If you’ve been blogging for a while and things aren’t exactly going the way you expected, it can be a bit discouraging to keep going. Maybe you’re getting a handful of views, but you’re not getting that flood of traffic that you expected from the minute you hit ‘publish’ on that awesome post… Even the few readers who do make it to your content don’t convert the way they should.
If you’re sure something’s broken, but you’re having a hard time figuring out what the issue is, then this post is for you.
It can be extremely frustrating to come up with diminishing returns on any article you poured your heart and soul into! It can make you question the validity of this whole ‘blogging thing’, and if it’s even worth your investment of time and effort in the first place.
Any time you find yourself struggling to produce a measurable result from your blogging activities, the most likely reason is that your strategy lacks direction. Outlined below are 10 tips for assessing your blogging strategy so you can get the results you desire.
1. Know Your Audience
This may sound like obvious advice, but how well do you really know your audience? If your blogging activities aren’t getting the right amount of engagement, then maybe you’re not targeting the right audience?
Stop and consider how well you actually know the people who read your posts. What are their concerns, and how do your blog posts alleviate those concerns? Each piece of content you create needs to be designed to offer solutions to at least one of your customer avatar’s pain points.
If you’re just writing without clearly defining your buyer persona(s), then you’re wasting time. It’s nearly impossible to create content that resonates with your ideal audience if you don’t really know the people you’re trying to reach.
But once you have well-developed personas, you can then use them to guide your blog’s topics and formats. This is something that ties in with one of my recent posts about choosing the right format for your blog posts so you can increase engagement.
2. Choose a Focus Keyword
For your audience to read posts on your blog, first, they need to be able to find it, right? This means you have to start by identifying the specific keyword which represents the type of thing your ideal readers might type into a search engine.
When selecting your keyword, you’ve got two options: a short tail or a long tail keyword. To make this clearer, take a look at these two examples of short tail keywords vs. long tail keywords:
- Dentist vs. Family Dentist in Fayetteville
- Software vs. Open Source Ecommerce Software
- Hotel vs. Four Star Hotel in New York
Which one you choose to go after depends on various factors. For instance, if you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to go after the long-tailed keywords, since this will be significantly easier to rank for.
Although the search volume may be lower for these types of keywords, there’s also a lot less competition around them, and often, the return is much higher.
But, if you’ve been at it for a while, and you get decent amounts of organic traffic, then it makes sense to aim for both short and long tail keywords. Your domain will already have amassed some search authority, which makes it easier to rank for more competitive terms
3. Ask Yourself if YOU Would Click on Your Title?
As a blogger, you probably already know that only 2 out of every 10 people who read your title will click on it to read the rest of the post. As scary as those statistics are, it’s still possible to use that fact to your advantage because it means that your blog title can control the success of your entire post.
I’ve written many posts on this blog about how to optimize your blog titles to get the most engagement, and you can check them out to get tips and tricks that you can use to craft headlines that entice clicks.
4. Find a New Angle
If your content isn’t getting the proper level of engagement from readers, you have to ask yourself whether you’re just piling on. Relevance, in content marketing, comes as a result of specificity. You need to find ways of differentiating your message from the massive pile of articles that exist already.
That’s not to say you need to find topics that haven’t been covered already (you’ll have a very hard time doing that!) But, you can find a unique spin to put on old topics, so it doesn’t sound like something that’s been said a hundred times before.
Use BuzzSumo and other similar tools to help you uncover the best-performing types of content for any topic. Just remember, your goal isn’t to copy the posts you dig up, but rather to use them as insights to come up with new ideas around similar topics.
Take a different stance, introduce new research, and provide unique solutions – anything you can do to avoid piling on.
5. Include Compelling Calls to Action
Another reason your content may not be yielding results could be weak CTAs. You can write the best piece of content online that educates or entertains your readers, but if you don’t include a strong call to action to get them to take action, they will simply close their browser after they’re done reading your post, and go about their merry way.
Make sure each and every piece of content you create has a CTA that encourages your audience to take that next step in the conversion funnel. You can include calls to action at the bottom of your post as well as incorporating them within the post itself. Make sure each CTA aligns with the page’s content. This is vital for driving conversions.
For instance, say you write a blog post on how important visual content is to your overall content marketing strategy. Instead of including a CTA for an offer for the ultimate guide to content marketing, you could use something that is more closely related to your topic, like free stock image resources.
The correlation will do wonders for your conversions. Just bear in mind that you may not have the perfect offer for each post you write, in the beginning. But that’s okay, because this process becomes easier and easier as you expand your library of resources.
