If you have a blog and want to make a career out of it, then you’re in the right place. While it is true that there are thousands of bloggers out there, there are ways to grow your audience and make your blog successful.
Your blog’s success has little to do with the topics you write about and everything to do with persistence and hard work. So, if you want to make a living out of blogging, here are a few simple marketing strategies you need to follow.
1. Set A Clear Goal
The first step is to define what you want to achieve. Do you want to attract new customers, grow brand awareness, or just gain more readers? Whether it’s one of these or more, having a marketing plan will give you a clear direction and help you distribute your resources the right way.
2. Know Your Audience
Writing a blog for people who don’t even care about what you have to say is a waste of time and money.
Before you start deploying any marketing campaigns, you need to know who you’re writing to. Conduct research to define your target audience. It’s very helpful if you can create your ideal buyer persona, i.e. the readers you seek to attract.
The basic information you should have about your ideal customer should include:
- economical status
- social status
Then, move on to asking questions like:
- What do they value most?
- What are their main concerns?
- How can your blog help with those concerns?
Answering these and similar questions will help you craft content that will attract the desired demographic, thus making the whole process easier and more effective.
3. Be Consistent
You can’t expect to achieve significant results if you post five articles this month and then disappear for the next three months. You need to be consistent. Think about how many posts you’d like to publish in a week/month. Start small, with one post in two weeks, and then increase the number of posts gradually until you find the frequency that works for you. Creating a content calendar for the upcoming month will help you stay organized and increase efficiency.
4. Offer Value
Quality and value are your most effective marketing tools. In order to be able to offer content that is valuable to your readers, start by analyzing their problems. Then, think about how your blog can fix those problems.
High-quality, informative articles are usually longer (1.500 words and up). They’re packed with statistics, facts, examples, images, and other useful info. These articles are not easy to create and take longer but will spark more interest in readers.
Ideally, you should focus on creating evergreen content without neglecting the trendy topics. Use tools like Buzzsumo to find relevant topics for your blog.
5. SEO Optimization
The main purpose when optimizing for search engines is to improve your rankings in search results. Google has published the algorithms they use when it comes to ranking articles. So, the first step should be to study how these algorithms work.
Here are a few basic SEO tactics anyone can deploy, even without prior knowledge:
- Ideally, start with an SEO audit to see where your blog/website stands at the moment. This audit will allow you to determine current issues and come up with a plan on how to fix them. It also includes analyzing current organic traffic, backlink analysis, as well as content analysis.
- Conduct a keyword research to select the best keywords to rank for. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or Keywords Everywhere to help you with this.
- Optimize your pages for the selected keywords, i.e. add the keywords to the following locations: URL, title tag, meta description, headers & subheaders, images’ ALT text, and throughout the content (but be careful not to go overboard).
- Link to other articles in your blog (internal linking)
- Link to other websites and ask them to link back to you as well (external linking).
By taking these steps, you allow search engine bots to crawl your blog pages faster and rank you higher in search results.
6. Make Your Posts Readable
Besides optimizing for search engine bots, you also need to optimize your articles for readers. In this case, the main focus should be on the content’s quality. However, the language you use and the way you organize your articles also plays a huge role in making them easy to read and understand.
Here are a few guidelines to follow:
- Use simple language and vocabulary that everyone can understand. Stay away from complex, long-winded sentences. Avoid using passive voice and words that have more than three syllables unless you have to.
- Break the text with subheads to make it easier for people to read it. Subheads also summarize the upcoming paragraphs and let readers know what to expect.
- Use numbered lists and bullets. Besides breaking big blocks of texts, they help you be concise and stay organized.
- Write short paragraphs. Ideally, each paragraph should have up to 4 lines, with each line containing no more than 12 words (or 40-50 characters).
- Use bold, italics, or color to emphasize important words. Avoid underlines because they usually suggest hyperlinks.
- Use visuals. Images not only break large blocks of copy, but they also let the reader know what your article is about, at the same time making it more appealing to the eye.
- Don’t forget to proofread. No matter how interesting the topic is, poor grammar and spelling will distract readers and lower the quality of the article. Use tools like Grammarly to help you spot and correct errors.
7. Use Social Media
If you want people to see your posts, then you need to use social media. Here is what you need to know if you go social:
- When publishing on social networks, put your focus on visual content rather than the text.
- Identify the social media channels that are best for you based on your target audience. For instance, if your target is teenagers, try Snapchat and Instagram; if you’re targeting professional or other businesses, consider working with LinkedIn.
- Be active. Engage with your users online, answer their questions, respond to their comments and reviews. Show that you care about what they have to say and offer help with any issues they have. This will make them come back for more.
- Keep track of what is new in social media and make use of the new trends. For instance, Instagram Stories is a quite new feature which quickly became one of the most powerful marketing tools.
- Use social media ads. Unlike traditional marketing, social media ads are one of the cheapest ways to reach huge audiences, especially on Instagram and Facebook.
8. Guest Blogging
Guest blogging is a great way show expertize, build authority & reputation, and expand your audience.
Start by finding popular blogs in your industry and contact their editors via e-mail. However, be prepared for rejections. Guest blogging is a process and the more established a site is, the more difficult it is to get published on it. In addition, editors get lots of emails from bloggers like yourself who seek guest blogging opportunities.
It helps if, instead of generic emails, you send personalized pitches to the editors. This means finding out their first name and mentioning their past works in the email. However, quality is your best ticket to having your blogs accepted anywhere, even on high-profile sites like Forbes and Huffington Post.
Once you get a green light for a guest post, write an article that fits the website’s topics and adds a link to your blog.
Note: There’s no reason to limit yourself to writing only in your own niche. Publishing your articles in well-established blogs in different categories is a great way to reach a broader audience.
9. Network with Influencers
Influencers, when used properly, can help you market your brand more effectively.
Try to connect with other bloggers and influencers, both in your niche and in others. Read their blogs and leave comments, link to them in your social media posts, and write private messages to suggest a mutually useful collaboration.
Once you have a network of fellow bloggers and influencers, they’ll mention you in their posts as well, thus helping grow your readership.
The implementation of the above-listed tips is a work in progress. The online world is constantly changing, so you need to be adaptable when creating marketing strategies for your blog.
Analyze how your blogs perform and use that data to eliminate topics and strategies that deliver poor results, but also to make improvements in both your content calendar and your writing. Bottom line is, always be ready to try new things.
However, if this still seems overwhelming, you can always outsource internet marketing, including content marketing, to an agency and get the job done quickly and professionally.
Author Bio: David is the CEO of TaskDrive, lead research, and sales development as a service.
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