Blogging has become a key feature of many marketeer’ digital strategies. But with the rise of video content, podcasts and social media is writing a blog still worth it? After all, the internet is swamped with over 600 million blogs according to recent research. So, with millions of articles published every day how can you get your blog to stand out and rank in the search results?
There is an art to publishing a successful blog, certain niches and topics tend to be more popular than others. The key queries people search for are:
- Educational information
- Entertaining distractions
- News alerts
- Solutions to their problems
Alan Jenkins of web design experts Koreti said “Blogging, when done well, can provide a fundamental route to getting your website ranked by search engines and driving organic traffic to it. Search engines are the main route to information on the internet, and the results of search queries tend to feature blog posts that answer the questions”.
Why do people blog? The main reasons are:
- To make money
- To promote your business
- As a pastime
Monetizing a blog
Blogging has a certain appeal if you can do it profitably – work from home, be your own boss, make money passively. There are several ways to make money from a blog:
- Advertising – monetizing with Google AdSense is the easiest way to make money from advertising on your blog. All you have to do is place the AdSense code on your blog, then you can start showing ads and make money without having to deal with advertisers direct.
- Affiliate marketing – promoting affiliate products is one of the most effective ways to make money from your blog. Companies incentivize bloggers and publishers to write about their products by providing a commission for every referral. The easiest way to find a product you want to promote is by joining an affiliate program like ShareASale, Amazon Associates, or Commission Junction and browsing through their site.
- Selling digital products and services – in the current climate, there has never been a better time to set up an online store.
Promoting your Business
Blogging has big benefits for businesses, it is a great way to drive traffic to your website which will hopefully convert to sales. Recent blogging statistics from IsItWP demonstrate that:
- Businesses that blog generate 2X more email traffic than those who don’t.
- Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website.
- B2B marketers that use blogs receive 67% more leads than those that do not.
- Blogging businesses experience 126% higher lead growth than non-blogging businesses.
Blogging as a Pastime
A lot of people also blog just for fun. Blogging is a great hobby and it can be very rewarding—even if you don’t make any money at it. What should you blog about? You can write about anything you want. Want to share your travels? Start a travel blog. Got a lot of great parenting advice? Write about that. When you start blogging for fun, you can blog about anything that makes you happy. It boosts creativity, helps you meet new friends and encourages new skills – writing and SEO.
So, what makes a successful blog?
1. It Must Provide Value
A successful blog needs to educate and inform its readers. Gone are the days when you could churn out thin, keyword-stuffed content and expect to rank for it. Blogs must deliver value. Advances in how Google, YouTube, and Bing rank content have radically changed over the last decade. Having useful, relevant information for users showcases your expertise and provides solutions to problems.
When considering keyword searches, the intent behind the search is vital to consider. For instance, when someone searches for ‘apple’ is they looking for food or computer equipment? Writing articles that feature long-tail keywords that focus on the intent behind the keyword search is important if you want your blog to rank.
3. You Need a Strategy in Place
For your blog to be successful you need to have a SEO strategy in place. As well as keywords you need to work on getting backlinks, these can be referrals from other blogs, so guest blogging on other sites is a good way to achieve this.
A blog is a great way to earn a reader’s trust. This in turn can translate to sales if nurtured. Consider the EAT principle – your content should be Educational, Authoritative, and Trustworthy. Google does not want to put information on the front page that isn’t reputable, it wants it to be written by experts. So, select your niche carefully and write with authority, or employ someone else to do it for you.
4. It Needs Regular Updates
Many businesses and individuals start blogs, don’t see any results immediately, and just give up as it didn’t work. Getting results – whether that is increased traffic, more backlinks, or revenue from affiliates and advertising – takes a lot of effort. You will need fresh, original content on a regular basis – daily rather than monthly. Many simply do not have the time to write this amount of content so give up, leaving an empty blog.
5. You need patience
Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. It can take 6 months or more before you see results. But good articles, once they start getting noticed, can bring you increased traffic for years.
A blog can also be used to build up an email list of qualified leads. Providing a forum for readers to fill in to subscribe to newsletters will give you a valuable database of marketing leads that can be nurtured into sales.
So blogging is worth it if you are prepared to put the effort in. To get noticed a blog needs regular updates of fresh, original, useful content. It also needs backlinks and an SEO strategy in place. For businesses that need to rank highly in Google, especially B2B companies, blogging provides a cost-effective way of marketing with good ROI. B2C companies may not benefit as much from blogging, they may be better suited to focusing on social media, referrals, and reviews.
The value of a blog all depends on how your ideal customer or client looks for the solution that you happen to provide. If your business currently relies on ranking on Google or can benefit from ranking on Google, a blog will definitely help. It can easily become a pillar of growth for your business because of what it accomplishes through SEO. In fact, with Google’s latest algorithm updates, businesses that provide helpful content and consistently update it will do well. Search Engines continue to be used to find the majority of information on the internet so blogging remains an important aspect of digital marketing