How Can You Become A Smarter Blogger
Do you ever feel this way?
Some bloggers seem to have all the luck….They get way more shares than you….They get tons more email subscribers than you and they even get much higher search rankings than you.
Even their content is good, but certainly not better than yours…..right?
So why is it, that their content IS so much more successful than yours?
What are they doing different than you?
The difference is in the way they promote it.
As a blogger, you’ll have been lectured many times on the importance of good content and you’ve been told you must create high-quality content….. Awesome content…..Even epic content.
“Smart bloggers know that while quality is important, it’s just one piece of the content puzzle……says Andy Crestodina …..in fact – and prepare to be shocked – it’s not even the most important piece of the puzzle“.
You need to ask yourself: who gets more traffic – the blogger who’s great at writing and good at promotion, or the blogger who’s good at writing and great at promotion?
“The answer should be obvious, says Andy, the blogger who’s great at promotion will run circles around the talented writer every time”.
The smart blogger will use the following 6 tips from Andy Crestodina, Strategic Director of Orbit Media to ensure that they get great at promotion…..
1) Think Cross-Channel and Multi-Format
- The smart blogger knows how to combine promotion tactics and content formats for maximum effect.
- That means blending search, social and email:
- Email and social allow you to stay connected to your audience.
- Social and search enable discovery, bringing new traffic and subscribers.
- Search and email give you consistent visibility with your readers.
- Content is at the heart of all three channels, but you can’t just push out the same content in each.
- You must create assets in many formats.
- Each asset is created with promotion in mind, knowing that different formats get traction in different channels.
Email Subject Lines, Tweets, Facebook Posts
- These need headlines that grab attention, surprise the reader, include numbers (as in, list posts), align with cultural trends or leave a curiosity gap.
- This requires titles and headings that align with phrases people are searching for – including complete questions and phrases – and long, detailed articles.
Pinterest, Instagram, SlideShare and YouTube
- These visual channels require evocative images that grab attention.
- Do this by including a person’s face and a headline or subheadline from the article.
- Be sure to size images appropriately for each network.
- If you want a single piece of content to get traction in several channels, combine tactics.
- For example:
- Use provocative images with embedded headlines as the featured image in a post.
- Then embed a video with a striking thumbnail image or a slideshow with a compelling title slide.
- **To create headlines that get traction in both social media and SEO, use a colon to separate the search-friendly keyword from the social-friendly click bait.
- This gives you good key-phrase prominence (phrase appears at the beginning of the title) but still lets you leverage human psychology in the rest of the headline/title.
2) Use Your Blog as the Ultimate Networking Tool
- Smart bloggers are power networkers.
- They know that the difference between a popular blog and a deserted blog is relationships.
- So they’re constantly using their blogs as tools to connect with other people.
Here’s how to use your blog as a power networking tool:
- Take a stand. Rant a little. State an opinion and invite dissent. Start discussions that power players will be unable to resist joining.
- Move the conversation from the blog into social media and vice versa.
- Source topics from relevant communities on social media: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Quora. Intentionally focus on communities where your target influencers are known to hang out.
- Write detailed, thoughtful comments. Share half-formed ideas and ask for input. Talk to people in the comments of their blogs.
- Write response posts, adding to what people have written elsewhere. Most people will be flattered that their writing has inspired other people.
- When you share a blog post, mention specific people who would likely be interested in what you wrote. Use social media to find specific people who will love the content.
Are you making friends on your blog?
3) ABC. Always Be Collaborating.
- Never a good idea to work alone.
- To be a smart blogger, you must collaborate – with friends, influencers, readers, even competitors.
- Collaboration strengthens your network and goes beyond simple outreach because it creates bonds through content.
- The advantage of collaboration is that each co-creator is also a partner in promotion once the content goes live.
- And here’s a trick that most bloggers miss: get the voice of your target audience into your content.
Are you looking to increase engagement with your readers?
- Come up with a content idea that would benefit from their input.
- Conduct a survey that puts their views and experiences at the heart of your next post.
- Collaboration has two huge benefits: it shares the burden of creating content easier, and it creates allies when it comes time to promote the content.
4) Go Big or Go Home
- Big results come from big efforts.
- The pros know this well.
- They know that content that goes way beyond what’s expected gets more traction than a dozen medium-quality posts.
- Content that’s more detailed, more comprehensive, or simply asks the questions no one else took the time to ask cuts through the noise created by less-ambitious content.
- Bigger content is far easier to promote.
- It’s more worthy of shares, links, opens and clicks.
- Bigger content also gives you an advantage for longer.
- Because content that is harder to create is also harder to replicate.
- So are you creating something truly original?
- Are you investing enough time in your content?
Are you going big?
5) Get Strategic About Your Content
- Start with a plan to dominate a topic within their niche and then systematically create the posts (and other types of content) required to make it happen.
- By staying focused on the topic for longer, you will get bigger benefits.
- Don’t create isolated posts; create interconnected hubs of content.
- A strong content hub does the following:
- Offers value on several interrelated sub-topics
- Targets several key phrases
- Includes content in various formats (as discussed in point #1)
- Appears on more than one website (e.g., via guest blogging)
- Includes content created by various collaborators
Are you creating a deliberate structure between your posts and the rest of the content on your blog?
6) Use Your Analytics to Actually Do Analysis
- A smart blogger knows that analytics is not a scoreboard – it’s a decision support tool.
- They use insights gained from their analytics to influence their promotion strategy
- If you’re not currently using analytics, you’re blogging in the dark.
- And if you’re using analytics simply to keep score, you’re missing a huge opportunity – the ongoing improvement of your blog and its promotion.
- A process based on trials, testing and a regular review of analytics.
- So, are you making decisions based on data?
- Do you know what’s working and what isn’t?
- Are you truly analyzing the performance of your content?
In a crowded blogosphere, great content isn’t enough.
You need great promotion too.
That’s why popular bloggers are as serious about promoting their content as they are about creating it in the first place.
If a blog post is created without a plan for promotion, it won’t get the traffic or the reach – or the end results – it deserves.
You must adopt a promotion-focused mindset and start taking action.
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To Your Success,