Do Blogs Still Work?
The question “Do blogs still work?” is one which gets asked a lot and the answer is quite simple.
Of course, they do!!
Put it this way; providing good high-quality information is exactly how to earn the favor of the search engines, which have the potential to make or break your business.
And since it dominates 75% of the global market share it’s best to focus all your efforts to rank on Google above all else.
So, how do blogs play into this?
Well did you know that 47% of buyers view 3 to 5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales representative, and companies with blogs tend to get 67% more leads than those who don’t have an updated and optimized blog.
And being found easily in the search engines is obviously going to play a key part in people finding your blog posts.
You could have the most amazing content on the internet but if people can’t find it you are wasting your time.
SEO, or Search Engine optimization, is a very important strategy when building your blog, especially off page SEO strategies, and these are continually evolving along with any updates to the Google algorithm.
Sometimes businesses just aren’t clear on how content production can lead to lead generation.
The simple answer is, as stated earlier, people will need several exposures to you and your content before they feel comfortable parting with their contact details or their cash.
Building up trust and authority status is crucial to your success, and a blog is an extremely powerful tool at your disposal, to build credibility and showcase your expertise.
So, are you still wondering “Do blogs still work?” Hopefully not, and here are some simple tips that you can use to optimize the way your blog will work for you.
These are easy to do, and you can get started right away; many are common sense, but you will be surprised that many blog owners are not doing them correctly, and that means you can get a competitive edge over them by following them.
OK, on with the tips…
Focus on quality rather than quantity
Going back a few years ago, short sub-500 word articles were the best type of article to write to gain a high ranking on Google, but those days are long gone.
Longer posts are much more favoured today and when I mean long, these articles can be over 3000 words, which is like a small ebook!
The focus is on high-quality information going deep into a topic that can really help your readers with their problems.
Don’t think you can just waffle and stuff keywords into your articles as you will be penalized.
Write with your reader in mind and you can’t really go wrong.
Having a content calendar/schedule is a great tactic to use to try to instill the habit of creating content regularly.
Some will say to write daily, some weekly, some monthly!!
The truth is, there is no right or wrong answer, but you must be consistent.
If you can only manage to write one article a month, that’s fine. Never sacrifice quality for quantity.
Once you have started writing your post you can move onto the next tip…
Encourage Engagement With Your Readers
When you are writing anything on your blog, try to write conversationally; use you and I in your writing i.e. talk to your reader one-to-one.
This really helps to create a connection with your readers. Don’t try to be aloof as the subject “expert” but rather try to position yourself as a fellow traveler.
This is much more engaging for both you and your readers.
Also, try to use stories if at all possible as these are incredibly engaging and powerful.
Another engaging post is a case study, and this also shows the readers proof that what you are writing about works.
If you allow comments on your posts, respond to all your comments as soon as is practicable for you. Having a dialogue is incredibly engaging for the reader involved but is also another indirect form of social proof.
So, now you have readers looking at your content. Let’s move on to the next tip…
Add A Call-To-Action
You should always write a blog post with the end goal in mind, whether it is for the reader to opt-in to your email list or to get them to click through to your offer.
Also use widgets to add opt-in forms or calls-to-action on your sidebar or use pop-ups and/or exit pops.
I can’t stress this enough; don’t just write a post for the sake of writing as it is a waste of time; after all, you are in business to make money and if you have people consuming your content, it is an ideal opportunity to get them to sign up or monetise them.
You may be uncomfortable using more intrusive forms such as the pop-up, but they do work, as long as any offer you are showing them is highly congruent to the post they are reading.
Working in tandem with the call-to-action is our next tip…
Use Content Upgrades
What is a content upgrade?
Well, basically it is another chance to further encourage your readers to sign up.
And, because the focus is on longer posts, a very quick and simple content upgrade to offer is a copy of the blog post in downloadable pdf format so they can read offline or at their convenience.
