It is hard to create great content, and it’s even harder to do it consistently. Content crafters often get bogged down by thinking they have to create content that is the same as their competitors that are doing well within that space. That is only a part of what you should be doing.
You need to find a balance between writing valuable content based on what is already successful, and writing around something you are passionate about. The success of your blog is predicated on how many people visit and gain value from your content, this means you need to write about something you can provide value in whilst creating content for your audience, and not just what you think is interesting.
Research what content is doing well
You need to find out what content is already doing well within your space to make sure that you don’t go down completely the wrong track, but you don’t want to end up spinning a different version of your competitors most successful post. To save time and sense check the idea you are working on use Uprise.io’s pre-defined categories:
You can quickly see you are in on the right track and if you spot a post that you might want to come back to later either as a reference or to read, just add it straight to Trello from within the Uprise.io dashboard.
Where does your audience hang out?
When you are researching popular content you need to take notice of which social networks are responding the best to that content, this is a great indication of where your audience hangs out. Finding this out will help you to discover where to promote your content and what kind of iterations you need to make to increase the chance of success. Each social network has its own unique audience as a quick overview:
- Facebook: Visual platform (use video and good imagery)
- Twitter: Fast paced micro updates (write compelling copy, use images to boost click through rates)
- Google +: Visual (niche communities)
- Linkedin: B2B content
- Pinterest: Beautiful imagery
Taking this into account will help you make sure you have the right elements within your post to give it the best chance of success.
A image says a thousand words, a gif says 10,000
Imagery is vital within a good blog post and there are plenty of great tools out there that you can use for free to create quality imagery quickly, you don’t necessarily have to be a designer to create great images. When it comes to adding value and telling a story within a blog post Gif’s work super well, they give you the opportunity to really emphasise your point and also they provide a lot of information quickly. There are lots of great tools out there for easily creating Gif’s Ian Cleary of Razorsocial did a great post covering it in January which you can check out here: http://www.razorsocial.com/how-to-create-animated-gifs/
We use http://recordit.co/ for creating our gifs, it is a screencast tool with gif and Twitter support and well worth checking out, we made the gif’s within this post with it.
Call to actions
You need to treat your blog as a product. You should have a clear purpose for your blog and set appropriate, realistic goals to help you get there. Mastering the fine art of call to actions on your blog is something that will take time and testing but, you need to make sure you are pushing for your goals. Do you want newsletter subscribers? Are you driving readers to perform an action, or sign up to your service? These are the kind of questions that you need to answer, this will help you select the most effective call to actions.
A blog that excels at placing relevant call to actions within the (awesome) content is Coschedule. They use different techniques such as offering additional resources within posts in exchange for your email, as well as placing relevant bonus tips directing users to other helpful blogs posts to encourage higher engagement. Check out this example post, i guarantee you will pick up some great tips: http://coschedule.com/blog/plan-a-blog-schedule/
Another great tool for helping you capture email addresses and maximise your content is https://sumome.com/ it is a free suite of tools (there are paid upgraded versions) with great functionality that ca really help achieve your goals.
Measure and refine
There is a learning curve when it comes to finding which blog post’s resonate the best with your audience, so make sure you are in a position to learn and analyse your post. An essential is Google Analytics which is free and very robust you get a great view of which content is your most successful, you can also set up goals to help you report on the success of each post. Setting up newsletter sign ups as a goal makes it really easy to determine the success of your blog’s content.
You can integrate Google Analytics with Uprise.io to and view social share data, goal conversions and traffic data all in one place so that you can quickly work out the return on investment of each post.
There are lots of variables when it comes to creating a great blog post but having the right tools, to give you an understanding of what will perform best is essential.
What do you think makes a great blog post?