Content Creation Tips for Independent Bloggers
Whether you simply love to write, want to share your passions, or use blogging as a way to grow your solopreneur business, we all want the same thing: to be noticed. Creating content as an independent blogger is hard work, but you wouldn’t be doing it if it weren’t rewarding, right? Although sometimes it might feel like your words are drifting into the Internet void, all it takes is a few tips to transform the impact you have on your community of website visitors and blog readers.
Content creation might come naturally to you or it might be on the backburner in comparison to the other pressing needs of your growing entrepreneurial business. Either way, the statistics don’t lie when it comes to the influence of blogging on creating visibility and driving customers:
- 77% of Internet users read blogs.
- Companies that blog get 55% more website visitors.
- Once you write 21-54 blog posts, blog traffic generation increases by up to 30%.
The evidence is there that people are reading blogs and blogging = website visitors. Now, use these content creation tips to get them to your site:
Find Your Niche
As a solo blogger or business owner, it’s easy to feel like a small fish in a HUGE pond. In a way, this feeling is justified. However, that doesn’t mean that your blog will necessarily get lost in an ocean of information. The best way to compete with major company blogs in your industry is to find your niche or unique writing style. For example, look at PerezHilton.com, a celebrity gossip blog that launched in 2004, way after the regular tabloids and gossip magazines had gone online. Creator Mario Lavandeira’s website design is pretty outdated, yet he still makes $200,000+ per month due to the popularity of his eclectic array of topics and his more casual and occasionally outlandish writing style. You don’t have to jump too far out of your content comfort zone, but find what resonates with your audience and play to your unique expertise and form of expression.
Create a Content Schedule
Based on the statistic above, content creation as an independent blogger requires dedication and consistency. Once you’ve developed a content plan of applicable articles for your audience, map out an even distribution of your time to draft, edit, and publish. Amongst your other responsibilities, this will take discipline and require you to set (and stick to) your deadlines. Need some motivation? Nothing looks worse to a reader than when they go to check a blog and see that the last post was several months ago. Plus, think about the excitement of posting something and then seeing the stats on your blog go up. Keep your blogging active to remain relevant and see growth in your inbound metrics.
Know Your SEO
Your strategic use of SEO can make or break whether you get noticed when writing on your own. Writing might seem like enough of a feat, but taking some time to slowly master the lingo and patterns of search engine optimization is the key to growing your audience through your content. Start first with targeting keywords in your content, then expand to using those keywords strategically throughout the other parts of your post: headers, meta-description, image captions, alt-text, links. SEO should never overshadow the quality of your content, however it can act as a helpful guide to determine the topic of the content that you should be producing for your target audience. Start your SEO education and incorporate it into the content schedule you set for your blog.
Focus your Content Creation on Conversion
All of the content that you create on your blog should center around your main goal: conversion. For every blogger this will mean something different– Maybe you want your reader to learn about your products or services? Maybe you want them to sign up for your newsletter? Or, maybe you just want them to read and share your blogs? Either way, your content should guide your reader to whatever conversion point, whether this is through strategic internal links or a call-to-action that they just cannot ignore. Especially when starting with smaller visitor numbers, it is important that every website visitor counts when it comes to your sales, or whatever equivalent metrics. Step one: determine what that is specifically, then step two: gear your content to convert and make it happen!
Engage Your Community
Use your writing skills to both promote your blog content and create original content through other channels, such as social media, emails, newsletters, and even guest posts that reach a broader audience. On both social media and your blog, you can start by following best practices for engagement, as well as replying to comments to create a sense of familiarity and camaraderie with your readers. Maintaining an active email list and newsletter is also a great way to consistently drive traffic to your site and gain control over who is coming to your site and how often. Finally, guest posts or other publications on peer blogs play a big role in developing your brand as an influencer in your field. Plus, those backlinks are always a bonus! Once you see your traffic starting to grow, make sure those readers keep coming back for more and stay engaged as you publish new blog content.
With just a few content creation tips, you have the power to gain the readership to support your independent blogging efforts. Despite the amount and size of the competition out there, never forget that your voice deserves to be heard and has a unique perspective to share about your topic of expertise. Then once you boost that website traffic, start looking out for strategic partnerships and other opportunities to monetize or further develop your blog in whatever direction you choose. Try out these tips and then share your results or any other strategies you use in the comments below!