2017 is coming to a close real soon. It’s a time of the year when you reflect on the year that almost was and look forward to another year that will be. Part of your reflection is to look into the things you’ve done so far and find ways on how to improve them.
As a blogger, you must find better ways on how to engage with your readers so you can grow your traffic and reach your goals with it. Whether it is to sell your products or make money off your ads and affiliate links, you need to find better ways on how to reach those goals.
And what better way to stay true to your word of doing better on your blog than on 2018? Below is a short checklist of things you need to cross out before next year begins so you can position your blog to achieve greater profits moving forward.
1. I must publish better content
At the heart of every successful blog is content that resonates with your target audience.
This means it’s important to cater content to your readers by creating content they care about.By building relationships and connections with your audience through the content that you publish, you immediately carve a place in your niche. Being fully aware of what your blog is and what you need to write within it comes from knowing who your target readers are, first and foremost.
If you have yet to identify your target audience, develop a reader persona. It will help you refine your research and writing process, so everything you do is deliberate to making your reader persona happy.
Next, after knowing who your readers are and what they want, is to create higher quality content. Consider the Skyscraper technique to provide more than enough information to satiate the needs of your reader. And use visuals, they’re more effective in engaging site visitors compared to text alone. Consider high-quality, professional stock photography sites and other tools if you don’t have the skill or knowledge to create them yourself.
2. I must publish consistently
One of the most significant issues with resolutions, in general, is the lack of a follow-through. People are typically inspired and driven during the first few days starting the year. They try their best to reach their goals. However, as the weeks go by, they lose the fire in their eyes. They become unmotivated. Excuses eventually play a role as to why they weren’t able to achieve their goals that week.
Next thing you know, it’s like they never resolved to begin the year!
This is commonplace in blogging. It’s easy to make promises as to what you want to and should do. The real problem is how you plan to sustain that level of commitment over the course of the year.
A solution to this problem is by developing an editorial calendar. The calendar will help you lay out your plans for the coming weeks and months, so you have a schedule to follow when writing your posts. You can spread yourself evenly on days so you won’t get burned out by the tasks at hand.
Once you have created your calendar, you can proceed writing the posts and to publish each at their respective dates so your blog won’t run out of content. Following your editorial calendar to a tee will help you build a following as you continue churning out content on a consistent basis.
3. I must get better hosting
Your web host may seem like an afterthought. Although its content is the bread and butter of your blog, it won’t matter if you don’t have the right web host in place.
If you chose just some random web hosting provider without thinking, then you risk your site from experience slow loading times and lots of server downtime. These factors could lead to high bounce rate as you will be unable to build a readership.
This year, you must focus on getting your blog in tip-top shape by choosing the best hosting provider for all your needs!
However, it may be easier said than done. If you’re not familiar with how hosting works, then you might find it difficult to make an informed decision on which provider to use. Nonetheless, it doesn’t have to be difficult.
There are hosting review sites that will help break down the different hosting providers available and offer your objective and unbiased opinions about each. Best of all, the reviews are easy to understand, so you don’t have to be a tech geek to comprehend how the different hosting providers fare.
4. I must choose the best website platform for me
I know, this topic has been done to death. The blogging platform most would suggest is WordPress. Based on my personal experience, I strongly believe that WordPress offers you the tools and features that will help you grow your more efficiently than any other platform.
If you haven’t tried building your blog from WordPress, below is a video on how you can set the platform from the ground up.
WordPress is not always the best answer. There are lots of other capable platforms in the market that can help you grow your blog more efficiently.
Want a straightforward, no-frills approach to your blogging? Try Medium.
Want to build your blog without any coding or design experience? Squarespace and Weebly might do the trick.
Tried WordPress and don’t like it? Good! That means it’s time for you to choose what’s best for you.
Doesn’t mean you have to use what people keep suggesting to you. If it doesn’t work, it’s time to move on to another platform. And choosing the ones from this list might help just do the trick.
5. I must build an email list
Creating an email list is a blogging goal in and of itself. There are lots of benefits from collecting and nurturing your list that it’s hard to pass up on the opportunity of finding ways to attract more signups.
The first rule of thumb when building an email list is to ask.
In today’s permission-based marketing world, you need to request emails from people to get them. Use an opt-in form builder to help you create dynamic forms that will grab the attention of readers and compel them to sign up.
At the same time, you need to give people a reason why they should give away their emails to you. A visitor’s email is one of his/her most valued online possessions, and they don’t give them away for free.
This reason is why opt-in bribes exist. They help create an incentive for people to sign up for your email list. Once they do, they will receive the bribe to their email as a “thank you” for signing up. Using bribes is ideal if you haven’t established authority in your niche yet.
These blogging resolutions are nothing new, to be quite honest. The suggestions above have been mentioned time and again by others in the past.
However, as 2018 draws near, now is the best time for you to take actions to these tips. If you care about your blog’s success, then you need to start doing something about it very soon.
