Nicole Inge, Author at Express Writers
What Does the Google Helpful Content Update Mean for Content Marketing?

What Does the Google Helpful Content Update Mean for Content Marketing?

As an online content creator, it’s essential to pay close attention when Google makes algorithm updates.

These changes can directly impact how your content ranks on the search engine results pages (SERPs). This means being prepared to adapt your strategy to the algorithm to secure a spot on the coveted first page of Google. You might think this task is challenging, but it’s all about staying up to date with Google’s best practices.

The most recent update, announced in August 2022, is the Google Helpful Content Update. The update seeks to better identify low-value content, meaning high-quality, people-first content will generate more organic traffic and rank higher.

And since it finished rolling out on September 9th, we wanted to explore everything you need to know about the Helpful Content Update and dive into what it means for you and your content marketing efforts.

What does the Google Helpful content update mean for content marketing?

What is the Google Helpful Content Update?

To better connect people with information that brings them value, Google says that they prioritize ranking “original, helpful content written by people, for people, in search results.”

Combined with the rest of Google’s ranking signals, this update will settle into an algorithm that detects low-quality content lacking meaningful engagement. It is a site-wide signal that homes in on sites with a large quantity of unhelpful content before penalizing them by decreasing site traffic.

Frustrated users express on social media or blogs that they land on pages that provide no solutions to their search questions but rank on top pages in search engines. So, Google has taken these conversations to heart and wants to use the algorithm to reward creators who provide human-first content to their readers.

The Helpful Content Update is just one part of a large effort to make it easier to find helpful content when searching. While this update might not feel widespread yet, it has caused some shakeup in search results as the algorithm works to recategorize sites.

What Does the Google Helpful Content Update Mean for Content Marketing?

Since websites that engage with their audience to provide helpful content will climb higher in the SERPs and generate more organic traffic, it’s important to know what will affect you as a content marketer.

After all, when Google makes changes, you’ll also need to make changes to your content strategy. Here’s what you should know:

Focus on People-First Content

The term “people-first content” comes directly from Google. But what exactly does this mean? First and foremost, it’s about providing great content and a positive experience for your website readers.

If you post content to your site, it’s your job to think about the target audience of your content and write with them in mind. Does this mean you should abandon the SEO best practices you’ve been implementing all this time? Absolutely not. It just means you should focus on creating high-quality content first and then incorporate search engine ranking factors to provide additional value to searchers.

To ensure your website and its content have a people-first approach, Google encourages you to ask yourself the following questions. If you can answer yes to them, you’re likely on the right track.

  • Does your intended or existing audience find the content useful because it came directly from your business site?
  • Does your content establish first-hand expertise and in-depth knowledge?
  • Is the purpose or focus of your site clear?
  • When someone reads your content, will they leave feeling they’ve gotten enough knowledge to achieve their goal without needing to search elsewhere?
  • Will reading your content leave someone feeling like their experience was satisfying?
  • Is guidance for core updates and for product reviews kept in mind?

Don’t Make Search Engines Your Primary Focus

We get it. You want your content to rank, so you implement all the SEO best practices the experts recommend. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it does become an issue when that’s all you’re focused on. If you aren’t prioritizing your human reader, your content (and rankings) will suffer.

To determine if you’ve previously been taking a search engine-first approach with your content, Google has shared the following questions to ask yourself. If you answer yes to the majority of these questions, consider reevaluating the content on your site to focus on people first.

  • Does content draw people from search engines over prioritizing content made for humans?
  • Do you produce large quantities of content on different topics in hopes that some could perform well in search results?
  • Do you use automation extensively to create content on many topics?
  • Do you end up summarizing other existing content without adding new insight?
  • Is your content focused on what’s trending instead of topics you’d write about for your existing audience?
  • Do readers finish your content and feel like they need to do another search for better information?
  • Is all of your content a particular word count because you’ve heard or read that Google has a preferred word count? (They don’t.)
  • Are you exploring a niche topic area but lacking real expertise because you thought you’d get search traffic?
  • Does your content promise answers to questions that have no answer, like mentioning a release date for a product, movie, or TV show that hasn’t been confirmed?

How to Abide by the Google Helpful Content Update

There are a few things you can do to transform your content strategy moving forward. Following these tips will ensure you focus on your readers and keep Google happy by extension.

1. Stick to Your Niche

Once you’ve narrowed down your niche, Google’s advice is to stick with it. After all, it would be a little confusing if we started publishing recipes on The Write Blog, wouldn’t it? We know our niche and understand that our audience comes to us to learn everything possible about creating high-quality online content.

If you’ve been publishing content outside of your niche, it’s time to make a change. You don’t want Google to think you’re more focused on search engines and rankings than your human reader. From here on out, focus your approach and create content that establishes your authority in your industry.

