If you want to be a blogging success, you need to bring traffic to your site. Millions of websites exist on the internet, so how is someone going to find your website? The answer is either through search engine results or social media.
Either way, creating great content is the fuel driving traffic to your site.
Building Great Content
1. Understand your target audience
What are people in your target audience looking for online? A good way to understand this is by doing keyword research with either the Google Keyword Tool or Market Samurai.
Once you’ve determined the keywords interesting to your target audience, you should blog about these topics. You need to be creative, creating content that is interesting to read, informative, and provides value beyond what’s already written on the topic. Taking an interesting slant on a trending topic can be a great traffic builder.
For instance, when Facebook announced new enhanced messaging last year everyone wrote about it. My audience for Hausman Marketing Letter are social media marketing experts and marketing professionals, so I knew they’d want to hear details from the announcement. But, everyone was writing about enhanced messaging. I took a different tack. I wrote about how businesses could use enhanced messaging to promote better relationships with fans on Facebook. Not only was this tact unique, but it also fits with the interests of my target audience. This post brought almost 1/3 more traffic to my site than normal and, more importantly, the traffic level was permanently increased — although not at the same level as the 1-day traffic on the day I posted the content.
Writing Great Content Means Knowing Your Target Audience
2. Finding Interesting Information
Even the smartest person can quickly run out of great things to write about. Developing tools to help you can for interesting topics and facts will help you create great content. Here are some of the tools I use on Hausman Marketing Letter:
- Google Alerts – setting up a Google Alert is pretty easy and you can have content sent to your email or through Google Reader. A Google Alert delivers content from websites and blogs based on specific keywords. For Hausman Marketing Letter I use “social media”, “social networks” and “marketing”, and “Facebook business marketing” as my keywords. You’ll want to pick keywords similar to those you selected earlier. I scan this every day for ideas of trending topics and to see what competitors are writing about. This provides ideas and ensures I’m not just repeating what everyone else is saying. (I also tweet and post to Google+ from this content, which enhances my reputation and helps me build relationships with other bloggers in my area).
- Social media – I check out what colleagues from Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ are talking about. Certainly, I don’t want to say the same thing, but it generates ideas and adds credibility when I start a post referring to what competitors are saying. You can use social bookmarking, like StumbleUpon, to find interesting content related to your topic areas.
- News – I read newspapers online, have the local paper (the Washington Post) delivered to my smartphone, and watch the news on TV. I listen to NPR every day. These sources provide ideas for great content that is timely. I can also tie content to recent events. All this increases the value of my content to readers.
Writing Great Content Relies on Finding Interesting,
Timely Information to Post
Finally, creating great content requires creativity. Good writing skills are important, but you need to let your personality show through to help content resonate with your target audience. Develop a voice. You’ll find I have a different voice across the 2 blogs I maintain In Buried Ladies, which promotes my novels and those of other indie authors, I’m more folksy and tell lots of stories because my target audience is made up of people–individuals with their own values, needs, and preferences. In this blog, which targets small businesses, I do more sharing and the language is pretty open. Also, with Hausman Marketing Letter my audience is other marketing professionals so I use a lot more jargon and technical writing. For clients, I maintain the voice of the owner or whoever they designate to represent their company.
You also need to be creative to use photos, videos, and other visuals in your posts. Posts and even the entire blog can get pretty boring without some visuals — whether they are video, photos, or figures. Even the layout of the blog should have some visual appeal or traffic will leave.
Writing Great Content Relies on Being Creative
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