Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Carla Dewing, part owner of Contrast Media, a Cape Town, South Africa-based content marketing firm servicing brands globally.
Having a blog these days is super-easy – right? Sure it is, if you want to get absolutely no real returns from it! But the point of a niche blog is to inspire more business. If your blog isn’t doing that, then you are missing out on the single most effective way to rapidly, and systematically expand your business.
You need to start treating your blog like a content command center. Every little bit of content you create for the internet, needs your blog to survive and excel. It’s called leveraging your blog content, and this is how you do it.
Goodbye Bare Minimum Blogging
Businesses that are serious about brand exposure online, are still not serious enough to do more than the ‘bare minimum’ when it comes to blogging. They set up a blog, post decent educational content – and hope for the best. High quality content will only get you so far. It’s certainly not going to find you readers, or magically transform into a world-renowned authority on its own.
So, before you can use your blog as a content command center – it needs to be upgraded. Most blogs can be significantly improved with better planning, content strategy and the integration of interactive media.
If you want your business to expand as a direct result of your blog, then get ready to say goodbye to doing the bare minimum.
What Really Makes a Blog Rock?
Quality content does not make a blog successful. Variety, promotion and connectivity make it successful. These three factors are instrumental in the development and growth of your blog. Because of these factors, your blog will see more traffic, interaction and click throughs to your business website. Let’s explore why!
Blog Variety or Bust
Your blog is geared to towards your readership. It attracts people from all walks of life that enjoy your niche subject. To properly engage them, you need to make your blog the best version of itself in your field. Not the best version of your own knowledge.
This means adding in a variety of media – podcasts, video, guest posts and slideshare presentations. But it also means blogging about other people’s podcasts, video, posts and presentations in your niche.
This will prove to your readers that you are active in your field, and provide them with a more complete discussion on your niche topic. When you become an authority by being the better blog in your niche, this will be because most of your readership – don’t need to go anywhere else for fantastic information.
Promotion Works Both Ways
When a blog is posted it’s often promoted on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages. But do you promote the things you do on these platforms with your blog? For example, when you run a themed Twitter week, or set up a new promotional ad for your Facebook page – you should create posts about it.
Social media is not a one way street. Yet bloggers forget to use their blog to enhance their other pages. When was the last time you held a really interesting discussion on LinkedIn, and then blogged about it afterwards?
The key to blog enrichment, is to look for creative ways to keep people returning there – even if they were more involved on one of your other pages.
This can be achieved by opening up your blog as a two way promotional platform. Instead of simply advertising your blog on other sites, use your blog as a central news site for what’s happening on your other pages!
Connectivity is The Rule
To get the most out of your blog, it has to be directly connected to your other social media sites. And you can’t just randomly choose the most convenient buttons, and make them prominent on your page. Two must-have buttons are the Facebook like, and the new Twitter instant follow button. Beyond that, you need a Wibiya toolbar, or another app that will prompt your community to use social bookmarking sites.
When a reader shares your blog on Digg or StumbleUpon, it can generate a much needed boost in traffic, for a larger community – and as a result more opportunity to meet new clients and make sales.
Essentially, these 3 factors used together, help persuade your readers to become long term fans.
Chris Garrett of Chrisg.com, says “Successful blogs are about persuasion. You might not have a financial outcome, but you do want to create a result. Leave the reader with an idea, an action, a next-step…” Business expansion is not only about financial reward. It’s also about visibility, authority and attracting your ‘ideal’ client. As Chris explains here, every blog post needs a purpose.
Back To The Basics of Blog Content
Now that you know how you should be treating your blog, you can exploit your various kinds of blog content to feed more traffic to your website sales pages. Your blog command center needs to attract people from other sites, and convert them into avid readers. Here are some great ideas on how to make this happen.
- Create original infographics or images and start a niche related Flickr feed, with branded images that other experts can use, royalty free.
- Build a Youtube channel with the best authority videos in your niche, and use them in your blogs. Once you can afford it, start creating your own videos.
- Set up news feeds, and use content curation dashboards to find the most exciting news or discussions in your field – then write about them.
- Get a custom app made for your Facebook page that rewards the most active community members. At the end of every month, announce it on your blog and give them an exclusive prize.
- Use examples from your own business to educate the readers of your blog content. This will indirectly advertise your products and services.
- Create a 10 tips blog, and then write 10 articles exploring these tips in more detail. Post them on article directory sites.
There is so much that you can do with your blog that you aren’t doing right now. You need to brainstorm, find out what’s viable and head towards it with a shiny new blog content strategy. A simple blog, posted daily, just won’t cut it anymore. You need to create content with the sole purpose of growing your community, and enhancing your business. It’s all about leverage, and it starts right now!
Carla Dewing is part owner of Contrast Media, and a leading content marketing expert for large brands around the world. She works exclusively with content, to enhance brand visibility, credibility and authority online. You can find her on Twitter @carladewing, or on her business website http://www.contrastmedia.co.za
- 3 Reasons Why Relevant Content Matters (socialmediaexp.wpengine.com)
- Leverage Your Blog to Build Business – A Free Webinar (chrisbrogan.com)
- Seven Super Tips for Creating Quality Blog Content (basekit.com)