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How to Ignite Your Blog Results in the New Year

How to Ignite Your Blog Results in the New Year

“Cheers to the New Year and another chance for us to get it right.” Oprah

The new year is a perfect time for a fresh start. How about your blog? 

Whatever your results were last year, the new year brings new ideas, energy, inspiration and, with a bit of focus, even better results. Your blog could be one of your most powerful marketing tools if you put it to work.

In this article, we are sharing our 7 favourite new year blog improvements. You can do each one independently. And most of them can be done in less than one hour. 

Ready? Let’s get started…

Clear the clutter

Your readers don’t need more distractions. Now is the time to remove low-value parts from your blog pages that pull your readers away from your content. Here are some examples: 

Blogrolls. Your blog is not a library where people park themselves for hours and your readers don’t need a list of past blogs (we all know how to scroll down the page and click the “previous” button).

Tag clouds/lists. Unless you are getting thousands of readers a day you will want to direct readers to your latest blog post. Lists of tags (or blog categories) are for high-traffic sites that need to direct readers who are returning multiple times.

Social media widgets. An invitation to go to social media is an invitation to lose readers. If you want to invite readers to connect with you on social, add social share buttons to your blog with tools like sumome or social warfare, plus add the widgets at the bottom of your site.

Watch the numbers

You can’t make good decisions about your money until you know your current financial status, and you can’t get better results from your blog until you know what the current performance is. And the only way to see what’s happening with your web site is with Google Analytics.

In this article, we show you how to know if Google Analytics is installed. While in this article we explain what numbers to watch and what they mean.

To go one step further, log in to Google Analytics, Go to Audience>Overview then click the “Share” button in the top-right corner of your screen and set up an automatic monthly report to be emailed to you. This is a great way to get a nudge in your inbox every month to pay attention to your numbers!

How to Ignite Your Blog Results in the New Year
With one click get a snapshot of your site’s analytics sent to your Inbox

Create a calendar

A great way to kick off the new year and to get your creative juices flowing is with a content calendar for the year. Think of this as a map of all the topics you want to share with your readers.

You can organize future posts around seasons, holidays, annual events, or product launches. This is also a great time to look at past blog posts and think about updating old posts that have done well (#4 idea) but are outdated. 

You can build your calendar using the Calendar WordPress plugin (see my video on this), in Microsoft Excel, planning tools like Trello, or in social media scheduling tools like coschedule.

The Calendar plug-in makes it easy to organize future blog posts

The old is new again

One of our favourite traffic-building strategies is to update old blog posts that have done well in the past but are in need of a quick update. Not only can this be a big-time saver (compared to writing a completely new post), but you are building on the traffic the post is already getting. 

How to Ignite Your Blog Results in the New Year

The strategy is to give each article a quick make-over to update the content, refresh the look and then to republish with a new date. The goal is more traffic, plus you save a lot of time and effort, compared to starting from scratch with a new article.

This post explains in detail how to use this strategy.

Linking is the new Liking

Imagine you park your car, walk into a store, ready to buy an accessory for your computer, but there’s nobody there to help you. You’d probably leave. Right?

With most blog posts we look at, that’s what happens – over 90% of readers leave the site. 

How to Ignite Your Blog Results in the New Year
Unless you have a good reason to stay, most readers will exit without ever visiting a second page.

One of the quickest ways to get better performance from your blog is to add a call-to-action. The call-to-action (CTA) might be a simple link to your book or programs, or an invitation to learn more about your products, like “learn more about our custom leadership workshops.”

Keywords are the key

Confused about SEO, keywords, meta tags, and jargon concerning attracting more organic traffic? Well, it can be confusing – especially if you try to follow the advice of guru’s who spend their whole day thinking about this stuff. Or it can be really easy.

The basic concept of SEO for your blog post to include what the readers you want are already looking for. If your target market is searching for “leadership training’”, “roll-up garage doors”, or “Denver real estate lawyer” you need to include that phrase a number of times in your article (ideally in your headline as well).

A super-quick way to discover what people are searching for is to start typing a query into your search bar and then see what Google suggests people are searching for. You can also see a list of suggestions in blue at the bottom of your screen.

You can also use Google Trends to discover keyword phrases used in the past 7 days, month or longer.

 

Practice writing faster, better

When it comes to blogging, it’s more important to stay connected with your followers with regularly posted articles than it is to keep reworking an article until perfect. Learning how to turn a blog idea into a finished post faster and better will make it easier to keep up with your publishing schedule. 

This article is an example: I wrote this over 3 mornings and for about 30 minutes each time. 

Here are some tips on how to write faster and better.

  1. Start with your content calendar (#3, above). Having topics ready to go allows you to start thinking about the post – even taking notes – long before the article is due.
  2. Use a writing template. Every blog should flow from: attention, personal, promise, content, to call-to-action. Get your free copy of the template here. At Blogworks, our team all use The Ultimate Writing Template for most of our client’s articles. 
  3. Only edit at the end. Each time you go to work on your draft post, avoid the temptation to edit what you’ve already written. The goal should be to first write what author Anne Lamott calls your “shitty first draft” and only then to go back and clean up your post.
  4. Write like you speak. A blog is a conversation where you solve problems or share topics of interest with your audience. The best blogs use a conversational style of writing (without a lot of jargon or “$10 words”)  that makes the reading experience easy and enjoyable. Try recording your thoughts as you speak and then using a service like rev.com to transcribe your voice into a draft article.
  5. Ship it. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how clever your ideas are or how amazing your solutions if you don’t, as serial blogger Seth Godin would say “Ship it.” Even if it means cranking out a 300-word muse about an article you just read, it’s better to stick to a regular publishing schedule and keep your followers coming back for more.

Liked this post? Got another 5 minutes? Here are 3 more of our most popular posts all about writing blogs:

How to start a blog post – 5 examples that really work!
5 brilliant ways to start your blog post with a bang
9 blog topic ideas your audience will love

Attract more readers to your blog today!