Confused about what your niche should be? There are a few things you can do to find your business niche. This is essential to show your industry differentiators to your audience through the content you craft. You’ll know for sure your base comes to you for your product, and now that you’re creating quality content, the leads that find you will know from the beginning why they ended up on your site over a competitor.

2. Showcase Your Expertise and Authority

Are you helping your readers when you write about topics you don’t have experience in or passion for? Probably not. These topics require a knowledge base you don’t have, and a reader can usually tell when you have the correct experience. For instance, the last thing you want to do is write a review about a product or service you’ve never even tried.

Instead, focus on content that allows you to showcase your expertise and authority on a subject. Which topics can you talk about confidently for hours on end? What does your product do, and do you have a long-form blog to help your potential clients understand why it’s important? By putting thought into the content you produce, your strategy is more focused on the authority you have in your field.

In time, people will begin to see you as a trustworthy resource. This keeps people coming back to you when they need information about your industry. Now, you’re establishing your brand and building a back catalog of content people can return to over and over.

3. Make Sure Your Website Has a Clear Purpose or Focus

It can be tempting to cover a wide array of topics on your website to attract more readers. However, this is unlikely to generate the best results. For one, your target audience will have a harder time getting to your website, and they’re the ones whose attention you need to grab. And now, the Google Helpful Content Update craves focus for your website’s content.

The content that you publish should have a primary purpose, and Google has the ability to crawl your site and find the focus of your content. If readers can’t find the main idea because you’re all over the place covering every topic under the sun, they won’t find your content helpful. Instead, they’ll be confused. Additionally, search engines will have a difficult time understanding your website, and it won’t be categorized correctly.

If your content has one main subject area, Google will know where to put you when searchers start looking for information that’s part of your expertise. You’ll avoid falling victim to trending topics that are outside your niche, and your target audience will find you more easily.

4. Provide Plenty of Information to Address a Reader’s Questions

When you open a blog post you found after conducting a Google search, you expect it to answer all of your questions, right? But in reality, we know that far too often, this isn’t the case. We stumble upon lackluster content that barely addresses our needs. It’s frustrating and winds up sending us back to the Google search page to find another resource instead.

Even before the Google Helpful Content Update, your content marketing should center on a human-first approach. Provide articles with statistics, verifiable evidence, and information so your reader doesn’t feel the need to conduct a second search to find better content. One way to determine this is to look over your content and search for specific statements that offer actionable advice or information to answer questions successfully.

Don’t be afraid to go above and beyond by providing detailed, long-form blog posts. Not only will your reader appreciate having access to all of their desired information in one place, but Google will reward you by pushing up your page in the SERPs.

5. Always Deliver a Satisfying Experience

The overall experience you provide to your readers makes a difference. If you want people to come back to your site and Google to rank you high in the SERPs, you need to deliver a satisfying experience every time. This means that your content should be clear, answer all the questions a reader has, and focuses on the topics that interest them. You want your audience to stay on your site for longer, and when they leave, they should be satisfied with the answers they found.

It’s also smart to consider the user experience of your website. The last thing you want is to send a reader running because your website is slow to load, has confusing navigation, or is cluttered with too many ads. If you’re not sure if your website is impressing visitors, have a friend or colleague visit your website and give honest feedback about how they think your site functions.

Get People-First Content Written by the Experts

Express Writers is a content writing agency focused on developing people-first content for our clients. We aim to provide you with the highest quality articles to boost your business. And our SEO content writers understand Google’s algorithm as an additional asset. That means we make sure to put your audience first with every piece of content we craft. This way you can be sure you always deliver a satisfying experience.

Get in touch about content needs

How to Create (and Manage) an Email Newsletter Your Audience Loves

How to Create (and Manage) an Email Newsletter Your Audience Loves

Email marketing is a fantastic method for attracting and retaining customers for the long haul. Through email, you can even build a loyal community and create a strong relationship with those in your target audience. It sounds like a dream, but it can feel a little intimidating.

If you’re not familiar with email marketing, you might not know where to begin. Luckily, learning how to create an email newsletter is simple when you follow a few easy steps. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to sending incredible content to your subscribers.

In this post, you’ll learn how to create an email newsletter in a few easy steps. We’ll also discuss additional email marketing tips that will be helpful on your journey to creating a healthy, engaged list.

How To Create An Email Newsletter Inset

How to Create an Email Newsletter

In the list below, you’ll find tips to help you get started on creating an email newsletter to be proud of. Ready to build your very own email newsletter? By implementing our tips from start to finish, you’ll be able to craft email content in the most effortless, stress-free way possible.

