blog writers

How to Find & Work With Your Best-Fit Blog Writers

Today, content is everything.

Unfortunately, most companies simply don’t have the time, resources, or skill level to create quality content in-house. While many businesses try to scrape by, anyway, the truth is that opting to skimp on content is an excellent way to damage your business and put your livelihood at risk.

Luckily, there’s a better way.

By hiring professional blog writers to create your content for you, you can reap all of the skill and expertise these professionals have to offer, without pulling your hair out in the process. Read on to learn more.

blog writer

Why Hire Professional Blog Writers?

While many marketers believe that hiring professional blog writers is just an unneeded expense, this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, today, blog writers are more important than they’ve ever been before. As it stands right now, the U.S. population conducts roughly 12 billion Google searches each month, and 60% of the clicks produced by those searches go directly to the top 3 search results on Google’s SERPs.

With this in mind, it’s clear that customers have more than enough websites and companies to choose from online, but that they consistently choose the ones that establish themselves as authorities in their niches and industries. While many companies believe this can be achieved through a mixture of paid advertisements and link building, the fact of the matter is that content is the single best way to produce a great business strategy that lasts.

By hiring professional blog writers to manage your content for you, you’ll reap the following benefits:

  • Authority. Customers want valuable, authoritative content that helps them learn something new. Hiring professional blog writers is one of the best ways to ensure that you’re offering this for your audience. Because professional blog writers know how to craft concise, compelling, unique content for your site, their services are a fantastic way to boost your brand authority and become a better-known entity in your industry.
  • Relevancy. Professional blog writers have an intimate understanding of how to make sure content is as relevant as possible. Because blog writers are skilled at writing in an approachable, conversational, friendly tone peppered with heavy research, and then adapting that voice to suit your particular audience and segment of the market, hiring a professional blog writer is a fantastic way to boost your relevance across the board.
  • Skill. Let’s face it – writing well takes skill, and many people simply don’t have it. When you hire a professional team of blog writers, though, you’ll get a skilled, high-quality team of writers who know how to craft flawless content for your brand. From spelling and grammar to today’s most current SEO standards, blog writers understand how to make content shine.
  • Simplicity. As a business owner, you’re incredibly busy. While you might not have the time or the effort to put into crafting quality content, professional blog writers do, and this can help you boost your business. According to HubSpot, companies that have between 401-1000 pages on their website earn six times as many leads as those with between 51-100 pages. With this in mind, more is better, and blog writers can help you populate your site with quality content without sacrificing your sanity or home life.
  • Adjustability. Your business is going to grow and change, and a skilled team of blog writers will be there to see you through it. Because bloggers are highly adaptable and adjustable, they’re the ideal people to have on your side – whether you need to create a blog post, press release, or a simple product description.

Google’s Standards Now Demand Expert Writers

While all the reasons I just mentioned are valid ones to hire blog writers, there’s one huge reason that rules them all: Google demands it. Last year, Google released the entire transcript of its Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. The document was 160-pages long and designed to assist Google’s infamous human search quality evaluators understand what constitutes a quality site and what doesn’t.

While there was plenty of highly useful information within the long document, two acronyms stood out: EAT and YMYL.

EAT

EAT

EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness and refers to three of the top things websites need to rank well in Google. The acronym, while useful on many levels, provides increased evidence for Google’s obsession with expert writers.

Because there are so many low-quality web pages across the internet, Google rewards sites that offer high levels of EAT. Unfortunately, this is nearly impossible to obtain unless you hire a professional writer. For a page to have high levels of EAT, it must be concise, expert, and relevant.

Be advised that these guidelines shift depending upon what type of page we’re dealing with. While a page that deals with breaking a young horse will require exactly as much expertise as a page that talks about how to become a stand-up comedian, the industries are slightly different and, as such, the knowledge required for each will be slightly different.

While Google does differentiate between formal (Educated) and non-formal (lived) experience, it’s critical to have a high level of expertise to rank well in the search engine.