6. Consider Your Posting Frequency
How frequently are you posting? Once weekly? Twice a week? Every day? The frequency with which you post to your blog has a major effect on the level of traffic you get, as well as your lead generation capabilities.
Of course, the industry you’re in has a role in determining how often you should post for best results, but when it comes to blogging frequencies that are most effective (generally) this is what most successful blogs have in common:
- Blogs that publish at least 16 times a month get up to 4 times more traffic than those that publish once a week (or less frequently).
- Blogs that published 16+ posts per month generated 5 times more leads than those that published 0 to 4 times a month.
This means that if you’re yearning for more traffic and leads, it’s a good idea to try changing up your publishing frequency. Just make sure that you only publish high-quality, useful content – otherwise, you won’t reap the benefits that come with more frequent publishing.
7. Make Sure Your Information is Credible
Anyone can publish blog posts these days, but not everyone is taking the time to check their facts. Some bloggers don’t commit to serving fresh, useful, credible information to their audiences, and as a result of this, visitors now approach information they uncover online with skepticism.
In fact, the majority of online visitors don’t believe what marketers and advertisers tell them, and they won’t hesitate to do their own research to disprove claims (Google has made this extremely easy for them).
It’s important not to turn your visitors off with information that is baseless because if you’re producing posts on your blog that call on unreliable resources, it can seriously damage your blog’s perceived value.
There are many ways to ensure that any content you create is credible. For instance, you could run experiments of your own. There’s nothing better than fresh, new data for building up your credibility online. If you can’t find any research on the topics you’re covering, you can surface new findings by digging into your very own database.
Alternatively, you can turn to various thought leaders in your industry. That’s one of the most effective ways of boosting your credibility. Reaching out to them will allow you to not only provide you with a gut check on how valid your content is, but you’ll also be able to grab quotes from those experts that will help to strengthen your argument.
8. Find Other Places to Distribute Your Content
Instead of just hitting the ‘publish’ button and praying for the best, ask yourself where else you can distribute your posts. There are tons of traffic opportunities that you can leverage besides your blog. It’s important to implement a content distribution strategy that gets your content in those places where your target audience already hangs out if you want to drive more traffic, engagement, and conversions.
You can use your analytics tools to help you figure out which of the available channels you need to focus on. Your Google Analytics account is one such tool that can help you uncover the channels which drive the most traffic. You’ll also be able to find out the original source where your customers are coming from. You can then apply this insight to your content distribution strategy.
This way, you’ll be able to effectively double down on whichever channels produce the best results, and easily weed out the ones that are ineffective. It may take some time to source numbers that are meaningful, but during this time you can conduct distribution experiments that could uncover hidden gems. Some of the options you could explore include:
- Social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, etc.
- Guest Blogging
- Community Forums
- Email Newsletters
- …and so on.
9. Automate Time-Consuming Blogging Tasks
If you can shorten the time you spend between topic ideation and publishing the post, it would help bring you some relief from the stress of the process. You can win back some of your precious time by leveraging marketing automation software for some of those time-consuming tasks that you have to complete with each blog post you publish.
For instance, you’ll be able to easily identify any SEO red flags (and quickly resolve them), you’ll be able to schedule your blog posts well in advance, and you can choose to set up automated notification emails to send blogs to your subscribers’ inboxes as soon as they are published.
These invaluable functions are a must for anyone who struggles to find time in their day to get all their blogging tasks done. By freeing up your time, you can focus more on improving your overall blogging strategy.
10. Does Your Content Answer the Audience’s Questions Fully?
Before publishing your post, you should ask yourself if you’ve addressed every single question (or objection) that your readers might have. This is a sort of ‘quality control’ precaution. You need to finish what you start because if readers don’t get everything they need from one post, they simply jump to another – and that may be your competitor’s page!
Make sure your content covers all bases. Before you publish your blog post, ask yourself the following questions:
- Are my readers going to have any lingering questions once they’ve read this post?
- Are there helpful tools or resources that I could include in the post?
- Can I clarify any points with examples?
Your answers will help you determine whether your post is ready to publish or if it still needs more work.
No blog ever experienced overnight success, but it’s important to be able to track and measure the results from all your efforts. If you are serious about using your blog as a powerful tool for advancing your online business, then you have to commit to the time it’s going to take to see the kind of results you want.
So don’t give up! And when you see results, learn from them and use that information to make smarter content marketing decisions in the future.
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