Everyone has a blog these days, from teenage beauty influencers to your business competitors, and if you want to reach as many customers as possible, starting a blog really is the way to go.
But simply posting content for content’s sake doesn’t guarantee an increase in site traffic. To maximize the potential of your blog, you need to think as an expert marketer, develop a long-term strategy, and execute it flawlessly.
Whether you have a B2B or B2C site, these tactics will help you up to your content writing game and drive traffic in the long run.
Start a discussion around your competitor’s topic
The idea of discussing your competitor’s topic on your blog content might sound a bit like copying someone else’s content, but this strategy isn’t about plagiarizing.
It’s about sharing a piece of content related to your topic, analyzing it, and starting a discussion around it on your blog.
If you have a small business, you may not have the time, staff, or resources to start your own search or study. But that doesn’t mean you can’t discuss relevant surveys, studies, and reports that other blogs have made.
Large companies and online publications such as Gartner, HubSpot, The Fast Company, Forbes or Consumer Reports frequently release new content about the various market, online trends, and tools and you can use this content as a starting point for a new blog post.
Should you copy their content word for word? Of course not, that’s unethical. What you should do is quote the source, and offer your own unique perspective on things. Compare the new content with another study, explain to readers what those numbers mean, what impact they have on the industry and what we can expect in the future.
- Another great way to use the content of your competitor’s blog in your blog posts is to aggregate content from various sources. So, for example, if you have a blog in entertainment niche, you can write a blog post about the top 10 viral ads on YouTube, and explain to your readers what exactly makes those videos so popular.
- Or, you can gather various statistics about your niche, and analyze them in a long article. Long-form articles (>2,000 words) have a higher online visibility, generate more social shares, and generate better reader value, and ultimately help you increase the conversion rate.
Just remember, when posting this kind of content, don’t forget to give credit where credit is due and link back to the party who did the study.
Be active on Twitter & Facebook
One part of increasing website traffic that business owners often forget about is that growing your authority isn’t just about actively trying to promote your website all the time. It’s also about building your personal brand by helping people on social media sites and it turns our very beneficial for your business too.
In this article, Neil Patel describes how marketer Hiten Shah managed to grow his network by engaging with his followers on Twitter. Not to promote his brand, but to genuinely help people and join in on the conversation.
Does someone have a problem you’ve experienced too? Give them tips on how to solve it. Did something buzzworthy happen in your industry and it became a trending topic on social media sites? Give your personal input on the view. Don’t turn the tweet into a sales pitch (unless it makes sense to mention your product) and focus on offering value instead.
If you’re active on Twitter daily and you go the extra mile to engage and genuinely help your followers, you don’t even have to try to sell your brand. People will come to you because you made such a great impression.
The phrase Two heads are better than one applies in marketing too. Co-publishing content with other online influencers is a great way to increase website traffic because you can reach out to a larger audience.
Think of an interesting topic that you can break down and publish the findings on each of your websites. In the same way that YouTubers do collabs to exchange viewers and grow their audience, you can do the same thing but with blog posts.
For example, you can post part 1 of an interview on your blog and then invite readers to head over to your partner’s website for part 2. It’s not just the two of you who gain from the collaboration, but the reader too, because they get to read the quality content and expert insights.
Offer readers a nice balance between industry news and evergreen topics
When brainstorming blog post topic, marketers tend to recommend two opposing options:
- Always be on the lookout for industry news and write about them while they’re still relevant.
- Write about evergreen topics that will always be relevant.
But you don’t have to make a pros and cons analysis and settle for just one, because you need both.
Of course, people will want to discuss interesting news as soon as they happen and these news articles can increase website traffic quite quickly.
But at the same time, what happens to these news articles in a few months? To drive traffic both in the short and long term, you need to create a nice balance between trending and evergreen topics.
For news and buzzworthy topics, you can always use tools like Buzzsumo to find out what others are talking about, and for evergreen topics, think along the lines of long-form, informative guides, and tutorials.
For example, if you have a gym or you’re a personal trainer, here’s how you can combine time-sensitive newsy content with evergreen content to generate steady website traffic:
- Write general articles about healthy living, dieting, best workout tips, and exercises – these will always be relevant and will generate traffic regularly.
