It’s day three of our Holiday Giveaway! In case you missed it, for the next month we’re giving away a collection of specially curated templates, images, music playlists and more to help you rock your marketing efforts in 2017.
Today’s post is dedicated to helping you take your blog to the next level in the new year.
Tip 1: Know thy audience
If you build it, he will come. Might work in movies but it certainly doesn’t work in business, marketing or blogging.
The wonderful thing about blogs is they provide anyone with a platform to share their stories, insights and passions. But a successful blogger takes the time to understand who is reading their content, and what they are hoping to get out of it. By doing so they can provide content that is important to both them and their audience.
Think about who is reading your blog. What got them to click the blog link or subscribe to the feed? What are their challenges, concerns and interests? What other blogs, social media channels and news sources are their ‘go to’ for information and inspiration? Can you picture a client,
colleague, friend, or influencer who has similar interests
In marketing and branding worlds, we call this building a persona. It’s painting a vivid picture of who you are talking to, and understanding what will resonate with them. It not only helps you fine tune your blog content, but craft content that will be inherently more interesting, and conversational. Having a reader in mind that you are speaking to helps you be more authentic and relatable.
Tip 2: Be a great storyteller
A cat in a cool red and white hat, a small pig who hung out with honey obsessed bear, a boy named James in search of a big ol’ peach, or a girl named Alice taking the wrong turn down a rabbit hole. It’s likely that some, if not all of these characters bring a vivid image to mind, and transport you to a magical place and time when you first learned about them.
That’s because they were characters in great children’s stories that peaked your interest and stayed with you through the years.
Imagine if your brand, product or service could have that same impact as characters in a story on your blog. You don’t need to be the next Seuss, Milne or Carroll to accomplish that, but you do need share their deep appreciation for telling a good story.
Storytelling connects you to your reader in a personal and relatable way. Telling the story of how your team came up with a product idea, or new marketing campaign allows your readers to become part of the journey. Sharing the story of how your company was founded helps establish characters, and points of views. Or rather than telling folks all the wonderful things about your product let them hear, see and experience what it’s like to use your product. Bring your readers on adventure and they will be more likely to connect with you.
Don’t take my word for it…it’s a scientific fact. Check out OneSpot’s infographic on the science of storytelling.
Tip 3: Do your homework
Ok homework is not fun, but it did help some of us get better grades. So, if we want to ace our blog content we need to put in the work up front.
Do some research to find blog topics and content that will resonate with your audience. A Google search on a topic of interest or blog idea will return a treasure trove of stats, alternate perspectives and information that could make your next post more relevant and interesting.
Trying to decide between topics? Don’t forget blog and website data can help you read the tea leaves by highlighting which topics have resonated with your readers in the past so you can give them more of what they want. WordPress and Google Analytics provide free analytics to help you determine top posts, popular topics and more.
Need more help? Consider participating in a Twitter Chat on areas related to your blog. Ask your blog and social media followers what topics they would be interested in. Try running a poll on your blog or Twitter for blog topic feedback. Look at discussion websites like Quora and Reddit for additional ideas. Or try out TitleTester to help you pick a blog title that will get people clicking.
Tip 4: Looks do matter
It’s becoming common knowledge that blogs with images, infographics and videos grab and keep readers’ attention longer.
Finding great images for your next blog is easy with the growing number of free and cost effective photo and illustration websites out there. A few of our favorites are Unsplash, Pexels, Pixababy, and Fancy Crave.
When you are looking for the perfect images to accompany your next post be sure to cast a wide search net to find less obvious images that will grab your readers’ attention. Browse recently uploaded images for inspiration, and be open to metaphors that might help support your story.
To get you started we curated a free collection on Unsplash dedicated to the topic of “create”. It includes our own photos and some of our favorite Unsplash photographers.
And there is also a plethora of infographic creation tools for bring data to life in visual form.
Tip 5: Get organized
Now that you have all those great blog ideas and visuals ready to share with your audience, it’s time to organize them and get them scheduled.
Which leads us to today’s Holiday Giveaway:
Our giveaway has now ended! To get more information, including more tips about blog post scheduling, contact us here.
A blog editorial calendar is a great way to create content consistency , capture your teams brainstorm ideas, and help with blog optimization by capturing tags and keywords ahead of time. It helps your entire team visualize how posts will work together and ensures everyone is on the same page.
What plans do you have for your 2017 blog strategy? Please share them in the comments section below. And don’t forget to check back on Thursday for our next giveaway.
Until then, cast your vote and be part of selecting which charity we give back to this holiday season.
**Note: This is not a sponsored post. These are our honest opinions about the best tools and tips for social media.