1. Determine the Goal of Your Email Marketing Efforts

Before diving in, determine the purpose of email marketing as it fits into your overall content strategy. What are you hoping to achieve by starting a list, gaining subscribers, and sending out regular content? Are you simply wanting to generate website traffic? Do you want to have a list so you can promote your products and services? Are your goals multi-purpose?

No matter what your goal is, it’s important to keep it in mind as you build your list. Knowing your goal will fuel your content and show you which KPIs (key performance indicators) you need to track to see if your efforts are successful. Then, you’ll know when to tweak your strategy.

2. Choose an Email Newsletter Tool

Before you can put together your newsletter, determine the best email marketing tool for your business. There are tons of them available today, ensuring you’ll find one that suits your needs and your budget. To get started, you simply need to consider the features you want a tool to have before beginning your research.

For instance, you want something that’s going to be user-friendly, so you don’t have to spend hours trying to figure everything out. A tool that has a drag-and-drop editor might be a must for you, especially if coding isn’t in your wheelhouse. You’ll also want to look for features like sending automated sequences, which would allow you to develop a welcome sequence for new subscribers.

Some popular options are MailChimp, ConvertKit, Constant Contact, and Active Campaign. Many offer a free trial, so you can take advantage of that to give them a good test run.

3. Design a Functional Email Template

Once you’ve chosen your favorite email newsletter tool, you might as well dive into creating a template. This template will be the design you use in many of your emails. It should be consistent and reflect your branding so it’s immediately identifiable as yours without someone even having to look at your name.

You can use pre-made templates. These are perfect if you’re not a designer at heart. However, if you’re feeling crafty and confident, you can design something unique.

Additionally, test your templates for desktop and mobile since people will be reading your emails on both. You don’t want the formatting to look fine on a computer but break on mobile or a link to be missing. One way to test your template is to create a test email and send it to yourself to ensure everything looks and functions as expected. That way, you can correct any problems before the email goes live.

4. Decide What Kind of Content You’ll Send and the Frequency of Emails

Part of learning how to create an email newsletter is mapping out your content strategy. Ideally, this will relate to the goals you set earlier because you want your content to help you achieve those things. For example, if you want your newsletters to drive traffic to your blog, you’ll want to mention your latest posts and include links within the newsletter.

Keep your emails from being only promotional by making it more enticing for people to join your list by promising exclusive, high-quality content they can’t get anywhere else. This might include sending tips and tricks you haven’t otherwise shared before. It all depends on what you feel called to write in your newsletter and what would appeal to your target audience.

Next, it’s important to consider how often you’ll send emails so you can aim for consistency. Many marketers opt to send weekly newsletters, but you could also go for biweekly or monthly if you want to keep your content creation schedule light.

Once you’ve chosen how often to send your email newsletter, make sure you select the date and time for your email. Keeping this consistent is great because your audience will know when to expect your email in their inbox. From there, consider the best time to send email newsletters to avoid getting buried in the Monday email crush or Friday’s brain turn-off.

The most important thing? Whatever schedule you choose, stick to it.

5. Create a Free Offering to Attract Subscribers

If you want to get people to join your email list, you need to offer something in exchange for their information. Simply telling people you have a list and asking them to join isn’t enough to convince them to hand over their names and email. They want to know what’s in it for them.

To generate new subscribers, it helps to have an opt-in freebie that gets delivered to people upon joining your list. It’s a simple incentive, but it makes a huge difference when people see they’re getting something out of the deal. What you choose as your freebie will depend on your audience.

You could offer some sort of PDF download, a video or audio track, access to a free training, or even a discount to your online store. The options are endless, so if you’re torn on what to do, consider polling your audience to get their feedback.

6. Start Sending Your Email Newsletter

Now that you know all the basics of how to create an email newsletter and have people signing up for your list, it’s your job to keep in touch with them by regularly sending valuable content. Since you should have already mapped out the type of content you’ll be sending, all that’s left is to create and start scheduling those emails to send.

7. Analyze Results and Tweak Your Strategy as Needed

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your job is done after you send the email. You want to take some time to review how every email performs to see if you’re getting your desired results. Give it a day or two, then check out the analytics within your email newsletter tool.

Look at things like open rate, click-through rate, and unsubscribe rate. You’ll also want to measure how many replies your email received and if it generated any sales. If the email performed well, keep up the good work. If not, consider what can be changed next time.

To boost the open rate, get creative with your subject line. To encourage more engagement and clicks, make the body of your emails more enticing. You should be willing to test and improve your strategy.

How to Manage Your Email List

Now that you know how to create an email newsletter, you’ll also want to learn about managing your email list. Email management is a crucial aspect of the email marketing process because it ensures your list thrives for a long time.

