While some people seem to think that blogging is the end-all-be-all of internet marketing, those who actually maintain a blog know that it is hard work. Not only must you have the discipline to write appealing content on a regular basis, but you have to entice people to read it.
While many businesses establish a blog for SEO purposes, they forget that their blog itself needs SEO help as well. A blog will not be any benefit if no one reads it. There are a few things that must be done to make an effective blog.
Contrary to popular opinion, you can’t just type out 500 words every day, post it, and expect people to want to read it. You have to write about the right things and get the right exposure in order to get a good following. Unfortunately, getting an audience and creating content for that audience can lead to a vicious cycle. You may not feel that quality content is worth the time since no one is reading it yet. However, you must have a solid foundation in order to get anyone interested.
Even if your website is solidly built and you are adding awesome content each day (which is why most businesses choose to blog), you are not guaranteed to draw in traffic. After all, traffic is part of what helps boost you in the search engines, so you have to already have a reader base before you can expect it to start generating search engine traffic.
This is where SEO is useful for blogging. For even though you need followers to really up your ranking, you can use SEO practices to get these followers, making you a multi-tasking machine and giving you extra time to think up great content ideas. Here are a few techniques that will help you get started.
In order for you to be an expert in your niche, you have to know what is going on in said arena. This means finding reputable news sources that you check every day. This also means following the lead voices in your field. Know what is happening in every aspect of your industry. This will allow you to write with authority on the intricacies of your area of expertise.
Having a full understanding of the foundation and current events of your subject will allow you to approach topics from multiple angles. Online content takes a lot of different forms, so utilize as many as you can. Comment on news stories; make comic strips and infographs about data and current issues; ask people’s opinions, and of course, share your own. You can write articles, take relevant photos, and crate images, all pertaining to your niche, if you are knowledgeable enough to relate many issues back to one.
Of course, that all helps you create content, but you still need people to view it. This is where social media comes in, but social media, like SEO is a blanket term that often gets viewed as an easy-out way to solve all your problems. A successful social media campaign is hard work, but it is necessary in today’s marketing landscape.
Social media takes on many forms, and not just social networks. Blogging itself is a form of social media. The great thing about social networks is that they allow you to congregate your target audience in one place and market directly toward them.
So the first step with social media is to choose your platforms. Whether it’s one or two, you want to start small, so you can truly master the platform before moving on to another one. You can have accounts on 8 different social networks, but they won’t help you if no one is paying attention to them.
The trick is to produce quality content on every platform. You do this by posting things that people want to read. On platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, your posts don’t necessarily have to pertain to serious aspects of your industry, but they should be things that people want to read. You have to post regularly enough that people have a reason to follow you, but not so much that it becomes annoying and eats away precious time.
Depending on your industry, Pinterest may be the way to go, as you can share tutorials and inspirational quotes. If you’re a business-to-business, LinkedIn is probably the way to go. Whichever platform you choose, make sure you use social media to communicate updates on your blog and your main website, as well as share content relevant to your followers. This is the place that you can post interesting articles you find to promote conversation.
You can also use the blogging community to your advantage. Chances are that you’re not the only blog in your field. You can use these other blogs as ways to reach out to potential readers. Join in the conversations on other blogs. This will help you build relationships, and will get your name out there, especially if you contribute valuable conversation.
Ask other blog owners if you can contribute a guest post to their site. This allows them a little break and a different perspective on things. It allows you to expose your writing to a new audience, and perhaps gain some followers. Make sure that you offer to guest post for quality sites, as you will be associated with any sites you collaborate with. Also, make your guest posts just as good as content for your blog, as people will be judging you on what you write.
Blogs are useful for many reasons. Alone, they are a great place to share information and become part of a community. As part of a business site, those aspects are amplified in marketing attempts. Fresh content really helps a website, and blogs are the perfect platform in which to present consistent content. Just remember to use strategy, because if you go in without a plan, you may join the ranks of many of the dead blogs in the catacombs of the interwebs.
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Jeriann Watkins is a writer living in Boise, Idaho. She enjoys writing about many subjects, including white-hat SEO and new advances in internet technology. She currently works for Page One Power, a relevancy first SEO link building focused company . They have an in-depth SEO link building blog full of free great information.