Starting a blog and seeing it catch traction with your audience is an exciting, rewarding experience. And once you get to this point, you may be asking yourself, “What next? How do I grow in the right direction?” There are a few tips to keep in mind as you plan to grow your blog into an effective revenue-generating machine.
To start, optimize your content for conversions.
Blogging is an interesting thing where you can do a lot of research, and you should. You should talk to your personas. You should figure out what they’re interested in. But after a certain point, you just kind of need to start throwing stuff at the wall and really seeing what sticks with people. So I think in the early days obviously, do your due diligence, but just don’t hold yourself back from trying some stuff out. Right? Get really comfortable with looking at your analytics, figuring out what seems to be performing better than others in terms of your KPIs. And then iterate from there. So at the early days, I would say your core focus is just figuring out what your core audience responds to, what they care about. Before you worry about doing anything with this audience, just try and grow the audience and cater to their needs, get them interested.
read also : How to start a business blog
After you’ve seen some growth in terms of whatever your key metric is -– traffic and subscribers are probably the two biggest ones – then you want to start thinking about, “Okay, how do we convert this audience? So do we want to have this person to chat directly with one of our sales reps? Do they want to do a demo? Are we going to offer them an ebook?” or whatever the next step is in your conversion journey. I think then you can start thinking about how to optimize your content for that conversion.
So those, to me, are probably the two biggest stages of your blog. And then, after that point, once you’ve gotten through those two stages, obviously, they kind of play off each other. Right? The more you grow, the more intentionally you want to be about optimizing that audience. And it’s kind of a cycle that repeats.
The key thing to remember about what Emma said here is “how do we convert this audience?” You can do this by identifying your personas’ buyer’s journey. The buyer’s journey is the active research process someone goes through leading up to a purchase.
Knowing the buyer’s journey for your persona will be key to creating the best marketing, sales, and service experience possible. It’s a model to help keep the buyer’s behavior, information needs, and problems central to anything your business does.
Each business will have a unique buyer’s journey, designed around their buyer’s problems and needs. It’s a recipe that can’t necessarily be replicated from one business to another.
Don’t expect your audience to understand what their journey is. That’s your job. If you take the time to create content that attracts your ideal audience, then take the time to identify the buyer’s journey for that audience.
Ultimately, they’re looking to you to be informed, so craft a buyer’s journey of helpful assets, whether they be case studies, white papers, guides, free demos, or whatever it may be that would be of interest to your audience’s journey to becoming a customer. Knowing these assets will be helpful when creating and optimizing your blog posts so that you can support them accordingly.
For more on the buyer’s journey, check out the resources section of this lesson. There’s a link to a practical read to help you get started. Here’s a pro tip to consider: The buyer’s journey for your personas is ever-evolving. You should always be looking for ways to improve the experience of your personas. For example, is there a blog post that people read most before converting into a lead or customer? Then consider linking that to a relevant top-performing offer.
You could also consider updating or improving that content by expanding it into an offer or two like a guide or a live webinar that can double as a recorded video training offer in the future. Whatever adjustments you make, document them. It’s important that you document what works, what doesn’t, and why. This way, as you grow, you can be making strategically informed decisions based on data and results.
Next, manage your content library.
It takes a lot of time to create quality, educational content. And once you have a robust library of content like this in your possession, then you’ll have the opportunity to have your content work smarter for you.
One of the things that people are realizing more and more is that you don’t have to create brand new content all the time. Actually that’s not even going to give you the most bang for your buck a lot of times.
Do you have something that you created two years ago that’s still as relevant as it is today that you can make some optimizations tweaks to get that to rank better? Just because you’ve already created it doesn’t
mean that it doesn’t have value anymore. So at a certain point where you have a content library, that’s why I start thinking about optimization. And that can either be you bringing someone on who does optimization full-time as part of their role – if so, I would recommend that they definitely have an SEO background – or you can just work it into anyone on the team who’s interested in learning how to optimize things. That can definitely become part of their job. And you just, basically, skew the production a little bit down on new content production and a little bit up in terms of optimization.
Optimizing your top-performing content that’s still relevant is an effective way to efficiently increase your blog’s performance. You may remember this post from SmartBug Media that received 4,767 visits and 230 leads after 58 months. Well, this blog post was optimized over time. And you know what? I’m sure SmartBug will continue to optimize it based on their goals and how they can best improve the buyer’s journey for their audience consuming the post.
read also : Why does your business need a blog?
Part of making optimizations to your overall content library is ensuring that the content you do have published on your blog is providing value to your audience. Remember, quality always outweighs quantity. Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Is Justin about to tell me that I should unpublish underperforming blog content? Because that content took me a lot of time to create.” Yes. Not every blog you publish will be a top performer. And if you don’t manage your content library, then it can actually hurt your website’s SEO in the long run.
For example, ModGility, one of HubSpot’s partners and a custom software development company, performed an experiment with one of their customers which resulted in a 158.47% increase in website traffic in four months. This process started with ModGility being critical about their customer’s blog and website content. Here’s a three-step process Modgility uses when pruning underperforming content.
First, perform a website content audit, including blog and website pages. Modgility did a content audit for their customer with a six-month date range. They chose this time frame because they do content audits on an ongoing basis.
read also : How to optimize a blog post
Second, sort traffic based on unique page views. Modgility uses Google Analytics, so they were able to export the data into a CSV file. If you have the ability to export your data into an Excel or CSV, then do so. Analyzing everything in a spreadsheet will make the process that much easier.
And third, implement the 80/20 rule on your content in the spreadsheet. The 80/20 content rule is when you identify which blog posts and site pages account for 80% of your website’s traffic, so you can remove the 20% of underperforming pages.
Here’s how to implement the 80/20 content rule:
To start, determine which of your site pages and blog posts are generating 80% of your website traffic. You can do this by multiplying the unique page views by .8, which will give you the 80% total. For example, let’s say during your six-month content audit, you found that your blog and website received 15,000 unique pageviews. If you multiply that number times .8, it’ll give you the 80% figure you seek, which, in this case, is 12,000.
Next, sort your pages by most unique page views in descending order and mark which pages account for 80% of website traffic. This is an important step. Make sure you organize and mark everything accordingly so that you correctly weed out the 20% of underperforming pages. Once you identify the 20% of underperforming site pages and blog posts, remove them from your site. But don’t just unpublish these pages; apply 301 redirects to them to the most relevant page on your website. Now, if you have multiple pages that fall just outside of the 80% group and you believe they could still provide value with an optimization update, then consider keeping them, but only if you’re going to put care and energy into updating
One last thing: Don’t get rid of the content you remove from your site. Archive it so that you can access it in the future. This way you can salvage the content by repurposing it when you need it down the road. And as for Modgility’s example, out of the 140 pages they audited, they identified 48 underperforming pages, which they applied 301 redirects to and removed from the site. That’s almost 35% of the content gone — poof.
But, remember, this content pruning led to a 158.47% increase in traffic in just four months.
Before doing an audit like this and removing your underperforming content, make sure it’s the right time. Here’s a pro tip: Wait until you have a high amount of blog and site content, like 50 pages, before removing any content from your website.
And there you have it, some sound advice on tips to keep in mind as you grow your blog to the next level. Keeping these things in mind will help you transform your blog and website into a revenue-generating machine.