Here are some tips you need to know:

  • Never Add People to Your List Without Permission: The temptation to grow your email list is real. However, you can’t just add anyone to your list. You need to get their permission first, otherwise, you risk them reporting you as spam. It’s best to have a two-step opt-in process in which subscribers will submit their information and confirm they’ve requested to join your list.
  • Make it Easy for People to Unsubscribe: There needs to be an obvious link at the bottom of every email where someone can unsubscribe from your list should they no longer want to receive your content. The process should also be seamless. A single click should be all they need to do.
  • Reengage Inactive Subscribers: Sometimes, your email subscribers go cold, meaning they stop engaging with your emails. You can make an effort to reengage with those subscribers by reigniting their interest in your newsletter through captivating subject lines and content.
  • Keep Your List Clean by Deleting People: If the inactive subscribers don’t take the bait, let them know you’ll remove them from your list if they don’t take action within a certain timeframe. Then, delete them. If your list is filled with only engaged subscribers, your open rate will increase, and your monthly costs could decrease if enough subscribers are removed.

Keeping this advice in mind will increase your chances of success with email marketing. Not only that, but it’ll ensure you have a healthy list of active subscribers who enjoy being part of your list.

Send Captivating Email Newsletters to Your Subscribers

You now know how to create an email newsletter, but what if you’re struggling with actually creating the content? Well, that’s when you reach out to the experts! Express Writers is the content writing agency with a talented team ready to craft captivating email copy your subscribers are sure to love.

Contact us to learn more about our content services.

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10 Hot Email Marketing Tips for 2022

10 Hot Email Marketing Tips for 2022

It’s predicted that 333.2 billion emails will be sent and received each day in 2022.

It’s proof that email marketing is far from dead. So, if you haven’t gotten your brand moving to take advantage of email marketing, now is the perfect time to start building up your email list.

With so many emails sent daily, how can you make sure your emails stand out in a crowded inbox? How do you ensure people take notice? What do you need to do to make sure they consume your content?

We’ll cover the answers to these questions and more as we share 10 hot email marketing tips you can use in 2022 and beyond.

Email Marketing Tips Inset

10 Hot Email Marketing Tips for 2022

It’s safe to say most of us subscribe to a lot of email newsletters, especially if you run a business. And there’s a good chance many of them get sent straight to the trash unopened. If you want to prevent the same fate from happening to the newsletters you send, keep these email marketing tips in mind:

1. Keep Your Target Reader in Mind When Writing

To write truly irresistible emails, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your target reader. What would they want to see in an email from you? What kind of content would they enjoy reading? Whatever it is, that’s what you want to send to them. When they look forward to seeing your name in their inbox, they’re more likely to open and eagerly engage with the content you send.

To take it a step further, consider segmenting your email list based on interests or where they are in the buyer’s journey. This makes your content more focused and personalized for the groups of subscribers you target with each campaign. Essentially, it ensures they receive the content they’re most interested in seeing versus getting bombarded with other information. Not only does this increase open rates, but people will be less likely to unsubscribe.

2. Write Subject Lines That Grab Attention

Of all the email marketing tips in the world, this is the one you should take the most seriously. Your subject line could make or break the success of your email. It might sound like a lot of pressure, but your subject line is crucial. It’s what people see first thing. Those few words help them decide whether they open your email or send it straight to the trash.

If you want to increase your open rates and get people to read the content you so painstakingly crafted, your subject line needs to grab attention. It needs to be descriptive while still being short and sweet. And most importantly, it should never mislead your subscribers. Clickbait subject lines can reduce your read rates by 9% or more.

3. Schedule Emails to Send at Optimal Times

After you finish crafting a compelling email, it might be tempting to hit send immediately. However, it might not be the most optimal time for an email to land in your subscribers’ inbox. You want to reach them when they’re more inclined to open and read your content.

The tricky thing about finding the right time to send emails is that it tends to vary based on the industry. Although, there is some data you can use to help you narrow down a few times to experiment with. Then, you can see what your unique audience responds to.

Here’s some advice from WordStream to get you started:

  • Stick With Daytime: It’s better to send emails to your list when your subscribers are awake. Because you can have subscribers based across the globe and in different time zones, consider the location of most of your audience when choosing your ideal time.
  • Avoid Mondays and Weekends: Many people arrive in the office first thing on Monday morning and delete any unnecessary emails, so you don’t want yours to fall into that category. Emails are often ignored on weekends as well, which is when people tend to disconnect.
  • Go With Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday: According to MailChimp, these three days tend to be the favorites when sending email campaigns. Try sending emails on these days to see if one triggers a higher open rate than another. Then, you can choose one day for weekly consistency.

