What are blog posts and why should I create them?
If you want your business to experience great online success, blogging should always be a part of your marketing strategy. Blogging is great for search engine optimization (SEO), it promotes organic search, generates 3x more leads than ads, magnifies your brand, and helps you establish authority and trust in your market. In fact, in 2018, 55% of marketers listed blogging as their top priority.
Brief History of Blogging
The first blog was Links.net, founded by Justin Hall when he was in college in 1994. It wasn’t called a “blog” then, and he only referred to it as his personal homepage.
In 1997, the term “weblog” came about. The coinage was attributed to Jorn Barger, from the influential blog Robot Wisdom. The term reflects the process of “logging the web” while browsing.
In 1999, “weblog” was shortened to just “blog” by programmer Peter Merholz. Five years later, Merriam-Webster Dictionary declares it the word of the year.
According to Jesse James Garrett, there were only 23 blogs on the web in 1999. In 2006, there were 50 million. And today, there are over 600 million blogs created with over 31 million active bloggers in the US alone. Around 7 million blog posts are published every day—from how-to guides to listicles to news and personal stories.
Blogging is indeed a powerful tool that moves the needle for your brand. 90% of businesses make use of content marketing strategies such as blogging.
Blog Posts: What You Need to Know
A blog post is a written article that can serve as an effective marketing tool to communicate industry knowledge, company updates, product insights, and more for your target market.
An effective blog post can help you attract leads, increase web traffic, boost SEO rankings, and promote customer loyalty. By sharing valuable content through your blog posts, you are also introducing your brand as a thought leader in your industry and go-to resource for reliable information in the sphere. Besides, 70% of people prefer to learn about a company through blog articles rather than through mere advertisements.
There are a lot of content types that you can create and share to establish connections, strengthen your digital marketing campaign, and build an online presence. You can even repurpose your blog posts for email newsletters, social media, or as a script for corresponding audio or video content.
Many companies are reaping the full benefits of blogging. Whatever industry you look at, a corresponding set of big blogs is evident. In the marketing space, there’s HubSpot, Neil Patel, Ahfrefs, and more. In the Money and Finance landscape, there’s Nerdwallet, Personal Capital, Mint, etc. Whatever product or service you offer, you have the chance to engage your target audience organically with blogging. Companies with blogs generate around 67% more leads every month as compared to those who don't blog.
If you’re wondering what type of content to churn out, the following are the types of blog posts you can choose from.
- List articles
- How-to Guides
- Resources or Link Lists
- Cheat Sheets or Checklists
- Guest Blogs
- Personal Stories
- Case Studies
These are just the common types of blogs, and as long as you consistently execute them with great quality in mind, you’ll generate organic traffic in no time.
Setting up and implementing your blog
The following are the key steps to successfully setting up your blog content:
- Step 1: Define your goals
- Your goal is your deep why. The deeper your big why is, the more success you are bound to have. Ask yourself questions like:
- Do you want to drive foot traffic to your office or shop?
- Do you want to generate leads or boost sales?
- Are you looking to educate your customers about your offering?
- Do you want to use blogs as a means to update customers about your business?
- Do you want to build a brand that stands out?
- Do you want to become a thought leader and give your audience the best resource they can get?
- Before you start your blog content creation, choose your objectives. Just stick to 2-3 objectives as your campaign may just end up cluttered and unfocused if you have too many goals. Also, try to be as specific as possible. Don’t just state ‘get more traffic’. A better objective is to ‘boost sales by 20% in 3 months.’
- Step 2: Do target market research
- By conducting thorough market research, you can acquire the insights and information you need to better understand your audience.
- To quickly start, ask yourself these questions:
- Where does my target audience usually hang out online? (Social media platforms, certain blogs, forums, email, Facebook groups, etc.)
- Who are the people who are purchasing your products or services?
- What are their reasons for buying your product/service? Understand their psychographics (aka their personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles).
- What are their main pain points?
- What sort of articles do they enjoy reading? (You can check Google analytics and check which posts did the best. You can also check BuzzSumo to know the competitor’s most shared articles.)
- If you don’t understand the needs, preferences, and behaviors of your target audience, it might be difficult to strategize.
- Step 3: Choose topic ideas and keywords to target
- It’s important to find keywords that you want to rank for and choose those that have a fairly high search volume but with lower competition.
- You can input the chosen keywords on Google and check the articles ranking for it. Just do your best to outdo those top articles, and your chances of gaining traction will easily increase. Include your main keywords in the title, headers, body, and alt text. Just integrate keywords naturally, and never overdo it.
- Step 4: Set up a content calendar
- A content calendar is a written schedule of what content to publish, when and where you should publish them. It’s important to stay organized when running a content marketing campaign, and a content calendar helps you stay on track and make it easier to see who is working on what, which piece is due, and the overall progress of the campaign. It helps to use tools like Margo for making everything even easier and more organized.
- Step 5: Create quality content
- You know whom you’re writing for and what the keywords are. Now it’s time to create the best content you can that answers people’s queries. Your goal is to make sure that the blog article satisfies the readers’ questions and to do that, you need to ensure the following:
- Well-written: No spelling and grammar errors, no complex terminology or language.
- Well-researched: Use case studies, stats, and concrete examples.
- Media-rich: Use relevant images, videos, infographics, etc.
- Scannable: Use numbers, subheadings, bullets, etc. so it’s easier for people to skim and scan. According to HubSpot, 43% of people admit they just skim blog posts.
- To create valuable content, don’t just focus on getting the job done. Focus on providing your readers with the information they want.
Expanding your blog
You may not see immediate results but continue to execute your blog with consistency and strategy and your business will benefit. Be sure to maximize all the available tools to make your job easier, including Margo’s team of experts that are always here to help.