content rules

7 Rules to Creating Great Blog Content For 2015

Eager to jumpstart your content marketing efforts for 2015? The quality of your blog posts and the topics that you choose will be more important than ever for the success of your website. Google started a SEO transformation several years ago and today, the process seems to be complete. Content has gained central position when it comes to optimization and promotion. Do you know, however, what it will take to make your blog successful in 2015?

1. Length and Quality

Quality content is focused and lacking fluff. This doesn’t mean, however, that the pieces should be short.

SerpIQ statistics show that the top 10 Google search results for particular keywords are usually about 2,000 words long. Longer posts provide more flexibility in terms of keyword placement and they also boost the audience’s engagement. The conclusion is simple to make – write at least 1,500 words per blog post. If you have detailed knowledge of the particular topic, you’ll find the task to be a relatively simple one.

Longer posts increase your chances of getting quality backlinks, they are shared more often and they will probably be quoted by others, as well. Make sure that you have a unique approach and look at the topic. The more original and in-depth your blog posts are, the more valuable they’re going to be.

2. Have a Distribution Plan

Good content is essential but how about coming up with the right distribution plan? Knowing how and where to share your content will boost visibility and make it much easier for you to establish that loyal audience.

Content creation doesn’t end when the posts are written. Focus a bit more on marketing and selecting the right distribution channels. Social media have become the standard in the field and your pages should have been developed by now. Try distributing your content through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon and Scoop.it, among many other possibilities. Testing each of the channels and evaluating the response will help you determine which ones deliver the best results in terms of content promotion.

Content distribution doesn’t have to be paid. Syndication and social bookmarking are two quite simple approaches, enabling blog and website owners to reach new, targeted audiences.

3. Content Repurposing

That’s right, content can be repurposed. In fact, this approach will deliver great promotional results in 2015.

Content repurposing doesn’t focus on the creation of new text. It simply makes the blog posts that you already have written available to a bigger number of people. In addition, you can use the content that you already have to create an informative piece for an entirely different medium. A series of blog posts, for example, can easily turn in a podcast.

You can also change the length and the style of blog posts. An interview with an industry expert can easily become an opinion piece later on. You generate original content but you rely on source material that has already been created.

Repurposing comes with a number of key advantages. It’s good for your website’s optimization, it enables you to reach audiences that look for information in different ways, it makes content creation easier and it gives you the possibility to capitalize on the most successful content you’ve written in the past. There’s no need to come up with something brand new each time. Some well-established topics and popular blog posts can easily be repurposed to simplify the task of keeping your blog updated.

4. Go Visual

Are you still relying excessively on text? A few visuals will make your content much more engaging and interactive.

Visuals grab the attention of the website visitor. If people like what they see, they’ll probably go through the text, as well. The human brain processes images faster than text. In fact, it perceives an image in 1/10th of the time needed to understand text.

Statistics suggest that content containing visuals generates up to 94 percent more views than texts that are not accompanied by illustrations or photographs. Content that has both photos and videos will get 48 percent more views. Visual content can easily go viral and it will generate more inbound links.

You have so much freedom, when it comes to picking visuals. Illustrations, slideshows, cartoons, diagrams and infographics are all audience favorites. Interactive graphics will be taking your visual content to the next level. These graphics can be clicked to reveal more information, which makes them interactive and highly engaging.

5. Do Competition Analysis Frequently

The online world is highly competitive. You can set your clock by paying attention to what the competition is doing.

If you haven’t been doing competition research until now, you’ve been missing on a huge source of inspiration. The blogs and websites of other entities inside the niche can help you come up with new topics. In addition, you’ll get to assess the audience’s response in order to determine which themes get people interested.

Competition research can also help you come up with partnership ideas. Though many (including Matt Cutts) have claimed that guest posting is dead, this technique can still deliver excellent marketing and optimization results.

Such partnerships give you access to a brand new audience. They result in more popularity for your website or brand. Optimization isn’t everything when it comes to being successful online. Joint efforts in the field of content creation can deliver excellent PR (as in press release rather than PageRank) results without being expensive.

6. Think about the Needs of the Mobile Crowd

So many experts have said that 2015 is going to be the year of mobile. Take this fact in consideration when writing and formatting your copy. The same applies to the design of your website. Make sure that the mobile crowd is finding it easy to access, read and interact with your content.

There have been claims about user experience affecting the Google ranking algorithm for some time. The number of individuals accessing web content through mobile devices is growing all the time. You cannot ignore and underestimate the needs of this audience, especially if you want to make 2015 your most successful year.

Mobile UX may become a ranking signal used by Google. Talk to your webmaster about the mobile design of your website, its load speed and accessibility. A few basic fixes will make it easier for you to address the needs of the mobile crowd and thus avoid a potential penalty.

7. Select the Right Technology and Plugins

Well-researched and well-written content is the heart and soul of every online marketing plan. Apart from paying attention to your writing skills, however, you should also think about the tools boosting the appeal of your content and making the entire process easier.

Need a bit of assistance in terms of plugin and software selection? Here are a couple of great picks that will simplify the content creation process:

  • Yoast SEO Pluginit addresses all of your SEO needs in a simple and easy to use functionality. The plugin for WordPress ads focus keyword, SEO title and meta description fields to each of your posts. Your content gets thorough SEO analysis before being published, enabling you to make necessary fixes. In addition, you’ll get keyword suggestions, enabling you to rank each of your pieces for the right phrases.
  • Social Metrics Pro: this WordPress plugin gives you detailed information about how and where your content is being shared. The plugin provides information about sharing on the most popular social network, enabling you to learn what the audience wants and make your content creation efforts more targeted.
  • Buffer: enables you to do more effective social media marketing. You get to choose the channels for each post and schedule when it’s going to go live. This automation possibility simplifies the task of social media marketing. The app also enables you to reshare older content through the Buffer dashboard, as well.
  • Editorial Calendar Plugin: this free plugin doesn’t help a lot with content creation or SEO. It, however, plays an important role in helping you organize your efforts. The editorial calendar enables you to write down content ideas and notes about these. The date reminders will let you know when you need to publish a new piece and which topics you’ve been thinking about.
  • Post List Featured Image: the plugin displays the featured image for each post in the administrative panel, right next to other content characteristics. The thumbnails you get to see side by side give you a really good idea about the images that really pop out and engage the audience. Consider this plugin a visual preview that you can use to make aesthetic adjustments before posting.
  • Organize Series: a very useful plugin that enables you to create series of posts on the same topic. It gives you a full archive page, as well as information about the posts linked to each other. The plugin is essential for organizing your blog and increasing the logical flow of your content.

Creating excellent blog posts in 2015 will form the backbone of your marketing strategy. Your passion for a topic, writing skills and understanding of contemporary trends will all be essential for making the most of your online presence. The same applies to the selection of the right tools and automation features.

Photo credit: nzphotonz / iStock

 

 

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