7 tips on how to get people to read your blog

So you’ve started a business along with a blog, You’ve worked on building an audience, but maybe you’ve reached a bit of a plateau, and you want to know how to get more people to read your blog.

Or you’re not getting the type of readership you’d expect given how much you’ve expanded your network. 

It seems that not so many people are reading your blogs these days, which may leave you wondering… 

Am I doing something wrong? 

Chances are you are doing everything well enough. But staying on top of Google’s ever-changing SEO trends is a challenge. 

Not to worry, though! Read on for a few tried and true tips to help you understand how to get people to read your blog! 

Track the Right Metrics 

If you’re posting blog posts just for the sake of “getting something out there,” you might want to stop and reconsider how you can craft content to support your key business goals.  

Given that Google’s algorithms are almost always moving towards supporting higher quality content, consider re-evaluating your content strategy based on questions like:   

  • What is the value you’re offering to your readers?
  • How well are the blogs working to engage and convert customers?
  • Where in the sales funnel am I placing my content?

Step away from the actual numbers (for instance, how many “likes” a blog gets), and try to hone in on why they are how they are.  

Here are some tips on how to track blog performance

Use Relevant Social and Blogging Platforms 

Do you want “more” readers, or do you want to attract the right readers? 

If you want to know how to get people to read your blog, you have to look at the entire process of creating and sharing it. That means that there could be a flaw in your marketing process.  

For instance, if your business is B2B, you’ll likely want to be taking advantage of LinkedIn where you can easily share posts. 

Medium is a great platform for sharing posts in a personal or business account. You can also follow and submit to niche-specific publications — or even start your own. 

The main thing here is to not spread yourself too thin. Focus on channels where your target audience is most likely spending time. 

Create Great Headlines 

Headlines are key to attracting attention, and sometimes even changing a single word can make or break a person’s decision to click on an article. 

Check out our article 11 Insanely Powerful Words for Your Blog for headline inspiration. 

Focus on Value, not Going “Viral”

Of course, you want to know how to get people to read your blog and boost traffic to your website or landing page. 

But what’s happening after people find your blog? 

Checking your metrics is not just a numbers game. These numbers tell a story and they can help you figure out exactly what the content is doing for you — and them — in the long run. 

Are readers sticking around long enough to engage more with your brand? Are they clicking over from your call-to-action? 

Is your blog actually bringing the right target audience to your website or getting people on that mailing list?  

This is the kind of quality that google will “notice,” too. 

Oh yes, and this is very important: Don’t be boring! 

Count on Keywords

If you want to know more about how to get people to read your blog, you should definitely be on top of your keywords. You need to use the right ones strategically to ensure that Google “likes” your blogs. 

And the right ones should also be of interest to your readers! 

There are plenty of free tools out there, such as Google Adwords Keyword Planner, which can help you with this. 

Make sure to not over-optimize though! Search engines will see right through you if you put too many keywords in your blog. And make sure your language flows naturally. This will ensure that both crawlers and real readers will follow it clearly.

If you want help with SEO and keywords, contact us for a consultation

Write Longer Posts Less Often 

Niel Patel is constantly pushing the long-form blogs and recommends blogs of 2000-3000 words. We don’t always work at this level, but we definitely encourage you to build blogs that are around 1000 words rather than 500. 

And just to clarify: publishing consistently is key, but you want to have a balance between quality and consistency. This will vary from business to business. 

Longer form blogs have the potential to perform better SEO-wise and will be more useful to your readers.   

Strategic Planning for the Win   

If you plan and organize ahead of time, you can learn to create content that not only performs better traffic-wise but is actually more useful for readers. 

Consider creating a handful of blogs ahead of time and scheduling them out with an automated tool like HubSpot

But if you have too much on your plate, you can always hand the planning, strategizing and writing over to a professional. 

We can help you more people to read your blog with all these things, and more!

Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you:

21 clever ways to attract more readers and boost blog traffic this year
How to Leverage Video Content on Your Blog for SEO
How to start a blog post – 5 examples that really work!

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

10 surprisingly simple tune-ups to make your blog sexy (and get more blog traffic)

Make your blog sexy and get better results

We all want more blog traffic.

Way back, when Tyrannosaurs roamed the earth, blogs were personal journals for reflection and maybe for close friends to enjoy.

Not anymore.

Many blogs are for building your brand, attracting business, building your list, and hopefully even growing sales.

But the question is, how to get traffic to your blog in the first place?

In this post, we’re looking at super simple tune-ups to make your blog work better and, maybe, even a bit sexier.

Sound good? Let’s go.

1. Use keywords

Keywords are how organic searches (when someone searches the Internet for a solution, like “gardening supplies”) find you.

You can use keywords in your headline, subheadings and text copy. But stuffing keywords in just for the sake of SEO is bad form and makes your post less attractive and less likely to get shared.

Using the Google Adwords Keyword Planner is a great place to start to find long-tail (low competition, higher conversion) keywords. After that, include those phrases as a natural part of your writing.

2. Powerful headlines

The LAST thing I work on when writing a blog is the headline.

Your headline is the first thing people see in social media posts (after the image), Internet searches, and links from other sites—it’s worth getting it right.

It can make a world of difference when it comes to getting traffic to your blog.

While a headline like, “10 Ways to Deliver Better Customer Service” may be accurate, it’s as boring as ordering a cup of coffee.

So, what’s a better option? Something like this: “10 Ways to Knock the Socks Off Even the Most Reluctant Customer”.

Great headlines include words like this: lists, “you”, “your”, “free”, “how to”, “DIY”, “I/me/my”, “easy”, and “new”

3. Good images

More natural photography can help blog traffic
Stock photography vs. more natural photography

A quick fix for ANY blog is better images.

Try to avoid “stock images” of multi-ethnic teams smiling into the camera-instead look for natural images of real people doing real things.

