Biz Tips: 5 Expert Tips For Creating A Blog That Converts

Biz Tips: 5 Expert Tips For Creating A Blog That Converts

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5 Expert Tips For Creating A Blog That Converts

5 Expert Tips For Creating A Blog That Makes Money

In 2014, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) released their annual Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends — North America report. (Link is a PDF)

In their report, they revealed that almost 60% of digital marketers said they were ineffective at content marketing.

That was then. That number has been on the rise ever since.

In order for digital marketers to get better they had to discover which tactics were most effective.

What did they discover?

By 2018, over 50% of marketers considered blogging the most effective content marketing tool to enhance inbound marketing efforts. (2018 HubSpot Survey)

It’s not always easy to establish trust, but blogging is one of the most powerful tools available that can help you do just that.

Blogging is effective because storytelling is effective.

Stories invoke emotions by giving the reader a person or a place with which to relate. Powerful storytelling is a necessary element of a successful content marketing strategy.

Content marketing is often used as a buzzword. Most marketers know the term, but it’s not always taken seriously. And even when it is taken seriously, most marketers aren’t any good at it.

I’ll keep the definition brief.

Content marketing is the act of creating unique, targeted, and valuable content and delivering it to consumers primarily through a website and various social media channels. It also includes measuring results and making adjustments when data suggests they’re needed.

Writing is just one element of a successful content marketing strategy. It’s not wise to put all of your efforts into blogging alone. Younger generations are more inclined to respond to flashy images and videos.

But there are still plenty of readers. Not to mention the fact that Google indexes web pages based on a number of elements that revolve around text.

Blogging is a powerful tool.

It generates leads.

It increases exposure.

In increases name recognition for the author and the company.

It increases revenue, allowing for expansion.

It creates an invaluable data-pipeline through which consumer comments can be reviewed and considered, making the organization better overall.

In short, it increases conversions across whatever metric you’re staring at today.

Conversion really is a numbers game. Exposure and engagement are both natural byproducts of great content, including the written kind.

It’s not enough to know the benefits. You need to know how to stand out from the crowd.

There’s no such thing as an unsaturated market.

So here are five practical tips that you can apply immediately.

1. Define Your Target Audience

In a sea of content, quality work still stands out. But you have to know where to cast your nets.

A laser pointer is designed to deliver high intensity light particles in a tight, narrow formation. If the light wasn’t narrow, it wouldn’t be as strong.

You would see it, but you wouldn’t feel it.

In that same way, your content needs to be delivered just like a laser beam, pointing directly at a specific segment within your consumer-base or audience.

It might seem counterproductive to limit your reach, but it’s not limiting at all.

“When it comes to marketing, if you’re trying to talk to everybody, you’re going to have a difficult time reaching anybody. Vague and generic messages are far less likely to resonate with audiences than specific, direct communication — which is why targeting in marketing is so important.” ~ Jennifer Yesbeck — Marketing manager at Alexa

By narrowing the scope of your intended audience, you’re able to reach further into that segment. You reach more of a particular segment than if you were trying appeal to everyone.

You’re essentially concentrating your power and at the same time, delivering relevant content to ultra-targeted readers.

These readers will be more receptive to your content and your CTA’s will convert at a much higher rate, assuming they’re effective.

2. Construct An Effective CTA

Writing for the sake of writing is essentially a waste of time and resources. If there’s no desired outcome, you might as well call it a hobby.

Blogging can provide incredible results, but only if you put it to work for you.

Without including a CTA in every single article, post, and update, you’re missing out on numerous opportunities to persuade your readers to engage.

“Your call to action (CTA) is the chance to motivate your audience to take real steps toward becoming a customer or client. It can be the determining factor between a lead and a conversion.” ~ Kyle Martins — Digital Marketing Specialist at Vizion Interactive

Writing for the sake of writing may seem admirable. After all, the whole point of this is the provide quality content to the readers, right?

Wrong.

The whole point of blogging for business is to make more money. The act of creating quality content for your audience is not, in itself, the goal.

It’s a mean to an end.

You want more exposure, more engagement, more name recognition, and so on, with money and success being umbrella goals.

Unfortunately, your readers are not mind-readers. They can love your brand and love your content and still not know what they should do next.

You have to tell them what to do next.

An effective CTA is:

  • Crystal clear
  • Relevant to the reader’s situation
  • Valuable to the reader
  • Concise and to the point

It needs to solve a problem.

Include your CTA as an anchor text and place it naturally throughout the article.

Remember, if you don’t ask them to take action, they won’t take action. It’s as simple as that.

3. Write First Then Edit

There is a real-time-self-editor in all of us. It needs to be killed.

There’s nothing quite as time-consuming and counterproductive as self-editing as you write.

Your first draft of an article is called a rough draft because it’s supposed to be rough. It’s not going to be pretty. Often times, it should be incoherent babble.

