Blogs (short for web-logs) have become a valid source for information worldwide. So much so that even journalists scour Twitter for breaking news blog articles they can quote in a story or show, or interview the blogger directly. However, not all blogs are equal!
Many people have been told, “You need to blog!” And I agree, if you are looking to promote a business or just share an opinion, it’s the most effective way to do so with total control of your message. Now, with that said, just because you blog doesn’t mean the world will want to read it, if the quality is not there, you’re off message or not marketing it effectively.
So let’s take a look at two points that can make a huge difference on the success of your blog.
This sounds pretty straight forward, but in reality it’s not. By, “What are you writing?” I don’t mean is it junk that’s ill written. By this, I mean is it on target with the goal of your blog and the needs of your audience.
People blog for different reasons: artistic expression, to vent, to generate prospects for business and help others, to provide customer service via articles so as to decrease in-house customer service costs, etc. Identify what your goal is and that will direct what the content should be.
Once you know what your goal is and who your audience is, then ask, “Is what I’m writing of interest and use to my audience?” You see, in the beginning you may be poking around with a few articles as you hone your direction and strategy, but eventually, your audience will tell you what they want you to write about by how many likes, comments and retweets it gets. And every now and then, they will tell you directly.
For example, I am writing this article because a LinkedIn connection responded to an article on blogging with the comment, “I am losing faith in blogging.” To which we had a good discussion. If he had this concern, how many other people who do not voice it also have this concern; hence this article.
This question is generally replied to with the broad stroke answer of “Social media!” Duh! How are you marketing it in social media and how do you define social media?
If by social media you mean Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google+, well, that’s a good start. However, there are other places you need to submit it to, like StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, article banks like Ezine and Article Alley (among many others). You want your article in as many places as possible and to be able to be found in the different places other surfers may look for information. The narrow view of social media by the general public is not how the savvy surfer uses the Internet. So you don’t want to bottle-neck yourself into just the most well known.
As to “how” are you marketing it, are you just throwing it out there, posting it in groups that are not interested in your message, putting the entire article in the post? So here are few things to consider.
1) When you post an article, make sure your headline is golden!
2) Use a teaser, not a portion of the article. It has to pull the reader in to want to click through to your blog and website.
3) Ask a question after your teaser to stimulate conversation. For example, if posting this article, you might ask, “What have you done that has been successful with your blog? Please share.”
4) Make sure that your website is designed well so that when they click on the link, they will stay and read it. If you check your Google Analytics, you will probably see a high bounce rate. This means they arrived, were not pulled in by what they saw, so they left.
5) Always remember that everything will come down to the quality and content of your website. If you do all of the above and your website is well thought out from a content and marketing perspective, you will hit a home run. However, if it is not, I think you will find that your tracking reports will reflect a spurt of traffic and a hasty retreat—this is your bounce rate.
Like anything, blogging is part art and part science. The art part you need to figure out, as each audience is unique. However, if you take care of the science part, doing the key things you DO have control over, you will have the best chance of hitting a homerun with your blog and business.