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How Do I Write an Effective Blog Post?

How Do I Write an Effective Blog Post is a common question

And the answer is a critical one. Why? Because when you learn how to write an effective blog post, you’re seen as an industry leader, your readers respect you (and want to do business with you), and you make Google happy, which is also quite important as you know.

Most business owners understand this to some degree, and spend lots of money creating an online presence. They write some web content, load up on some fancy graphics, and then throw it up on their site with fingers crossed. But very few business owners take the time to learn what the return on investment (ROI) of their blog actually is.

This is peculiar, because ROI is something that entrepreneurs are constantly concerned with for every other area of their business. But when it comes to online content, they often don’t know what analytics they should be watching, or what steps to take if these numbers don’t look good. This is a great opportunity wasted!

There are other business owners who see their company blog as a “set it, and forget it” process, which is a truly horrible “strategy” and a complete waste of this powerful tool for generating new business. So, how do you measure ROI for your blog, and then increase it?

How to Write an Effective Blog Post: Learn What Doesn’t Work

The most common scenario is a business owner writes up a few blog posts, continues posting on and off (typically off, because they’re already busy doing, you know, their job!), doesn’t see any benefit or new business from the blog and then gives up. The blog sits dormant on the website, often a black mark both in terms of Google and SEO, and also the unfortunate prospects who find it. It’s a failed experiment.

There are likely to be two problems here. First, the business owner isn’t tracking any Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and the business doesn’t have a good blog content writing strategy in place — or often any strategy at all.

Basically, it’s not enough to write a few paragraphs (or more) of content, throw it up on the website, and then expect it to do well. It won’t. You need to learn how to write an effective blog post.

Let’s look at KPIs.

How Key Performance Indicator Tracking Measures ROI

There good news is there are many tools (many are free) to track how your blog is performing. The bad news is, because there are so many tools out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

Fortunately, some of the best KPI tools pack a powerful punch when it comes to giving you a variety of information. Here are some well established ways to check how your blog is performing:

Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a free tool that offers a wealth of data you can use to calculate your blog’s ROI. With it, you can see how many overall visits you receive, where this blog traffic is coming from, your top viewed posts and even how long visitors stay on your site.

With just this (free) tool, you’ve measured 4 primary KPIs for your blog. And there are so many other things that Google Analytics can track. If you’re learning how to write a successful blog post, you should also be learning how to use Google Analytics.

SEMRush

If you want to know how to write a successful blog, we suggest starting with SEMrush. SEMrush is a paid tool, costing you around $99/month, but it’s worth every penny as it allows you to see which keywords you’re currently ranking for, and to identify new keywords you’d like to target. You want to watch these numbers on a VERY regular basis.

If you’re already ranking for keywords, SEMRush will also show you their total ad value (what you’d have to pay to achieve the same results in Google AdWords). You can also see how your competitors are doing, and compare your domain side by side with others.

As you can see from the screenshot, SEMRush puts a lot of great data at your fingertips in a way that’s easy to understand. You can also analyze the data easily by exporting it to an Excel spreadsheet directly from the tool.

BuzzSumo

BuzzSumo offers both free and paid versions, with the paid version allowing you to see how your blog content is performing across all social channels in one simple report. You can also view how many backlinks your posts generate, so you learn what web content performs best on your website.

 

Building a Successful Blog Content Writing Strategy

 

Writing effective blog content isn’t a simple task, which is why many business owners outsource their blog content writing to professionals (like us!). If that’s not in your budget, or you just prefer a more hands-on approach, there are several things you can do to boost the quality of your posts and, in turn, improve your blog’s ROI.

1) Write Useful, Well-Written Blog Posts. 

It’s a given that your blog’s content needs to be free of grammatical errors, typos and proper word usage. But these are the bare minimum requirements.

But when considering writing an effective blog post as your goal, your content must have true value to (at least some of) the visitors who find it, or they won’t stay long.

And pumping out blog posts without any strategy behind them might drive traffic to your site – but not the types of visitors who have any real value to you; ones that actually convert to paying customers. That is why understanding keyword strategy is so important. You should research keywords and selected the ones to target before you even begin writing your post.

In general terms, your posts must provide value, be targeted at the proper audience, and be written in a way that not only generates SEO results but also motivates readers to take action as well…a lofty goal.

These keywords should appear throughout your post without going into keyword-stuffing territory, which can actually hurt your rankings, not help them.

It’s also important to pay attention to the overall layout of your posts. Break text up into smaller chunks, and use headers – hopefully ones that contain your keywords

You can also make your posts more visually appealing by including charts, graphs or images. Screen shots like the ones you see above also work quite well.

2) Write “Evergreen” Content. 

When you’re writing blogs for SEO, aim to write evergreen content, designed to be relevant long into the future. Posts  like this one would be included in that category; it’s unlikely that much if any of the advice here wouldn’t be applicable years from now.

In comparison, posts that focus on current events can quickly disappear. Something might be popular in the news today, but will people still be searching for it in a year? What about in five?

Provide answers to common questions that people ask in your industry for the best SERP rankings, such as “what should I do after a car accident?” or “how long will my case take?” for an attorney who specializes in personal injury cases, or “how to write an effective blog” for us.

Posts like these can continue working for you long after you’ve published them, which is one major benefit that blogging has over advertising.

