Businesses that blog attract 55 percent more visitors to their websites, a study by HubSpot shows. But with more than 164 million blogs competing for people’s attention, yours had better stand out. Here are seven ways to ensure that your content isn’t lost in the crowd.
- Find your niche. Every blogger has, or should have, a purpose. For some, it’s distributing vital information. For others, it’s offering useful tips and ideas for saving money, choosing a vacation spot, etc. Ask yourself what you have to offer your target readers — and then develop your blog accordingly.
- Choose and use keywords. In order to attract a following, you need to let people know your blog exists. Invesp.com says 41 percent of readers find blogs via search engines, which means that keywords are key to driving site traffic. Don’t want to hire an SEO marketing expert? Put yourself in the reader’s shoes to determine what words or phrases you would search for to find a site like yours. Then use them liberally (but not ridiculously) in the title and text of your blog posts.
- Go easy on the eyes. People read online content differently than they do printed material, so make sure your blog content is designed for the web. Limit your paragraphs to four to five lines of text and leave plenty of blank space on the page. Use bold headings to draw the reader’s eyes from point to point.
- Don’t overuse ads. Sure, you want to make money from your blog, but in order to make the experience pleasant for readers, avoid bombarding them with ads. If you’ve ever been barraged with pop-up ads while trying to read a post, you know what we mean: You probably clicked off the page. Your readers will react the same way.
- Use captions with images. Adding images with captions to your blog creates visual interest and adds value. For instance, if you’re writing about how to save money on taxes, you might include a photo with a caption that says, “My e-book can help reduce your taxes by 10 percent.” Once you’ve caught their interest, people will be more likely to read your blog and take the desired action afterward. Look for free photos at Fotolia and FreeDigitalPhotos.net — and make sure you understand stock image rights.
- Include a call to action. The goal of any business blog should be to increase business, right? So, just like any other time you’re interacting with consumers, you want to lead people toward taking the next step. In a blog, that may mean asking readers to subscribe to an email newsletter, sign up to your RSS feed, or click the Shop Now button.
- Make your content easy to share. Remember that social media outlets, such as Facebook and Twitter, allow your readers to pass along posts from your blog. An Invesp.com study shows that 28 percent of blog traffic comes from social media sites. Facebook ranked as the most popular (with 28 percent), followed by Twitter (26 percent) and LinkedIn (4 percent).