Maintaining a blog is a time-consuming business. You must brainstorm topic ideas, source images, actually write the content, format it and finally publish it. After all that time and effort, a lack of traffic, shares, comments or SEO impact can be demoralising. While there’s no doubt that it’s harder than ever to create content that stands out from the competition, there are steps you can take to get your blog in the best possible shape for success.
If your content regularly fails to hit the right mark, it could be that you have fallen in to one of these four common traps.
1. No documented strategy
Making the leap from mediocre content to better quality video, articles and blogs can be aided with a documented content marketing strategy. Those who don’t have a documented strategy are more likely to see their content efforts fall flat.
A documented strategy clearly sets out your content goals, your audience and your USPs. It defines what your content should do, what your strengths are, who you’re targeting and what challenges you can help your audience solve. This provides a useful framework to refer back to through the content creation process, and can help you better articulate your values, your purpose and your knowledge.
It also gives you a baseline to approve or veto content ideas by making it easy to judge whether or not the proposed piece moves you closer to achieving your stated objectives, and whether or not it adds value for your audience.
To develop a quick strategy, you’ll need to:
- Decide on goals for your content. These should be tied to business objectives such as lead generation, building trust, or developing brand awareness.
- Define your audience. Create one or more personas so everyone is clear about the intended audience.
- Define your how. What’s your brand proposition and what kind of content are you best placed to share with your audience?
2. You don’t have a blog calendar
Sticking to a consistent posting schedule isn’t easy. Especially given that you may allocate several hours to each piece of content. Sporadic posting can be confusing for the audience and means that it’s harder to nurture reader loyalty.
If you leave your content creation to chance, you may find that you’re missing vital parts, such as an original infographic or strong visuals. This means that your content creation may become rushed and haphazard, making the final product of a lesser quality that may otherwise be the case.
A calendar also clearly highlights key dates. Those are the important days, events and occasions that you know you want to factor into your blog. That could be a national holiday such as Valentine’s Day, a quirky ‘social media holiday’ such as national Donut Day that allows you to be more creative, or a notable industry event such as a show you’re attending or a seminar you’re hosting.
A regular outflow of content can be made easier by putting a blog calendar in place. This sets out when you want to share a new piece of content. Importantly, the calendar can be used to plan in suitable preparation and design time, so everyone on your team knows what they need to do and when they need to do it for your content production to run like a well-oiled machine.
3. It’s poorly designed
If your blog pages are poorly designed and aren’t particularly suited to viewing on a mobile device, your audience is unlikely to stick around. Creating a visually appealing design, which isn’t too cluttered, and is easy to scroll, makes it easier and more enjoyable for your reader to consume your content.
A total website redesign may not be in the budget, but you should be able to get a few blog templates designed at a relatively low cost. Some CMS systems, such as WordPress, offer pre-made templates so it’s easier to switch things up and format your blog posts in a fresh new way.
Remember, the basics of good formatting matter too. Your page layout should allow for plenty of visual content, such as images, infographics, charts and videos.
4. You don’t have a content amplification plan
Pushing publish on your post often isn’t enough to ensure that it performs well. To get more hits, increase engagement and raise your content’s visibility, you need to have a content amplification plan in place.
This is a fancy way of saying; you need to promote your content when a new blog goes live. This could mean investing in some paid placements, or paid social, regularly including your new blog posts in your email marketing efforts, sharing on social media or pushing out on Google My Business. Don’t forget, amplifying content isn’t exclusive to new posts, either. You should also regularly apply these tactics to older content you have sitting in the archives, to ensure that those assets are also helping you move closer to your business goals.
If you’re ready to elevate your blog performance, contact the Adrac team today to discuss how we can help.