Other types of content upgrades that work well include checklists, video, audio etc.
Video/audio doesn’t necessarily mean just having a video or audio version of the blog post; it could also be some complementary training that enhances the information in the blog post.
Get creative and you can have many opportunities to capture your readers email address.
If you are going to offer a pdf of the post, then a really quick way to do this is to use either Post Gopher (a WordPress plugin) or, my personal favourite, Designrr. Both of these tools can produce a pdf version of the blog post, but Designrr allows you much more flexibility to customize the end result.
Using calls-to-action or content upgrades aren’t the only way to engage and entice your reader to sign up. Now you can have your very own personal assistant on your blog, leading on to our next tip…
Start Using Chatbots On Your Blog
Messenger chatbots are hot right now and have super high engagement and you can quickly use a service like ManyChat or MobileMonkey (you can use the free versions to begin with although the Pro versions aren’t that expensive).
When you have signed up you can use the service to install a small snippet of code on your website that will allow a custom chatbot to show on your blog; cool. eh?
Both Manychat and MobileMonkey work specifically with Facebook Messenger and have incredibly high engagement, and there aren’t that many blogs doing this at the moment, so it is definitely something worth looking into.
So, there are 5 ways to ensure that your blog is still relevant today and in the future.
Implement them and you will be able to answer anybody asking you “Do blogs still work?” with a resounding “Yes!”
As a bonus, here are 4 reasons why blogs don’t work.
When you look at blogs that are failing, there are normally some common reasons that keep popping up and these are summarized below.
Again, there is a lot of common sense here, but these things can be easily overlooked, so refer to this list often so you don’t fall into any of the traps that could be hampering your success.
A lack of basic SEO resulting in poor ranking
This blog post is NOT about SEO, but you really need to be doing the basics to give your blog an SEO boost.
On-page SEO, such as having a keyword rich post, having your main keyword in your post title, using internal links (if appropriate), optimising tags in any images used, using Yoast SEO plugin (if using WordPress) etc.
Off-page SEO is more important for ranking, and involves building backlinks to your blog, using broken link strategies, reaching out to influencers and guest blogging etc.
If these things aren’t in place, the chances are that your blog won’t rank, which means that few, if any, people will see it and no additional lead opportunity will be created, which, of course, will result in zero new sales.
Blog topics not researched or strategically created.
How can you know what topics are getting searched the most and are most relevant to your company if you’re not doing keyword research?
Writing blog posts with no target in mind is completely pointless.
You must do your research and find out what people are typing into Google to find the information that you are trying to give them.
Targeting these keywords will result in less competition, thus making it easier to rank for, BUT it must be a keyword that people are actually using!
Lack of understanding of the customer avatar and journey.
Some entrepreneurs don’t realise that people are reading their blog posts long before they ever converted. As stated earlier, it takes at least 3-5 exposures to your content before a reader will trust you; in all honesty it’s probably more like 7 exposures.
Along with keyword research, you should’ve already done your niche research and know who your ideal reader (and thus customer) is, and ALL your content should be written with this person in mind.
You also need to be able to analyse and track visitors to your website so you can see which post are working and which aren’t.
Without this kind proper analysis, it’s unlikely to know which blog posts actually led people to fill out a form or were part of leading people to fill out a form, so all the blogs were marked as a waste of time.
Lack of a coherent content promotion strategy
Even if you have done all of the above and you do have a wonderful blog that is based on keyword research and properly optimized you still need to promote the blog to your audience.
In all honesty, writing and publishing a blog post is only half the battle.
Without thinking about the different avenues to connect users to your content, your blog is only going to reach a fraction of your audience.
You should also share every blog post on your social media channels; share to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at a bare minimum.
OK, there you have it. You now have 5 ways to ensure that your blog is staying relevant, and 4 things to keep an eye on to ensure that you aren’t sabotaging your success and not ranking as well as you could.
All there is to do now is to start cranking out that content…