2019 is your year! This is the year you finally do all those things you’ve been meaning to do since 2015 😉 And first on the list? Learning how to improve your blog so you can drive more traffic to your site, and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Now, before we jump into how to improve your blog, you may be wondering whether you even need to blog at all. Do people actually read blogs? Isn’t blogging just something stay at home moms and angsty college kids do to pass the time? Hasn’t blogging gone out of style yet?? Well, the truth is, since the very first blog was created by a college student in 1994 (yes, that’s 25 years ago! You can still see the highlights here), it has gone from being mainly a social platform, or an online version of a diary, to being one of the most powerful tactics used to strengthen a company’s online presence.
There are a few reasons for this. Blogging regularly and consistently:
- Establishes you as a thought leader in your field
- Allows your audience to get to know you and begin to trust you
- Keeps you top of mind so even if your audience isn’t ready to buy now, when they are, you’ll be the first person they think of
- Makes Google love you (assuming you’re blogging by their rules — more on that later)
- Creates opportunities for you to get more visibility thanks to your existing audience sharing your great content with their audience (always a good thing!)
- Provides frequent opportunities for your audience to connect with you
Suffice it to say, you need to be blogging. Now let’s dive into how to improve your blog.
How To Improve Your Blog By Learning From The Experts
- They are easy to read – all of these blogs are written in a casual, conversational style and are broken up with headers, bullet points and short blocks of text. This makes their articles easy to scan and digest on a busy day.
- They make it easy to learn more – if they bring up a side topic, no matter how small or how vaguely related to the main topic, they always include a hyperlink so I can learn more if I’m interested.
- They provide practical examples I can reference. They don’t just tell me what to do, they provide examples of work other people have already done so I have a visual to reference when doing something myself.
- They provide insightful input and/or a new perspective on what’s working now in my industry. They’re not just rehashing the same stuff over and over or sharing the same information I can get on 100 other sites. These blogs all give me a new way to look at things, new ideas for implementation and steps to get closer to where I want to be.
- They tell me what to do. When I read an article on one of these sites, I don’t just get inspired, I get an action plan.
These are the blogs I love, but what they’re doing might be totally irrelevant for your audience. So since we’re talking about how to improve your blog (not mine), here’s your action plan for the week: find a blog (or 5…) that you love and that are relevant to your audience, and figure out what exactly it is that keeps bringing you back. Then, do that! It really is that simple.
How To Improve Your Blog By Reading Your Audience’s Mind
Your audience is already online. You just have to figure out how to get them to your site. The easiest way to do that is to put things they are already searching for online, on your site. It’s time to become a mind reader!
Ok, you don’t actually have to read your audience’s mind, the internet will do it for you! Keep reading…
There are a lot of different ways you can figure out exactly what your audience is searching for online. Here are a few of my favorites:
- AnswerThePublic – When you visit this page, you’ll see this very grumpy old man who will start to yell at you if you hang out on his page for too long (I have no idea why they’ve chosen this as the entry point to their site but it makes me laugh EVERY. TIME.) Simply type in your short form keyword (i.e. “skincare”) and the grumpy old man will spit out an entire list of potential blog titles.
- Quora – This site contains actual questions asked by real life people around the world. Search for your keywords and grab everything that’s relevant to your audience.
- BuzzSumo – Get examples of real headlines that have performed well in your industry. Is there anything here you can create a new spin on? Sharing your perspective on trending topics in your industry is a great way to drive traffic to your site!
- Reddit – I’ll be honest — this platform is a little clunky but it is a treasure trove of great topics. Search your keywords and look for things that have a lot of upvotes. You might have to poke around a bit but if you can get used to the platform, this is a fantastic resource.
- Amazon best selling books – Find best selling books in your industry and look at their titles, table of contents, summary, etc. What are people paying to learn more about? If you share similar content for free on your blog you’ll gain lots of raving fans! 😉
- Hubspot – Type your keywords in and this generator will spit out a week’s worth of potential blog titles.
Whichever tool you decide to use, the results won’t all be relevant to your audience, and they won’t even all make sense, but take the ones that do make sense and add them to a list. This is now your editorial calendar for 2019! Schedule time each week to sit down and write one blog post. (As an added bonus, once you’re done, that blog post becomes the focus of most of your social media posts for that week!)
How To Improve Your Blog By Ranking Higher On Google
We have had so many clients in the past who are brilliant experts in their field, writing content that their audience desperately needs. The problem? It doesn’t do them any good if no one is seeing their content.
When someone performs a Google search, the results that pop up first will be those that follow Google’s rules. Things like:
- Your site should be mobile friendly. In many cases, 60-70% of your website traffic is coming from mobile. This is no longer a “maybe”, it’s a must.
- Your site needs to be fast. People will click away from your site in seconds if it doesn’t load quickly enough.
- Your blog needs to be keyword dense and feature the right keywords.
- Your blog posts should be long, and scannable. Now, chances are most of your readers won’t read your blogs word for word (sorry to burst your bubble) but by making your blogs long and scannable (by breaking copy up with headlines, bullet points, images and short paragraphs), it will be easier for your readers to find exactly the info they need.
- Your blogs should be optimized for SEO. We use Yoast on our site and love it!
Yoast is a plugin that integrates seamlessly with your WordPress dashboard (it does only works on WordPress sites but there are a ton of options out there for other platforms) and makes it super easy to see exactly what you need to do to optimize your posts.
Additionally, every blog should have a powerful call-to-action. Your blog doesn’t do you any good if it doesn’t move people toward actually purchasing from you. Now, that doesn’t mean every blog needs to lead directly to a sale; but it does mean, every blog needs to have an opportunity for your readers to connect with you at some level, whether that’s by sending you an email, setting up a 15 minute phone call to talk about how you can help them, or even signing up for your free opt-in. People like being told what to do (I promise they really do!) So tell them what you want them to do!
Want to learn more about how to improve your blog using SEO and make Google love you? You can do that here.
Need some inspiration for your blog titles? Download our fill-in-the-blank headlines for FREE now!
We know managing your blog can be hard to prioritize, especially when you have 500 other things on your plate that are more enjoyable. If this is you, we would love to take blogging off your plate and manage it for you. Shoot us an email to learn more about how we can help!