At the end of the day, be willing to test and tweak your schedule. Once you’ve figured out the best day and time to send your emails, it’s one less thing you to worry about. Instead, you can just focus on implementing the rest of these email marketing tips.

4. Make Sure Your Emails Are Optimized for Mobile

Because you’re sending your emails from a desktop website, it can be easy to forget to check how the result looks on a mobile device. But, most of us are reading our emails on mobile. That’s why you need to take the extra step to ensure your email template and all your content suit a smaller screen. Otherwise, your subscribers will have a hard time reading what you’ve sent, and they could delete your email without engaging.

Luckily, many platforms allow you to preview your email on mobile. Often, you can even send a test email to yourself before it goes out to your list. Then, you can make any final tweaks to ensure it’s mobile-friendly and looks great. Take the extra few minutes to do this before sending!

As a good rule of thumb, you’ll want to stick to a single-column email template. You’ll also want to choose a font size that’s legible on mobile since subscribers won’t be able to make it bigger. Additionally, you’ll want to double-check the size of any images and buttons that you’ve added.

5. Engage Subscribers Right Off the Bat

If you’re not already sending a welcome email (or even an entire welcome sequence) to your new subscribers, you’re missing out. The smartest thing you can do to take your email marketing and your business to the next level is to engage with people while they’re hot. Someone who’s just subscribed is likely the most interested they can be in your brand, and you should use that to your advantage.

By sending a welcome email, you engage with people immediately after they’ve joined your list. This is your opportunity to introduce people to your brand, so they’ll know what you’re all about. They have a clear picture of what to expect from your upcoming content. Plus, you get the chance to start building that relationship with them early on. As you do, they’ll start to see you as a thought leader in your industry, and it gets the ball rolling when building trust.

Whether you send a single welcome email or an entire email sequence is up to you. Consider what your audience would most resonate with. If you opt for an email sequence, just make sure you don’t go overboard. Keep it valuable and engaging.

6. Keep the Body of Your Emails Short and Sweet

While it may be tempting to share all your thoughts in a novel-length email, that might not appeal to your subscribers. One of the best email marketing tips we can offer is to keep the body copy of your emails short and sweet. A gigantic block of text can be a turn-off for your audience, and they will likely stop reading.

Instead, be concise. Focus on the main ideas of your content and avoid rambling. This way, your subscribers can read your email, receive the intended value, and move on to the next step.

7. Don’t Forget the Call to Action

Speaking of that important next step, it’s wise to end your email with a call to action (CTA). Now, this can change depending on the goal of your email. Sometimes your CTA might be to get someone to visit your website and read your latest blog post. Or if you’re in the middle of a launch, your CTA will be intended to drive sales. Do what’s appropriate and relevant to the email.

The CTA is so important because it tells people what that next step is. If someone has read your email and enjoyed the content, they’re likely poised and ready to take action. Take advantage of that by letting them know what they should do after reading your email. It’s a great way to boost engagement.

8. Never Buy Email Addresses

No matter how badly you want to grow your email list, avoid purchasing email addresses. That should be a given, but unfortunately, it’s still happening in the world of email marketing. Many companies are desperate to gain subscribers and purchase the personal information of those they believe to be their target customers. These people wonder how they wound up on an email list they don’t remember joining. It’s a turn-off and reflects poorly on your brand.

If you want more subscribers, you need to go about it the right way. For example, create a freebie that would appeal to your ideal subscriber, which you can then provide in exchange for their name and email. This freebie could be a downloadable PDF, a challenge or short email course, or even a store discount. The options are endless, so you can test to see what works best for you and your audience.

Doing it this way will take more time and effort, but it ensures you have a list of subscribers interested in your brand and your content.

9. Always be Respectful of Your Subscribers

You know how busy your inbox can get. It’s the same for your subscribers. For that reason, you never want to spam them with a bunch of unnecessary content. Instead, only send emails when you have something of value to share with them. For example, stick to just sending a weekly newsletter to keep your list warm, and don’t bombard them with anything else.

49% of consumers stated they’d like to receive promotional emails from their favorite brands every week. So, that’s a great goal to aim for when it comes to your email marketing efforts!

The only time you want to increase the number of emails you’re sending is when you’re going through a launch. Then and only then is it acceptable to send daily emails, and in some cases, multiple emails per day. Even during a launch, it’s smart to give people the choice to opt-out of launch emails and only receive your regular newsletters instead.

10. Don’t Be Afraid to Clean Your List from Time to Time

To conclude our round-up of email marketing tips, we also want to encourage you to delete subscribers from your list periodically. While that may sound crazy, there’s a good reason for this advice. Generally, the platforms you use to send emails charge you based on the number of subscribers you’ve accumulated. And many of them are probably inactive.

