Supercharge Your Blog Marketing

by: | November 8, 2012

It hit you all of a sudden—you came up with the perfect idea for a blog post, did your research, and outlined it. You wrote the copy, optimized it for SEO, came up with the perfect title, and you knew everyone would like, nay, love it! You hit “Publish” and waited for the flood of traffic. You check your analytics data every day, but you hear nothing but crickets . . . .

I feel your pain; I’ve been there. Sadly, this isn’t Field of Dreams, and blog posts aren’t “Write it, and they will come.” I wish it were that easy! So, what do experts do to pull in excellent traffic when they write articles? Let’s demystify the process and give you a checklist to make that article perform well.

While You’re Writing

I’m going to share the most important tip first: Write content that is valuable to the reader. If it’s not valuable, people won’t be inclined to share it. Much of what makes an article sharable starts while you’re writing. Present the valuable information in ways that make it easy to read and absorb. Here are some of the ways you can make the content easier to read.

  • Use headers - Headers break up the information into digestible chunks and make it easy to scan. They can make lots of content seem like a lot less.
  • Short paragraphs - People online have short attention spans, so write in small, digestible paragraphs.
  • Use blockquotes - Use blockquotes for quoting people. The difference in style breaks up the content.
  • Create interesting lists - Bulleted and numbered lists are popular kinds of posts because they give long bits of content in very small pieces. “Top 5″ or “Top 10″ types of posts get shared frequently.
  • Infographs, pictures, or screenshots - Easy to absorb and interesting to look at, these make an article irresistible.

Optimize for SEO

  • Keywords - do your research and include the right words to pull in search engine traffic into your writing. Be careful to not stuff your article with keywords, though; you’ll get penalized.
  • Write an irresistible title - Entice people to click on your post and include the right keywords.
  • Link to other relevant articles - you’ll get pingbacks. Zemanta is a Firefox add-on that gives you a list of relevant blog posts to add to yours. Your blog could show up for other people to add to their blog posts.

Ask for Comments

At the end of your article, ask your readers for comments or feedback. Once they do comment, participate in the conversation and get them coming back to answer.

After You Hit “Publish”

Once you publish your article, you have to make sure your article can be found. For people to find your article, you need to put it out into the world. Here are some tactics for making your article more discoverable.

Make It Easy to Share

Make sure your blog theme includes a list of sharing options for the article. ShareThis is an easy-to-use plugin for blogging platforms.

Let Your Network Know

Post your article on your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other networks. Also be sure to include your best new article in your next e-mail newsletter. When you’re sharing on your networks, make sure to also share other people’s content, so it doesn’t look like you’re always only plugging your own.

Let the World Know

Post your new article on networks like Digg, Reddit, Stumbleupon, Delicious, and TweetMeme. Unless you’ve connected with these communities, don’t expect a surge of traffic immediately. If your content is good, and you’re participating in these networks, you’ll subsequently get some good traffic.

Let the Blogosphere Know

Submit your blog post to relevant blog directories like Technorati, Google Blogs, and Alltop. Make sure your RSS feeds are set up properly. Feedburner is a good place to set up your RSS feed and get valuable analytics.

Make Your Site Do the Work

There are services and plugins available that make your site do some of this work automatically, especially if you’re on WordPress. Look for plugins and add-ons that can post your articles on your social networks and directories as soon as you publish them.

Using the suggestions in this article doesn’t guarantee success for your articles; you need to make sure your content is valuable and relevant, and even then, customers can be fickle and tough to figure out. That being said, these tips will give your posts a better chance of being found and shared, leading to valuable traffic and readership.

Did I miss any great resources here? Let us know in the comments!

Posted in: B2C, Content, E-Commerce, Engage!, Facebook, Optimization, Social Networks, Twitter

About the Writer:

Born in England and raised in the U.S., Charles Forster is the marketing director and partner at Vine & Grain, a company that creates management technologies for bars and restaurants. Prior to that position, he ran a graphic design company, Call Me Chaz, in Philadelphia, PA and Orlando, FL. He focused on branding, websites, print, video and marketing for small business clients up and down the east coast. He's a self-prescribed car nut and foodie. He's also the curator for This Is Visceral, a site devoted to poster art.

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