Did you know that blog posts have a major effect on consumer buying behavior?
According to Quicksprout, 61% of US consumers have made a purchase based on a post, and 57% of companies have acquired a customer from their blog. So, if you’re serious about building a loyal customer base, you should prioritize blogging as a part of your overall content marketing strategy.
But turning your blog into a revenue-generating machine isn’t as easy as writing whatever is on your mind and pressing “publish.” Let’s talk about several things you’ll need to do before you can expect to see positive results from your blog.
1. Don’t just write good content – write great content.
Modern marketers understand that the days of SEO keyword stuffing are long gone. These days, you should be focused on link building and naturally including keywords in your content to rank high in the search engines.
But how can you get other businesses and bloggers to link back to your content?
Simple. Make sure it’s so good that they can’t resist linking back to your content. They should see your content as an authoritative resource that they can use to prove whatever point they’re trying to make in their own blog posts.
Now, I know what you’re probably thinking:
How can I write a blog post that is likely to be shared?
Here are a few things you should do:
- Make it fluff-free – If you’ve been writing long posts just for the sake of a high word count, stop. When you write, you should trim down your content until you’re sure that every sentence adds value to your posts.
- Add lots of helpful links – While every other word in your blog posts shouldn’t include a link, you should definitely include links when necessary. Try to make sure each link helps the reader find more in-depth information on the topic they’re searching for.
- Include examples and actionable advice – If you’re telling someone how to do something in your post, include plenty of details. That way, when they’re done reading, they’ll have everything they need to go out and do the task themselves.
2. Craft an attention-grabbing headline for every post
Think about it – if no one clicks on your blog post to read it in the first place, they certainly aren’t going to share it. And your headline often determines whether or not people will click on your blog post.
That’s why you should never throw a headline together in a few seconds – you have to really stop and think about it. Otherwise, your blog may never see the traffic you want, even if it’s well-written and includes all of the other elements of a great blog post.
3. Publish new posts often
Before I go any further here, let’s make one thing clear: when you’re publishing blog posts, quality is more important than quantity.
In other words, someone who creates one amazing blog post every week is going to be a lot more successful than someone who throws together a poorly written blog post every single day.
But still, you should publish as often as you can without sacrificing quality. Take a look at Hubspot’s data on the subject:
And I know – 16 posts per month is a lot, especially if you’re running a small business or start-up where no one really has time to write every day. But remember, if you don’t have time to write, you can always look for a freelance writer who is an expert in your niche.
4. Answer common customer questions
I don’t mean you have to literally write a Q&A-style post (although that could work). I simply mean that your blog posts should address issues that your target audience faces.
Let’s take a look at a blog that does this called Landlordology.
Landlordology is actually run by a company called Cozy that offers property management software. So, they created the Landlordology website/blog to offer lots of free resources to property managers (their target audience).
By attracting property managers to the Landlordology blog, they’re able to bring that same audience over to Cozy too.
Because offering high-quality free resources (blog posts, whitepapers, eBooks, etc.) builds trust. You can bet that the property managers who regularly read the Landlordology blog are going to pick Cozy when it’s time for them to buy property management software.
You can use this approach too, no matter what industry you’re in. Here are a few examples of how it could work:
- If you’re an IT service provider, start a blog that offers free IT/computer tips. Address the most common computer-related issues your target audience is facing, but don’t use complex IT terms (unless you’re certain that your audience understands those terms).
- If you’re a makeup company, blog about the latest makeup trends and how to apply certain types of makeup.
- If you’re a dog boarding business, answer common questions dog owners have about their dog’s health and safety. You could also start a blog series where you feature one breed of dog in each post – people love to read specific stuff about their animals!
See how that works? In each scenario, you’re giving your ideal customers the information they’re looking for in relation to what you’re selling.
So, next time you blog, ask yourself if what you’re writing about is something your customers are likely to search for. If not, it’s time to make some serious changes.
5. Optimize for search engines, but write for readers
When you’re blogging, writing like a robot and stuffing your blog post with SEO key words are pretty much the two worst things you can do.
Yes, you should still optimize for search engines, but your SEO efforts shouldn’t be obvious to the reader. When you write a post, your key word should appear in:
- The meta description
- One header (try to include it in one header)
- The title and URL
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t force a key word into your content if it doesn’t sound natural. You’ve got to focus mainly on writing for your readers as far as your topic, tone, and style.
6. Make sure your posts are formatted for easy readability
Let’s face it – no one wants to read a giant wall of text. That’s why it’s important for you to break up your text when you blog using:
- Bulleted lists
You can also break up your text by making sure that each paragraph you write is a maximum of 3-4 sentences long. That way, there’s plenty of white space and your blog posts don’t look quite as intimidating to read.
When you’re deciding how long to make each paragraph, you’ll also want to consider your font size and where your readers will be viewing your post.
For example, if your font is pretty large, you’ll want to keep paragraphs even shorter than you normally would – otherwise, you’ll still end up with a wall of text.
Similarly, if most of your readers view your blog on their mobile phone, you’ll want to keep paragraphs short too. That’s because a paragraph on mobile will typically appear to take up more of the screen than it would on a computer.
Not sure what I mean? Take a look at these screenshots from BoostBlogTraffic.com that show the same blog post on two different screens (PC and mobile phone):
See how different the content looks? Those one-sentence paragraphs suddenly look pretty long when you view them on a mobile screen.
So, make sure you always format your blog posts for easy readability on every screen if you want readers to enjoy your content and keep coming back for more.
7. Add a call-to-action at the end of each post
While it’s typically not a good idea to blatantly advertise your services in your blog posts, you may want to try creating a lead-generating graphic to use at the end of them, like this:
Just make sure that whatever you’re advertising is relevant to your readers.
You can also include a call-to-action in the text of your blog post to encourage reader comments, like the italicized section at the end of this post:
You’ll likely see more engagement in your comments section when you do this, which gives you a chance to build relationships with your readers by responding to those comments.
Blogging regularly is a great way to connect with your audience, build a stronger brand, and gain more authority in your industry. If you follow the tips outlined here, you’ll be more likely to see those kinds of results.
Just remember that blogging the right way takes a significant amount of time and effort, and seeing a return on your investment in blogging can take several months. Keep working hard and publishing high-quality posts, and that work will pay off eventually in the form of new leads.
Do you have any other tips for businesses looking to generate revenue with their blog? Share below in the comments section!