If you don’t purge inactive subscribers from your list, you’re only costing yourself more money in the long run. That’s why it’s helpful to make one last move to re-engage your list and then delete those subscribers who have gone “cold.” Cold subscribers haven’t opened your emails in a long time and, most likely, have no plans to open any you send in the future. Don’t keep them around to hurt your open rates, remove them from your lists.

Let Us Put These Email Marketing Tips to Use

Don’t have a lot of experience writing emails? Don’t stress. You can take your time to learn more about email marketing or outsource to a content writing agency.

Express Writers has a team of expert email writers experienced with writing engaging and professional email copy. They put the email marketing tips we’ve covered to good use and craft copy that will boost your open and click-through rates. Want to learn more?

Contact us today to learn more about how we train our email writers.

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How to Build a Foolproof Blog Content Strategy for Your Brand

How to Build a Foolproof Blog Content Strategy for Your Brand

There are more than 600 million blogs living on the web.

And if yours is one of them, it’s wise to take extra measures to ensure your content stands out from the crowd. The best way to do that is by creating a blog content strategy that makes your published content more intentional. This way, you’ll see better traffic results, engagement, and conversions on your site.

In this post, we’ll cover the benefits of having a blog strategy and share eight steps to create a powerful, effective strategy of your very own. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to a successful blog.

Making a blog content strategy

The Benefits of Having a Blog Content Strategy

A blog strategy is an important part of your overall marketing plan. It creates a sustainable way to develop high-quality content for your website. But that’s not all it has to offer! Here are a couple of reasons why it’s essential to cultivate a blog content strategy:

  • Content Will be Planned in Advance: No more scrambling to come up with content ideas at the last minute. With a strategy in place, you’ll know what your target audience wants to read, have keyword research, and you’ll have plenty of ideas ready. It’s also great for consistency, ensuring you’re publishing new content regularly.
  • It’ll Increase Your Authority: When you’re showing up and adding value to your audiences’ lives, they’ll keep coming back to your blog for more. And, in time, they’ll begin to see you as an authority in your field because they’ll view you as a trustworthy resource.

8 Steps for Building a Foolproof Blog Content Strategy

Starting a blog is a real commitment. It takes time, effort, and even money to create quality content. For that reason, you want to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck. You want your investment to pay off. For that reason, you need a blog content strategy in place to ensure intention behind everything you create. Here’s how you can create a strategy for your blog:

1. Get Clear on the Purpose of Your Blog

First, you need to know why you’re blogging. When you have a clear purpose for your blog, you’ll know what you’re working toward. Plus, you’ll be able to measure the success of your blog based on your goals. Many brands use their blogs to generate awareness, bring traffic to their website, and drive sales.

What are you hoping your blog will help you do? Having the answer to this question will ensure there’s a purpose behind the time and energy you’re investing into blogging.

2. Determine Who Your Target Reader Is

Next, you’ll need to take time to figure out who your ideal reader is. If you’ve been in business for a while, then you probably already have a clear picture of your target persona. But if you don’t, you have some work to do before moving forward.

Knowing all about your reader is a huge part of your blog content strategy because the content creation is for them. If you don’t know who you’re writing for, it’s will be  for your content to resonate.

Luckily, there are a few ways to get to know your reader more deeply. For instance, you could create surveys and ask questions to develop more personalized content. But if you want to take it a step further, hop on a few market research calls where you can talk to people one-on-one and get their feedback in real-time.

3. Assign Someone to Write for and Manage Your Blog

If you’re a solopreneur, then it’s likely every blogging task will fall onto your to-do list. But if you’re lucky enough to have a team working alongside you, you can assign various blogging tasks to the team members that are best suited for the job. For instance, you probably have someone with spectacular writing skills and someone else who is great at editing and fine-tuning content. Bring them on board to help create a thriving blog your readers and Google will love.

Alternatively, you might consider outsourcing your content creation to an agency with a team of skilled writers, like Express Writers. Not only do we create expert content for a wide array of industries, but we can develop a blog strategy based on SEO research to ensure you’re publishing content that attracts readers and traffic. Just visit our Content Shop for more.

4. Decide How Frequently You’ll Post

An important element of your blog content strategy is the frequency at which you post content. Consistency is key because you want to give people a reason to keep coming back to your site well into the future. And you do that by providing high-quality, valuable content for visitors to consume. But should you aim to publish a certain number of posts each month?

According to data from HubSpot, sites that publish 16 blog posts or more a month receive 3.5 times more traffic than those publishing less than four posts. That’s likely because many people will come back to check out every new post. Plus, the more content you publish, the more opportunities you have to rank in search engine results.

