Content marketing/blogging makes up the backbone of many marketing strategies. Blog posts are important for educating your audience, something many companies wish to do. Blog posts, if used efficiently, can also provide you with a significant amount of high quality content that can be used over a long period of time.
In this guide I will tell you how writing blog posts can improve your sales by:
- Educating Your Audience
- Boosting your Website’s SEO
- Attracting the Media
- Providing Content for Other Marketing Channels
Educating Your Audience
If you’re a new business, you need to build trust with your audience. One of the most common and effective ways of doing this is by educating your audience with a blog post. Whatever content you decide to create, make sure its relevant to your customers and your industry. The best blog posts solve a customer pain point, meaning a problem they are having.
Some examples of educational content could include:
- A summation of a webinar or video your clients would be interested in
- A review of a complementary product to your own product
- A report with data you have collected
- Guides or Tutorials
- Information about industry trends and problems
- An interview with an industry expert
Now that you’ve chosen a topic for your blog post, you need to format your blog post so your readers will quickly get the message and you can improve your website traffic and SEO.
To write effective blog posts, I recommend learning to write persuasively and in a copywrite format. Here are some resources:
- Messaging 101
- Master Blogging- 12 Powerful Tips on How to Write Persuasive Blog Posts
- Neil Patel- How to Write a Blockbuster Blog Post in 45 Minutes
- Copyblogger- 58 Ways to Create Persuasive Content
- Neil Patel: How to Convert Blog Readers to Leads
Boost Your Website’s SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the formatting and backend settings that can be used to make your website more likely to be shared by Google’s search function with your target audience. These efforts make your website more user-friendly so Google knows its sharing high quality sites with its users.
Here are some SEO basics for blog posts…
Pick keywords to keep your blogposts searchable and on-topic. To pick keywords, think of possible search queries your ideal customers might make. Write blog posts that answer those questions to get traffic to your website.
On formatting- People are unlikely to sit down and read your full blog post (but they might so still put in the effort). Break up your blog post into short paragraphs with short, easy to read sentences. This way, if someone isn’t in the mood to read, you can still get your point across if they simply skim the page.
Google also uses headlines to determine website relevance to search queries. Put keywords in your H1 & H2 headings to increase your site’s relevance to your subject matter and improve your website’s authority and traffic.
Last SEO tip, make sure your site is optimized and working well for mobile. Nearly 8 in 10 customers would stop engaging with content that doesn’t display well on their device. (Zig Ziglar) More customers are making bigger purchases on their mobile device and if you skip this step, you’re likely to lose out on a customer.
Content SEO Basics:
- Hubsport: Blog SEO
- SEMrush: Guide to SEO for Your Blog
- 27 SEO Essentials for Every Long-Form Blog Post
Attract the Media
One of the more unknown aspects of Content Marketing/ Blogging is that blog posts, if done correctly, can be used to gain press. This will result in more notoriety for your company in the real world and improve your online SEO (see The Basics of Backlinking).
When planning a blog post you want to use for PR, ask yourself the following:
- Is the topic I’m writing about relevant to the journalists’ audience?
- Am I presenting new information that cannot be found elsewhere on the internet? (ex. case study or new report)
- What is the hook of this article? What would make this article appealing to the journalist?
If you have a solid answer to these questions, then try pitching your article. If some of your answers could be considered less than, revise your blog post or wait to pitch the next article.
A big part of generating PR through content marketing is creating a symbiotic relationship between the marketer and the journalist.
If you’re spamming a journalist or sending them irrelevant article tips, you will hurt that relationship and are less likely to get published. Journalists also receive many messages a day asking for publication, so make sure your message is short and too the point for best results.
Now that you’ve created a blog post that is:
- Easy to read or skim
- Presenting new information
- Relevant to our selected journalists’ audience
It’s time to pitch! The art of pitching to journalists relies on simplicity and succinctness. For the best chance at getting published, get to the point with your pitch and simply copy and paste your blog post at the bottom of the email.
Here are some specific tips for structuring a pitch:
Reusing Blog Posts
Generally your blog posts are the longest form content you’ll ever need to write. By breaking your blog post up into smaller pieces of content (ex. social media posts, infographics, emails, or other content) you can stretch your content creation efforts.
Check out these posts on the many different collateral pieces that can be created from a blog post:
- SEJ: How to Repurpose 1 Blog Post into 80+ Pieces of Content
- OptinMonster: 34 Brilliant Ways to Easily Repurpose Content and Boost Traffic
Lastly, keep your blog posts updated. Every few months make changes to show you’re updating your content. This will update your customers, providing them value, and let Google know you’re presenting new information, improving your SEO.