A quick fix for any blog is better images. Click To Tweet

For posts longer than 400-500 words, insert a second image to break up the text and keep the reader moving.

If you’re serious about your blog, it’s worth getting familiar with basic editing tools like Canva or picmonkey.

If you are looking for an easy new way to find or create images and audio, we recommend Adobe products. You can find all of their creative software packages here.

4. Cross link

Here’s a simple strategy for how to get traffic to your blog and keep readers on your site longer (which is measured as lower Bounce rate in Google Analytics)…

Cross link from one blog post to another. 

Why?

The idea is to invite the reader to learn more about your topic by reading a related post. Like this one, where we offer up 21 blog traffic building tips you can’t miss.

See what we did there?

A simple strategy can keep readers on your site longer Click To Tweet

Start with a short list of 4-5 posts you ideally want every reader to see. Then, link to them whenever it seems like a natural opportunity.

5. Current dates

Consistent publishing dates is a good thing. Just like a magazine, it’s going to be easier to attract followers if they know they can count on the regular issues.

Or course, life happens and you might have a gaps between posts. The good news is, WordPress makes it easy to smooth out your publishing dates and even republish old posts.

Simply open individual posts, change the “Published on:” date and click “Update”.

Presto – your posts are re-dated or older posts are re-published.

Current dates

6. Opt-in is working

When was the last time you opted in to your your own opt-in?

You might be surprised to learn that your invitation isn’t, well, very inviting.

Here are some quick tune-ups for your opt-in sequence:

When was the last time you opted in to your your own opt-in? Click To Tweet
  • An inviting offer – Most people aren’t interested in getting “newsletters” anymore. Try offering “weekly tools and tips”, or “free helpful advice”, or “regular updates”, or simply offer your opt-in gift and let them decide if they want to join your list.
  • Double opt-in instructions – Remember the opt-in isn’t complete until they click on the confirmation email. On your “success” page (that pops up once they enter name and email) instruct them to check their inbox but also to “white list” your emails.
  • Send follow-up emails – Once a person becomes a follower, it’s time to nurture them and invite them to stick around. An email sequence (ideally, you remove them from regular emails while in this “quarantine” period) of 3-5 emails to welcome them and introduce them to your services is a smart way to build loyalty and even move a follower to a buyer.
Example of ‘success’ page and instructions on how to double opt-in
Example of ‘success’ page and instructions on how to double opt-in

If you haven’t started building your mailing list yet, be sure to ask these 5 questions first. 

7. Use the “Featured Image” for your main image

If you’ve ever noticed that the wrong image gets pulled from your blog on Facebook or Twitter, it could be you aren’t using the Featured Image option in WordPress.

“Featured Image” is a selection on the right-hand side of your WordPress editor that allows you to choose one image from your media library for the top of your post, but also to be the thumbnail pulled anytime the link to your post is used (like in Facebook).

The right image could be what makes someone choose your post over someone else’s.

 

Use the Featured Image feature in WordPress to ensure your image is properly pulled into social media
Use the Featured Image feature in WordPress to ensure your image is properly pulled into social media

Not sure if you’re using Featured Image?

Head over to your latest blog post, scroll down, and on the right-hand side you should see a thumbnail of your main image labeled “Featured Image”. Click there, select the image you want from your media file, and you’re set.

8. Social share buttons

When a reader shares your post on Twitter, Facebook, or any social media, they’re exposing your content to their followers.

That’s a good thing. For many bloggers, this is the primary way they get traffic to their blog.

The easier you make it for readers to share your content the better. But tiny icons from now-obscure social media channels, like Yelp and Foursquare, won’t help you get traffic to your blog.

To see what posts are getting the most shares, head over to buzzsumo, drop in your site URL, and you’ll get a list of your top five.

Encouraging sharing can help build blog traffic
The SumoMe social share menu floats on the page as the reader scrolls through your post

We use SumoMe by Noel Kagan – the Social Share menu floats alongside your blog as the reader scrolls down the screen and works perfectly on mobile.

 

Readers can click on these social share options, spreading the word, and getting more blog traffic.

9. Measure results

Google Analytics is your dashboard—it’s the only way to accurately know what’s really going on with your blog traffic, visitor behaviour, history trends, and sources of visitors.

As for opt-ins?

Your CRM (Customer Relations Management software, like Mail Chimp or Aweber) is the only place to accurately measure opt-ins.

If you haven’t been checking Google Analytics, first make sure it’s installed by following these instructions.

Next, get familiar with basics, like:

  • User volume (number of unique visitors),
  • Page views (total pages visited),
  • Bounce rate (percent that leave after one page),
  • Average session duration (time on site),
  • Behaviour (scroll down main menu, on left, and look for box icon > Overview – most viewed pages on site. This is where you can discover which blog posts are most popular.

Want to dive even deeper on this strategy? Check out these 5 quick ways to measure your blog’s performance. 

10. Click to Tweet

The old, manually-loaded “Click To Tweet” was a neat way to get readers to quickly fire off a tweet to point people to your post.

But now there’s a better version, cleverly called Better Click To Tweet. This makes it easier for you to create the tweet as you load your new post into the WordPress editor…You might have noticed a few of those throughout this post.

Once the plugin is installed, a blue bird will appear in your editor menu bar. Highlight and copy the text you want tweeted, click the bird, paste the text where asked and you’re set.

If you’ve gone through this post and realized you haven’t implemented some, or (GASP!) — any — of these strategies, it’s time to get to work!

No more asking how to get traffic to your blog — you know what you need to do.

Liked this post? Got another 5 minutes? Here are 3 more of our most popular posts all about putting your blog to work:

How to (finally) make money with your blog
How to increase blog traffic by almost 30% in only 90 days — a case study
9 blog topic ideas your audience will love

43 random blogging terms you really don’t need to know

43 random blogging terms you really don’t need to know

Personally, I despise people who obfuscate and inveigle with obscure language and acronyms.

You too?

In this article I will attempt to decode and demystify the crazy language surrounding blogging (somebody has to.)

