Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Carla Dewing, part owner of Contrast Media, a Cape Town, South Africa-based content marketing firm servicing brands globally.

Having a blog these days is super-easy – right? Sure it is, if you want to get absolutely no real returns from it! But the point of a niche blog is to inspire more business. If your blog isn’t doing that, then you are missing out on the single most effective way to rapidly, and systematically expand your business.

You need to start treating your blog like a content command center. Every little bit of content you create for the internet, needs your blog to survive and excel. It’s called leveraging your blog content, and this is how you do it.

Goodbye Bare Minimum Blogging

business chart showing success

Image by s_falkow via Flickr

Businesses that are serious about brand exposure online, are still not serious enough to do more than the ‘bare minimum’ when it comes to blogging. They set up a blog, post decent educational content – and hope for the best. High quality content will only get you so far. It’s certainly not going to find you readers, or magically transform into a world-renowned authority on its own.

So, before you can use your blog as a content command center – it needs to be upgraded. Most blogs can be significantly improved with better planning, content strategy and the integration of interactive media.

If you want your business to expand as a direct result of your blog, then get ready to say goodbye to doing the bare minimum.

What Really Makes a Blog Rock?

Quality content does not make a blog successful. Variety, promotion and connectivity make it successful. These three factors are instrumental in the development and growth of your blog. Because of these factors, your blog will see more traffic, interaction and click throughs to your business website. Let’s explore why!

Blog Variety or Bust

Your blog is geared to towards your readership. It attracts people from all walks of life that enjoy your niche subject. To properly engage them, you need to make your blog the best version of itself in your field. Not the best version of your own knowledge.

This means adding in a variety of media – podcasts, video, guest posts and slideshare presentations. But it also means blogging about other people’s podcasts, video, posts and presentations in your niche.

This will prove to your readers that you are active in your field, and provide them with a more complete discussion on your niche topic. When you become an authority by being the better blog in your niche, this will be because most of your readership – don’t need to go anywhere else for fantastic information.

Promotion Works Both Ways

When a blog is posted it’s often promoted on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages. But do you promote the things you do on these platforms with your blog? For example, when you run a themed Twitter week, or set up a new promotional ad for your Facebook page – you should create posts about it.

Social media is not a one way street. Yet bloggers forget to use their blog to enhance their other pages. When was the last time you held a really interesting discussion on LinkedIn, and then blogged about it afterwards?

The key to blog enrichment, is to look for creative ways to keep people returning there – even if they were more involved on one of your other pages.

This can be achieved by opening up your blog as a two way promotional platform. Instead of simply advertising your blog on other sites, use your blog as a central news site for what’s happening on your other pages!

Connectivity is The Rule

To get the most out of your blog, it has to be directly connected to your other social media sites. And you can’t just randomly choose the most convenient buttons, and make them prominent on your page. Two must-have buttons are the Facebook like, and the new Twitter instant follow button. Beyond that, you need a Wibiya toolbar, or another app that will prompt your community to use social bookmarking sites.

When a reader shares your blog on Digg or StumbleUpon, it can generate a much needed boost in traffic, for a larger community – and as a result more opportunity to meet new clients and make sales.

Essentially, these 3 factors used together, help persuade your readers to become long term fans.

Chris Garrett of Chrisg.com, says “Successful blogs are about persuasion. You might not have a financial outcome, but you do want to create a result. Leave the reader with an idea, an action, a next-step…” Business expansion is not only about financial reward. It’s also about visibility, authority and attracting your ‘ideal’ client. As Chris explains here, every blog post needs a purpose.

Back To The Basics of Blog Content

Now that you know how you should be treating your blog, you can exploit your various kinds of blog content to feed more traffic to your website sales pages. Your blog command center needs to attract people from other sites, and convert them into avid readers. Here are some great ideas on how to make this happen.

