One of the most important aspects to your blogging efforts is the ability to drive others to read them. Without readers, your blog won’t be talked about and if your blog doesn’t get any traffic, it’s unlikely that your content marketing will come to fruition and provide those all-important leads. Many business owners don’t really ‘get’ this, they think that simply penning a quick blog is all they need to do to increase their site’s visibility and improve SEO. This isn’t the case of course – sure the odd person may stumble on the blog during a web search, but for the most part, nobody will know that it’s there unless you shout about it.
So what can you do to make your blog more successful? Well, social media is the primary method of distributing blogs these days, and you can of course use email newsletters too, which are also highly effective. However, just because you’ve created a blog and shared it on social media, that in itself doesn’t mean that it’s going to be liked and re-shared, so it’s necessary to think a little more creatively.
#1: Be Consistent
When you create a blog for your business, ideally it helps if you can set aside one day a week when you write the post. You can blog more often than this, in fact, you should, but small businesses often don’t have the time or budget for this so tend to blog less often unless they’re outsourcing the writing to freelancers or writing agencies.
Posting a blog at a certain time each week allows your followers to expect regular content and to bookmark your blog. It also means that as fresh content is being added to your site more often, it will be crawled by the search engines more frequently which in turn helps with your Domain Authority score and your SEO.
However, it’s not enough to be consistent just with timings, you also have to consider the tone and style of the language that you use and how you present your brand. Ideally, you will already have come up with a brand persona which dictates what language is used in your blogs and social media posts. For example, you may use informal language, depending on your industry and this could be friendly but still remain authoritative. Or, you may prefer to present your brand humorously or use slang that appeals to teenagers. Whatever your choice, it’s important that you use the same language throughout all of your blogs and on the social media posts when you share.
#2: Add Images and Video
Multimedia content gets more attention than just plain text and in recent years, social networks have begun allowing you to attach images to post previews. Posts that include an image both on and off social media do better, so you should always use at least one image in your posts.
Video usage has increased hugely in recent years since the smartphone revolution took off and now more of us than ever consume video on our mobile phones. These also increase the popularity of posts and are more likely to be shared around social media. With this in mind, consider when writing up each post whether it’s suitable for the use of video. Sometimes, they’re just not, but often, it just requires thinking about a little. For example, if you’re writing about SEO then think about including a video from Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, or Rand Fishkin who hosts a regular ‘Whiteboard Friday feature for Moz. (Matt Cutts is currently on leave from the web spam team but should be back soon, as far as we know).
#3: Use Sharing Buttons on Your Blog
Seems like a bit of a no-brainer right? You’d be surprised by how many people don’t use any sharing buttons and then wonder why their content isn’t getting any attention. If you have a WordPress site, there’s plenty of them out there, my personal favourite right now is Shareaholic, although you should note that the plugin does need configuring so it doesn’t automatically add monetisation options. These appear in the form of ads in the thank you box after someone has shared the blog and in the featured content section on the author box. When the plugin is updated, these must be reconfigured too, which is a bit of a pain, but necessary unless you want content appearing that has no relation to your site at all.
#4: Use Scheduling Software
Scheduling software allows you to set up and schedule posts in advance and to post to your social accounts automatically at different times of the day. You can get free accounts with Hootsuite, Buffer and Rignite, or you can pay if you handle a lot of content.
Scheduling software means that you can post even when you’re not around, so you can write social posts and schedule your blog to be shared in the middle of the night, for example, to reach people in other parts of the world.
#5: Use CTAs in Your Blog and on Social Media Posts
A call to action prompts people to take action that they might not otherwise and is generally a simple piece of text. Construct your post on social media when sharing your blog to encourage people to hit like or share (favourite or retweet on Twitter). It needn’t be a huge amount of text and it should never be misleading but it should invite your audience to read the post and share.
On Twitter, a CTA is as simple as putting ‘RT’ at the beginning of the tweet and it does work, depending on the size of your audience.
#6: Provide Truly Useful Information
You should always aim to provide a blog post that entertains or educates and you should perform your own research to come up with your own unique angle. Grammar and spelling should be of a high standard and you should avoid writing 300 word blogs that contain nothing particularly useful. Aim to write longer blogs that really solve a problem for your audience and it’s much more likely that you’ll see reach increase. There are lots of content curators out there who are hungry for decent content so get it in front of them.
All of this can help to increase your reach on social media as it encourages people to read and then share. The more shares that your content gets, the more it increases reach, so whilst you’re in the early stages, don’t be afraid to ask family and friends to help you get it out there either.