Once you have your blog and you’ve given it a look and navigation you’re proud of, the next step is to start writing blog posts. This is very important as it’s what will give your site its value and it’s what will encourage people to want to visit your site and hopefully to come back time and time again. The problem though is going to be standing out in a sea of content from other websites and blogs.
To do this, you need to focus on offering something that is very high quality and that is consistently offering value.
As we’ll see later on, this is also good for your SEO. The key to remember is that someone has to want to read your content based on the title and based on their previous experience with your site and brand. If you constantly churn out content that is uninspired, derivative or badly written then no one is going to bother to visit.
This is why the ‘optimal length’ for a blog post is actually around 1,800 words. That might seem a bit long but this kind of length is what will enable you to really dive into a topic and to offer some insight and discussion that can’t be found elsewhere. It lets you do a comprehensive overview of a subject and it lets you make your blog post into a resource that other people will recommend and share around the net.
Meanwhile, you also need to think about the title and the topic. If you are writing another article called ‘Top 10 Pec Exercises’ for your fitness website, then you aren’t likely to win over any new fans. Why? Because this subject and structure have both been done to death already!
People read the title and already know precisely what your post will be about and they’ve probably already seen the top ten exercises you’re going to offer. How is that providing value? On the other hand, consider the topics/titles from Maria Popova’s incredible ‘Brain Pickings’ website.
Here are a few:
- “Bruce Lee on Self-Actualization and the Crucial Difference Between Pride and Self Esteem”
- “The Outsider With the Public Voice: How Joan Didion Mirrored Us Back to Ourselves”
- “A year Without Mom: A Gorgeous Graphic Novel About Separation and Reunion, the End of Childhood and the Tradeoffs of Happiness”
These titles are unique, fascinating and they beg to be read. What’s more, is that when you click on any of those titles, you quickly find that the same care and attention has been given to the posts themselves. Each blog post is between 1-3,000 words long, it is decorated by beautiful images and quotes and it is very well written. In other words, it’s offering real value for the reader and giving them something to enjoy over a cup of coffee.
How much more likely do you think that something like this is to generate discussion? Or to get shared? And how much more likely is someone to subscribe to that blog? It’s just so far superior when compared to an article on ‘The Top 10 Pec Exercises’. Of course this doesn’t mean all your posts need to be highly thought provoking philosophical pieces – they just need to be unique, inherently interesting and different.
If it’s the fitness niche you’re interested in, then consider some of these titles from Breaking Muscle
“World-Level Weightlifters Are Just Like Us”
- “The One-Session, One-Exercise, One-Set Strength Plan”
- “So, You Want to be a Lion?”
Again, all of these titles are interesting and unique and the posts are long, in-depth and provide tons of value. T-Nation also does this very well:
- “Iron Core: How to Build a Punch-Proof Body”
- “A Lifter’s Guide to Alcohol”
You can even consider the ‘clickbait’ articles used to generate traffic via social media. These articles use titles like ‘You’ll Never Believe What This Mum Does Next Shocking!” or they employ controversy. Either way, this makes the user curious and they want to click. You’re objective is to generate that same curiosity but then to deliver on the promise in the title by making sure your posts are actually as interesting and unique as they sound.
And keep in mind too that the point is eventually to convert your visitors into paying customers. To do that you need to gain their trust and you need to demonstrate your ability to provide value. Once again, the best strategy is clearly to create content that is interesting, unique and in-depth. So as an internet marketer, you’re using your blog in order to sell products of various descriptions, in order to generate clicks or otherwise to drive people to your business model.
So you’re using your blog as a marketing tool. But in order to do that, you need to market the blog itself as well.
One way you’ll do this no doubt is through SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimization. SEO essentially allows you to promote your website through Google by ‘optimizing’ it for search. One way you do this is by adding lots of content to your blog, as this is what people will be searching for when they type something in.
At the same time, you want to make sure that it’s the right people who are finding you and that means that you should be including the important ‘keywords’ right in your content: phrases that people will likely search in order to find what it is that you’re offering. So if you sell hats, then your ‘keyword’ might be ‘buy hats online’. You don’t want to repeat this phrase too often as it will make your site look like spam and it may get blacklisted.
Instead then, aim to incorporate around 1-2% keyword density and to write naturally ‘around’ the subject as well. Posting lots of content is also a good move as is ensuring that your site loads quickly and works well on mobile – Google takes all these things into account. The other aspect of SEO is building a ‘backlink profile’.
That means making sure that there are lots of websites out there that are linking to you – and that those websites are relevant and high quality. Other ways you can promote your website include building a large following on social media (once again, the key to success here is to make sure you’re providing value) and to build a big mailing list so you can keep people coming back.