Have you ghosted your blog?
It seems like every blog starts with the right intentions — create compelling content that strengthens your brand and creates opportunities to convert readers to customers. But, after some time, it becomes more challenging to come up with topics and find writers. Pretty soon, your blog becomes stagnant and outdated. Here are some easy ways to help improve blog traffic.
The ghosting of your company blog
If you are like most, daily work obligations begin to take over, and your blog becomes a distant memory. Your blog content becomes stagnant, and you wonder if having a blog is worth the effort.
Does this sound like a familiar scenario?
You may not realize the impact of ghosting your blog, but let’s think about a couple of things.
- Your website is on the internet.
- The internet exists to index and link content around the globe.
- People use search engines to find information on products and services.
- Search engines can only return your site in searches if your site has content related to someone’s search. Recently updated content is more apt to be indexed in search results, so fresh content is essential.
- Your blog is the tool to add fresh, relevant content to your site, so your ideal audience can find you and do business with you, which will improve your blog traffic.
Your blog is the foundation of your content marketing strategy.
So it may be time to reconsider how content marketing integrates with your overall marketing strategy.
The fact is, content marketing works.
- Websites with active blogs see a 434% increase in indexed pages and earn 97% more links to their website.
- Americans spend three times more time reading blogs than emails.
- Businesses that blog get 55% more web traffic than companies that don’t.
- 70% of consumers would instead learn about companies through blog content than advertisements
Just look at this chart on search traffic from a site that we recently helped restart a weekly blogging calendar. In just three months using the 5 steps below, we took a corporate blog that was getting less than 25 visits per day to over 800 visits per day.
5 steps to improve blog traffic and raise your blog from the dead
Even if you haven’t contributed to your blog lately, there is still value to it. But it takes a plan and some dedication or investment. If budget and resources are a factor, keep in mind that businesses that blog can experience an impressive return on their investment (ROI).
#1: Define the Goals
I always start with my clients asking a straightforward question, “What do you want to achieve from your blog and from your business?” From there, we can develop a plan to bring their blog back from the dead.
#2: Determine the Resources
Once you have a goal, we can determine what resources are needed. It’s a good rule of thumb to budget 3-4 hours per original blog article. I usually recommend that smaller businesses limit their original content to 1 or 2 original articles per month and then supplement their content with curated items relevant to their business.
#3 Create an Editorial/Content Calendar
The next step I like to recommend is a simple yet effective editorial calendar. Start with listing any relevant national awareness dates for your business. Then determine if there are seasonal sales, products, or services that trend at certain times of the year. Add these to your calendar. Having a clear content plan will help improve blog traffic.
#4 Research Relevant Keywords
Once you have the basic structure of your calendar created, the next step requires a bit of expertise. Here is where you may want to enlist the help of a content marketing expert. What are the keywords people are using to search for your business or similar businesses? You’ll want to incorporate as many of these as you can into your original content. Using a WordPress plugin like Yoast can help maximize your SEO.
As a side note, it’s always a good rule of thumb to not compromise your article’s readability for the sake of SEO scoring. When using an SEO tool, exercise common sense when you are editing for SEO. Also, take a look at our recent article on How to Build an SEO Dashboard.
#5 Establish Deadlines
Lastly, set deadlines. When do you want to publish your blog content each month? Do you want to post on the same date each month or coordinate around current events or sales? Whatever you want to do is perfectly fine. What’s important here is to have deadlines.
Working through the fear of content marketing
Are you overwhelmed yet?
There are three main solutions to counter the anxiety and pressure of content creation.
Write Your Own Content
This is probably the most time consuming of the three options. On average, a blogger will spend 3.5 hours writing an article. If you’re writing about a topic that you’re passionate about, it may go a bit faster, but as a general rule of thumb you should budget 3-4 hours a week for content creation. If you refer to your editorial calendar, topics should be less difficult to identify and resources may be available since your calendar aligns with current events, holidays, or seasonal events in your industry.
Not a strong writer? That’s okay too! There are online tools that can help you with punctuation and grammar such as Gramarly.com.
3 Pro Tips
- Use lists.
- Maximize your section headers to help break up your article into segments
- Try to hit a target of 750+ words for your articles.
Hire a Writer
Budgeting 3-4 hours a week for content marketing may sound pretty extreme, or writing may not be your thing. That’s perfectly okay. You can enlist the help of a professional writer. They can research and write articles on your behalf, and then you just have to review and approve. Or, you can utilize a content editor — someone who edits an article you wrote.
Curating content is a bit easier. You probably already subscribe to some industry newsletters. All you need to do is think about your customer. When you read an article that may be relevant to your customers, write a quick summary, and include a link to the original article. Curating information for your readers serves three purposes:
- provides links on your website
- positions you as a subject matter expert, delivering a service to your customers
- it helps you manage the narrative with your customers.
You may want to get permission from the originator if you feel uncomfortable with republishing. The most important thing to remember is to avoid duplicating original content. Duplicate content can harm your SEO results.
Distributing your content to improve blog traffic
Now that your content is written and published, it’s time to share it. It takes search engines a little while to index your content to return it in search results, but there are a few other ways to get it to people who will benefit from it.
- Social Media
When you publish a blog on your site, make sure you share it to your social media channels. There are tools to automate the posting. So when your blog is posted, it will automatically post to your social channels. But remember, social media should be “social.” Don’t use your social media platforms to only talk about yourself or share links to your site. Use social media to build relationships and start conversations. Promoting your blog content on social media channels is an easy way to improve blog traffic.
- Your Email List
A strong, healthy email list is vital to a business’s success. The content in the emails should solve a problem for your target audience, so it’s something people will actually want to sign up for. The blog content that you’re writing on your blog should also be solving a problem for your ideal audience, so using your email list to distribute content is a great way to distribute your content.
If you’re just starting out and don’t have strong social channels or an email list, you might want to look into advertising. By sharing your blog and running it as an ad on your social channels, Google AdWords, or industry-specific emails might be a route you want to look at. This can help you get your content in front of the right eyes and build your audience.