A blog can be a part of your company’s website as a content hub where your potential and existing customers can visit anytime and anywhere to get useful content or information, such as articles, news, guides, images and videos that can help them solve their common problems.
A successful blog with a hundred useful and engaging posts could reach millions of readers. A single viral blog post could even reach a million audience. If you’re a business person or an entrepreneur, and you haven’t leverage yet the power of blogging to achieve your goals, you’re missing a great opportunity.
Blogs are everywhere on the Internet. We see them in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and social media newsfeeds. Many businesses are already utilizing the power of blogging as part of their content marketing strategy. Whether you’re a small business owner who wants to reach a million audience worldwide or a marketing manager of a big company who wants to penetrate a new market segment for your new brand, here are some tips to reach your target.
1. Know your audience.
Many bloggers tend to write blog posts that they love to write, fulfilling their passion. However, that’s not gonna work if you want to attract a lot of readers… unless you’re a celebrity or a popular icon.
One of the biggest mistakes that many bloggers commit is blogging based only on their passion without blogging based on their obligation. They only blog about things they love but not about the things that their target audience love.
To avoid such mistake, listen and know your audience first. Identify what blog posts do they really want to read because no matter how great your blog posts are in your own opinion, if your target audience aren’t interested with them, nobody will care to read your blog.
Remember that your business blog isn’t about you but about your customers. So here are some tips to know and understand your target audience better:
- Create buyer personas or segments of your potential customers to define their personalities, interests and activities.
- Run a survey asking their top interests, needs and activities.
- Personally talk to your current customers and ask what kind of information do they really want to know or read.
- If you’re already blogging for your business, read comments on your existing blog posts to understand your readers better. If your current blog posts don’t have comments, then it might be that your posts are not interesting or engaging.
2. Analyze your competition.
Blogging is a very competitive practice. You’ll be competing different kinds of bloggers who might be your business competitors, online publishing companies or personal bloggers. In order to drive the most number of potential customers to your website or blog, you have to stand out of the crowd and be on top of the competition.
Here are some steps to spy on your competitors:
- Search Google to identify brands, websites and blogs that are also blogging on the same topic that you will be blogging about.
- Visit their websites and blogs to analyze and understand their strategy, tactics and blogging styles.
- Know your competitors’ bloggers or authors. Read their bios, profiles and professional qualitifications.
- Read comments on their blogs to understand how their audience interact with their blog posts.
- Visit your competitors’ social media pages and analyze how their followers engage (like, comment and share) with the blog posts they shared on social media.
3. Prepare your blogging team.
Now that you know your target audience and competitors, it’s time to prepare what you’ve got to satisfy your audience and win your competition. Blogging is not an easy feat, thus, you have to have patience, hard work, persistence, and people who can help you achieve your blogging objectives.
It’s also important that you and your team have the expertise on the topics you will be blogging about because your audience could be intelligent enough to tell if you really know what you are talking about in your blog. So if your business is about health and nutrition, it’s better to ensure that your authors and bloggers should be experts or certified professionals in that field.
4. Document your blogging strategy.
Reaching a million or more potential customers through blogging is a serious goal. Hence, you have to create a blogging strategy, which you can incorporate in your overall marketing strategy. Your strategy should include the tactics, techniques and style that you will be using to attain your goals. It should also include the estimated cost and the ideal timeline of your campaign.
A blogging calendar is also vital to blogging success. Hence, don’t forget to create one. It includes the schedule of blog posts that you will be publishing in the future. Moreover, the calendar will help you avoid running out of blog title ideas and it will also help you build a commitment to your blogging responsibilities.
5. Optimize your blog for all users.
Make your blog friendly to all users, whether they are desktop or mobile users. In other words, make it a responsive website so that you will not be losing mobile traffic. Although not all industries receive most of their traffic from mobile (for example, my blog about financial accounting receive most of its traffic from desktop users since accountants usually work on desktop computers), it’s still a good practice to convert your site into a mobile responsive one to prevent a penalty from Google’s Mobile Friendly Algorithm Update (Mobilegeddon).
Another important thing you should do is to ensure that your site is capable of handling traffic surge. To do that, find a reliable web hosting that will not let your blog down even if it will receive a hundred thousand visitors in a single day.
6. Use long-tail keywords.
More than 80% of the traffic that my most trafficked blog receives comes from search engines. 77% comes from Google alone. These hard data only mean that SEO is still an effective strategy for generating traffic.
Using long-tail keywords or considering long-tail search queries in creating blog post titles, headlines and content is one of my keys to generating tons of traffic. Here are 3 tips to do the same for your own blog and business:
- Use blog titles that are more specific. For example, instead of using “10 travel tips for the summer”, use “10 travel tips to make your summer experience more memorable”.
- Use blog titles that are more geographically specific. For example, instead of using “10 travel tips for the summer”, use “10 travel tips for visiting the Philippines this summer” if your target market is only located in the Philippines.
- Use blog titles that are more time specific. For example, instead of using “10 travel tips for the summer”, use “10 travel tips for a more memorable summer this 2015”.
Using long-tail keywords helps your blog be discovered by search engine users who are most relevant to your business. It also makes your blog titles more interesting. Furthermore, it keeps your blog from competing broad keywords which are difficult to rank and not specifically relevant to your target market.
7. Publish highly searched content that are not yet available on search engines.
Help Google and other search engines provide answers or solutions to common queries that lack answers. Google is not a perfect search engine, as there are still many queries that it cannot provide accurate links to answers. If you can create relevant blog posts that can answer those queries, it could give you a lot of organic search engine traffic. Here are some proven simple steps I did that you can also do to drive tons of relevant traffic from search engines through blogging:
- Use Google to search for suggested queries that are relevant to your topic and target audience.