After all, isn’t blogging just about writing great, helpful content that readers love to share?

I think so.

Let’s get into the list of blogging terms (feel free to skip the boring ones)…

A is for Apple

1. Absent – yup, that’s the business owner who’s ambitions exceed their abilities and haven’t learned to outsource. If that’s you, please read this article.

2. Alt tag – Ever wondered why an image shows up in a search? Good chance that’s because some smart cookie added Alt Tags to the image. In WordPress this is super easy (open Media, select the image and add).

I despise people who obfuscate and inveigle with obscure language and acronyms. Click To Tweet

3. Anchor post – this the dandy you wrote one late night, half way through a mellow bottle of Merlot, that – for some miraculous reason – attracted loads of attention (from other Merlot lovers maybe?). Tip: make sure you link to your anchor posts in future articles.

4. Anchor text – these are the neat blue links inside one blog post that link to another page. According to SEO gurus at ahrefs “Google uses external anchor text to help understand what your page is about and also, for which keywords it should rank.” So they are 1) important to create 2) super important to get your post found.

5. Article – Easy one – this is task you wrote on your To-Do list last Thursday. And again Friday. Oh, yeah, and on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. Oh, damn it! Get writing!

6. Author – Duh.

7. Avatar – This is the person you should have created a perfect description of because you went to that very expensive conference, got SO inspired by the speaker and on the flight home thought “I really need an Avatar!” It’s not complicated: Who is your ideal customer? That’s your avatar.

B is for Boy (okay, okay, it’s also for Blog…and Blogging Terms)

8. Backlink – a link that points to one page, from another page. For example, you can link from your “About” page to a “revenue” page.

9. Blog – A Blog is a gift for the world and for you. Your blog gives you license to write massively irreverent (and occasionally super, super looooong posts) like Tim Urban about whatever got your interest the last time you headed to your local coffee shop. Or to go deep into research, like Maria Popova (7 million readers, thank you very much), or launch an empire like Tim Ferriss (who never returns emails, just saying.)

10. Blogger or Blogging – a person who thinks blogging is a business, when really blogging is a way to make business!

Your blog gives you license to write massively irreverent (and occasionally super, super looooong posts) like Tim Urban about whatever got your interest the last time you headed to your local coffee shop. Click To Tweet

11. Blogosphere – This is the place all good bloggers go to die. Nope, that’s not right. It’s a place where…actually I have no idea, because nobody actually talks that way.

12. Blogroll – This is the list of all your published blog posts. This actually super important, especially if you track traffic, like we do. The good news is you can download this list by simply adding /sitemap_index.xml to the end of your URL (now you have to see ‘U’) and then clicking on (usually) the first link. Cool, huh?

13. Bummer – that’s what happens when you publish your amazing article and…nothing happens. That’s a bummer.

C is for Cataclysmic (and Cat)

14. Calendar – this is what you should be using to plan your next blog post – capiche? Tip: one of our favourite (free) plugins is Editorial Calendar.

15. Category – According to WPBeginner “Categories are meant for broad grouping of your posts. And Tags are meant to describe specific details of your posts.” You must categorize your post, tagging is optional.

16. CMS or Platform – CMS stands for content management system. WordPress is a CMS, so are all the alternatives. Bottom line – you will never use CMS in a sentence.

17. Comments – oh, for goodness sake…I’m not going to insult you with this one. We all know comments are the rare gems we all hope to get!

18. CSS or Stylesheet – has something to do with style sheets and if you have to ask you need to go to ‘O’ and think about outsourcing.

D is for derogatory, aspersing, calumnious, defamatory, insulting, libelous, maligning, slandering, slanderous, vilifying (and, of course, dog)

19. Directory – These are strange and mysterious sites that list your blog as authority site worth a visit. According to theblogpressccom, “These are websites which categorize blogs under many different categories.” Good luck with that!

F – it’s too tempting, so we’ll skip this one

H is for being Human with a touch of Humour (while being honest)

image describing how to view source code

20. Header – this is the top image for each post. Your header image should “pulled” with your link and show up in your social media posts.

21. Hyperlink – is the clickable content within a web page (typically colored blue) that takes the user to another page, website, or within part of the same page.

22. HTML – this is short for Hypertext Markup Language – the language used to write web pages. In WordPress, if you select “Text” you can view the html code and make simple changes, like highlighting text with a background color. This is what that would look like (Here are the colour choices)

<div style=”padding: 12px; background-color: #ff9999; line-height: 1.4;”>TEXT HERE</div>

TEXT HERE

I is for turning “I” into “you” (or “your”)

23. Index(ed) – indexing is the mysterious process of search engines organizing and prioritizing your blog and the pages on your website. SEO is the art of getting your blog and site pages to “rank” higher (show up on pages 1,2,3, etc).

K is for a Killer post that goes viral (Yes!)

24. Keyword(s) or Keyphrase(s) – is what someone types into a search engine – a single word or phrase. By including those keywords in your blog post you make it easier for search engines to rank your post for that topic.

M is for making money (the thing we don’t talk about, but secretly all want)

image showing meta description in search results

25. Meta Description – this is the short block of text readers see when they get their search results. Tip: keep your phrase to 150 characters and include the keywords readers will be searching for.

26. Meta Tags – refers to all the Tags hidden in your html code that tell the search engines what you page is all about and how to categorize that page.

27. Meta Title or Page Title – is the name of the page and is the bold text that shows up on a search results page when you rank in a search engine.

N – sorry Nothing here worth Noting

O – is for Outsourcing – the one thing that will mostly quickly earn you more money(!)

P – is for Procrastination and Perfection—two things that will keep you from Publishing!

28. Permalink – this is the funky URL that shows up in search engines, like this https://yourblogworks.com/start-a-blog-post/ Tip: if you are updating, or republishing a blog post, don’t change the permalink—you will lose any ranking you might have in search engines.