YMYL

YMYL

While EAT describes what a page needs to rank well, YMYL provides some additional insight on which pages need the most of it. YMYL stands for “your money or your life” and is a critical acronym for marketers who want to improve their content across the board.

You see, YMYL pages are distinct: they’re the web pages that have the potential to have a direct and negative impact on a person’s health, wealth, or well-being if the content within them is not perfect. These pages include financial advice pages, family law pages, any medical page, and the like.

While YMYL pages have always been important, Google underscored how critical it is to have expert writers construct these back in 2015, and recently updated the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines to reflect an increased importance on both EAT and YMYL.

5 Rules for Working with a Blog Writer

Now that you know why working with a blog writer is such a good idea, let’s talk about how to do it effectively.

1. Set clear expectations

Your writers are only as good as your instructions. By providing clear, concise instructions and expectations, you make it easier for writers to live up to them and create content you’ll love. This, in turn, smooths the relationship between you and your writer and makes it easier to succeed both now and down the road.

2. Understand your target audience

If you don’t understand your target audience, it’s going to be harder for you to guide your writer to create quality, helpful, informative content. While a blog writer will be able to research your audience for you, it’s still essential that you have enough of a grip on who you’re trying to reach that you can provide quality feedback both now and in the future.

3. Be flexible

Blog writers aren’t just blog writers – they’re also social media experts, marketers, and psychologists. To get the most out of working with a blog writer, keep your mind open. Your writer may be able to propose an alternative track or solution that appeals to your company, but may seem shocking at first. Don’t write anything off before understanding why, for example, your writer things you should boost your social content.

4. Read and respond

While a writer can help you craft quality content, you’re still the site owner, and it’s your job to continue engaging your audience. As you notice comments and interaction pop up on your writer’s piece, take the time to reach out and respond. In addition to solidifying bonds with your customers, this approach will also make it easier for your content to succeed in the future.

5. Adjust as needed

As you move on with your content strategy, you may notice that certain things need to be boosted while others can afford to fall by the wayside. Follow your writer’s lead on this and don’t be afraid to adjust as needed.

The Case for Professional Blog Writers

While hiring professional blog writers may be a foreign concept to you, it’s a step that can have a huge, positive impact on your content as a whole.

Get your dream content with the help of our expert blog writers!

summer blogging

3 Easy Ways to Keep Up Your Blogging This Summer

Can’t wait to escape to the beach and enjoy your margarita this summer?

Hold on there, if you’re a business owner or marketer…

The sad news is your business and marketing won’t run itself, if you’re gone and no one else is left to run it.

That’s especially true of your online presence, like blogging and social media.

It might seem ridiculously tempting to just let the blog sit still for a month and take off, but here are some killer statistics that prove why you shouldn’t let your blog stagnate (even for a week).

summer blogging

Why Consistent Blogging Wins

Why would you put all of that on hold for a month? Don’t let your online exposure and presence drop because of time off.

The good news is that you don’t have to fold up that beach towel just yet.

3 Ways to Keep Your Blogging Healthy Despite the Summer Holiday

Keep reading for my top three methods to have a consistent content flow to boost your online presence despite the summer vacation season.

1. Stock topics and keyword research in advance.

This one’s very simple. I’ll break topic skeletons and keyword research topic searches into two points.

#1: Topic skeleton fodder

For the topic skeletons, all you need is Word and a couple hours of time.

Come up with great blog topics by asking yourself a few questions and digging down with solid answers. It doesn’t even have to be perfect, what you write down: a professional blog writer can finalize your content to perfection and come up with headlines that will earn more clicks than your rough sketches.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself. Outline your answers in a doc, which can be a rough sketch you send to your writer.

