Posted on Aug 7, 2018

High-Value Blogs: How to Build Them and Increase Site Traffic

How many times have you visited a business’ blog, clicked on a compelling headline, and read through the blog only to discover it was full of obvious, unhelpful, buzzy content? Not only did you close that window, you resented that business. You wasted your time reading a low-value blog and that business wasn’t willing to invest in providing you with useful information.

This is a common, disastrous, and completely avoidable experience. Follow these steps to create high-value blogs that drive traffic to your website.

As You Decide Topics, Ask Yourself, “Will Covering This Topic Help My Audience and, If So, How?”

Content only lands if it offers something unique and informative. Uniqueness can take many forms. You can cover a new topic. You can write about an obvious topic, but present new information. With either approach, you need to provide well-researched, relevant information that your audience can only get from your content.

Start by brainstorming blog topics. For each topic, perform a light search for reputable sources and give it a tentative headline.

The list should be substantial. Remember that your audience expects you to post every week or every other week. Therefore, your goal is to have 26 or 52 great ideas after the brainstorm session. During the assessment process, you will end up scratching off anywhere from a quarter to half of your ideas. Do the math and toss out enough tentative topics to make your goal.

What’s the determining factor of what gets scratched off the list and what doesn’t? Usefulness.

With every topic, you must assess if the topic helps your audience. Then, ask yourself how it helps. If you cannot provide three specific ways the topic provides useful information to your audience, remove it from the list.

Don’t Forget the Nuts and Bolts of Posting

Your topic list will help you form a content calendar. This schedule is critical for streamlining how and when you post. Use a digital task calendar like Basecamp to manage, edit, and add to your schedule.

Next, connect your social media accounts and your blog. You’ll be cross-promoting all of your blog posts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and occasionally, Instagram. This cross-promotion will also require scheduling. Try to use a social media management platform and content creation calendar like Hootsuite to automate the posting times.

In addition to sharing your posts on social media channels, share your links via email with influencers, repost them on forums, and publish them in your email newsletter.

Though previously stated, it cannot be overemphasized: remember to blog every week or every other week. Consistency is paramount. Your readership will grow as your content improves. As a result, your audience will expect you to continue giving them the information they want. Do not skip a week for any reason. Your audience will stop following faster than you can imagine, and the subsequent damage can be irreparable.

When you write a blog post, only use reputable sources. Stick to first-hand sources, such as professional or academic studies, white papers, government websites, and elite industry leaders. Cite and link your sources when it’s pertinent.

You’re writing for a digital audience, most of whom will be scanning your post on mobile devices. That means they do not want to read long sentences and extensive paragraphs. Keep the language succinct. It may help you to write or edit your content using the Purdue Online Writing Lab’s paramedic method.

Format the blog for mobile reading. Add a bold, eye-catching headline, and break up the text with bolded subheaders. Also break up paragraphs, keeping them to no more than four sentences.

Use Your Blog to Tell Stories That Inspire and Generate an Emotional Response

News and other kinds of informative articles should appear on your blog. But, they shouldn’t be the only kind of posts you write. Your audience wants to be inspired. They want to read content that makes them feel something—excitement, happiness, empathy, even anger.

Compelling content starts with your headline. Great headlines are very, very challenging to write. As a rule of thumb, the more “feeling” words they contain, the better they perform. You may have to develop headlines; namely, create multiple variations of a single headline and then use an online headline analyzer to test how it will perform.

Next, craft an introductory page that leads with a reader appeal. Your audience assumes they are the protagonist of the blog you’re writing. Your introduction should put them front and center, perhaps using a second person point of view to directly address them. Present a problem in your reader appeal, a problem that the rest of your blog will solve.

Your subheaders will present supporting points to the solution you’re outlining in your post. Outline them in advance and, just as you developed and tested your primary headline, build variations of each subhead.

Try to keep them in the same format as your headline. For example, if the primary headline starts with one of the Five W’s (who, what, when, where, why, and how), then each of your secondary headlines should also start with one of the Five W’s. This consistent formatting helps to improve the overall scannability of your post.

In the body of the blog, try to infuse anecdotes and case studies into your posts. Too much dense information will make the content dry and indigestible. Real-world stories lend a narrative style to blog posts, making them more relatable for your audience.

Finally, decide if you will include a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of the post. CTAs do guide prospective customers to a particular product or service that your business offers, but they run the risk of spoiling the good faith you’ve built with a great blog.


Choose a Web Hosting Plan With Multiple Blogging Platform Options

As a business owner, you want to demonstrate your expertise and to provide value to your audience. The best way to do both is to write high-value blogs, post them regularly, and promote this content through your social media channels. Don’t neglect this powerful marketing tool; follow these tips for crafting business-to-consumer and business-to-business blogs.


Feature image: Pixabay