How To Get Quality Content For Your Blog
When I first started the business back in 2007, my main goal was to get traffic to the website, and back then, blogging was just starting to become popular.
Here’s how content can impact your site’s success:
- Increase your search engine rankings
- Draw inbound links from other sites that find your posts interesting
- Encourage repeat visitors
- Establish you as an expert
So I decided to crank out several blog posts in a row in hopes of getting search engine visitors. But even several weeks after the content was published, the search engine referrals to my site hadn’t even budged. After reviewing my articles, I realized what I had done wrong–in my rush to get the content up, I hadn’t written quality content that my site visitors would want to read about. Also, I wrote a ton of articles all at once, and then sat back and did nothing.
From this experience I learned several valuable principles of blogging that I would like to share with you today.
Valuable Principles of Creating Content
- Stick With It: This may seem obvious, but blogging is an ongoing process. Too many bloggers think they can throw up a blog with a few articles, and the website will continue to grow with no further cultivation. Even a high-traffic website if left untouched and unchanged would soon start decreasing in traffic and search rankings. So set your goal to stick with your blog–it may take several weeks or even months of creating new content before you see a difference, but with a little planning and a lot of effort, you’ll start to see results.
- Create a Plan: Decide how often you’ll publish blog posts from the get go. By setting goals, you’ll feel more accountable to meet them, and for overachievers, these guidelines help avoid burnout. Also, you’ll need to decide where to get the content from. We’ll discuss more on that later.
- Research & Write For Your Audience: Learning your audience takes time, so when you first start a website, you’ll need to establish the target audience for your site and research this type of visitor. One easy way to do this is to find your top competitors and get to know their customer base and culture. You can tell a lot about a customer base by just looking on their website–look at their products or blog posts, look at customer feedback on products or blog articles, look at conversations on their social media pages, look at their FAQs to see which issues addressed.
Once you gather a good amount of information on your target audience, it’s important to write your blog posts with your audience in mind. Writing what your visitors want to read will keep them coming back for more!
Ideas for Creating Good Content
Once you have a plan and have performed research on your target audience, you’ll have several ideas of posts you want to write, and you may feel the need to write them all at once. This can be overwhelming, and as I mentioned earlier, it can quickly lead to burnout. So here are a few ideas for creating good content continually:
1. Make a list: Save all of your best blog ideas in one list–either on paper or digitally–to alleviate feeling overwhelmed. And then you can reference that list when it’s time to write your next blog post.
2. Decide WHERE to get fresh blog articles from:
a. Write the blog articles yourself: This is the most obvious source of content for bloggers, but it’s not the only choice. Creating the content yourself definitely has its advantages, especially at first. It helps you learn your audience and helps establish the tone of your blog which are both imperative to your blog’s success. However, there are times when this isn’t feasible, so in those cases, there are a couple of other options for resources for your blog content…
b. Hire freelance bloggers: There are thousands of bloggers who are open for hire. Most charge from $100-$500 per blog post depending on the length of the article you’re looking for. Obviously this option is more costly, but for those of you would have more monetary resources than time, this may be a good option for your blog. Most often, this option is best used after a site is well-established and the site owner runs several blogs, but that’s not always the case.In order to make this solution successful though, you need to find a blogger that your audience responds well to and who has a firm grasp on your site’s target audience.One of the best ways to find a freelance blogger that’s a good fit for your audience is to find someone who freelances for a similar website or even owns a similar site. Once you find a few candidates, reach out to them, and see if they would be open to freelance writing for your blog. Be sure to include that they’ll receive attribution for the articles they write along with a link to their website in an author bio section if you’re willing to do this.
c. Use Articles from Online Directories: Online article directories allow you to republish blog articles on your blog for free. In return for the use of the article, you give the author credit in an author section in your blog post and include a link back to their website. Some of the top ones include Article Depot, GoArticles, ArticlesBase and Amazines.There are a couple of negatives to this method though: not having a consistent writer on your blog may decrease your blog’s credibility in your readers’ eyes, and the link in the author’s bio may direct people away from your blog.
3. Get More Content For Your Blog… for Free
a. Customer Reviews: If you own a website that sells products, allowing your customers to leave product reviews not only gives you and your potential customers valuable insight into your products, but it also has the potential to add a ton of valuable SEO rich content to your website…. for free! The only cost to you is the time and money to enabling this feature on your website.
b. Comments: If your website has a blog, allowing your readers to leave comments on your articles can also provide valuable content at absolutely no cost to you. Plus allowing your readers to be part of the discussion on your website keeps them engaged with your website.
c. Create an Online Community: Online communities take engagement on your website to the next level. By creating an online community, your site visitors can discuss and communicate about topics within your niche topic that are important to them. Online communities can have a number of features including a forum, chat rooms, and user profiles. Not all of these features are necessary–it’s just important to test and use the one(s) that fit your brand and target audiences’ preferences best. Adding any or all of these community features to your site will again allow your audience to engage with your brand, you to gain insight about your audience, and will provide valuable content for your website for years to come.
Getting content for your blog can be overwhelming at first–it certainly was for me. But when I created a schedule for my blog posts and a plan for additional features my blog, this helped me to work with a goal in mind while avoiding burnout. This was key to the success of my blog, and with hard work and dedication, it can work for you too!
Now that we know how to get content on your website, tomorrow, we’ll discuss how to get this content to go viral to the masses. Stay tuned for this pivotal lesson…