P - is for Procrastination and Perfection—two things that will keep you from Publishing! Click To Tweet

29. Plugin – Just like an app on your phone, a plugin is a piece of software that adds a operation to your website. For example, you can add Yoast to change the SEO settings, Pretty Link to create unique, memorable URL’s, or Editorial Calendar to get a calendar view of all your blog posts.

30. Post – this is just another name for your blog article. You can also call it “great”, “amazing”, “outstanding”, and “awesome” (knock yourself out.)

R – is for Really, Really, Really helpful blog posts (and getting and ROI)

31. Redirect – this is when one link takes you to another link (huh?) For example, if you click on www.yourblogworks.com/call you will be taken to https://go.oncehub.com/hughculver to book a call with us. That redirect uses a nifty WordPress plugin called Pretty Link.

32. Robots – we all know about WALL-E and R2D2, but there are online robots as well, like the ones that categorize web pages (like your blog post) for search engines.

33. RSS – stands for Really Simple Syndication (now you’ll sound smart at any party) and is the way updated information is fed to sites like Feedly, so your favourite blogs are waitinf for you.

S is for getting social shares of your post (yummy)

34. Sitemap – this is a page on your site that organizes all the pages on your site into a simple list. Search engines use your sitemap in their indexing process. Tip: you can see you sitemap by adding “sitemap_index.xml” to the end of your URL, like this https://yourblogworks.com/sitemap_index.xml (If you don’t have a sitemap consider using Yoast…see #43 below)

35. Social Media Sharing – this is what our team at BlogWorks can do for you! Get the word out and let your social followers enjoy your latest blog post.

36. Subscribe – when a reader joins your mailing list they are subscribing to receive your emails.

T is for Terrific content that Turns heads and Translates into new Transactions!

37. Tag or Tagging – is a bit of information, hidden in your html code, that tells search engines what your page is about. Tags include: Title Tag (for the whole site), Alt Tag (for images), Robots Meta Tag (tells search engine robots if it should index this page), and Header Tags.

38. Tip – if you want to get more business from your blog include 3-4 links in every post to your “revenue” pages.

39. Title or Subject – The title, or headline, of your blog is one of the most important ways to attract more attention and readers.

U – is for those Unicorn posts that get Unbelievable results

40. URL -Smarty pants know that URL is short for Uniform Resource Locator, but we all know the URL is the unique address for every page of your web site. Tip: want to create an easy to remember shortened URL? Check out the free WordPress plug-in called Pretty Link in this article.

W – is for putting your Blog to Work

41. Widget or Module – the little boxes of content (like an offer for a free book) are called widgets (now you know.)

42. WooHoo! – the sound you will make when you see your blog post getting shared across the social channels. You have made it happen!

Y is for…. yellow?

43. Yoast – sounds like toast but is not something you eat. Yoast is a popular SEO plugin that allows you to edit and optimize the SEO of the post and the way the post appears (Meta tag) in search engines.

Not bored yet? Well, we’ve got loads more of great articles for you…

How to (finally) make money with your blog
90 seconds to becoming a better writer
How to quicly write a great blog post

 

 

 

57 remarkable blogging facts, statistics and insights for 2019

blogging facts

Every day there seems to be the newest, latest, greatest, must-have online social media strategy that digital marketers claim will blow your blog away. Instagram stories have replaced Facebook Live, which replaced Vine, which replaced Snapchat.

Well, good luck with all that.

Sure, you can bury your head for a month, take courses and maybe — just maybe — get an iota of the results promised by the guru you got the idea from. But sometimes it’s best to stick with what works.

Like blogging.

In our books, a blog is still the best way to showcase your brilliant skills, talents, and solutions. Blogging the right way can keep prospects coming back to your home base — your web site.

But how do you blog the right way to keep prospects coming back? Well, we use social media to bring prospects to our blog — and it works.

To prove how important your blog can be to your online presence, engagement, and traffic, we have collected some blogging facts that will give you some insight into what you should be doing to grow your blog in 2019. Feel free to share these facts so other people can start getting better marketing results with their blog — just like you.

Blogs work (still)

1. 85% of B2C marketers and 91% of B2B marketers actively blog or use other content marketing. (2018, Content Marketing Institute)

2. Small businesses with blogs get 126% more growth in leads than those without a blog. (2018, Orbit Media)

3. 55% of companies surveyed report that their blog is one of their top marketing priorities for 2018 onward. (2018, State of Inbound marketing industry report)

4. 80% of bloggers surveyed report that their blog delivers positive or strong business results. (2018, Orbit Media)

5. 55% of marketers say blogging is their #1 most important inbound marketing channel. (2018, Hubspot)

55% of marketers say blogging is their #1 most important inbound marketing channel. @Hubspot Click To Tweet

6. Consumers use blogs to make buying decisions: 47% of buyers view 3-5 blog posts or other pieces of content before starting the buying process. (2016, Demand Gen Report)

7. 38% of businesses report they rely strongly on vendor-generated content like blog posts and eBooks to help make purchase decisions. (2018, State of Inbound marketing industry report)

8. 95% of marketers consider blogging to be a smart marketing tactic. (2018, State of Inbound marketing industry report)

9. 43% of business-to-business (B2B) companies say blog posts are the most important content they produce. (2017, Social Media Examiner)

10. Blogs work! Written articles (when compared to all other forms of content creation) still get the most engagement on social media (followed by videos and images). (2017, Clutch)

11. Of over 2,000 top marketers surveyed, 57% plan to increase their use of blogging in the near future. (2018, Social Media Examiner)

12. Content marketing (like your blog) gets 3X more leads than paid search advertising. (Content Marketing Institute)

Bored already? If you’re also bored trying to get your blog written, edited, scheduled, published and promoted (whew!) we can do all that for you — and for a whole lot less money and hassle than you think! Packages start at $97/month.

How’s your headline?