  • Your story: Your founding story alone can make multiple great blog topics. Think of the value points of your company and why you believe in what you do. For example: “My T-shirt printing company stands out because of the ink we produce and the quality assurance we give our clients.”
  • What are your client’s biggest pain points? Each pain point can make a new blog topic possibility. Example, “My T-shirt printing clients come to me with the problem that a lot of shirts are made cheaply. The print might come off in the wash or with use too quickly.” Aha! 7 Ways to Preserve Your T-Shirt Print-Ons, or How to Wash Your T-Shirt And Avoid Fading (Every Time). There you go – winning blog topics out of a few customer pain points.

The second side of this point can garner a double list of blog topics.

#2: Keyword Research

For keyword research opportunities to help you come up with great SEO topics, I love SEMrush and KWFinder. It’s simple to research for your best keyword opportunities when using these tools.

Check out my nutshell guide to keyword research for an in-depth guide.

If keyword discovery requires too much time to figure out, check to see if the writing solution you’re using can do the keyword research for you. (We offer keyword strategy ourselves here.)

2. Invest in a blog writing service.

There’s no way around this one. If you want your blog to literally run itself, you’ll need to invest in a good blog writer (or two).

Here are key things to ask for when you’re reaching out to your potential blog ghostwriter so you can find a perfect fit:

  • Writing samples: This is key. Those with experience will have a large portfolio available and diverse samples.
  • Online & search optimization writing skills: Although the creative skills of a genius writer are at the core of successful online writing, and that should be your primary concern, you should check secondarily for a skill set in SEO content optimization skills. Make sure your writer knows how to write a unique meta description for every blog, meta title, and how to use your topical keywords naturally throughout the post.

3. Don’t just hire a writer; get a specialist who fits your industry.

Have you heard of the Google E-A-T and Y-M-Y-L standards? Basically, Google looks for expertise, authoritativeness, and trust in every post going out on the web. For the intense industries, like finance or law, Google looks for even higher standards (Your Money or Your Life).

You need an expert copywriter if your content falls in a high level category to get the most results out of your Google presence. To make sure your blogger can match these standards, ask for relevant samples in your industry and their real-life expertise in your niche (example, 10 years as a paralegal).

Conclusion

Don’t let summer get your ‪content strategy down. With a serious, active blog strategy, your leads, online presence and revenue will stay on the rise.

10 off blogging

It’s easy to enjoy time off when you have experts keeping your blog up. Invest in your online content today & save with code summer5. Visit the Content Shop.

floating by blogger syndrome

The Floating-By Blogger Syndrome: How Not To Be Just Another Blogger

Have you ever felt like everyone in the world has a blog?

If yes, you’re actually not too far off in your thinking. 58.6 million new blog posts are being published each month on WordPress; and there are over 76 million entire blogs that exist on WordPress. There are over 288 million more bloggers on Tumblr!

With this many bloggers hooked up and running online, it can be difficult to understand how you could ever stand out from the crowd. There’s a seriously overflowing river (flood) of blogs. So, how are you going to excel in the middle of all of them? Or do anything but float by?

While there are truly millions of active blogs out there, I have a little secret for you: many of them are lacking in what I’m about to show you. That means you DO have a chance, if you’re prepared to put in the elbow grease, dedicate yourself, and follow my tips. Read on to learn more about how you can prevent your blog from stagnating beneath the weight of the unhealthy, unsuccessful floating-by blogger syndrome.

floating by blogger syndrome

The Curse of the Floating-By Blogger Syndrome: Identifying the Floaters

Regardless of the topic, writer, or platform, most blogs are snooze-worthy. They’re just another getup, floating by on the same raft structure every blog is using.

Why?

This unfortunate blogging syndrome has stemmed from the fact that everyone with some kind of brand, business, or story to tell, has heard from their brother, mother, sister, neighbor, marketer, or anyone really: you need to start a blog!

