The key to a successful blog is maintaining that blog with fresh, interesting content that drives traffic to your website and entices new visitors to stay—and keeps them coming back, again and again and again.
When embarking on a blog content campaign, you need to set down a schedule, do your research, and know who your audience is, and incorporate that knowledge into your content development strategy. When your content is continually tailored for your audience, they won’t just read your blog, they’ll look forward to it!
1. Use Keywords As An Editorial Calendar
An absolutely crucial element of to the success of your blog will be how regularly you update it. Anytime someone visits your site, you want to make sure they have something new and interesting to read and engage with. In order to make sure you’re posting regularly, create an editorial calendar that you can keep you on schedule and posting regularly.
But how to generate topic ideas? One of the quickest and easiest ways that I’ve found is to develop an editorial calendar using long-tail keywords.
More than likely your website and blog will have been optimized with certain keywords designed to give you higher rankings. You’ll have utilized your primary keywords, but during your keyword research your keyword buckets may have been full of hundreds of long-tail keywords. These keywords can now be used to create blog post titles and optimize your individual blog posts all-in-one!
While these keywords might not be perfectly tailored to your audience, it can provide you with a solid structure and jumpstart your blog with content that is ultimately relevant to your brand. RELATED CLASS: How to Leverage Business Blogging for More Traffic, Leads, and Sales
2. Develop Your Demographics
The next step would be to create profiles or personas for the demographics of your target audience, which will definitely help you get a better understanding of what types of content you need to be developing. Take into account at what stage each persona lies on the purchase funnel and consider what information would be most valuable to the demographics of that persona.
It might be that you find people at the top of the funnel respond best to posts about general topics related to your product or service, while purchasers from the bottom comment most on posts about the latest company updates. Perhaps one demographic you target doesn’t respond to any content you bring forth; this could mean you need to alter your strategy, or maybe that you should focus your efforts elsewhere.
3. Address Customer’s Concerns
One easy way to create content that will catch your readers interest is to address them directly. If you see a trend in the type of customer service queries you receive, or come across an interesting or valid question, why not visit the topic on your blog?
This gives you the opportunity not only to further inform your readers about your brand, but it let’s them know you’re not just some content-spouting machine. You are listening to what they have to say and aware of their readership. Engagement is a two-way street, and content that speaks directly to your audiences lets them know that you’re engaged as much as they are. RELATED CLASS: Developing Content for Each Stage in the Buying Process
4. Recycle Conversations
Another way to show your engagement is to be active in the comments of your blog. You should always include a call-to-comment at the end of your posts, encouraging readers to share their thoughts or opinions, and then offer some response to those comments.
This allows for the potential for comments to become discussion, which is excellent for retaining visitors. If one post generates a particularly interesting or lengthy discussion, you can then expand on that topic in it’s own post. Viola! New content from the old.
The best part about this method is that you’ll know for a fact that it will be something your audience is interested in.
One of the best ways you can keep your blog content fresh is to be aware of what topics are most popular and are already being published or circulated in your niche. There are many ways you can track these trending topics.
5. Pinterest Pins
One of the best indicators of a popular topic is Pinterest, because Pinterest (more than any other social media site) is dedicated to sharing and resharing popular images, articles, videos, and infographics from around the web. Search for your niche on Pinterest and you’re bound to find certain themes or types of content get the most shares, and you know that the content you need to be emulating on your blog. When it comes to content marketing, Pinterest can be an extremely valuable resource.
6. Social Media Hashtags
The popularity of certain hashtags on social media sites can change on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t a major indicator of a popular topic.
You can also track certain hashtags relative to your brand and see what people who use those hashtags are talking about. This is another way to get insight into your audience; by learning what they like, you can put content on your blog that will be more relevant to their interests.
BuzzFeed is an entire platform based on finding and sharing “viral” content, and an extremely popular one at that. This is great website to visit to see what topics are hot and what it takes to go viral–the highest achievement of any one piece of content.
8. RSS Feeds
RSS Feeds are great for bringing a whole lot of content directly to you. Even with the downfall of Google’s Reader, RSS Feeds like Feedly are still going strong.
If you can set up feeds that correlate to your audience’s interest, you can establish a constant stream of information that brings in newsworthy and valuable content that you can then address on your own blog.
9. Google and Social Media Alerts
Similar to RSS Feeds, you can set up Google Alerts or use tools like Social Mention to find inspiration for blog posts. Most companies use these types of alerts to monitor activity surrounding on a brand, but by setting up alerts for topics within your niche, or topics that you know is trending with your audience, then you will be able to keep on top of the latest news that can be then be used for your blogs.
10. Real-Time Analytics
In any online marketing strategy you should be keeping up with real-time analytics for the performance of your campaigns, and the same should be true for your blog content development as well.
In order to get the best reaction from you audience, you need to be able to adapt and hone your blog content on a constant basis. When a new piece of blog content goes lives, share it on your social media sites and track the number of likes, shares, retweets, etc., that it gathers.
Use analytics tools to discern what demographic is sharing your content the most, and what type of content you share. You can use this data to assess what types of content your audience likes best and update your strategy accordingly.
By understanding your audience and responding in real-time to their demands, you will be able to produce timely, unique, and targeted content that will continually hit the mark with your audience.