  • Create original infographics or images and start a niche related Flickr feed, with branded images that other experts can use, royalty free.
  • Build a Youtube channel with the best authority videos in your niche, and use them in your blogs. Once you can afford it, start creating your own videos.
  • Set up news feeds, and use content curation dashboards to find the most exciting news or discussions in your field – then write about them.
  • Get a custom app made for your Facebook page that rewards the most active community members. At the end of every month, announce it on your blog and give them an exclusive prize.
  • Use examples from your own business to educate the readers of your blog content. This will indirectly advertise your products and services.
  • Create a 10 tips blog, and then write 10 articles exploring these tips in more detail. Post them on article directory sites.

There is so much that you can do with your blog that you aren’t doing right now. You need to brainstorm, find out what’s viable and head towards it with a shiny new blog content strategy. A simple blog, posted daily, just won’t cut it anymore. You need to create content with the sole purpose of growing your community, and enhancing your business. It’s all about leverage, and it starts right now!

Carla Dewing is part owner of Contrast Media, and a leading content marketing expert for large brands around the world. She works exclusively with content, to enhance brand visibility, credibility and authority online. You can find her on Twitter @carladewing, or on her business website http://www.contrastmedia.co.za

Enhanced by Zemanta
Did you enjoy this blog post? If so, then why not:Leave Comment Below | Subscribe To This Blog | Sign Up For Our Newsletter |

About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

Other posts by

Comments & Reactions

Comments Policy

Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://trafficcoleman.com/blog/official-black-seo-guy/ Black Seo Guy

    Carla..I write so i can reach the souls of my readers and force them to come back for more..very simple concept to follow.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • Anonymous

    Good advice. I don’t think it can be reinforced that sharing other people’s content is critical to growing your network. Share good stuff – whether it’s your own or someone else’s awesomeness.

  • http://twitter.com/anandp29 Anand Patel

    How or where do you recommend we get a custom app made for our Facebook page that rewards the most active community members. Is there a certain process or method to developing this app?

    • Carla Dewing

      Thanks for your comments everyone:) Anand – You’ll have to speak to an app developer – I’ve worked with Avenuesocial on a few projects, and they know their apps! Maybe you can check them out. Anything is possible with app development, and I’m sure they’ll be able to help you come up with something awesome! 

  • http://www.contentequalsmoney.com Emma Richardson

    I really like how this story pointed out that inherent brevity in social networking isn’t an excuse for sloppy updating. Content still must be generated at the highest of quality levels; as with anything else, social media is something that requires time and attention in order to achieve maximum success. Quite simply, if you’re not willing to put in the work, don’t bother. This shows with minimally attempted Twitter accounts and half-abandoned blogs.

  • http://twitter.com/budkraus Bud Kraus

    Really liked this article. Will be helpful as I continue to develop my blog.

  • Pingback: Internet Marketing News Daily – 10 Tips for Ranking in Your Area, Google+ Being Gamed, and More Online Marketing News

  • http://www.online-business-virtual-assistant.com/ Virtual Business Assistant

    These tips are extremely beneficial. These are things that anyone can easily do to improve a blog. It seems self-evident to write what you love, to direct your content toward your community, etc. but these simple goals can often be pushed to the side in pursuit of sheer number of readers.
     

  • http://www.facebook.com/jazzyao Wang Yao

    Meet international people for local event on http://www.youtube.com/weclic?106081

  • Pingback: The Case of Creative Myopia | Social Media Explorer

  • http://www.facebook.com/raja.jha.1420 Madhab Jha

     We are experts in Email Marketing and are known for our excellent inbox delivery records.We use an array of thousands of IPs with proper DKIM and SPF records to make sure your emails reach the inboxes and not land in the spam folders.We shall provide you with a a detailed report of your campaign including the list of emails of the users who have opened, clicked or unsubscribed. We have an extremely easy to use UI and a set of templates and excellent tutorials that makes the entire process really swift and efficient.Our prices are modest and we have very high inbox delivery rate. We design high quality HTML/text emailers too.We will be in constant contact with you through skype and email, will keep you updated about the progress of your campaign.

    For more details: contact 011-40616304
    Vist:www.emailwaves.com
    company name: Emailwaves.com

  • Pingback: Five Ways to Be a Super Hero Blogger — New Media Expo Blog