Those that take this advice suddenly and without another thought become one of the following floating-by bloggers: 

  • Bloggers that don’t take the time needed to master the art of blogging. I mean the art of getting down, nitty-gritty, and write to stir emotions. Create to produce helpful thoughts that will shake the Internet. As Grant Cardone puts it—work to dominate, not compete. That’s the work involved in “mastering the art” of blogging.
  • Bloggers that–wait for it–don’t write well. Many bloggers who have hastily taken the advice of “build a blog for your business now!” are poor writers, or are simply churning out content about topics they don’t care about. If there’s one floating-by type that irks me, it’s that one.
  • Bloggers that just follow the lead of bloggers they admire without any new insights or thoughts, which has resulted in them being unoriginal carbon copies of other writers. Nothing new to see folks, just passing by here.
  • The rushed blogger. They haven’t dedicated the time to find their niche, audience, people–and just blog in the dark without inspiration or a mission.

Hence my coined term: the “Floating-by Blogger Syndrome.” Does it make sense now? These bloggers are all just floating by, and while they may be creating content, they’re failing to create anything original, unique, or attention-grabbing.

With so many blogs in the world, it’s tough to imagine that many of them are the same, but it’s true. You could skim thousands of blogs right now and find that they all look and sound exactly alike.

Gosh, it’s really become a sea, hasn’t it? In addition to the fact that cookie-cutter blogs clog up the Internet, they also don’t provide readers with the value they are so desperately seeking.

Let’s talk about how you can completely miss the boat and reach a mountain instead: avoid the floating-by syndrome and become a stand-out blogger.

5 Ways to Be Better Than the Floating-By Blogger

I guarantee that if you follow my five steps below, you have a 100% chance of NOT becoming the next floating-by blogger.

1. Focus on your audience

Your blog is not about you.

It’s not about your brand.

Or what you want to sell.

It’s all about, can I repeat that all about, the person you’re writing to and for.

Too many blogs are bogged down in the mire of old-school SEO wisdom, sales tactics, and tired conventions. While things like keywords, CTAs, and optimization are important, they’re not the whole picture and bloggers that focus on them too much risk sacrificing the human connection that makes blogging work.

To avoid this, be sure that you’re focusing on your audience and your topics first, and your message and ranking (CTA or your keywords) second.

Developing an audience-focused perspective is a foreign concept for many bloggers, but it’s quite easy. It starts by asking yourself a few simple questions:

  • Who is my audience? This question can be answered by defining a target audience. While the practice may seem a bit granular to some bloggers, it’s an incredibly important step in developing a genuinely audience-centric outlook. When you know who your target audience is, what they want, how they shop, and what they’re concerned about, you can create content that caters specifically to them.
  • How will you reach your audience? Do you know which content formats your audience prefers? Do they love image-dense websites like The Verge or would they rather interact with your content through Tweets or long-form Facebook posts? Answer this question by taking the time to determine which of your content performs the best. If you’re still having a tough time determining where your audience most wants to find you, just ask them! Sites like SurveyMonkey can help you create simple surveys that provide you with valuable perspective into your audiences’ true desires.
  • Make your topics deep. One of the most common mistakes floating-by bloggers make is that they fail to provide in-depth topics. All too often, bloggers assume that briefer is better, and they miss out on the value of long-form content. The truth is, long-form content converts better (about 37% better) than shorter content. In light of this, don’t be afraid to develop in-depth content that your readers can use as a guide. Provide actionable tips, relatable scenarios, plenty of images or screenshots, and a decent amount of links to help your readers find the information they’re looking for. They’ll thank you, and you’ll quickly become one of their favorite blogs on the web.

2. Work hard

There is NO way around this. I spend hours and hours a week to create my blogs now.(I create 2-3 a week for our own site; my team members create infographics and Twitter chat recaps. I guest blog – A LOT. We post about 40 pieces all in all a month.) I work my fingers off. Blogging is a serious commitment, if you’re in it to win it. If you’re not, never mind. Don’t waste our time. The world doesn’t need more floaters-by. The world DOES need more exceptional bloggers who will put out a masterpiece every time, and not be afraid to share authenticity, a genuine perspective, and unique insights that no one else is offering.