However, it’s understandable that you might not have the resources to publish 16 posts per month. It takes time and effort to create incredible content. You don’t want the quality to suffer because you’re stretching yourself too thin. It’s better to ask yourself how many high-quality posts you can commit to each month and make that your goal.

5. Conduct Keyword Research to Plan Topics

Coming up with content ideas that are fresh and exciting is arguably one of the most difficult parts of content creation. After all, how are you supposed to know what a reader wants to see from you?

At this stage, you already know quite a bit of information about them. You know their interests and their pain points, which is a fantastic starting point. Put yourself in their shoes and think about the topics they’re likely to be Googling. Then, you can use various tools to gauge their popularity.

BuzzSumo is a great tool that allows you to enter a keyword or a domain (like your biggest competitor). It will then show you some of the most popular articles that are relevant to your search. The Google Keyword Planner is also a popular choice, but there are tons of other free keyword research tools to try.

When you know which topics are most appealing to your target audience, creating your blog content strategy becomes so much easier because you have tons of potential topics right at your fingertips.

6. Map Everything Out in Your Editorial Calendar

Once you’ve got some content ideas in mind, it’s time to begin mapping everything out in an editorial calendar. This allows you to create a flow from one piece to the next. Plus, you’ll always know which posts go live and when. It’s much more convenient to have everything planned out this way.

There are a few ways you can create your editorial calendar. If you’re the only person on your team, there’s no harm in writing it all down in a physical planner. But if you have a team that needs to know what your upcoming blog posts are, you’ll want something that’s a bit more high-tech.

Airtable is a popular choice among content creators, and it’s a tool we’ve used at Express Writers in the past. These days, we rely on HubSpot to keep our content organized and our team informed.

7. Start Creating Content

Congrats! You’ve now made it to the all-important step of content creation. This task will either be something you take on yourself or assign to a team member or content agency. Either way, don’t rush the content creation process. Give yourself or your writers ample time to create amazing content.

8. Track and Analyze Your Content’s Success

The final step in your blog content strategy is to do a deep dive into your analytics to see how your content is performing. It’s crucial to see which posts are resonating with your audience because it’s a good indicator of what to create more of in the future.

Pay attention to the topics that generate the most traffic. But also, it’s smart to note any other similarities with your top-performing content. For instance, does your audience seem to prefer listicles, infographics, or in-depth how-to guides?

Review your analytics at the end of each month to gain an understanding of which posts are doing well. By doing this monthly, you can make changes and tweak your strategy faster than waiting until the end of each quarter.

Let Us Help With Your Blog Strategy

Here at Express Writers, we have a team of expert writers who are ready and waiting to help you create incredible content for your blog. Not only do we offer four different levels of content writing, but our team can develop a blog plan based on thorough keyword research to ensure your content topics truly appeal to your target audience.

Visit our Content Shop to check out our available services.

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How to Set and Achieve Content Marketing Goals

How to Set and Achieve Content Marketing Goals

Your business needs strategy and purpose behind every piece of content.

That’s why it’s so important to set content marketing goals. With clear goals in mind, it’ll be easier to determine if your efforts in business are worthwhile before you spend too much time or money on them. Plus, it enables you to make adjustments when your strategy isn’t meeting expectations.

But how do you set goals that are exciting to pursue? And how do you achieve them with ease? This blog shares some helpful tips to guide you in making your content marketing efforts more effective than ever.

How to set content marketing goals

How to Set Content Marketing Goals

Content marketing is a powerful and effective way to help you reach your business goals, whether those goals include generating brand awareness, increasing sales and revenue, or improving customer loyalty. However, many businesses go wrong when they create content simply for the sake of creating content. They then fail to make their content memorable, and it gets drowned out by competitors.

Instead of publishing content without a purpose, you need to set specific and measurable content marketing goals if you want your ROI to skyrocket. Your content marketing goals should always be formulated around specific business objectives you’d like to achieve. Just follow the SMART goals framework.

Determine your big picture goals and then map out how your content can make it happen. These goals should be relevant to your business and its vision. And they should be time-bound, with a plan to reach your goal within a set time period.

Content Marketing Objectives That Matter in Business

In business, there are a variety of content marketing goals you could pursue. They can be short-term and long-term goals. You might even set goals based on different stages of the customer journey.

To help you come up with exciting goals to go after, here are a few suggestions:

  • Brand Awareness: It’s important to raise awareness for your business and communicate what makes you different from your competitors. You can measure brand awareness through website traffic, social media following, email subscribers, and social listening.
  • Website Traffic: Without generating traffic to your website, it can be difficult to increase sales. Tracking page views and traffic sources to see how people discover your business and the content you publish means you’re always on top of any changes.
  • Conversions: Now, conversions can look like a few different things. For instance, you might want to convert more website visitors into email subscribers or convert them into paying customers. Both are great and will require you to measure the success of your landing pages to determine if they’re encouraging people to take that next step with your business.

