Running a successful blog isn't easy. But whether you’re an experienced blogger or just starting out, you can save more time and get better results with blogging best practices. Instead of overwhelming yourself with to-dos, follow these 5 simple best practices for blogs that move the needle.
1. Create Buyer Personas
Successful bloggers write content that people want to read. To make that a reality, you need to know your audience. That’s why you need to create buyer personas.
Buyer personas are well thought-out and researched avatars of your customers. Think of them as fictitious representations of your ideal customer. When used correctly, buyer personas help you write better content that drives sales because it keeps the customer top of mind.
A good buyer persona includes information like:
- Demographic data (Age, sex, job title, income, location, etc.)
- Pain points and problems
- How you can solve their problems
You're going to be swimming in data at this point, and that's okay. As you drill down and get more specific about your buyer persona, you'll know who you're communicating with. That's the key to better blogging.
After going through this process, you might realize you need more than one buyer persona. That's not only okay, but it's normal. Remember to name each persona, give them a personality, and add a photo. The goal is to humanize your customer, so make these personas as close to real-life as possible.
You can learn more about creating buyer personas here.
But that's just one half of the process.
Buyer's journey mapping
After creating your buyer personas, it's time to document the buyer's journey. This step is critical because it will help you write content tailored to each persona's preferences.
Ask yourself three questions to write content that matches the buyer's journey:
- What topics create awareness about your products and services?
- What questions do buyers have when considering your product?
- What content helps buyers choose your solution over the competition?
This is an important step, so don't skip it. Buyer personas and the buyer's journey will ensure people connect with the content on your site. If you want results from your content, this is a must.
2. Be Consistent
Consistency matters in blogging. After all, your audience needs to know when you publish new content. If your posting schedule is all over the place, they lose faith in your brand.
Create a blog posting schedule and stay on track with it—no matter what.
... But that's easier said than done. It's hard to have content ready for publishing all the time. Sometimes you're pressed for time, or lack motivation, or face the despair of writer's block. Fortunately, you can overcome these challenges by following these easy tips.
Make notes of your ideas
Have you ever sat down to write a blog and your mind went blank? That happens to even the most seasoned bloggers. That's why it's important to track all of your ideas as they come to you.
Keep a note app on your phone and jot down blog ideas whenever inspiration strikes. If you're having a hard time coming up with blog post ideas, look at your buyer persona. You can look at their pain points to find your next great blog topic.
Write shorter posts
Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to write a 4,000-word blog every week. If you write a blog and it ends up being 500 words, that's okay. Don't try to stretch it out to be longer than necessary.
Even though Google prefers long-form posts, quality is more important than length. Don't worry about the word count. Instead, pursue the hearts and minds of your readers with quality content that entertains and informs.
If you aren't sure what length is best, look at your buyer personas again. What length blog would your customers want to read? For example, are they often on their mobile devices or pressed for time? If so, shorter is better. Let audience preference guide you here.
Pulitzer prize-winning writers weren't born natural writers; they had to hone their craft. You need to do the same if you want to excel as a blogger.
Write often. It doesn't have to be about anything in particular. Just write what you feel like writing. This creative outlet gets the juices flowing and will help you become a better writer. Plus, you'll discover hacks that will help you write better content in less time.
3. Distribute Your Content
It's not enough to write amazing content. You have to let people know about it! Get the right people to your site by distributing your content where your audience is online.
Look at your buyer persona again. Where does your customer spend their time? Are they scrolling through Instagram or checking their email? Meet them where they are with timely updates reminding them about new content.
The good news is that promoting your content is less labor- and time-intensive than writing. But remember, your content will be for naught if no one is reading it. The only way you stand a chance in cutting through the noise is to write content that resonates with your audience. Use these tips to create a promotion strategy for regular traffic.
Share often on social media
Social media is a must. Even if you aren't on social media, your customers are, and that means you need to be sharing your content on social platforms. Social extends the life of your blog posts beyond your website. You can even get more traffic to older content, scoring more reads without the effort of writing a brand-new post.
You don't need to create a profile on every social platform known to man. Look at your buyer persona and create a profile only on the platforms that your audience frequents. Start posting regular, relevant content that your buyer persona will read. Don't be shy with your posting schedule, either. You can post multiple times a day to get more traction. You can even post about the same blog every day for a week, for example, ensuring more of your followers see the post.
Post on another blog or website
You can syndicate your content on third-party websites and blogs to get more traffic. These referral sources are not only affordable, but effective at bringing in more readers. Try sharing your content by:
- Offering to write a guest post
- Paying for a blog post that advertises your business in an educational way
- Paying for a display or text ad on another site
- Commenting on existing content
These tactics will both boost your content and help you develop relationships with other content creators. Over time, this will help you build an audience of brand evangelists that are perfect for other initiatives, like influencer marketing.
Encourage others to share your content
The easiest way to share your content is to ask your readers to do it for you. If they like your content, they'll be more than happy to share it with friends and family. Make sure it's easy to share your blog, though. Integrate social sharing buttons on every post so sharing is as easy as a click.
4. Write good content
Good blogging is about good content. If the core idea behind your blog isn't sound, it's not going to gain traction.
That's why your content has to:
- Be relevant
- Be interesting
- Solve a problem
Follow these best practices to produce consistently good content that meets these three criteria.
You need to link to both outside websites as well as your own. Internal links drive traffic to your older posts, giving them new life. They're also a good way to direct search engine crawlers through your site. External links give you more credibility. They can also help you start a relationship with influencers in your industry.
Include images or other media
Nobody wants to read a huge wall of text. When you add images or video to your content, it becomes more enticing to readers. In fact, blogs with relevant images attract more than 90% more views. Search engines prefer blogs with multimedia, too, which means you can improve SEO by including media.
5. Convert visitors into leads
You aren't writing these blogs for your health. You're writing them to get results. That's why you need to generate leads and sales from your blogs.
Every piece of content should persuade visitors to give you their contact information. The key is to craft a compelling call to action and a great offer that make this exchange a no-brainer for your readers.
Don't let your CTA just be a snippet of text with a link; jazz it up! Use great copy, design, and placement for your call to action.
The bottom line
It seems like there's always a new trick or skill that you have to learn to be a better blogger. But these 5 best practices are the foundation of what you need to make blogging work for your business. Plus, these best practices are aligned with inbound marketing methodology.
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