure traffic. You can navigate to Behavior> Site Content> All Pages and see how many pageviews you’re getting for every page on your site.
-Average Time On Page: Right next to the pageviews, the report also shows dwell time or the average time on page. This refers to the average time your visitors spend in reading your blog post.
One thing you can tell from this metric is whether people are actually reading your posts.
For example, supposing you wrote a blog post regarding the few major impacts that the pandemic will have on the Fintech industry. Now, on average, it takes 2 minutes for a person to read a post- if the length is roughly 1100 words. However, if your dwell time is say, 3 minutes per post- you’ll get a clear indication regarding where you stand.
-Returning Visitors: When your content is appreciated, you’re bound to convert a section of people who’ll become your regular readers and thus- return to your page time and time again. They in turn are in a position to recommend your blog to others and hence direct more traffic to your page.
Google Analytics, thus, also has the option to note the number of people who returned to your site to read a specific blog post.
6) Create a ‘Blogging Voice’
This is the last step of creating consistent and strong content that is well appreciated and acknowledged. By remaining authentic to your writing style, niche and content you’re setting a tone that separates you from the hundreds of people who could be writing about the same thing.
Remain true to what you stand for through your content, but at the same time, remember to prioritize calls-to action. Although CTAs tend to have the perception of reducing a the possible customer’s experience of your blog to a ‘commercialized’ one, as a result, non-promotional CTAs are highly recommended.
This means that instead of holding out a neon sign and telling the reader to buy your product, you’re subtly hinting at the fact that it might be in the customer’s best interest to do so.
For example, if you’re in the business of marketing, you can structure your CTA such as, ‘Feel free to reach out to us if you require help marketing your next project!’ rather than saying, “we’re in the marketing business, call us for enquiries!”
Getting a blog post acknowledged and well-liked isn’t something that can be done with the swish of a wand. It requires constant and consistent effort and the subtle art of knowing how to sell yourself- or your content.
The point of this post was to guide those struggling with getting some of their (awesome) content up and running and I conclude this post in the hope that I’ve managed to do exactly that!