That’s how to look at blogging. As a blogger, be prepared to face what every successful story has faced before they hit success: hard work. Here’s a little something to inspire you: my results when I committed to blogging this hard. 

Case Study: How We’ve Succeeded Blogging Through a Butt Load of Hard Work

January 2016, I made a promise to myself: to put out content I’d be prouder of than any content I’d ever written or published before. Every single post now has my personal touch—I’m spending more time, investing more team power (and money to pay them), and more resources than I EVER have. I now stress over headlines. Work for hours on a concept. Take a day over a visual, with two other team members helping me. Finalize a written piece by rewriting it for an hour. Spend an hour every morning just to amplify it and get the word out.

And guess how it’s paying off?

We’ve had the most site traffic we’ve ever had—look at that spike that started in January! (screenshot from SEMrush)

semrush express writersWe’ve had the most shares and comments we’ve ever had on our content to date, too. Here are three blogs shared over 200 times, with varying share counts across all platforms:

 

express writers blogging strategy

express writers share counts

express writers shares

Hard work pays off, people.

But you actually have to work really hard. If you invest in blogging as if it’s your main channel, that’s how you garner real results—and, for us, it is our main marketing channel. And that’s what’s cool. As a content writing agency, blogging is 95% of our lead generation: we know how well it works. (Why you should hire us. But hey, I’m not here just to plug. Keep reading and learning first.)

3. Work smart

You know how #1 said work hard? Now, I’m telling you how to work smart as a blogger. So you don’t spend every day writing a blog and 0 days building your business or leaving that rock you’ll be under, if you take on blogging all by yourself. Just don’t do it. Don’t kill yourself.

So, work smart. That means you should be using your tools. Many bloggers fail to take advantage of the ample number of tools that are currently available online. I’m not talking about simple spell-checkers and thesauruses – I’m talking about topic research tools, analytics, and social tools. These tools can do many things – from helping you determine which of your content is most popular to helping you manage your social platforms from one easy dashboard. Here are two I’m currently loving.

  • BuzzSumo: One of my favorite tools ever for content marketing is also perfect for developing your best blog content and topic research. The tool is called BuzzSumo, and it’s designed to help bloggers find the content that’s performing best in their industry. Use BuzzSumo to search for content by keyword and then use the results to harvest new topic ideas or develop more in-depth posts. Ideal for bloggers at all levels of the game, this is one tool that can be a game-changer for your blogging.
  • Headline Help: Another favorite tool of mine is the Advanced Marketing Institute’s Emotional Marketing Value Headline Analyzer. Let me tell you: every time I’ve worked on my header (which is every time I write a piece of content), I tailor it, rewrite it, and edit it until it hits 25% or more on this radar. And every time I’ve done that, I’ve seen more than average shares on that piece of content. Your headline matters: and one way to get it right is to use this analyzer. Another way is to use powerful words. To make sure you’re doing that, download our list of 120 power words.

Now, working smart includes—wait for it—the art of hiring someone else! Yes, I just said the dirty. Want in on a little blogging secret? Many bloggers don’t write all of their content. The reason for this is that content creation is difficult and time-consuming! Between harvesting ideas for topics, writing, editing, publishing, promoting, and engaging with audiences, you can easily find yourself without much free time. Unless your sole living is being a blogger, it’s tough to keep all of those balls in the air at once. Fortunately, you don’t have to struggle through it alone.

Many bloggers hire professional writers as their blogs grow. In addition to relieving some of the burdens of content creation and distribution, the decision to hire writers also helps a blog maintain its diversity and interest by bringing in different voices and viewpoints. And don’t worry – hiring a writer doesn’t mean that you have to stop blogging altogether! Writers can help you supplement your content, assist you in research, and help you organize or develop your topics. You can still write your blogs, just with less stress and more time.

A word of caution, though: If you do decide to hire writers, be sure that you avoid average or novice writers and opt for an expert writer who knows your industry. Google’s standards demand expertise and your blog will be rewarded for it.

