Yes, it feels sort of silly to blog about blogging, but that aside, have you looked at your blog(s) lately? By now, blogging is not a new medium, but it isn’t any less critical than it was before—for building traffic, boosting audience engagement and driving revenue. It might be time to give it a fresh look and decide if you’re using it to its best potential. Let’s look at 7 qualities of successful blogs.
1) Great Content. It’s the backbone of what you do and it’s no different for your blogs than your articles and other content. It needs to:
- Be helpful; teach
- Be relevant and targeted to your audience; address their specific needs
- Demonstrate your expertise
- Have a consistent voice
- Provide a unique angle
- Incorporate knowledge from industry leaders
- Be brief (300-600 words)
2) Build Relationships. Blogs are about dialogue. They are about community. They are your cooler talk that engages readers and they can be informal, even opinionated. How do they succeed? By:
- Demonstrating trust and credibility
- Avoiding jargon and corporate speak
- Involving guest bloggers and key influencers
- Sharing other people’s content
- Appearing on social platforms with a thoughtful intro or teaser
- Encouraging and rewarding loyalty
- Being easily shareable
3) Consistent. This one is simple. Post regularly and at regular times. If you can’t commit the time to it, you may just achieve the opposite of your intentions.
4) Searchable and Related. If your blog isn’t easily found, it isn't doing you much good. It’s important to:
- Leverage keywords (without stuffing)
- Use taxonomy tagging to relate it to other content on your site
- Make it searchable within your site
- Use it as Search Engine fodder, using kewords related to your news content
5) Visually Enticing. You know that multimedia, particularly video, is more important than ever. We are visual creatures who tend to engage more quickly and deeply with visual content. Spice it up:
- Use bigger, more vivid images
- Try to use original images and video when you can
- Create text overlays
- Experiment with infographics
- Design your text for busy, online readers: bold headings, bullets, callouts, etc.
6) Data Driven. You’ve got the data, use it to:
- Target posts to a specific niche of reader
- Share with those who have shared similar content
- Send relevant posts in specific email blasts
- Develop blog series' that meet the needs of a very specific niche of your audience
7) Email Incorporated. Your blogs should be tied to your email marketing and newsletter efforts. Not only does this help you to get specific posts to specific members of your audience, it also supports a more personal connection with your subscribers and gives you the opportunity to milk older content—resurfacing it when the time is right!
Now that you’ve been reminded of what a successful blog looks like, take some time this week to make sure you're leveraging it to its greatest potential.