When writing a successful blog in a specific industry, you can often position yourself as an industry leader by touching on significant events or news in your industry. Though these may very well be worth talking about today, you probably shouldn’t spend much time on these types of posts, that have a shelf life of just a month or two in some cases.

3) Revise, Update and Revamp Existing Blog Posts. 

When you remodel a home, it’s much cheaper and more practical to update the carpet and apply a fresh coat of paint than it is to tear the whole thing down and start from scratch.

In similar fashion, updating and refreshing the posts already on your site is easier and faster than writing entirely new content.

A great strategy is to find the pages almost on the front page of results, and work on them. The difference between being on the front page vs. second is massive, so this focused approach is worth the effort.

This is one important strategy when writing an effective blog post: continuously going back and updating your work. This same theory applies to regular webpages too. Google actually makes no distinction between blog posts and other web pages – they are all new pages on your site, period.

4) Promote Your Content on Social Channels. 

You’ve targeted good keywords, you’ve written and posted great content and now … crickets. Learning how to write a successful blog post and improving your blog’s ROI will always be process, not an event, because algorithms and tools are constantly evolving. Also, it’ll probably take some time for your efforts pay off; I tell clients to expect that SEO efforts will take at least 3 months to really start to kick in.

One way to help things along is to share your content on social media, using social sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. These help you connect with your audience, build a following and generate even more web traffic.

Like learning how to write an effective blog post, social media management is not easy. The posts and tweets and shares on companies’ social channels may sound breezy and fun, but they’re based on in-depth research and hours of work.

If your budget doesn’t have room for professional SMM, you can still learn the social media dos and don’ts from experts online.

Are You Ready to Improve Your Blog’s ROI?

The reality is that most blogs fail — which holds true for both personal and company blogs. On the business side, many business owners give up on blogging shortly after they begin. In some cases, they don’t have the skill, desire or necessary time to blog consistently. And when they inevitably fall behind on their publishing schedule, frustration or apathy set in and then – you’ve got just another zombie blog added to the millions of others.

The great news is, though web content writing may not be in your skillset, that doesn’t mean your business can’t benefit from blogging as a powerful marketing tool. You don’t need to learn how to write an effective blog post – you can hire an SEO agency (like us) to do this crucial work or you.

When you outsource your blog content writing to a professional SEO and content marketing agency, you can reap the benefits of blogging while focusing your efforts on the things you do best.

Contact me to learn more.

Writing an effective blog postJim Haynes, Owner | Hat Trick Associates

Online Freelance Writing Service

Should You Outsource Content Marketing?

To have the maximum amount of success online you should be publishing materials for your website viewers to digest on an ongoing basis.

This might be in the form of a weekly blog, new pages that feature all the various products and services that you offer, updates to your homepage, new online “specials”, and lots of other potential ideas.

Online Freelance Writing Service

To have the most impact, the best content developers have 3 critical skills:

  • Writing
  • Domain expertise – are you an expert in the subject you’re writing about?
  • Networking skills – Do you know how to promote effectively?

The writing aspect is pretty self-explanatory. Some folks are simply much better writers than others. Or perhaps two people are of equal skill, but one enjoys writing and the other compares it to a trip to the dentist.

Domain expertise is important, but you shouldn’t discount the ability of a high quality researcher learning what they need to know to effectively communicate at least the basics of your field or industry, and then filling them in on the details or personal insight you find most valuable.

Networking skills in this case can refer to the technical ability to post items correctly online, following SEO (search engine optimization) rules, sharing them via social media and through other avenues to gain the most visibility for your website.

Finding someone on your team with all three of these skills – and then the most important of all, the actual time needed to utilize them – can be a challenge for some businesses.

If that’s the case, one choice is to bring in a new staffer to handle the writing and posting duties. For those looking for a simpler and more cost-effective solution, working with an outside vendor/freelancer – of which Hat Trick Associates is just one of your many choices – is the right call.

Whatever you decide, realize that there are significant benefits to you regardless.

 

If you’d like to learn more about why adding consistently building your website is such a valuable tool, please give me a call at (314) 494-3494 or email me at: jhaynes@hattrickassociates.com. You can also Contact Me via my website here at any time to get the conversation started.

 

Online Marketing that Works

Online Marketing and Creating Urgency with Customers

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The role of Hat Trick Associates, and any online marketing professional in general, is generating revenue for the client. Now, of course I believe that means a strong SEO campaign, great content, and a good social media presence. But anything that makes the client money – I don’t care if it’s hot air balloons – is more money that they can spend on promoting their business online.

Here is a general marketing tip from HTA: Marketing is about creating a sense of urgency to fulfill an immediate need, immediately, in most cases. One of the best uses I have seen or heard of this happened just now on Pandora. “Take a picture of this coupon on the screen right now during this ad to get X off or Free whatever…”

The actual offer didn’t matter much, they had me scrambling for my phone to get the Camera app open to take a pic of the screen before I even knew what the offer was…I didn’t want to miss out.

And I *just took the photo in time. It was almost exciting. They created the sense of urgency they needed to (It was Sport Clips, in this case). The offer is pretty good, actually, as well…so I might really use it. This is a perfect example of a marketing piece that works. Stand on the shoulders of giants – and take note of what works for competitors or those in different industries, and shamelessly steal from them.

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