I Started Blogging, So Where Are My Sales?

by · January 24, 201420 comments

You’ve heard it all before – content marketing essentially is now the SEO service. Every man and his dog is binning their link building strategies, waving goodbye to their brochures and jumping on board the blog bandwagon. Everyone is embracing blogging and content in a big way.

But there hasn’t been much change to your traffic, and you’re just not seeing much of a return. So you stop blogging.

You might have stumbled upon many an abandoned blog in your time, or maybe your own is sitting at the top of your navigation bar gathering dust. So what are you doing wrong?!

The Right Kind Of Content

Google’s Webmaster Guidelines give a good idea of the type of content they approve of.

It’s all very well, happily tapping away on your keyboard, swigging coffee and quickly producing 300 words of uninspired rubbish. Anyone can do that. But it isn’t what content writing is all about, unfortunately. Our search engine overlords want a very specific kind of content.

It has to be good. And we’re not talking bestselling-literary-greats good, or could-be-published-in-the-FT good. There is no need to weep into your keyboard just yet, because blogging good is a bit more obtainable.

The most important thing is that your content is relevant and interesting to your target market. The topic might not seem all that exciting in itself, but it’s your job to find an angle. Ask yourself what you’d want to know or what you’re particularly interested in, and then plan an article around that. If you’re running your own blog then you might already know the answer, but if you’re managing a blog for a business that you’re not completely familiar with then you’re probably going to have to get researching. Have a look at what has already been written on the subject, and try and come in from a slightly different angle so that you’re creating something new.

Search engines now favor natural and useful posts, so crowbarring in awkward keywords might not be the best plan anymore. Instead try and come up with an article which will naturally include instances of your chosen keyword. If your chosen keyword happens to be ‘London coffee shops’, a post on French coffee trends is unlikely to work. Instead, consider writing a post about the rise of the British coffee shop.

How Long Should My Posts Be?

Excessive and obvious keyword usage won’t result in good content. In an ideal world, for the most gloriously optimized blog, 600 words is a pretty safe bet. Keyword density is best at around one instance of your keywords per 150 words, so to get four in your post, around 600 words per blog post is ideal. For instance if you were an SEO Company  writing a post on ‘Blogging As A Substitute For Traditional SEO’ including the keyword SEO Services would be easily achievable and would likely flow well within the copy, as well as delivering value to your audience, which is the primary objective of any piece of content.

Try not to just add words in order to get up to a word count; if you’re lacking things to say, try adding another new point , but make sure it delivers value. Concision in writing is a great skill, but when trying to reach a hefty word count it can sometimes be a hindrance. I always find myself deleting swathes of my writing when I proofread to keep on topic, but sometimes those little anecdotes get to stay in.

If your posts are sometimes a bit shorter, don’t panic. It is better to write a 500 word post on something really engaging which covers all the key points, rather than rambling on about nothing for 1000 words.

Super short posts won’t usually add any value for your readers, so it tends to be best not to bother. Establish yourself as a useful source of information rather than someone who blogs purely for blogging’s sake.

How Often Should I Update?

If you don’t update your blog you’re just not making the most out of the platform. How frequently you update depends on what you can manage. A smaller company with limited access to SEO services might only have time for a blog once a week, whilst bigger companies with a focus on their blog might post multiple times a day. The more often you can update the better, and if you can get a blogging schedule and stick to it then you’re more likely to attract a regular readership.

Posting sporadically is better than nothing, but it won’t be effective in the long run. If you haven’t got time to manage your blog yourself, or the writing skills to write compelling copy regularly, content writers are available to provide that very useful SEO service. They might not have the same level of intimacy with your business as you do, but they are creative types who know how to write good copy.

The Key?

There is no big secret when it comes to writing. There’s no fool proof tips which will fix every blogging slump, but there are a lot of ideas on the subject out there. Try not to let your blog become a chore and it will be much easier to produce. If you find your own writing boring then the chances are other people will as well.

Like anything, the more you do it the easier it will become. While you might be a little short on ideas, your process will still be improving.

So, if your blog isn’t working, don’t give up. Just rethink it.

