Try our 4 Blogging Tactics and Reach a Bigger Audience
Blogging can be a lot like making cookies. There’s a big payoff when they are fresh out of the oven, but give it a few days and you’re down to just crumbs. If you’re not being strategic about the content you’re creating, you may get some attention when you hit “publish”, but give it a few days and your audience looks like the bottom of the cookie jar.
It doesn’t have to be that way! Grab a glass of milk and let me explain the ingredients you should be putting into your blogs.
Step 1: Content Review
Start by taking a look back. Look at your metrics for the last 30 days and then look at the last year. What was most popular? Scratch your head and consider what made these blogs work. We recently went through this process with one of our clients. We’ve created a lot of content for the Center for Diagnostic Imaging in the last 6 months, but this one piece is outperforming everything else: How to Get Through an MRI if You’re Claustrophobic. Rather than gaze lovingly at that blog in awe, we spent time picking it apart. What made it click with the audience? We discovered a few key ingredients:
- It solved a problem for people
- We hit on a great keyword (see Step 2)
- We tapped into a broader network by interviewing local experts and providing useful links to outside sources (see Step 3)
We took another client through the content review process at the end of the year. This company is a progressive, thought-leading bunch of wealth managers in Southfield, MI. Center for Financial Planning puts out all kinds of educational blogs on topics like social security and prepping for the tax season, but guess what their top content was for the month? A personality piece where team members answered this question: What’s playing in your car right now?
Not kidding. This is #1 for the month. Did it change the course of their content strategy? You’ll have to follow The Center on Facebook to find out. But they are definitely exploring the possibilities of sharing the personality of their business with their online community.
Step 2: Check Keywords
Are you using the most popular words that your readers will be searching for when they want to read about your topic? Make sure those words are in the title and in the headers throughout the blog. There are a ton of resources out there to research keywords. One easy way is to try Soovle. It is so basic it hurts. When you try it, you’ll see if you put in a word or phrase like “social security” it will finish the search with the most popular things people are looking for on a bunch of different engines. Use the results to help guide which words you use in your title and sub-headers. Need more guidance on picking the right language? Check out our blog on 14 Words to Get Your Social Media Posts Read.
Step 3: Hyperlink How-to
Hyperlinking is not just a bunch of hype. Links expand your reach. The more relevant links you are embedding in your blogs, the more you are helping your readers go in-depth on the subject. Plus, it adds cred to what you are saying to cite other sources. And then, once you cite those sources, you can tweet it at them & tag them, allowing you to piggyback onto each of their communities.
Let’s say you quote & hyperlink someone in your blog. That source happens to have 20,000 followers on Twitter. Let that source know they’re in your blog and give them the link and voila … you’ve expanded your potential reach by 20,000.
We try to make it a rule to link to at least 3 sources when we’re writing a blog. For more on that, check out how to bake distribution right into your blog.
If you are unclear how to insert a hyperlink, find someone sitting nearby & ask them to teach you or watch this truly terrible how-to video (but you’re never going to get those 4 minutes of your life back, so just ask someone).
Step 4: Give Readers Relevant Referrals
Seems obvious that once we attract a set of eyes to your blog, you want to keep them there. The great tease in an email or our social media channels reeled them in, now don’t let them get away! The best way to do this is to refer them to other articles you or your fellow bloggers have written that relate. If you want to see this in action, marketing guy Jeff Bullas does this like a champ. Just look at all the multiple masterful referrals in this one blog … we counted 5! Here, your hyperlinking skills come in handy again. Maybe it was worth those 4 minutes.
As you use these blogging skills, we encourage you to adopt a methodology a 3-year-old we know uses when she is decorating cookies with sprinkles: More is more. The more readers you get, the better you’re doing. The more effort you put into finding the right topics, using keywords, citing sources & hyperlinking, the more sprinkles you’ll have to count in your next metrics report.