I know what you are thinking, so here we go…”really, she is posting a blog about how to blog better and this is the third post to her site.” Yep, that is correct! But in my defense, I work on a lot of sites and do a lot of posting outside of my side business site which is why you don’t see many posts here. Hopefully that will change! I love blogging but I find that I spend most of my time (a) at my full-time job (which I love doing. BTW, I am the Marketing Research Manager for the Content Marketing and Research team at the Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud. Say that twelve times fast, I dare you!) So for eight hours a day, I am focused on how to generate great research that will drive amazing content that in turn will generate leads and, ultimately, pipeline for our business.
So, let’s get started. There are so many posts out there about how to write content that will generate leads. I live and die by this five days a week. My blog post is more informational and includes an infographic on some of the things I use when building sites for my clients that will help them to generate more traffic and ultimately drive their business.
Some of the essential elements of a successful blog are:
- Create engaging content that will bring users back on a routine basis. The more often you blog, the higher your rankings with Google and other search engines will be and the more visible your business will become. Statistically speaking, 80% of blog visits are from new visitors. That means that if you don’t consistently create compelling content, you lose a reader immediately…that is a pretty sad and harsh statistic!
- Which leads me to my next element…always provide your visitors with the opportunity to share your content with their universe. This is a pretty simple thing to do by adding share buttons to the bottom of every post. WordPress has this functionality built in to their Jetpack add-in which is great. I personally love Shareaholic and all of the customizations that you can do including adding sharing buttons along the side of your site.
- Understand your niche and make sure you are creating content that your readers are interested in. I tell a lot of my clients to get on social media and find out what people are talking about. Tie that into your blog posts and make sure you use hashtags or other calls to action to allow drive people to click on your links back to your post. Understanding what is trending on social channels like Twitter will give you the advantage of organic leads if you are have a tight budget.
- Optimize every page for SEO. I use Yoast SEO and love it. For every page that I create, it tells me what I need to do to get my rankings up. It also green lights you when you hit a certain threshold.
- If you are looking to make this a business, don’t hesitate to monetize your site by posting affiliate links or banner ads to your site. One of the great ways to get started is to become and Amazon affiliate and tie back whatever your business is to specific items that they sell.
- Use visuals and do it well. I cannot count the times that I have cringed over a a horrible graphic on a web site. It typically is enough for me to close out of a site and find something else to read…I am not kidding! I may be the minority but low-res images, images that aren’t sized correctly, and circa 1980s clipart are just not acceptable if you want me to take you seriously. There are so many resources out there like iStockPhoto and the amazing Dollar Photo Club that there is no excuse for posting bad images to your site…nothing says amateur more than a grainy image.
- Make sure you are using software that allows you to track how users get to your site, like Google Analytics. Understanding how you are generating leads is key to building a successful business. If you don’t know how you are acquiring your customers, you might as well not even be in business.
There are so many things to think about when you decide to start blogging but if you keep these things in mind when you start, you will be well on your way to building a successful business! And now that I am done rambling, please enjoy my infographic (which includes links to various elements I have mentioned).