The power of the blog is unparalleled. For most marketers, blog posts offer solid ways to attract potential customers and to maintain relationships with current customers. Here, we can let the numbers speak for themselves:
According to DemandMetric, almost 60% of B2B marketers believe that their blogs are their most useful channel to engage potential customers.
A survey by the Content Marketing Institute also discovered that marketers see blogs as a powerful way of creating brand awareness!
Therefore, we don’t want to miss this big opportunity to expand our reach!
But, what are the tactical ways to ensure our blog performs well?
More specifically, how can we make sure that our blog will successfully engage our potential and current customers?
Here are the tips, backed by research!
Tip 1: Take your time writing the blog post to make it thorough
The average time it takes to write a blog post has steadily increased over the years! Image Source.
Orbit Media Studios discovered the following facts regarding the process of writing blog posts:
- The average writing time for blog posts increased from 2 hours 35 minutes in 2015 to almost 4 hours (3 hours 55 minutes) in 2020.
- 20% of bloggers now spend around 6 hours on each blog post.
- The average length of each blog post has jumped from 887 words in 2015 to 1269 words in 2020. The majority of the bloggers who regularly breach the 3000+ wordmark are reporting great results!
More and more bloggers want to make sure that their blog is worth their readers’ time. So, what can we do to achieve this?
Engage your audience through various channels to find worthwhile ideas for future posts. Two ways to do this are through comments sections and social media.
For example, if a potential user asks a technical question about your industry on social media, it may be a good idea to write a post answering that question! This will allow your blog post to better align with your audience’s needs and can separate you from competing blogs.
Do thorough research. You may want to ask yourself: Is the topic already addressed by existing blog posts or websites? If so, is there some aspect that was not addressed by them? Should I also consider doing original research, such as surveys?
Tip 2: Make your blog post easy-to-read
The easier it is to read, the more enjoyable the experience! Image source.
99firms lists some statistics regarding the behavior of readers when reading blogs:
- The average person spends 37 seconds reading a blog post.
- The ideal reading time for a blog post is 7 minutes.
- Given both options, 72% of readers would rather watch a video than read text.
We should make sure that our blog posts are easy-to-read while also being worth their time. There are a few ways to achieve this:
Add visual appeal to the blog post. Adding images and/or infographics can help break up a boring chunk of text, engaging the reader more throughout. Just make sure they are relevant to the topic!
Use short paragraphs and split up long sentences. Seeing long paragraphs and long sentences will remind the readers of the time they spent at school either falling asleep or daydreaming.
Apply good formatting. Formatting enhances readability and allows the reader to better digest the information. For example, important ideas are boldfaced.
Put a personal touch on your writing. In fact, sometimes it’s nice to write as if you are talking aloud to the reader. This will help ensure your writing feels more personal and less boring.
Tip 3: Publish as regularly and as frequently as possible
Publishing more frequently gives better results. Image source.
How frequently do bloggers publish? The Marketing Insider Group uncovered the following facts:
- 11+ posts a month is a magic number — it results in a noticeable increase in traffic for both B2B and B2C businesses.
- Companies that published 400 or more posts received over three times the leads versus companies with less than 100 blogs.
Clearly, publishing frequently and regularly is one sure way to increase your blog engagement. How can we sustain this? Here are some tips:
Plan several blog posts in advance. If you wish to write about a certain topic, research in advance so that you can see how many blog posts you can write about it. Sometimes, you can plan several blog posts tackling an aspect of the same topic.
Stick to a posting routine that you can sustain. Having a regular schedule and sticking to it signals to the readers that you are actively maintaining your blog.
Also, if you feel more productive than usual, you could create several blog posts within a week and publish them for the next few weeks, giving you an allowance for the times you’re not in the mood for writing.
Tip 4: Get help from other people to further improve the content
Spot something off? Even universities aren’t excused from spelling mistakes. Image source.
To help bloggers polish drafts to perfection, more and more have begun enlisting the help of editors.
Why? Because grammar matters.
SEO.com discovered how important grammar is with the following stats:
- 59% of UK adults would not buy from a website with bad grammar because they “wouldn’t be able to trust the quality of the company’s service.”