4 Effective Tips for Boosting Reader Engagement on Your Blog
If you want your blog to be successful and bring good profits, you need to ensure that your posts not only attract traffic but engage the readers. To do this you’ll need to experiment with content formats, open dialog with the audience, involve influencers, and above all, understand your audience’s exact wishes.
From online videos to content creation and social media, there seems to be an endless supply of new traffic out there and different ways to pull users back to your site. With all of this in focus and on the minds of bloggers everywhere, we wanted to highlight some of the best ways to boost content engagement, using many of the preferred mentions we’ve already highlighted.
4 Ways to Boost Your Blog Content Engagement Rate Fast
Even if you don’t run a vlog, you need to post an occasional video because that’s the ‘hottest’ type of content today. Check out an aggregation of video marketing statistics offered by Forbes to see why exactly your blog needs more video content. Note that social videos generate more shares.
Live video streaming is also greatly popular today, so be sure to launch an occasional Facebook Live session to share something interesting with your followers. Then post a recording of the stream on your blog so those who missed the airing will be able to enjoy it anyway.
Research your audience in great detail
To boost reader engagement on your blog you need to understand what motivates your targeted audience to actually get into your content. You’ll need to not only consider the analytics data that will show you which of your posts are most popular. You also need to search for information on your targeted audience, such as what kind of posts are generally more popular with them.
The more precise you are in developing targeted content, the higher the reader engagement rate will be. This means that if you seek to create a diverse readership base, you might need to consider launching several websites. In that case, you’ll need to use specialized software and a hosting service that allows you to run multiple blogs. This will make managing them easier, so you’ll be able to focus on creating several posts. Bear in mind that you might be able to apply the same basic content strategy to all your blogs, even if they differ in subjects.
The differences in those strategies and individual posts will be dictated by the data you get from a detailed study of targeted audiences.
Get more influential persons involved
Influencers of any kind can help you boost reader engagement on your blog because if they promote your content, their loyal readers will want to read it themselves. You can also generate more traffic and engagement by mentioning various celebrities and popular bloggers.
A perfect example of this can be seen in one of our expert roundup posts, where 73 different online marketers and bloggers took the time to share their expertise on social media. The benefit here wasn’t also just for our site. Each of the experts got a lot of exposure out of this, and the audience loved the content as well.
However, you’ll need to be careful if you choose to use mentions. For celebrities, you should research laws and regulations surrounding the issue. You need to be 100% sure that you won’t be sued for mentioning someone’s name or other information in your post. When you mention bloggers, you’ll need to consider those rules too as well as give them a heads up about doing this.
Having various opinion influencers popular with your target audience is a great boost to your blog and personal brand. This will also increase your reach as you’ll get an indirect contact with the influencer’s audience.
However, attracting influencers is a big challenge, especially for a blogger. You can use the tips from Neil Patel, a true marketing guru. Think carefully about how to adapt them to your situation.
Post engaging graphics
Much like with videos, you should post relevant graphics to boost reader engagement because this type of content is popular and shareable. Infographics are particularly effective for this, so be sure to create some. It will be best if your infographics have some original data on relevant topics. But, even simple step-by-step instructions can generate decent shares and likes.
Your every post should contain several images by default as they promote reader engagement and memorization. Be sure to add .GIFs as well, because these graphics are in trend now.
Best Search Engine Marketing and SEO Practices to Follow in 2018
Marketing often requires four basic factors: first, there should be people with unsatisfied needs; second, these people should have the desire to be satisfied; third, there should be opportunities for communication; and fourth, there should be an exchange of goods or services. A businessman with keen acumen for business opportunities would readily recognize these unsatisfied needs, build opportunities for communication with these people, and relay the service or product that could satisfy their needs. The important thing is that the prospective businessman is able to reach his target audience via good marketing strategies and tactics.
Understanding Search Engine Marketing
Marketing strategies have greatly changed since the introduction of the World Wide Web. As the Internet expands, it also provides good avenues for new marketing strategies and tactics. It also engenders new buying behavior among consumers, as contemporary consumers first search online for a product or service that they need before purchasing it. On the other hand, business owners are now required to create their own websites to be relevant online.
As highlighted in this article, writing for humans is always going to be the example to follow. It also means keeping the following SEO guidelines in mind when creating content:
- Keep it unique. Avoid duplicating content that’s already out there. Ask yourself: what can I add to this ongoing conversation?
- Do more research than competitor sites have done.
- Consider all options: infographics, videos, podcasts, an interview, a step-by-step guide or even a new tool or template.
- Remember that longer content gets more links. If your page is supported by high-quality links, it will move up in the ranks. Although Google has stated that even a few sentences can rank, in general, you’re better off creating content that is at least 300 words or more.