- Publish time-sensitive content about once a month. Some ideas include seasonal articles (How to get back in shape after the holidays), talking about a health & fitness study that just came out, or just sharing some news that your readers may find fun (a new fitness routine that Hollywood celebrities are raving about).
Don’t forget about the rules of good writing
Here’s the thing. You may be the best web developer in your town. And you may be a brilliant data analyst who has helped dozens of businesses avoid bankruptcy.
But being great at your trade doesn’t automatically make you a great writer. Once you found the best topic to write about on your website, you have to make sure you talk about it in an engaging way. Otherwise, you won’t be able to connect with your audience and boost website conversions.
If writing isn’t your strong point and you don’t have the time to practice, there’s always the option of hiring someone to write posts for you. Just make sure the guest writer is up for a long-term relationship. You don’t want to hire someone else every two months, because that may lead to inconsistencies in tone and style.
But, there’s nothing quite like the insight of someone who really works in the industry. So, if you’re a professional with medium to good writing skills and take the time to improve yourself, you can create some truly unbeatable content that will attract readers like a magnet.
Here are a few tips that don’t include taking a boring writing course:
Keep it simple and personal
Many people, including professional writers, tend to use a stiff tone when they write, for fear that an informal style will make them come across as less professional.
“Web content writing has nothing to do with academic writing and you should forget all about strict rules if you want your blog to drive traffic. Ditch the third-person and don’t be impersonal. Write as you would speak and be genuine because that will create a true connection with the reader”, explains Meredith Byrne, lead content specialist at WowGrade.
If you want to say that a product is awesome, use the word awesome. Don’t say it’s “tremendously beneficial”. While it may sound fancy, it makes your content less readable and adds distance between you and the audience.
Keep it simple, remember you’re not writing for an academic audience. You’re writing for Internet users, who have a notoriously short attention span and don’t want to scroll through five paragraphs of industry jargon to get to the point. Or read your blog posts with a dictionary in their hand.
This applies not only to B2C audiences but also to B2B. In fact, if the reader is a busy executive, they may have even less patience to stick around.
Don’t skip proofreading
Simplicity may be the key to writing engaging content, but that doesn’t mean spelling and grammar mistakes are allowed. Even when you write as you would speak, you still have to be professional and proofread your blog posts.
Spelling and grammar mistakes will always make you look bad and even if they were accidental, readers won’t forgive you because:
- This is the Internet
- People expect you to proofread your content and be a professional
Before you hit Publish, use these tools to make sure you didn’t skip any errors:
- Grammarly– perfect for picking up common spelling and grammar mistakes
- Hemingway App– for writers who tend to overuse long sentences, adverbs, and passive voice.
- Best Essay Education– for advanced writing tips from pros
- Supreme Dissertations– a community of professional writers who can look over your content and give you advice on how to improve it
- Readability checker– because you want to make sure your content can be understood by all readers
Don’t hide your personality
In the same way that you should keep your content simple and personal, you should also let your personality shine through.
Do you know why some AI will never replace human writers? Because human writers have a personality, they can use humor, play with words, tap into the reader’s feelings, make hints and be sarcastic. Your unique voice is what makes your content interesting, so why write like a robot?
When posting content for your website, don’t hide your personality by using words you would never use in real life. Sure, the finished blog post may be factually correct and have flawless grammar. But let’s be real here, so do school textbooks, and you don’t see them go viral on Twitter.
Good writing doesn’t exclude humor. Look at Cracked, for example. Their signature style is witty, funny, and sarcastic, but that doesn’t stop them from delivering insightful, educational content. And that’s exactly why so many people read and share their articles.
Generic, impersonal content is easy to forget and forgettable is the last thing you want to go for here. Write in your own style and that will make your content special. It may take a while to develop this style, but when you do, that will help you grow your brand and distinguish yourself from all the other voices shouting the same thing on the Web.
With the number of WordPress websites increasing every day, making your brand stand out can be a challenge. To make sure you don’t become just another WordPress site, focus on engagingly delivering relevant content, and always strive to build a true connection with your audience.