- 59% of American adults said that improper grammar is what bothers them most about the English language.
- Millennial respondents (18-34 years old) have “much higher standards” in terms of spelling errors on social media than any other age group, despite being more accustomed to modern, informal lingo, and abbreviations.
The takeaway here is obvious. We need to make sure that minor mistakes will not negatively impact our brand. Here are some tips to do so:
As much as possible, employ professional editors! If you are part of a larger company, the chances are this will be taken care of. Else, there are freelance editors you can employ for a certain rate.
If you can’t employ professional editors, use grammar-checking tools and software such as Grammarly. Most of them require a subscription, but it will be worth the money!
Ask other people to read your post before publishing. This will give you a different perspective to help you polish your writing. In fact, it will also be advantageous to enlist the help of people who are similar to your audience! This will help you refine your blog post to increase the engagement of your intended reader.
Tip 5: Optimize channels for successful blog distribution
Want more exposure? Consider broadcasting via social media sites. Image source.
While a blog already serves as its own channel for brand awareness, bloggers still use other channels such as social media sites to attract traffic to their blogs. According to Statista:
- Almost all (97%) of bloggers use social media to promote their blog posts.
- Two-thirds of bloggers also employ email marketing to promote their blog posts.
More traffic simply means more awareness. But how can we do so successfully?
Ensure that the post on social media sites is, by itself, shareable. An article by Time Magazine in 2014 said that users spend around 15 seconds or less reading articles on the Internet. This raises an important point when using social media sites to boost our blog visibility: the social media post should also be worthy of the fifteen seconds of the user browsing their feed.
Participate in social media communities relevant to your content. Social media sites, such as Facebook, allow users to form their own groups and communities to talk about their common interests.
You can first build your presence by participating in community threads and posts. After that, you can then start promoting your own content, if permitted by the moderators.
Reach out to people with a wide audience. Chances are there are people in your niche who are already well known. With their wide audience, these people can put a spotlight on your blog, boosting its traffic and engagement.
Tip 6: Target the first rank in search results
The first position in any google search result holds a massive advantage in the number of clicks it receives. Image source.
The talk of the town is search engine optimization, or SEO. It is seen as the ultimate digital marketing skill to master, which will give boundless benefits to those who successfully tame the beast. Ahrefs came up with a huge list of stats for SEO, but let us pick the important ones:
- Only around 9.5% of the pages get organic traffic from Google.
- The top-ranking page gets the most search traffic only 49% of the time.
- 87% of keywords with more than 10,000 monthly searches consist of only one or two words.
- 16% of the most popular keywords are responsible for 60.67% of all searches.
Clearly, getting listed on the first page of search results involves a level of cutthroat competition. So here are some tips:
Backlinks! According to Google’s Andrey Lipattsev, backlinks are one of their main criteria in ranking pages. It makes sense since high-quality pages are cited more often than low-quality pages.
The best way to do so is to produce high-quality blog posts, so that other writers will cite your blog post, creating a backlink in the process.
Do keyword research. Not all keywords are created equal: some keywords are more commonly-searched, and thus attract more traffic in general. Hitting the right keywords will make sure you will attract traffic more to your blog.
Make sure the target keyword matches the content of the blog post. Search engines, especially Google, employ advanced algorithms to also analyze the content of the blog posts. This is why the search results via Google now include a summary assembled by Google from the top-ranking pages.
There is a final piece of advice I would like to give you, especially if you are just starting in this craft: becoming a successful blogger takes time! The art of blogging takes time to master, and even seasoned bloggers still learn a thing or two from their experiences.
I hope this shortlist of tips will inspire you to become a better blogger! To summarize, here are the key takeaways:
- Take your time writing the blog post
- Make your blog post easy-to-read
- Publish as regularly and as frequently as possible
- Get help from others to further improve the content
- Optimize channels for successful blog distribution
- Target the first rank in search results
And check out this infographic from the team at Lido for more insights.
- 6 Data-Driven Tips to Increase Your Blog Engagement - November 9, 2020