Google recently changed their algorithm...again. This latest penguin update is apparently the search giant's attempt at "going back to the basics" and focusing on content that converts meaning content that actually attracts users and keeps them on your page. This is interesting Catch 22 has existed since the beginning of internet time but is only being exacerbated by Lord Google's recent reminder that, and I know you're sick of hearing it, Content is King.
The Catch 22 I refer to is the fact that Google wants to see that you're getting and retaining traffic before they'll give you a positive ranking but it's very difficult to get traffic without a ranking from the World's largest search engine...which leads me to the topic at hand which also happens to be every digital marketer's secret weapon: blogging.
Blogging is amazing. Its effects are far reaching, long lasting and self-compounding. Blogging helps with nearly every major digital marketing pain point from SEO to database aggregation. So what's the problem? It's hard! Blogging is a massive pain in the rear section that requires creative thinking on an ongoing basis with the same general topics over and over again.
It's not easy to approach the same issues, topics and general areas of study from an exponential number of angles and continuously make the same information not just sound but be relevant, informative and high value.
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But, like many things in life, the harder it is the better it is for you. So here are three tips to ease your blogging woes and help you become the world class blogger you were meant to be:
1. Write every blog for a first time reader
After you've been blogging for a while you begin to make some assumptions; you assume that you are the most interesting writer on the digital planet, that the whole world is reading your blogs and, once a user stumbles across the best kept secret of the interwebs, they will immediately traverse through your historical archives and catch themselves up on everything you've ever written. Sadly this is not the case. You need to write blogs for new readers - that doesn't mean you can't make educated assumptions about what your target reader base should or shouldn't know. What it does mean is that you can't assume that readers are privy to every piece of information delivered in a previous blog or blogs. If you need to refer back to an idea or topic in order to build upon it make sure that readers understand what you're doing and link back to that article in order to make it easy for them to follow along.
2. Create a blog schedule
Too many writers wait to be inspired. Inspiration is over rated. Instead, plan out your blogs a month in advance. If something happens that inspires you in the mean time, feel free to adjust your schedule accordingly but at least this way you'll always have something to write.
Choose a topic that is general enough to have multiple facets but specific enough to be able to get specific about. A great example from my field of study (digital marketing) would be web videos.
As a topic "web videos" is fantastic because there is enough meat on the bones for me to break it up and approach it from a number of different angles in terms of industries, execution, implementation and metrics. From there I can build a breakdown of the topics
I think should be addressed, for example (By the way I'll be writing for all they ):
- Video alongside SEO
- Video tip# 1: Stay off script!
- Mobile video
- Video and email marketing
- Video tip# 2: Be Consistent and ask for a subscription!
- Daily videos
- How videos can work for realtors
- How long should my online video be?
- What should I do with my online video once I make it?
- Video tip# 3: Maintain branding (so you're easily recognized)
- Videos are the most effective when they're relevant - capitalize on recent events
- Use videos to deliver your sales pitch
- Video thank you notes
- On-site vs. In-Studio videos (a Comparison)
- Video tip# 4: Don't be too stuffy...even you...
- What makes a good internet video?
- Going viral is great but building a viewership is more importan
- How to use videos with social media
- Video metrics and analytics
- Video conversion - make your users jump when you say "jump"
3. Use case studies
Rehashing old information is the worst part about being a blogging nut. Having to say the same thing over and over again is enough to drive any person to sitting the garage in a tub of gasoline lighting matches. The best way around this? Case studies!
Use your current and past Clients as blogging material by detailing their specific needs and how it was you went about fulfilling them. This allows you to take your general methodology and illustrate how it can be implemented on a specific case by case basis.
This is also exceptionally valuable for long tale SEO as it helps attract Clients with similar specifics needs. Hopefully it goes without saying that names and sensitive information should be changed to protect the guilty.
And the last tip (a freebie since I only said three) is to learn a lesson from Nike and "Just Do It". Are all of your blogs going to be Pulitzer prize winning pieces of literary marvel?
Probably not...but sit yourself down and force yourself to be consistent and committed and you'll find that you will begin to aggregate a catalogue of content that you can be proud of.
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