Blogging is a long-term marketing strategy. It’s tough to find a business with a website and no blog these days.
On the top-level, blogging brings three strong benefits:
When you regularly post content on your business blog, it attracts new visitors through various channels. There’s organic search traffic, social media, email and paid ads. With each post, you’re pouring in company resources—but this has proven ROI when you do it right.
Unlike paid advertising, blog posts remain on your site for as long as you keep the site up. You continue to reap the benefits of having a blog way beyond publish dates.
On the whole, businesses with blogs enjoy 80 percent more traffic than those that don’t.
Inbound Leads and Sales
It’s not a tough combination: website + traffic = more leads and more sales. As long as you focus on the needs of your audience and you promote your content in places around the internet where your prospects are found, you will attract the right people who have interest and intent to buy or be a customer of your business.
QuickSprout reported that businesses with blogs get to as much as 126 percent more leads!
Increased Industry Authority
A business blog allows you to provide ongoing value to your audience—your prospects and your customers. When you provide constant value, it adds to your credibility as a brand and your position as a source of expert information in your industry. When you continuously give your audience content that actually has purpose in their lives, that sets you apart from competition.
In the long-term, your blog will become a source of insight for your audience. At the moment of decision, your brand is top of mind.
As amazing as blogging is as part of your content marketing strategy, it comes with its own set of challenges. Besides, nothing this rewarding comes easy.
Here are some hurdles to your content marketing strategy:
OK, so this is not really so much a problem as it is a reality when doing business. It’s just very apparent because content marketing, although fledgling, is still a very young marketing strategy. This means everyone is still trying to position themselves ahead of the pack. Everyday you see your competitor publishing astonishing content, it feels like a kick in the gut.
The pressure is intense.
Not enough resources
Alongside fierce competition and the desire to succeed come the reality that resources need to be available. From writers, to marketers and tools, if you want to continue pushing out awesome content it’s going to take a pretty penny. The standard of quality for content on the internet is continuously going up, so that’s another thing that requires more resources.
Lack of focus
Some businesses tend to cover too many topics or cover too little topics because of the desire to keep up with all the content around. The truth is that, these days, the challenge is to create content that will rise above the noise. Not so much having a full library on every topic, but having something unique and astonishing to offer.
Content creator burnout
This is very real and something I’ve felt as a content creator. There is a constant need to think of ideas, source them from different places and, of course, actually write.
Sometimes, it’s very overwhelming—especially that writing and content creation as a whole is mostly a solo endeavor.
When your in-house content person is burnt out, you sometimes need to outsource your needs to freelancers. There are a lot of great freelancers out there, but something I can confidently say is that paying a high price doesn’t guarantee quality.
It’s all about the fit. Does the freelancer know the ins and outs of your industry? Is their style in sync with your brand voice? There are so many factors that come in when talking about quality content, and sometimes, it takes a long time to develop content creators that can deliver that.
Coming up with ideas
This just might be the plague of the content marketing world right here. With the pressure of producing and setting yourself apart, comes the drive to constantly generate new ideas. It’s a drag and it’s almost impossible to come up with something entirely new—given you want to write for your target audience over and over.
We know it’s maddening, but we’re here to help. So we put together a list of fresh idea and content sources for your blog.
Game? Let’s do it!
Ways to never run out of fresh content
Comment threads of top blogs in your niche
The most popular blogs get the most traffic and engagement, and they have loads of people discussing topics related and unrelated to posts in the comments section. Assuming the business with the top blog is doing its work right, they will have a highly targeted audience visiting their blog.
Here’s your chance: Skim through the comments section for interesting comments and thoughts. There are always people who ask questions that are left unanswered on these well-performing posts, so grab the questions and develop them into content!
Youtube is an awesome source of content. People assume that Youtube is only good for music videos and random vlogs but you’ll be surprised at the level of quality of content that’s accessible for free on the platform. Virtually attend recorded conferences, webinars are usually uploaded here as well.
A great resource that I’ve been taking advantage of recently are Hangouts/Skype sessions and recorded workshops on Youtube. You get to hear unscripted thoughts and comments from people of varying competence and knowledge in your niche.
Interview your best customers
Have you created case studies for your business? If not, you’re surely missing out. The best way to show others that your business actually produces results for clients is by showcasing your customers. Take some time to interview success stories—those who are happy with your products or services. Just write about their journey and why they chose you, how their lives have improved by being your customers. You can even have a separate section on your site that features customer success stories.
Webinars are seminars held over the web through video streaming. Most of these webinars are recorded and uploaded on websites like Vimeo and Youtube. Catch up on what’s latest in your industry and related industries. You’re sure to get content topic ideas from these webinars/ Not only that, you get to learn something new. Actually, you can watch webinars not only for the content but also to pick up lessons so you can eventually hold your own webinars.
Find out what people have been searching for around your industry. Google auto-complete shows you the most popular searches around a topic.
Say you target parents. Searching “back to school” on Google will show you this:
Now you have more ideas to write about on one particular topic and you’re sure that it matches the intent of searches because people have been searching for it in droves.
A warning, though. The searches can range from reasonable to outright ridiculous—so as with anything, exercise judgement.
Amazon top books in your industry
The top selling books on Amazon are about the topics that people like to learn about the most. Using Amazon to come up with topics is not only brilliant but takes a lot of the work out of your hands.
Pick a topic from the top books and you’re sure to be able to generate a treasure of related topics based on the main one.
Linking two unrelated topics
Here’s a hack I learned playing games in college. When we have a lot of free time with nothing to do, we’d pick two unrelated things and try to connect them in a story. For example, chocolate and leather boots. Ok, so that’s where I got the idea, but if you’re coming up for topics around your industry, make at least one of the two things heavily related or directly related to your niche. Example: If you’re in the dog training industry, make one thing “dog leash” and the other one something random.
It’s a challenge to connect these things but nothing’s easy! And of course, coming up with great ideas is always about forcing yourself to think in a different way or see things from a different perspective.
Every industry needs a dose of wisdom and motivation. Look up a famous personality in your niche (passed or alive). Take a quote and build a topic around that. Pick a quote that’s heavy on the niche content—not too general.
For example, if you’re in the car accessories industry, search for famous car makers in history and take a quote. In this, it’s a no brainer to use a quote from someone like Henry Ford.
I will build a motor car for the great multitude…constructed of the best materials, by the best men to be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering can devise…so low in price that no man making a good salary will be unable to own one.
– Henry Ford
From this quote, you can take on a number of topics like the importance of using the best materials, choosing the best people to do the job, and so on.
So, there you have it! Some ideas to help you come up with fresh content day in and out. We will post more tips and hacks in coming posts so stay tuned!