Try not to let it become stale, and make sure you upload regularly. Read other industry blogs to give yourself a good idea of what works – and what doesn’t. Most importantly, focus on delivering value to your readers. If every post enriches the lives of those who read it, you can’t go wrong.

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About Maddie Russell

Maddie Russell

Maddie Russell is a content creator at Square Social. Maddie also works as an SEO consultant at Models Direct, one of the UK’s  premier modelling agencies.

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  • http://indispensablemarketing.com/ Patrick McFadden

    Great post Maddie!!! My (2¢) is that blogging is a completely safe method of finding out if you have a message that people want to hear. And that’s the real question. Don’t blog just for the sake of blogging – blog because you have a message than you can’t contain. No one is an “expert” at the beginning. We all just start where we are and get in the game. But it’s by being in the game that we refine and develop skills, information and relationships that ultimately make us “experts.”

  • Kymeshia

    Great post! I really like the distinction you make between blogging for business and personal blogging. I agree with your point regarding having a blog schedule to stay on track as well. Publishing quality content on a regular basis is definitely key to increasing online visibility for a business and leads!

  • Elizabeth Hall

    Very well written. I totally agree that your blog should not become a chore. Business owners need to understand the value of blogging. It can truely add value to their online acivities. It definitely takes time to grow a following. Thanks for the information.

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  • http://www.bettergraph.com/ Anoop Srivastava

    Maddie, Thanks for your post. I have read several blogs that if you write 1500 – 2500 words content then it may be possible that google add your post depth article. Let me know what you think about it.

  • http://www.gmrwebsitemaintenance.com/ GMR Website Maintenance

    There is no sure-shot key to hit the publicity and rich-traffic in blogging. We need to focus on delivering valuable and needful content to our readers. Great post.

  • Savannah Kirk

    Great post! I think blogging is very individualistic and if you do not have a passion or interest for what you are writing about, well, the blog is going to suffer. Many people, including myself, get confused on how long a blog post should be, so thanks for that tip especially! Blogging is a great way for companies of all sizes, and also people trying to build their “brand,” to positively (if done right) enhance themselves.

  • http://bloghands.com/ Chris Barber

    “The most important thing is that your content is relevant and interesting to your target market. ” relevant is the easy part. Anyone can do relevant but you HAVE to make it interesting.

  • dialuz

    Great post.The most important thing is that your content is relevant and interesting to your target market.

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  • http://www.boostsuite.com/ Ryan Kettler

    Good stuff Maddie. Thanks for sharing. I agree that focusing on providing something uniquely valuable to your audience is key.

    What are your thoughts on imagery and other visuals for small businesses who are doing content marketing? Do you see them as a must-have for every post? Isn’t there a direct correlation between engagement/conversions and imagery?

    • CreatingMedia

      As humans are generally very visual creatures, an infographic can be a great tool to share complex figures in a much more engaging way. However – commissioning a custom infographic would be very costly to do for every post unless you have the skills to do it in-house!

      • http://www.boostsuite.com/ Ryan Kettler

        Agreed..infographics are great but 1) they’re expensive if you hire someone and 2) they’re time-consuming as they require data retrieval and creation efforts.

  • John Waghorn

    Blogs can be very powerful – however you need time to get them to a level where you are providing good content and reaching a wide audience. Initially, if you’re starting out, your audience reach is likely to be limited, unless you can harness a large following on social.

    Once you get to a stage where you have a receptive audience and you combine that with good content, (it has to be good content) then it’s an excellent channel for encouraging sales and driving
    people to other pages on your site. Thanks for sharing Maddie.

  • CreatingMedia

    Hear hear! Some really great tips in here that we follow when writing our own blog – and we have also just produced a very similar article on blogging tips. (our key tip that you missed in your article – drive traffic to the blog to increase your readership, credibility and pagerank by sharing out on social media!)

  • Rohit Sen

    I agree that every writer should be very careful while choosing the topic of any content and the right time to post to a relevant blog and updates that have direct impacts and sometimes irrelevant or bad decisions make them suffer. Those keyword must be selected which have influential significance. Verti group International has a vast variety of experienced and skilled workforce and are motivated to provide worth full piece of work by using techniques and methods. Our service is not only for the desktop user but it is also for mobile users which enables our clients to have numerous visitors.

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