13. Headlines with 6-13 words attract the highest and most consistent amount of traffic. (Hubspot)

14. List articles (listicles) still work! 36% of people prefer list-based headlines. (ConversionXL)

15. The “How-To” headline is a close cousin to the listicle. “How-To” headlines also get lots of traffic! (ConversionXL)

16.Common words/phrases used in the most highly-shared headlines are “you/your”, “free/giveaway”, “how to”, “DIY”, “I/me/my”, “easy”, “win”, “new” and “aardvark” (kidding). (OkDork)

Common words/phrases used in the most highly-shared headlines are “you/your”, “free/giveaway”, “how to”, “DIY”, “I/me/my”, “easy”, “win”, and “new”. @OkDork Click To Tweet

17. 3, 5, 7, 9’s work! Odd-numbered listicle headlines outperform even ones by 20% (like this one!) (Content Marketing Institute)

18. Here’s an odd one: Including a colon or hyphen in your title can result in a 9% traffic improvement. (CMI)

19. Make me cry! Emotional headlines get shared more. (hint: speak to their problem, not your solution). (OkDork)

Headline, schmeadline. Do you really want to be messing around with long-tail keywords and headlines when you could be taking care of your customers? We do all that for you. Packages start at $97/month.

Is your blog long enough?

20. The average length of a first page blog post is 1,890 words. (2017, Backlinko)

21. Over 50% of bloggers who published articles over 2,000 words in length reported strong results, compared to only 10% of bloggers who wrote articles under 500 words. (2018, Orbit Media)

22. Longer, in-depth blogs can generate 10 times more leads than shorter content (they provide a better connection for long-tail keywords). (Curata)

23. Blogs are getting longer! The average blog post length has gone from 808 words in 2014 to 1,151 words in 2018 — an increase of over 42%. (2018, Orbit Media)

24. Longer posts get shared more! Articles over 1,000 words consistently receive more social shares and links than shorter posts (over 85% of online content is less than 1,000 words long), but the benefit starts to wear off past 2,000 words. (2015, Moz)

That old SEO stuff.

seo & blogging facts

25. Long tail keywords: 50% of search queries are four words or longer. (Wordstream, 2016)

26. 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence (what prospects search for) is their top inbound marketing priority. (HubSpot, 2018)

27. Video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search results compared to plain text. (Omnicore, 2018)

Video content is 50 times more likely to drive organic search results compared to plain text. @Omnicore Click To Tweet

28. Organic SEO results are about 6 times better than paid search ads. (New Media Campaigns, 2018)

29. Are you mobile-friendly? Google drives 96% of mobile search traffic. (Jody Nimetz Co., 2018)

Successful bloggers get help!

30. Editors are worth it! Bloggers who use editors are 50% more likely to get strong results from their blogs. And the number of bloggers using professional editors has doubled since 2014 from 12% to 24% in 2018. (2018, Orbit Media)

31. Ready to outsource? 56% of B2B and 62% of B2C companies outsource at least one part of their content marketing or blogging (like editing, or publishing). (2018, Content Marketing Institute)

32. Ready to recycle? 55% of bloggers update older posts and those who do are 74% more likely to report strong results. (2017, Orbit Media)

33. 99.99% of bloggers who rely on BlogWorks to write and promote their blog sleep soundly at night, knowing our amazing team is saving them hours of work and getting them better results. (Learn how we do it!)

A little content strategy goes a long way.

content strategy & blogging facts

34. Stop the skimming! 73% of visitors skim rather than read the blog post thoroughly. (Hubspot)

35. Better content gets better results and can drive traffic to a blog by up to 2,000%. (Omnicore)

36. Does your blog help solve problems? 94% of people share posts because they think it might be helpful to others. (Impact)

37. 79% of B2C marketers and 74% of B2B marketers say their companies focus on creativity in their blog writing and content creation. (2018, Content Marketing Institute)

38. Recycling is good for the planet: 29% of leading marketing professionals reuse and repurpose old blog content (Curata). Learn how we do it at BlogWorks.

Pictures and video work!

39. Images work! 45% of B2C marketers consider visual content to be their most important type of content. (2017, Content Marketing Institute)

40. Our minds process visuals 60,000 times faster compared to text. Blog posts with images get 94% more shares as compared to those without. (Adpushu)

41. More images are better: Articles with an image once every 75-100 words get shared twice as much. (Hubspot)

Blogs with an image once every 75-100 words gets shared twice as one without. @Hubspot Click To Tweet

42. Blog posts with images get 94% more views than those without. (Jeff Bullas)

43. More images? List? Video? 54% of bloggers include more than one image in their article, 49% include a list, and 19% include video. (2018, Orbit Media)

44. Including a video in a post increases organic traffic (from search results) by 157%. (Search Engine People, 2017)

45. Using photos of real people — instead of stock photos — can result in a 35% conversion increase. (Marketing Experiments)

Hey, did you really think we would put together all these amazing statistics without a little plug for our business? Do you want your blog to start kicking %#$ and getting you more business? We do all that for you. Packages start at $97/month.

Sharing is caring.

sharing your blog is one of the most important blogging facts

 

46. Is your blog helpful? 94% of people who share blog content do it to help other people. (New York Times Study)

47. Blog posts are the most successful kind of linked content shared on Twitter. (Expresswriters)

48. This is kind of obvious, but you have to make it easy for readers to share your blog — like have a floating social share bar (read this post about our 3 favorite WordPress plugins).

49. Support a worthy cause? 84% of people will happily share a post to support causes or issues they care about. (New York Times Study)

50. LinkedIn is the preferred network for buyers looking for advice on business-related content. (Curata)

51. Women share more blog posts than men (so there!). (AOL)

Promote your blog to get performance.

52. Social media for traffic: 87% say that social media helps them boost their exposure. (Social Media Examiner)

53. Emailing content marketing pieces (like your blog) generates a 38x return for every 1$ spent. (Campaign Monitor)

54. Bloggers who use BlogWorks to promote their blog save an average of 8 hours per month (and a whole lot of frustration!). (Learn how we do it!)

