Why do you blog?
It seems like a trick question, but I’m serious. What is your reason for blogging? To get more traffic? Convert leads? Improve your branding?
All of the above?
Or maybe … you don’t really have a purpose. Or you once did, but it’s been so long since you’ve sat down and thought about it that you no longer have a reason for publishing new blog posts every week or fortnight.
Now you just blog because everyone else is doing it. Because you “know” that you need a blog.
And as a result, your blog might be doing nothing for you.
Too Much Content, Too Few Benefits
Do you know how many blog posts are published every day? 2 million. In fact, that figure is from 2015, so it’s probably more now.
Two. Million. Blogs.
That is a LOT of content.
Unfortunately, most of it is junk. The vast majority of posts probably don’t get read by anyone other than the blog owner.
The content is watered down, often too short to be useful, and not actionable enough. And there is simply too much of it online.
Perhaps you do take your blogging seriously. You put effort into each of your blogs, producing large pieces of content that take hours to create.
But even that is not enough. Because creating the blogs is only part of the work, and promoting the blogs is where so many businesses fall down.
If your blog is in need of some love, the following should help.
What Is Your Blog Really Doing for You?
Do you know what your blog is really doing? Is it getting you the traffic you expect? Is it getting you the right sort of traffic?
If you don’t know, you should. And this all comes down to tracking. Are you even tracking your blog? If not, start now.
It’s a great idea to know how a lead got introduced to your brand in the first place. And when it comes to blogging, you want to know how many leads your blogs are generating.
Using any analytics tool, you can easily find out where people are landing on your website. If it is via your blog posts, which posts?
If your blogs are not generating new traffic, you need to know why.
Are you targeting specific keywords in your posts and writing blog posts around them? If so, are the blogs actually ranking for the keywords you are targeting? Where are they ranking?
And if your traffic is not coming from organic search, where is it coming from? Social? Your email list?
Wherever your traffic comes from, which individual posts are generating the most views? Why do these blogs work? Is it the keyword targeting? The topic? Are they longer?
Of the blogs that generate traffic, are they generating leads? Perhaps you are getting a lot of traffic, but not enough leads. That could mean you need to focus more on your conversion rate optimization.
Have you tried using calls to action in blogs? If so, which work best?
These are the first questions you should be asking yourself if you’ve been blogging for a while but have yet to see any benefits.
How to Make Your Blog Work for You
There could be a number of reasons why your blog is not performing as it should. Here are some possible solutions that can help you to turn this around.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
It’s that age-old problem. The whole quality-versus-quantity argument. And when it comes to blogging, quality always wins.
There once was a time, long ago, when you might have benefited from pumping out lots of low-quality content packed full of keywords.
But that time has passed, and continuously publishing mediocre content is no longer effective.
These days, publishing high-quality posts is a no-brainer. If you publish low-quality blogs, they are going to do very little for your traffic and lead-generation goals.
The need for higher quality was one of the main recurring points brought up by a whole load of content marketing experts at this blog post on Writtent who were looking at the most important trends.
You are far more likely to succeed by producing one high-quality post and then marketing the hell out of it, compared to publishing four, five, or 10 mediocre posts.
And then there is the other consideration. Even if you are getting lots of traffic, if the content sucks, this is going to hurt your brand.
So take the time to create better content. If you do nothing else, do this. And don’t publish anything until it’s of a high enough standard to represent your brand.
Generate More Leads
If you are writing blogs for lead generation, you’re going to want to make sure that traffic converts.
So how do you do this?
After all, blogs are typically informative in nature. A lot of traffic will be introduced to your brand for the first time via the blog, so you want to be careful about jumping straight in and asking for a purchase.
But that does not mean your blogs cannot generate leads through your blog.
There are other actions you can ask for, such as using the blog to encourage sign ups to your list. You can do this through content upgrades that provide extra information in return for an email address.
Or simply place a CTA at the end of the blog asking for their email, perhaps in return for sending them new blog posts as soon as they are published.
You could even ask for a Tweet or a Facebook Like, or you might want to ask them to share a quote on Twitter, like on this post at Traffic Generation Café:
You could even ask for something as simple as leaving a comment, or clicking through to the second part of the blog, all of which drives more engagement.
Creating content is only half the journey. Or even a quarter of the journey. Next comes the real work: Blog promotion.
You need to promote your blog, and the best way to do that is to use other people.
Although it is a long-term strategy, you will want to create a network. If you start bombarding people with requests to share your content, you’re only going to annoy them. So start by following influencers on social media, commenting on their blogs, sharing their content, etc.
Then reach out to them. If you’re a regular commenter by then, they will recognize you.
Say how you’ve written a blog post that adds information on a post they wrote recently, and ask for them to share it with their network, which may comprise tens of thousands of people.
Another option is to search for blogs in your niche that have round-ups. Make contact with them, suggest a blog post that you have written, and you might just get a link. This not only gets more eyes on your content, it also helps with SEO.
Make Your Blog Work for You
If you no longer know why you are publishing a blog at all, or you have no idea whether it is doing anything for your traffic and leads, it’s time to take a closer look at it.
Start by asking yourself what you want your blog to achieve. Then use the strategies outlined above to work out exactly what your blog is doing right now, and how you can improve it with each post you publish.