Monday, September 11, 2017

Tips For Improving Your Blog's Content Marketing Strategy

I know there are a gazillion lists and pointers out there to help bloggers from all ends of the spectrum and some require you to download books or buy programs that you never seem to finish. If you're a blogger or are thinking of becoming a blogger, you're probably endlessly searching for tips and suggestions. I try to learn something new each day whether I'm actually researching or something ridiculous happens that ends up being a 10-hour learning experience!

I keep lots of notes and like to jot down pointers I come across while searching for help for digital marketing and how to earn a decent income with my blogs. So, I created this little list for you. Hopefully, some of my tips will resonate with you!

Quality or Quantity? 

I may not be an expert but, I have seen so many bloggers and social media influencers and content creators with hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers! Of course, there are some exceptional content creators out there who have a good, solid audience who actually interact with them. These are the types of bloggers I try to follow and even take notes on what they are doing and how. 

I've been blogging for a little over 7 years and while I haven't been 100% FT since the beginning, I have been the past couple of years since my disabilities progressed and I ended up having to switch to a stay at home/work at home mom. I have been watching the bigger bloggers even more closely now. Not so much to copy them, but to see how they interact with their readers and where they share their content. 

Over the years I've noticed that bloggers with a smaller following tend to engage more with their readers. They engage conversation and reply to their reader's comments regularly. (I have also seen bloggers who are far bigger than I am who will take the time out of their day to have conversations with their readers!). Often you will find them thanking other bloggers or their readers for sharing, retweeting, or leaving comments. As time-consuming as that would be, this is a very effective way to keep your readers coming back and attracting new readers. A personal note will be remembered! 

I've come to the conclusion that when you have 3 million followers but very rarely a Retweet or a share or even a "like", something is wrong. Whether it's a possibility that some of these followers were bought or they all came in through a group giveaway, it's likely that they aren't going to help your blog grow. Google is pretty slick and can start to notice if you purchased blog hits or even Google Adsense clicks. Not to mention, if this is the route you take, the possibility of being blacklisted gets closer each and every day. 

So, how do we obtain quality readers? Again, this is time-consuming but will end up paying off in the long run. Focusing on learning and understanding your audience is a big step in growing your blog. You can write and write and write but if it isn't relevant to your readers, they will stop coming back. I'm all for writing about anything and everything you're interested in but, you have to throw a post out there sometimes too. Your readers are counting on you to share recipes, how to do lists, DIY projects, movie reviews, whatever it is they are into. They are trusting you to bring them quality content. Share some memes on social media, USE HASHTAGS, check the trending lists each day and even throughout the day to see what people are interested in, and you could always ask them for ideas! 

At the end of the day, the fact remains that there are millions of bloggers out there and a vast amount of excellent influencers and it's getting harder to stand out in a crowd. You've probably heard, "You just gotta find your niche!" so many times by now but it's the truth. I like to also add that it's also very wise to be kind, considerate, thank your readers, thank fellow bloggers for sharing your posts and Tweets and figure out some way, somehow, somewhere where you stand out and use that! 

Prioritize Your Precious Time

While there are a lot of fabulous bloggers out there with a huge fan base, there are also some very brilliant, very creative bloggers with a lower follower count. Sometimes, I find a content creator with just 400 Twitter followers but they might have over 60,000 Instagram followers and over 100,000 Pinterest followers. There are so many social networks and while it is crucial to claim your name on all of the most important and popular networks, it isn't as crucial to be a major success on each and every one. If you're a food blogger and you take professional looking photographs, you're probably going to excel on websites like Pinterest and Instagram. Twitter is still a must have so you can share your content. But, if your website is pulling more traffic in from your dinner photos on Pinterest, spend more time pinning your recipe posts! 

I'm sure many of you know exactly what I mean by spreading yourself too thin! This is something I have a real hard time with and it's taken me a few years to find a schedule that works for me. Especially since I started homeschooling our youngest and have a chaotic schedule with doctor appointments, our older children's schedules, sports, housework, and everything else busy moms and dads do. I had to finally sit down and devise a list of every blogger group, review community, little reward websites I joined at the very beginning and started to keep track of what kind of income I was receiving from each one. I was shocked to see how many of these "daily check ins" I had in my planners! Some of these things don't pay at all and some pay only in gift cards and of course, I will always offer "pro bono" campaigns for charity and small business. But, some of this just had to go if I was going to keep my sanity! I was stealing from my own blogs and for what? A $25 gift card per year or even every 2 years? No thanks! Our time is too valuable for nonsense like this! Content is what matters and you owe it to yourself to spend that extra time on your own blog. 

Make a list of some of the best affiliates out there so you can take advantage of affiliate marketing too! If you feel something isn't working out or you notice that you don't seem to have much engagement on those posts, the possibilities for affiliate marketing are endless! 

If you find that you still don't have time, revise that list again. Keep what works and get rid of what doesn't. 

Your blog is your business and you need to schedule yourself some time off. Set a daily schedule when your doors are open. You could also have a weekly Facebook Live event or a weekly Periscope event, whichever one you see fit! (Your followers will be notified when you pop up live, so that is an added bonus!)

Email Newsletters

I don't know how many times I have heard the experts say that your email list is where the money is. For the longest time, I thought my RSS feed would suffice. It turns out, that isn't true. You should actually have an email newsletter so you can share your content with your readers and grab new subscribers as often as you can! How do we do this? 

I like to add an entry option for giveaways but I've also noticed that those subscribers don't necessarily always open and click those emails. That's fine. As long as they aren't unsubscribing, right? I guess if you just want the numbers. But, you'll need more subscribers, quality subscribers. (I must mention that I have found quite a few quality subscribers through group giveaways and my own giveaways!) Finding subscribers who really want to read what's on your mind may be a little tricky. 

Are you a DIY blogger? Do you post a lot of recipes? Maybe you post a lot of tips for bloggers? Whatever it is that you do, you could offer a free eBook with a signup, create a checklist, offer daily planner pages, whatever it is that you do well! Readers love bonuses! Some of my personal favorites that I have received are menu pages, menu plans, cute shopping list pages, worksheets and coloring pages for kids, and most recently, I subscribed and received a PDF file of "The Top 100 Affiliates For Bloggers". 

Do you have any tips for boosting your blog's content marketing strategy? Please share in the comments! 

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