One form of effective online marketing is search engine marketing. It involves website promotion aimed at increasing the visibility of your business site online. It is also designed to make your site rank higher on the search engine page results (SERP). However, this marketing form is wrought primarily through paid advertisement.
In 2007, for example, advertisers in the U.S. had spent 24.6 billion dollars on this type of marketing. Google, on the other hand, leads the pack of search engines that profited from search engine marketing. Furthermore, in the second quarter of 2015, Google got a sizeable 73.7% share of profits from search engine marketing as compared to 26.3% of Yahoo/Bing. Based on these data, search engine marketing appears to be a very profitable business that rakes billions of dollars of profit for search engines.
Social Media Marketing
Your online marketing strategies and tactics would never be complete without tapping into social media. Services like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Baidu Tieba, and LinkedIn have also been used for marketing. LinkedIn, for example, as an employment-oriented service can be used to promote your services and get more mileage for your online marketing efforts, but keep in mind that it is primarily used to establish professional networks.
Just take a look at the screenshot below and how LinkedIn can provide such great information for anyone looking for earnings and jobs reports within any specific niche market. Not only will these same results rank and appear within the search results, they are also heavily shared through social media as well.
Search Engine Optimization
Aside from search engine marketing which makes use of paid advertising, you can also make use of search engine optimization (SEO). Search engine optimization is another way of expanding the online visibility of your site without necessarily paying for online advertisements. Search engines have organic or natural page results, known as SERP, and you can influence these organic results through SEO.
Not many, however, are experts in SEO. Hence, if you are a businessman who doesn’t have the know-how on SEO, you should visit BestSEOCompanies.com and search for the expert that fits your needs. If you want a reliable and trustworthy SEO specialist, this website can really help you with its list of the top 50 SEO services that you can immediately hire.
Business websites that are ranking high in the SERP usually gets two-pronged benefits. First, if your site ranks high in the SERP, chances are casual searchers will click on your website, and you can turn them immediately into actual clients. Additionally, if you get more clicks and visits from casual searchers, the search engine will further rank your website higher.
What Is the Chief Benefit of Going the Extra Blogging Mile?
10:15 PM on a Sunday night.
After waking at 7 AM I did an hour of yoga.
I followed up with 4 hours of blogging work.
Toss in another 4 hours of blogging work plus a 1 hour walk and some R and R, and where I am late on a Sunday night. Going the extra blogging mile.
I love blogging. Working late on a Sunday does not feel like going the extra mile because blogging feels fun to me. But putting in a bit more effort when I feel tired helps me to help more people. Going the extra blogging mile also makes me memorable in the eyes of readers.
I know other bloggers who go the extra mile.
My friend Ronald at Web SEO Marketers runs a first rate blog.
Beyond his super content though, he goes the extra blogging mile in the relationship-building department.
A few moments ago I saw this update in my stream when I logged in to Facebook:
Buying the paperback version of my blogging eBook would have been awesome in and of itself. But Ronald snapped a selfie holding the paperback, noted how he just received my book in the email and tagged me to let me know he bought my book and he’d see me in paradise.
He perfectly embodies how you go the extra mile relationship building wise. Compassionate, heart-centered bloggers think of how they can help folks out. Generous folks always stick out in your mind because we resonate with people who are kind, helpful and genuine in all they do.
Being Memorable Helps Expand Your Presence
I noted Ronald’s rocking blog in this post because he is a skilled blogger, because he shouted out buying my book on Facebook and because both factors make him memorable. I could not fall asleep until I wrote this post and shouted him out because it feels fun to spread the love and to help you guys understand the chief benefit of going the extra blogging mile; people will remember you.
If people remember you they will feature you, interview you, invite you to guest post on their blog, or they will hire you or buy your stuff. As your features, interviews and guest posts increase you will appear to be all over the place in your niche, growing your business slowly and steadily until your generosity and willingness to go above and beyond results in exponential growth of your online presence.
Alonzo Pichardo embodies this type of massive growth over the long haul by going the extra mile.
Check out his Instagram account.
His follower growth and overall engagement levels are staggering, with 55,000 followers receiving Alonzo’s update on the platform.
Alonzo continues to get so many followers because he gave so much of his time, skills and expertise over the past decade. He did not attract 55,000 followers after a week of going the extra blogging mile. He generously served folks for a decade and continues to help folks even if doing so takes him late into the night, becoming more memorable to more folks around the world.
Be patient and persistent in creating value and building bonds. Good things take time.
You may not make a penny through your blog for 6 months after doing the right things with the right energy but you will succeed over the long haul. Every kind act is rewarded over time.
Keep helping people. Focus on the process, not on outcomes. Stay up late to write the guest post, linking in to your blogging buddies to increase their exposure. After you purchase a book, take a selfie and tag the author on social media. Think of how you can impact humanity in a generous, significant way, one friendship and one generous act at a time.
Go the extra blogging mile.
Accelerate your blogging success over the long haul.
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