7 Secrets of Highly Successful Blogs
A blog used to be defined as an online journal where individuals recorded their personal thoughts. In its early stages, some people kept personal blogs and wrote about events in their own lives, while others used blogs to voice out their opinions about current events, products, and other relevant issues in their industry.
The evolution of blogs
Today, blogs have evolved from being mere online journals to actual marketing tools. Companies and businesses from just about every industry are now using blogs for marketing, SEO, and engagement purposes.
Blogging for businesses has some undeniable benefits. For one thing, a blog gives your business a voice and allows you to share your company’s expertise in the industry. Aside from being a source of products and services, a good blog can actually make you a source of information and turn you into a thought leader in your field. Additionally, it can also help in generating links from other blogs, giving your site an extra SEO boost.
Yes, having a blog does have a lot of great advantages, and it looks like more and more companies are starting to embrace blogging. In fact, according to eMarketer, 39% of US companies are now using blogs for marketing purposes. Expect that number to grow even more, as companies are reporting positive results from their blogs. In a study conducted by HubSpot, 81% of marketers rated their blogs as useful or better, and companies that blog more often are more likely to gain new customers. Furthermore, companies that blog apparently have 55% more website visitors than those that don’t.
The role of blogs in the lives of consumers
So how do users consume blog posts? HubSpot states that most users (38%) follow the updates of 5 – 10 blogs, while 29% of users read 10 - 50. Meanwhile, 22% of people follow less than 5 blogs, while 5% and 3% of people follow 50 – 100 and over 100 blogs respectively.
Furthermore, a study by Jupiter Research proves that “blog articles play a role” in people’s purchase process. 21% of users said that a company’s blog has influenced their decision to buy a product or service, while 19% of people said that it helped them refine their choices. Moreover, 19 and 17% of people use blogs to get support or answers and discover new products or services respectively.
How to increase visitors and engagement on your blog
The fact that blogs are so popular and effective is both a boon and a bane for marketers. On one hand, since blogging is so widespread, you know that users have a need for them and that blogs are now a legitimate source of information. However, their immense popularity also comes with a lot of competition. With over 152,000,000 blogs on the web, marketers need to work harder to stand out.
Thankfully, getting noticed in the sea of blogs on the Internet isn’t impossible. Sure, it can be difficult at times, but it’s certainly doable. Below are some blogging tactics that you can apply immediately to increase viewership and engagement on your blog.
1. Add links to related content – You know how Amazon puts links to related products or stuff that you might also be interested in at the bottom of their product pages? Consider applying the same concept to your blog. Take your readers on a clicking spree around your website by including content that would complement what they’re reading at the bottom of each post. Doing so will not only supplement users’ browsing experience, it will also keep them on your site much longer.
2. Break up long blog posts into multiple pages – If you have a long blog post, consider breaking it up into multiple pages. This could decrease page load time and serve up a page’s content much faster. Additionally, if you’re running ads on your website, then breaking up lengthy blog posts will give your more chances to display ads and monetize your content.
3. Include studies and statistics – Statistics are always a crowd favorite because they quantify a lot of concepts and put things into perspective. Statistics can also help people make comparisons and decisions. If you have the resources to do so, why not conduct a study in your industry and release your findings and statistics to the public. For instance, if you’re in the business of graphic design, do a study on the impact of bright colors on conversion and publish the results in a blog post. This will not only give great content, but you could even get some media coverage out of it, as journalists are always on the lookout for new studies and statistics.
4. Include lists – If your website’s layout permits it, consider adding “Most” lists on your site. Have a special box that lists the most read posts, the most commented articles, or even the most recent posts on your site. Again, doing this will keep users on your website longer, while adding value to their browsing experience at the same time.
5. Include videos, infographics and slideshows – Spice up your blog posts by adding videos, infographics, or slideshows. These types of media are extremely engaging and are more likely to get shared, which could result to more site visits, and even leads and conversion.
6. Be mindful of timing – It’s best to publish posts at optimal times to increase the chances of people reading and sharing your content. Make it a habit to publish new posts in the morning. According to HubSpot, “morning is the most popular time to read blogs” and research shows that 79% of people read blogs in the morning, while 65% do so in the afternoon. Meanwhile, 59% of users read blogs in the evening, and 40% of them read at night. Additionally, studies indicate that blog reading peaks at around 10, am so it’s best to get your articles out before then.
7. Be passionate – Bringing up the concept of passion may be a little trite, but the truth is, passion is always one of the key ingredients to many successful endeavors, blogging included. You can’t expect readers to like what you’re writing about if you yourself aren’t genuinely passionate about it.
As former blogs editor of The Guardian Kevin Anderson put it, “You can’t fake it. You can’t fake passion. You can’t fake wanting to engage the public. If you do it, it will ultimately be an unsatisfying experience for both the blogger and their readers.”
Image credit: Adikos on Flickr