Will your blog improve business bottom line? Will it increase brand awareness and reputation? Are your blogging efforts delivering value? How can you leverage your blog to enhance customer trust?
If you have a blog, these are the questions you must be asking yourself. You need to ask these questions, because not every blog is successful. In fact, most blogs fail. Very few businesses, can step back, take a good hard look at their blogs and feel proud about the returns they are bringing to the table.
(To learn how to find out if your blog is converting, click here)
This usually happens because they are not going about their blogging efforts in the right manner. They are ignoring best practices, making mistakes and are generally clueless about these mistakes. If you want your blog to play a huge role in engaging both potential and exiting customers, you need to keep a few steps in mind.
These steps will help you avoid the pitfalls that take a blog down:
1. Make Your Ideas Solutions Driven
The best blog posts are a result of great ideation. You need the right ideas to keep coming up with the best topics for your blog posts. The question is "Are you coming up with the right content ideas?" There is a process that needs to be followed for the same, and its core focus must be on coming up with solutions driven content.
But for that to happen, you must have a fair idea of the challenges your blog's target audience is facing in your niche, and the solutions they are looking for. Once you've this knowledge in hand, you will be better equipped to come up with posts that your blog's target audience will love to read and share.
If your blog is not in the habit of providing solutions, there is a good chance it will fail to make an impression on its audience.
2. Be Regular
Publishing posts on blogs is a lot like going to work; you need to do it every day. Your target readers are expecting your blog to be updated daily and if you do not deliver on their expectations, they will stop coming to your blog. So have a publishing plan in place that involves creating and publishing high quality posts on your blog, regularly. If you've a start-stop approach to publishing posts, your blog isn't going anywhere.
What you are essentially trying to achieve with regular updates is making sure your audience has something new to go through, whenever they visit your blog. You are thus setting the stage for visitors to frequently visit your blog.
Regular visitors can spread the good word about your blog amongst their friends and followers on social media (by sharing your well written blog posts); this in turn goes a long way in reinforcing the popularity of your blog.
3. Mix Up Content Formats
One of the things you must do without fail is mix up the content format of your post. Experimentation is the name of the game. Why not make it a point to publish a few infographics every month? If you want to push the content envelope, you could even come up with a few videos and podcasts now and then. The idea is to keep 'surprising' people with your content.
The most popular blogs in the business are like an addiction. Readers can't get enough of them. One reason for this is the content mix they bring to the table. Readers who make it a point to visit them regularly are pretty sure they will get their hands on some engaging content every single time.
Ideally, the content on your blog should be a mixture of visuals and text.
There are plenty of reasons why visual content needs to be a part of your content marketing campaign (your blog is another element in this campaign). But, the primary reason why you must use visuals is they attract more views and shares.
The focus of your blog must be two-fold getting more people to view your content and ensuring a large percentage of your blog's readers share your content. Visuals will help you in this regard.
4. Don't Get Overwhelmed
The whole process of ensuring your blog makes a difference can become quite overwhelming after a point of time. You will be trying tons of things to ensure your blog delivers returns along expected lines. You will be leaving no stone unturned to come up with extremely engaging posts that have immense potential to go viral; you will also be making it a point to engage the readers of your blog through the comments sections and on social media; and you need to do this regularly.
You can't afford to have an 'off day'. This is a tough ask, but you need to do it if your blog is to become popular and achieve its objectives. So how do you make sure, you don't put yourself under too much pressure? The answer lies in having a well-calibrated blogging strategy in place. It's important to plan your 'blog's journey' well in advance to be very clear in your head about what you need to do; this ensures your blogging activities don't overwhelm you.
A successful blog needs to be built from the ground up. There are no short cuts. What's more, you can't expect your blog to become an overnight success. Initially, you might find your blog failing to get the desired attention from its target audience. But as you keep publishing high quality posts regularly and share them across your social media networks, you will find your blog traffic increasing. The key here is to not expect quick results. A blog will take its own sweet time to deliver value to your organization. All you need to do is to put in consistent efforts and have patience. The results will show.
Now read: How To Measure Blog Quality