55. 61% of B2B content marketers increased their use of social media for content marketing (including blogging) compared to one year ago. (Search Engine Watch)

56. LinkedIn works! LinkedIn is the most effective social media platform for delivering content and getting audience engagement. (Hubspot)

57. Are you emailing? 21% of all business bloggers send posts through an email newsletter to their subscriber base at least weekly; 39% of best practitioners do this weekly. (Curata)

There you have it — enough statistics to fill a boatload of statisticians and keep them arguing for a month. Meanwhile, you have a business to run — and we can turn your blog into a prospect converting machine. We do all that for you. Packages start at $97/month.

Enjoyed this blogging facts article? Here are 3 more of our favorites:

7 Types of Call To Action to Move your Blog Readers to Action
Why you should be re-loving your old blog posts
How to never run out of blog ideas ever again

Sources:
https://searchenginewatch.com/2018/11/21/7-content-marketing-stats-2019/
https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/2018-b2b-research-final.pdf
http://text-ex-machina.co.uk/blog/new-york-times-study.html
https://expresswriters.com/blogging-statistics/
http://bit.ly/2DtAcaL
https://www.campaignmonitor.com/resources/guides/email-marketing-new-rules/
http://bit.ly/2Dsjn03
https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2016/08/26/seo-strategies
http://www.curata.com/blog/content-marketing-statistics-the-ultimate-list/
https://marketingexperiments.com/digital-advertising/stock-images-tested
https://www.impactbnd.com/
http://www.curata.com/resources/ebooks/content-marketing-tactics-technology-planner
http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2011/06/headline-click-through-rate/
https://conversionxl.com/blog/5-characteristics-high-converting-headlines/
https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2017/10/stats-invest-content-marketing/
https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/2017_B2C_Research_Final-rev-10-26-16.pdf
https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics
https://www.searchenginepeople.com/blog/8-blogging-stats-2017-strategy.html
https://www.orbitmedia.com/blog/blogging-statistics/
https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics
https://www.demandgenreport.com/resources/research/2016-content-preferences-survey-b2b-buyers-value-content-that-offers-data-and-analysis
http://www.stateofinbound.com/
https://clutch.co/agencies/social-media-marketing/resources/social-media-survey-2017
https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/report/
https://backlinko.com/search-engine-ranking
https://moz.com/blog/content-shares-and-links-insights-from-analyzing-1-million-articles
https://www.omnicoreagency.com/digital-marketing-statistics-2018/
https://blog.hubspot.com/news-trends/content-trends-preferences
https://okdork.com/we-analyzed-nearly-1-million-headlines-heres-what-we-learned/

How to Build a Better Blog: 5 Industry Experts Share Their Top Tips

build a better blog

Sometimes a simple lesson can change everything.

Like how to use questions to turn a hesitant prospect into a new client.

Or how to start with benefits instead of features when writing sales copy.

The same is true with blogging … often the simplest lessons will out-perform the most complicated.

That’s what this post is all about. I wanted to ask the experts what really worked when it came to building a successful blog.

Specifically, I asked them:

“What should busy business owners do to get better results from their blog?”

I wanted simple strategies that could be implemented to build a better blog even with the busiest schedule. And I wanted long-game strategies. After all, blogging is not about quick-fix, sudden windfall marketing tricks. Right?

You have a blog because you understand the power of attracting followers and building loyalty. And we all know that getting good things in life often takes time.

Reader warning:

If you are 20-something and spend most of your time watching YouTube videos about SEO tricks and long-tail keyword research this post is not for you.

 

Here’s a list of the solutions the experts provided:

  1. Keep the faith
  2. Answer your audience
  3. Reach out to others
  4. Rework what’s already working
  5. Write to be shared

1. Keep the faith

Most bloggers want to quit. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

You are going to want to quit…most bloggers do.

After all, unless you have a team or have outsourced the whole process, writing, editing, publishing and promoting your blog is … a lot of work!

But the results can be better than any other form of advertising or marketing you invest in. Your blog can be found and read years later (even one year after being published, this post on my personal blog still attracts over 7,500 readers per month), generating leads for your business without you having to do anything.

The trick is to keep the faith.

Harsh Agrawal

“Start doing what you want to do.” wrote author and blogger, Harsh Agrawal, “You will only get better with time.”

 

At BlogWorks, every month we are faced with advertising/promotion decisions. While the “older” strategies, like Facebook advertising, Google retargeting and email blasts are still there, newer ones, like Instagram stories and video posts on LinkedIn are waiting there to be discovered and explored.

It all takes time – often time and money.

The good news is you have one of the most powerful strategies working for you already. It’s called a blog.

Now, maybe you’re only getting 100 people reading your blog per day. But, that’s not how to think about it! Anyone who has promoted public seminars knows the power of having an audience. With your blog, you have that every day!

It might be that your average reader only stays for 2 or 3 minutes. That’s great! Now get them to read a related post. Or direct them to your contact page, or send them to a survey.

Instead of quitting on your blog and chasing the next advertising BSO (bright shiny object), keep the faith.

Speaking of related articles, this post will show you exactly how to get more readers to your blog.

2. Answer your audience

answer your audience. Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

The most important lesson in marketing is (I’m putting it in caps so you can’t miss it):

KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER.

Yet it’s surprising how many bloggers seem to have picked their topics using an Ouija board.

If you can’t prove you know your customer, it’s like ignoring your customer. And nothing drives business away faster than ignoring your customer.

Nothing drives business away faster than ignoring your customer. Click To Tweet

Imagine you want to buy a new phone. You’ve got lots of questions. You want to buy the perfect phone. But, instead of getting someone interested in listening, answering your questions and helping to narrow down your choices, you got a commission-driven, fast-talking sales person who wastes your time telling you all the ways he uses his phone.

Ugh.