Self-editing as your write your first draft is not only time-consuming and counterproductive, it also implies that you don’t intend on an editing or proofreading stage at all.

If this is the case, then your top priority from this point on is to break the destructive habit of pre-edit publishing.

No writer alive is impervious to error. It will happen.

“I know many people fear that if they don’t edit-while-they-go they will doom themselves to producing nothing more than absolute dreck. This fear is utterly misplaced. In fact, I’ll go so far as to say that you are in no position to edit your work until you have had some time away from it. This is because you are too close to the material.” ~ Daphne Gray-Grant — Author at Publication Coach & Gray-Grant Communications

There’s no excuse for publishing an article full of errors. You should proofread at least twice, editing as you go.

If you’ve neglected this stage, I guarantee you that if you go through your previously published articles you’ll be amazed and horrified at the errors you’ve missed while self-editing in real-time.

Of course, if you write a word that obviously doesn’t fit, erase it. Don’t restrict yourself. But editing comes after writing.

4. Write And Publish Consistently

You don’t have to publish an article everyday to gain traction, but you do need to be consistent. Consistency is an opportunity for huge gains and huge losses.

Consistency isn’t just about the frequency with which you publish.

That’s not to say a content plan isn’t necessary, because it is.

“By being consistent with your blog you will find the following advantages: … Your subscribers will develop expectations, and their trust in your blog will grow. You will see an increase in return visits and you will be creating a loyal readership for your blog. [Moreover,] [s]earch engine bots will know when to crawl your blog (if you follow timely publishing of your posts), and your new content will be quickly indexed by search engines.” ~ Harsh Agrawal — Author at Shout Me Loud

But you must also be consistent in your voice, your tone, and your style of writing in general.

People love to say that if you just keep writing, you’ll eventually gain a following. In reality, if your writing is trash, you’re not going to someday stumble upon a segment of the internet that loves reading trash.

That audience doesn’t exist.

You need a unique writing voice and a style that relates to your audience.

Your voice is what makes your work unique. And if you try to beat it into submission, you’ll end up publishing cookie-cutter articles that read and flow just like everything else online.

Consistency can be your greatest attribute. It can also be a dagger in your side.

If you’re consistently improving your style and your skillset, you’ll retain readers. If you’re consistently publishing garbage content, you’ll consistently be disappointed in the results.

5. Write Long-form Posts

Resist the urge to listen to the influential blogging community on this one. They say short posts are better because readers don’t like to read. But…

…the truth is in the research.

If you go to Google and search for how-to articles from any niche, in almost every instance, the top five results will include at least three links to long-form articles that are over 1,000 words in length.

“Ultimately, you should create long-form content because it will get you more of what you want: more online visibility (social shares, links), more proof of your authority and industry expertise, and more material for altruistic community building and engagement.” ~ Neil Pattel — Co-founder of Neil Pattel Digital

Pattel recommends posts of 4,000 words or more. I personally don’t write articles that long, but the concept is the same. His posts are incredibly useful and draw an insane amount of engagement from his followers.

There are two reasons these articles and posts do so well.

Number one, people like value. They want a lot for nothing. These articles are free to read. The longer they are, the more perceived value there is for the reader.

Of course, don’t fill your articles with fluff or redundancy. If you can’t stretch a topic to 1,000–2,000 words without filling it with fluff, then cut it short. I’m just saying that it’s not necessary to cut articles off at 300–500 words for the sake of the reader.

Some well-known influential authors write 200–300 word updates that I wouldn’t label articles at all, then publish, then get a zillion shares and comments. It’s important to note that it’s their overall popularity and not necessarily the value of their content that leads to those numbers.

Number two, Google likes long articles. You should never write articles solely for Google. Ignoring its existence, however, is a huge mistake.

Google indexes sites based on a number of variables.

SEO is a complex study that goes outside the scope of what I’ve planned for this article. So for the purposes of this article, just keep in mind that longer is better.

On level playing field, a 1,000 word article will outrank a 300 word article on the same topic simply because it’s longer. Again, on a level playing field.

In a longer article, there are more natural instances of relevant keywords, latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords (synonyms that suggest to Google you’re an expert), and long-tail keywords (key-phrases that are easier to rank for due to less competition).

Conclusion

Blogging is a valuable tool that can increase your reach, enhance your brand’s image, and increase conversion rates.

The ultimate goal, however, is to increase revenue. So be certain that you go into this adventure for the right reasons.

If you’re not passionate about the success of your business, you won’t be committed enough to pump out high quality content on a consistent basis.

It’s easier to ruin a reputation than it is to build it. This applies to blogging as well.

Always remember, consumers love a good story.

A blog provides a platform on which you can tell your story. You can spread the story of your brand and tell consumers why you’re their best chance at success.

Even if your following is trivial, or nonexistent, a blog is beneficial to everyone involved.

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