If you’re an avid blogger, you know about the fantastic benefits of blogging, such as community building, brand awareness, messaging and user engagement. In addition, blogging allows you to consistently publish valuable content that has the potential to rank for valuable keywords in Google, which can drive more traffic to your website. But if you do blog, you may not be using your blog as effectively as you could be. That would be a real bummer, right? With that thought, here are nine ways to make your blog work even harder for you.
1. Forge Relationships, Network: Your blog can serve as a great platform for meeting and connecting with new people in your industry. Are there influencers or thought leaders in your niche that you want to meet and network with? Try writing about them. Conducting interviews with them or pitch them on your blog as a recommended source of information. Also, by promoting them, they will often return the favor and promote you and your blog as well.
2. Add a Related Posts Section: If your blog runs on WordPress, you should be using a “related posts plugin.” This type of WordPress plugin generates a list of similarly themed blog posts that live on a current post. By including a related posts section on your blog, you expose your readers to posts similar to the one they’re reading, so they stay on your site longer and read more of your expert content. Related posts also benefit SEO by pushing what’s known as link juice throughout your site (more on this concept in item #3).
3. Link Building: Some sites are notoriously hard to build links for (see: e-commerce), and links are critical to ranking better in the search results. So when your blog posts attract links from other websites, those website transfer “link juice.”Don’t let that juice go to waste. Make sure you share the link juice from your “link-rich” blog pages by cross-linking to your “link-poor” sales copy pages.
4. Personal Branding: There’s nothing wrong with promoting yourself. Heck, if you don’t do it, who will, right? A great way to build your personal brand is to make a collection of the best posts from your blog and add them to your Linkedin profile or link to them in your resume. By demonstrating your knowledge on a particular subject that you write about, you can position yourself as an expert in your niche.
5. Generate Revenue: Does you blog pull in decent visitor traffic? If so, you have an opportunity to leverage that traffic to generate revenue. You can monetize your blog by using Google AdSense. You can also reach out to companies in your niche and offer to sell advertising space on your blog. If you have a large enough audience to pitch to, you can also offer companies paid product reviews.
6. Internal Relations: Companies often have an Intranet where they post internal events, announcements, etc., but why keep noteworthy news a secret from the world? Nothing boosts morale and promotes corporate culture like publishing accolades for employees publicly on the company blog. Plus, it reveals the human element of your company/brand, because you introduce your online community to people who work behind the scenes.
7. Surveys/Polls: Conducting user surveys and polls provides great fodder for blog topics. Surveys and user opinion polls are fantastic pieces of content because:
a. They can provide valuable proprietary data for a business that they collect from their readers/customers.
b. The results of your surveys and polls can be pitched to media outlets as a news item and/or garner coverage on other blogs.
c. They create even more engagement between your brand and your blogging community.
d. They can produce multiple blog posts from a single poll/survey. Be sure to publish 1) a post announcing the survey and 2) a follow-up with the survey results.
8. Solicit Guest Posts: The best content is FREE content (i.e., content YOU don’t have to create)! How do you get free content? You can offer other bloggers, writers and thought leaders the opportunity to guest post on your blog. In the exchange, you get free content and they get exposure to a new audience. You can use your blog as a platform to solicit guest posts (publish a post announcing the guest posting opportunity) or you can join a site like My Blog Guest to find and meet guest bloggers in your particular niche.
9. Social Media Badges: There are a number of popular social media platforms you can leverage to promote your blog, from Facebook to Twitter to Digg, etc. By plugging your blog content on these social media sites, you will generate greater awareness for your blog and drive a lot of traffic to your website. So if you don’t have them already, be sure to add social badges to your blog, which make it easier for readers to share your content on social networks.
About the Author
Ken Lyons is Senior Online Acquisition Marketing Manager at WordStream, Inc., a provider of advanced SEO tools, which includes a free keyword tool, to help marketers uncover profitable long tail keywords.