- Check the search engine results pages (SERPs) for links and sites displayed for those queries.
- Check the sites or pages in the SERPs if their contents provide answers to those queries.
- Make a list of relevant search queries (keywords) that Google and the sites it displayed have no answers.
- Create relevant and high-quality blog posts that will answer those queries in the list. Promote your blog posts and wait until they’re indexed by search engines.
There are many search queries in Google with high search volume but with low competition. They usually tackle the most difficult topics that are relevant to your business. Only few bloggers write or create content about those topics because they are difficult. However, if you are really determined to succeed, you will give your best shot to create and publish blog posts about those topics.
8. Create the best blog posts in your competition.
Create comprehensive or in-depth blog posts that will make your content the best content in your competition. Don’t just rely on writing blog posts about topics with high search volume and low competition. Go a little further by creating blog posts that could stand out even on highly searched and highly competitive topics. Here are 3 simple steps that I did to standout from the competition.
- Using Google, I searched for highly searched and highly competitive topics that are relevant to my niche and target audience.
- I checked the sites displayed by Google’s SERPs to evaluate their content.
- I patiently created more comprehensive and richer blog posts than my competitors. If the best blog post in the competition was providing 50 tips, I was providing 100 tips.
9. Publish evergreen articles.
Evergreen articles are articles that will always remain useful to its users no matter how many years pass by. This type of content is constantly searched in search engines and shared in social media that is why it also generates constant traffic. For example, if you’re in a business consulting niche, and your target audience are entrepreneurs and business leaders, you can publish blog posts about timeless tips and advice on leadership and entrepreneurship.
10. Publish timely or trending articles.
To maximize traffic, consider publishing trending articles or topics that discuss current issues. Their traffic may only last for a few days but it can be huge. If your blog is addictive, the visitors you attract from these trending blog posts could become your loyal and returning audience. So think about the hottest issues that have a big impact on your target audience.
11. Write list articles.
List articles with titles beginning with “50 expert advice”, “100 expert tips” or “101 ways” are worth keeping and sharing. People, especially those who are busy, may not find them instantly readable, but they will bookmark and save them for future reading. Some people also love to share them on social media to let their connections know that they’ve just read and increased their knowledge by reading a pretty long list of tips or advice.
12. Use engaging photos that are optimized for SEO, social media and people.
Engaging images make your blog posts more interesting to read. They also help increase your search engine visibility because they are also indexed by search engines, especially if you will put the right alt (alternative) texts and descriptions on your images. Furthermore, blog posts with captivating thumbnails shown in social media also get the most clicks and engagements.
13. Promote your blog posts in social media.
Of course you have to create your social media pages first. But only choose the social media channels that really matters to your business so you can focus your time, money and other resources on the channels that will bring the most traffic and leads to your business. If your target audience are active users of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram, then build your official business pages on those channels and actively promote your blog posts to your followers in those platforms.
14. Build relationship with other bloggers.
There are many benefits you can gain from having blogger friends. You can learn a lot of lessons from them. They can also help you promote your blog posts, especially if your content are useful and shareable. You can start connecting with other bloggers by visiting their blogs and leaving valuable comments. Making engaging comments on relevant blogs catches their authors’ attention, which make them reply to your comments and even visit your blog in return.
15. Build your personal brand.
To attract more readers and visitors to your blog posts, your author’s credibility have to be attractive. Thus, continue your professional or entrepreneurial training to establish yourself as a credible expert in your profession or industry. Moreover, consider joining training and seminars about blogging and writing. Becoming a resource speaker on related public events could also boost your personal brand.
16. Do guest blogging.
Guest blogging on high-authority related blogs with a large audience can drive traffic and potential customers to your business. Forget about the backlinks but focus on contributing the valuable content that will help and impress the readers of the blogs where you are guest blogging.
17. Invest in paid ads.
You can actually attract millions of potential customers through blogging without spending any dime on ads but it will take some time to realize. But if you have the money, then why not invest to save time? If your target audience are lurking on Facebook, then I suggest that you invest on Facebook Ads. A single blog post that has a potential to be viral could reach a 100,000 target audience in a few days for a cost of only $10 or even less.
18. Review and monitor your blogging campaign.
Know what’s working and what’s not. Before you implement what you have read in this post, don’t forget to add or install your blog with monitoring tools, such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics. Social channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn also have their own analytics that will help you monitor your blog posts’ engagements on their platforms.
By analyzing the data and insights generated by Google Analytics and other tools of your choice, you will be able to identify what blogging strategies, tactics and styles are working for you, and you can capitalize them to attract more traffic to your blog.
Seeing the rising stat of your traffic on Google Analytics or your blog’s engagements on social media is exciting, and it could motivate you to blog more. However, you would also experience staring at the results that are disappointing. But that should not stop you from blogging but rather it should motivate you to work harder.
Blogging is a powerful online marketing strategy to attract potential customers and increase sales. This is because a blog could be a valuable place on the Internet where your potential and existing customers could go to get answers and solutions to their everyday problems. Whether you want to reach a hundred thousand or millions of potential customers online, it can be possible through blogging. I know you can do it. But if your company needs to outsource its blogging and content marketing needs, we can help you.
Remember that your success will not only depend on the number of potential customers attracted to your business. Those potential customers still have to be converted to paying customers to generate sales and increase your business profitability. Therefore, you must also learn how to incorporate other marketing strategies to your blogging campaign, such as conversion rate optimization, conversation marketing and relationship marketing.