As an example, if you want to generate more brand awareness, you might set a goal to increase website traffic by 50% over the next quarter. To achieve that goal, you could commit to posting one or two new blog posts every week that are optimized to attract organic traffic. This goal is simple but effective.

6 Tips for Achieving Content Marketing Goals With Ease

Once you’ve set some content marketing goals to achieve, you’ll need to figure out how to make them happen. Here’s some advice to help you reach your goals with ease to ensure your business thrives:

1. Create a Plan to Make Your Goals a Reality

Once you know what you want to achieve, you may be tempted to dive right into the content creation process. However, you should first create a plan that clearly outlines the steps necessary for making your content marketing goals a reality. By taking the time to map out a strategy, you’ll know what kind of content you need to create, allowing you to move forward with purpose. Plus, you will have identified any other actions necessary to create your desired results in business.

When creating this plan, consider any resources you will need. Who on your team will be involved? How much time and money will it require to complete tasks? You don’t want to overcommit or underestimate what can realistically be accomplished within your designated timeframe.

2. Assign Team Members to Goal-Related Tasks

You’ll need to get your team on board to follow the plan you’ve mapped out. Let them know your goals and share the plan you’ve outlined. During this stage, give them the opportunity to share their own suggestions for achieving your goals. They may have ideas that hadn’t occurred to you before. This shows you value their opinions.

Then, divide up the workload among all the team members involved in the project. Base their assigned tasks on their unique strengths and interests. Everyone gets the opportunity to shine, which makes work more enjoyable for them. Plus, they’re able to direct their attention to specific areas as opposed to managing an entire campaign from start to finish.

3. Set Up Tracking Tools to Measure Success

As mentioned before, it’s important to set measurable content marketing goals. If a goal isn’t measurable, there will be no way to know if you’ve achieved it. It’s the difference between saying you want more website traffic versus saying you want to increase traffic by 50%. The latter is something you can track and see within your analytics.

So, before you begin putting your plan into motion, make sure you have the necessary tools to measure your success over time. For instance, Google Analytics is a go-to for content creators and marketers. It allows you to measure website traffic, traffic sources, and more. Additionally, the built-in analytics that social media platforms offer can help on your journey to becoming a content marketing master.

However, there may be some other tools you’d like to use as well. SEMrush is a favorite for SEO and competitor research. Yoast is popular for WordPress bloggers who want to optimize their content. And, of course, BuzzSumo is great for discovering the most popular content in your industry. Determine which tools are most important to you and factor them into your content marketing budget.

4. Monitor Goal Progress Regularly

With the appropriate tools in place, you’ll be able to frequently check in on your progress as you work toward your content marketing goals. How often you dive into your analytics will depend on the designated timeframe from the goal-setting stage. For example, with a short-term goal, you might analyze your data daily or weekly, depending on what’s most appropriate for your situation. Long-term goals, however, will likely be tracked monthly, quarterly, or yearly.

5. Be Willing to Tweak Your Strategy and Experiment

As you track and measure your progress, you might notice when your content marketing efforts aren’t performing as well as you’d hoped. In those moments, don’t get discouraged but try to be flexible. This happens to everyone from time to time! However, many businesses get so stuck in their ways that it’s hard for them to manage flexibility.

You never want to be so rigid in your content marketing strategy that you’re unwilling to make changes as you pursue your goals. Sometimes you need to adjust along the way based on what’s performing well and what isn’t. This is why we rely heavily on analytics to see what resonates with our target audiences. From there, make changes to increase ROI.

Another important element of being flexible is being willing to experiment. When done well, trying new things and testing out the latest content marketing trends can yield fantastic results. Always be willing to experiment to see what works best for your business and what appeals to your audience.

6. Don’t Give Up Too Early

These days, we all want things in an instant. But when it comes to achieving your content marketing goals, it’s going to take some time to make them a reality. When your goals seem impossible to reach, don’t give up. Stay committed and trust in your ability to make big things happen.

Sometimes a deadline will pass, and a goal still hasn’t been reached. That’s okay. It doesn’t mean that it’s time to abandon that goal. It just means you need to revisit your strategy, make tweaks, and show persistence by continuing to move forward with confidence.

Let Us Help You Reach Your Content Marketing Goals

A huge part of reaching your content marketing goals is consistently publishing high-quality, valuable content that your audience and Google will love. But what if you don’t have time to create quality content? What if writing isn’t your strong suit? Don’t worry because you can hire a team of expert writers to plan and create content that will make your business shine.

Visit our Content Shop to learn how Express Writers can help.

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