August 22, 2017
If you’re the owner or guardian of a business blog that isn’t firing on all cylinders, then please don’t take this personally or feel singled out. Most blogs aren’t hubs of activity, and quite a few are virtual wastelands. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that re-inventing a blog so that it does its share of heavy lifting in the brand visibility and Web traffic generating departments doesn’t need to be a risky and costly process. Essentially, it’s a matter of acknowledging that things need to be improved (as the psychologists say, knowing that a problem exists is half the battle), and then taking practical steps to turn things around. To that end, here are three things to do right now:
Start publishing great content.
Content is to blogs, as food is to restaurants. Sure, patrons are interested in the atmosphere, prices, location, and so on. But ultimately, if the food isn’t good, then it shouldn’t come as a surprise when the “dinner rush” is a guy who needs to use the restroom.
As such, the moral to this cautionary tale is simple: don’t just churn out content, but focus on publishing great content. After all, you aren’t trying to impress search engine robots. Human beings buy your products and services, and your blog needs to engage, educate and encourage them to do so.
Use market research to identify your buyer personas.
Buyer personas are fictionalized demographic and psychographic profiles of your target customers. They are often given catchy names anchored to their roles (e.g. “Architect Andy” and “Lawyer Laura”).
Think of buyer personas as maps that tell you who you need to reach through your blog, as well as what messages and topics are most likely to resonate with them. You can start putting together buyer personas on your own, but it’s probably a good idea to get some expert help. Some market research firms like CFR Inc. specialize in this area and can provide you with valuable customer and marketplace intelligence.
Change how you think about SEO.
Unless you’re a SEO consultant — which is unlikely, but there’s always a chance — then the best thing you can do for your blog is take everything you think that you know about SEO, and delete it from your brain. It’s just taking up space and isn’t serving you well, because the SEO game has changed profoundly in the last few years.
It’s beyond the scope of this article to run a master class in SEO strategy. But here’s a preview of what’s in store: keyword themes for entire websites are very important (and not just keywords used for specific pages such as blog posts), content length, loading speed, formatting and user experience are big time SEO factors, and off-site SEO along with social sharing drive the SEO bus. Don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz. If you work with a reputable SEO firm (or hire a reputable SEO specialist in-house), you’ll be fine.
The Bottom Line
Don’t see your broken blog as something to be frustrated with or ashamed of. See it as a renovation project: one that will soon fill you with pride and, even more importantly, start functioning as a profitable business asset.
Chans Weber is an entrepreneur with 10 plus years of experience in a variety of industries including finance, marketing and online technology. As an expert in advanced SEO, paid advertising, and inbound marketing, I am passionate about sharing my knowledge with others and helping businesses reach their full potential.