I remember when blogging was all the rage.
The year was 2007, and I would always have a daily roster of local food blogs that I’d visit before buckling down to the day’s work. (I was an intern then, so much of my day was spent trolling the webs and trying to look busy while I was at it.) By the time I finished my internship, I had read so many blogs that my family would always ask me about which restaurant had the best falafel/ramen/*insert hipster food de jour here,* and I’d actually have an answer ready.
Back then, you could find a blog on just about any subject, whether it was fashion, skincare, food, or even all of the above, and the top bloggers were the original “influencers.”
There were bloggers who were genuinely passionate about the topics they wrote about. They produced content that was really valuable to their readers, and for a time, their imprimatur on a product or service was taken as gospel.
That’s no longer the case these days, however. Five out of the six food blogs I used to follow are now either deactivated or dormant.
This isn’t to say that blogs don’t have a place today, however. (Otherwise, you wouldn’t be here reading this.) You can use your blogs as an online portfolio for your freelancing career. And if you do you well, it can be another source of income for you.
You can still be a successful blogger provided that you carry out certain strategies, such as:
Figure Out Your Brand Message
Consistent branding is key to any successful online presence. Basically, it comes down to what you want your content to say about you and/or your company.
Do you want to be known as the foremost authority on a certain subject? Or do you want your content to draw in potential customers to use your product or service?
Begin by describing yourself or your brand in two to three sentences, and then break that down further into a few key adjectives (e.g., reliable, unbiased, etc). Once this is solidified, everything that comes after should reflect the branding you’ve decided on.
Choose Keywords that Align with Your Brand
Think about what words or phrases your target market would use to look for you, and then integrate those into your content.
For instance, if you’re making a blog for your online event-planning company, your entries should ideally have words like “planning a bridal shower on a budget,” “guidelines for throwing your kid’s first birthday party,” or “how to pull off a company Christmas celebration in less than two weeks” in their titles.
Constantly producing articles with the right keywords and quality content will help your blog get recognized for all the right reasons.
Long-tail Keywords are the Way to Go if You Want to Attract a Niche Audience
These are phrases that contain at least three words. They tend to be more specific than generic keyword terms and are used to target niche audiences rather than the masses.
The benefits of employing long-tail keywords are two-pronged:
- Because they’re very specific, they’ll boost your pertinent blog entries to the top of the search engine results page relatively quickly. You’ll also deal with less competition for such a feat as compared to general keywords.
- Long-tail keywords are crafted to draw in the right audience, which is more likely to result in leads or sales rather than a mass readership.
Examples of long-tail keywords are “white high top sneakers womens,” “remote work remittance app free,” and “seo training free manila.” Craft your own as you see fit.
Tailor your Stories to Your Target Audience
Badgering your target customers with ads is old hat. If you really want to grow your following in an organic and sustainable way, it’s best to do it by telling the right stories.
Not only does this create a more positive experience for everyone else (and as any businessman knows, positive experiences are what keeps customers coming back) for everyone involved, but as with long-tail keywords, it pulls in all the right people for whatever it is you’re promoting on your blog.
Niche markets have specific needs, after all, and one way to attract their attention (and to subsequently get their business) is to write stories they would be interested in. For example, does your company handle remittances for migrant workers? If so, articles on current events in their home countries and tips on how to expedite their citizenship applications are sure to draw them in.
Utilize the Same Language as Your Ideal Reader
Eloquence is well and good, but some readers might prefer a more casual tone. Conversely, if your target audience is of the technical sort, a more formal approach might be more suitable.
One way to figure out what voice to use in your blog articles is to imagine a face-to-face conversation with your reader/s. Do you picture yourself speaking to them as though they were your close friends, or do you see yourself delivering a TED talk before your intended audience?
Come Up with a Blogging Schedule You Can Actually Stick To
It’s no surprise that many of the top bloggers are also the most prolific. You can’t really build a following if you only update your blog whenever a super blue blood moon comes around.
Constant blogging also gets Google’s attention since it alerts the search engine that your website is building a larger online presence. Whether you opt for a daily, weekly, or even monthly schedule, consistently putting out themed content can only strengthen your online brand presence.
Integrate your Long-tail Keywords into Your Blog’s URL’s Address Whenever Possible.
Placing them in your title can push your articles up the search results page even higher. For instance, if your chosen long-tail keywords are “top men’s clothing brands,” you can write an article entitled “Where to Find the Top Men’s Clothing Brands Online.”
You can take things further by putting the aforementioned title at the end of your URL, separating each word with a dash.
Enable Social-sharing Buttons on Each Blog Entry
Word of mouth marketing might be one of the oldest forms, but it continues to be the most effective since people will always want to share something useful or good with their friends and family. What better way to do that than by adding social media sharing buttons to your articles so your readers can amplify your message?
Promote Your Content on the Appropriate Social Media Platforms
If you really want to make sure that your blog will reach the right people, promoting articles on the right social media platforms can really help.
Think about which platform your ideal readers would be spending the most time on. If your articles are image-heavy and tend to feature fashion, skincare, or food, Instagram might be a good fit. Got articles about finding remote work or enhancing your telecommuting skills? You may want to try LinkedIn then.
Don’t Be Afraid to Reintroduce your Old Material to your Social Media Network
There’s no rule against sharing your article more than once. If you have older material that happens to be aligned with your current branding, then, by all means, promote it again.
Just reword the caption for your social media post promoting the said article to keep things fresh.
Lastly, it helps if you go into blogging with the right mindset. Sure, a strong following and good traffic can make maintaining a blog worth your while, but your main goal should be to create something that will provide value for years to come.