“Whatever anyone’s objections, concerns, unknowns, etc. might be,” wrote blogger, podcaster and author, Pat Flynn “your posts should be published to address them.”

In our nano-second, attention deprived lifestyle, the more targeted your blog topics, the more you will attract your ideal customer.

Consider the headlines of blog posts that ended up on page 1 of Google:

Leadership Qualities that will make you a better Entrepreneur – Neil Patel

and one written on a similar topic that fell to page 10.

10 Essential Business Leadership Skills

Notice how the first title is more descriptive and targeted? When you read the first headline, your initial impression is that this post is going to help make you a better entrepreneur and leader.

“This will help with SEO, yes,” says Flynn, “but more than that it’ll help your audience know that you know exactly what they’re going through, and they’re likely to know you have the solutions.”

Whatever time of year you are reading this is a good time to do basic retargeting. Start with questions your clients have been asking you.

When I started BlogWorks I used to think my customers wanted what I wanted: SEO ranking, higher site traffic numbers, and sales conversions.

And while all of that is true (and this is an important point) – those were not the core benefits I needed to pay attention to.

When I really listened to what my customers were telling me on every phone call and email, an overwhelming number of inquiries were saying they just wanted to get social media off their list.

Sure, they might like updating friends on Facebook, but what they didn’t want was the time-consuming, often repetitive, updating of their social media channels for their business.

They wanted social media done for them.

What is the single most important benefit your customers asking for?

3. Reach out to others

The most successful businesses in history – and any successful startup owner knows this – started with a group of people working together.

Your blog is no different – the sooner you build relationships, the faster your audience will grow.

“Spend more time on building the right relationships.” wrote writer and part-time entrepreneur, Ryan Robinson “If you have hopes of growing your blog’s traffic, sure you need to keep it well-stocked with high-quality content—that’s a given in today’s world. However, the biggest way you can truly stand out from the crowd (and see your content rise to the top of organic search rankings) is by building meaningful relationships with other brands, bloggers, and business owners in your industry.”

 

Ryan is a great example of reaching out to other bloggers. In only a few years he built his blog and social presence (including his podcast The Side Hustle Project) to an audience of over 250,000.

And it all starts with giving back.

“Work hard to deliver value to others that already have an existing audience of established readers you’d like to reach.” wrote Robinson.

In addition to commenting on a blog you admire, reach out with a direct message (DM) on Twitter or comment in LinkedIn to the author.

You might be surprised how reaching out with a personal note of appreciation will get the notice of even the most popular online personality.

In fact, that’s how I got input from the authors you are reading about in this post!

You might be surprised how reaching out with a personal note of appreciation will get the notice of even the most popular online personality. Click To Tweet

“After building up some goodwill,” continues Robinson, “pitch them on writing a guest post that’ll give you the opportunity to get in front of their audience, bring some new readers back to your blog, and all the while continue growing the number of high authority links that point back to your site. This naturally takes time, but the payoff, in the long run, is unbeatable.”

4. Rework what’s already working

In 2013, entrepreneur and co-founder of Flickr, Stewart Butterfield was ready to abandon his failing online game platform and let all his staff go. The money he’d raised was running out and the game wasn’t going to be ready on time.

But there was a simple communication tool his team had invented for their own use that Butterfield could see had some market potential.

“And it was only once we had decided to shut down the game that we realized, like, hey, this system is actually pretty good. We would never work without a system like this again. Like, this – it’s so much better than anything else we had used before. Maybe other people would like it.” Stewart Butterfield, NPR, How I Built This

That simple tool, now known as Slack now boasts 8 million daily users and a market value in the billions. Not bad for a company that 5 years before was close to folding.

Every blogger has a hidden gem in their archives that should be reworked and brought to light.

“Before you write another new blog post,” wrote Rich Brooks, CEO of Flyte New Media, “’rehab’ some previous posts that may need some updating.”

 

Another way to build a better blog is to start by identifying blog posts that are still driving lots of traffic, but are not ranking on the top search engine pages.

“Add new images, more data, additional expert quotes, and so on” continues Brooks “to really make an old post shine, and then republish that post at the same URL. You’ll save time and get better search results.”

5. WRITE TO BE SHAREDwrite to be shared blog post

I’ll let you in on a little secret.

In fact, this secret changed the way I think about blogging. Completely.

Here it is: people share what makes them look smart.

Think about it: after you listen to a podcast you enjoyed, notice what part of it you shared with a friend? Or why did you retweet that update about your industry, or share a blog post?

Sure, you want to be helpful, but a part of you is also saying “Hey, look at what I discovered!”

After all, we don’t share stuff that’s boring, commonplace or that we think a friend, or our followers on social media, already know about. We share to be helpful, but also because it makes us look smart.

On social media people share content that makes them look smart. Tell a friend

Now, flip that around and look at your latest blog post.

  • Is it something readers will share?
  • Have you shared clever insights or frameworks?
  • Did you unravel a nagging problem lots of people struggle with?

If not, you have work to do to build a better blog.

“No one cares about your blog,” wrote author, blogger and entrepreneur Johnathan Milligan, “unless you are adding value to their lives in some way.”

 

No one cares about your blog unless you are adding value to their lives in some way. @JonMilligan Click To Tweet

WHERE TO GO FROM HERE TO BUILD A BETTER BLOG

There you have it, 5 strategies from 5 experts that don’t involve crazy advertising schemes, big budgets or even hours of work. Simple, long-game ways to attract more followers, build loyalty and grow your business.

And I’ll add one more: don’t get distracted.

The Internet is a busy place and everyone has the next great idea. We have no idea how great their idea is in reality, or what they went through to make it happen, or how much time they had on their hands. It’s just one more Bright Shiny Object about to pull us away from the fundamentals.

Blogging is a long game and it requires patience – just like building any relationship. And don’t forget to look at what BlogWorks can do for you. It’s like having a dedicated assistant doing your social media but without the recruitment, hiring, training, management or high cost. BlogWorks is the smart way to get your social media done.