Guest post by Tom Treanor.
A lot of people are blogging for business because (when done right), it’s a proven way to establish authority, to stay top of mind in social media and to generate new sales leads.
With that said, we all have room for improvement. If we’re taking the time to create this content, why not get more return on our efforts?
Here are nine ways that I’ve used to improve blog performance and get better results from my content creation efforts. You can integrate these into your blogging efforts right away!
1. Reader Attracting Headlines
After you write a headline, ask yourself. Is it compelling or dull? What can be done to make it more intriguing, interesting or engaging? Turn that post about “The Best Way To Remodel Your Bathroom” into “8 Tips For Remodeling Your Bathroom (With Less Tears and Cost)”.
2. Proactively link to your old posts in any new posts
Bridge the gap (for your readers) between your new posts and your old ones. Referencing previous posts with links in the text of your new posts allows readers to go deeper into a related topic. They’ll stay on your site longer and they’ll share more of your old posts in social media. So while you create each new post, proactively find opportunities to link to your previous work.
3. Make your best old content more discoverable
Providing content discovery vehicles is a challenge for all bloggers. Your old posts quickly fade from view. Consider creating a “top posts” section in your sidebar with links to the ones you want to feature. Or, you can create a “Start Here” menu item at the top or on the side bar that has a collection of your top posts. I’ve even created guides like my “Ultimate Business Blogging Guide” that is a blog post that includes many of my top posts on various topics. Be creative about helping readers discover your best posts.
4. Share your best old content in social media
Another way to maximize all of your efforts includes occasionally sharing your older evergreen posts in Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or LinkedIn. Evergreen posts are those that never get “old” in terms of the value they provide. My favorite tool for sharing old posts is to utilize Buffer. I load in some of my older posts or even guest posts (like this one) and allow Buffer to schedule and share them out. I use Buffer mainly for Twitter (and do the other sites manually).
5. Leverage your contacts for content
Make your blog a team vs. an individual sport! Ask some of your trusted colleagues if they’d be interested in contributing a post to your blog. Obviously the benefits for them include the fact that you’ll promote it and provide a link to their site. Make sure the quality is high (so reserve the right to edit it as needed).
Another way to get fresh content from your contacts is to interview someone who would be of interest to your audience. You can summarize the notes (in a compelling way) and/or provide a recording on your site.
6. Make sure your calls to action are clear, strong and focused
With each post, you should have a strategic call to action that supports your business goals. Whether it’s a invitation to a webinar, an invitation for a free consultation or to get updates from you in Facebook. Make sure you don’t provide too many different calls to action and that your important ones are clear and visible.
7. Commit to consistency
Nothing’s worse than finding a blog that is updated daily for a week, then weekly for a month, then every six months or so. Commit to a reasonable schedule, stick to it and give yourself a break every once in a while when things get busy. Just make sure you come back and post after that little break!
8. Don’t get stuck in a content rut
Guess what?? Blog content doesn’t just have to be the same type of post, written the same way, day in and day out. Mixing up post types, formats and media types can keep you interested and can keep your reader’s engaged. I mix in written posts of different lengths, different post structures, pictures, video, infographics and slideshares (amongst others).
9. Understand where your blog fits in your sales process
Last, but not least. Make sure you understand the role that your blog plays in your sales process. Are you using the content here to pull visitors from social media, the web (via SEO) and possibly via your email list to your blog? Where do they go from there? Do you have a clear sales process laid out on paper that shows where your blog fits in?