4. Build your OWN visuals

So much of becoming a unique blogger is simply about going the extra mile. Too many run-of-the-mill bloggers just slap stock images into their blog posts and call it good.

But you can go much further by bucking the status quo and developing your own unique visuals for your blog.

Here are three things I’ve done to provide unique imagery across the board for Express Writers:

1. A custom photoshoot with various happy, sad, etc. writing poses featuring me, for example to get this kind of image:

#ContentWritingChat recap

2. Illustrations drawn from scratch and colored in InDesign by our in-team illustrator, like the one for this blog and a couple more:

floating by blogger syndrome

blog is our business card illustration

Small business blog

These custom drawings have by far boosted our blog, shares and outreach more than any other visual I’ve added to a written content piece yet. Huge, huge results if you invest the time, effort and trouble to make your own designs from scratch.

3. Infographics developed from scratch by our team writers and designers.

Inside the Brain of a Copywriter cover for blog

Check out the Copywriter’s Brain!

4. Bonus: GIFs! A gif always adds a moving visual treat to any content piece. Take Dwight from The Office, for example:

idiot

Even if you’re not an expert graphic designer, sites like Canva can allow you to create your own beautiful visuals easily and with zero stress. If you would rather hire a designer than make your own images on Canva, you can easily find talented graphic artists on sites like Upwork and Fiverr.

5. Don’t forget to promote your content!

Now that you’ve gone to all this trouble to create unique content don’t forget to promote it. While many bloggers advertise their posts through simple Facebook updates or Tweets, it’s easy to get better results by going a few steps further than the average blogger.

One great way to do this is by using a tool called ContentMarketer.io. Designed to help bloggers and content marketers manage promotion easily, ContentMarketer.io is a comprehensive and broad-ranging tool that includes innovative connection and notification features. Use the Connection platform to harness the power of promotional templates that allow you to share your content, network with industry influencers, secure guest posting opportunities, reach out to investors, and send out professional follow-ups.

You can also use the platform’s Notifier feature to find mentions in your posts and notify the relevant influencers. This can help you build your reputation and gain a more prominent spot in the blogosphere. If you’re interested in ContentMarketer.io, you can get both the Notifier and Connector features for about $9 a month, so there’s no breaking the bank to promote your content. Using a service like ContentMarketer.io is an excellent way to give yourself a leg-up on your competition and ensure that your blog gets the attention it deserves from readers and influencers.

3 Blogs That ARE Unique

We’ve established that there are millions of blogs on the web and that most of them are boring.

And then there are the ones that aren’t boring. Those that really do put in the hard work and/or invest the resources.

These blogs that aren’t boring or cookie-cutter have mastered the art of being unique, which allows them to stand out from the crowd.

Take The Verge, for example. What makes this blog different from other science, entertainment, and technology blogs? Is it the rich visuals or the attention-grabbing headlines? Maybe it’s the mind-boggling array of content – ranging from tech to science and entertainment. The truth is that it’s all of these things, and the fact that The Verge has managed to roll interest, beauty, and content into one attractive package is why people love the blog so much.

The Verge Screenshot

If The Verge isn’t your cup of tea, consider Listverse – a blog dedicated entirely to lists on topics like travel and “weird stuff.”

Listverse Screenshot

And then, of course, there’s Airbnb, which is exceling at a beautiful, well-put together blog. If they have one huge fundamental, it would be visuals. They do exceptionally well with great graphics.

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 1.43.09 PM

Most people who look at any of these blogs would agree that they’re decidedly not boring.

5 Key Principles That Set Apart Unique, Stand-Out Bloggers from the Floating-By Blogger

So what’s the difference? What sets these blogs apart from the rest of the flotsam in the blogging sea? The answer comes down to these five things:

1. Unique blogs understand the competition

Both The Verge and ListVerse understand that they’re not the only kid on the playground when it comes to their content. There are dozens of blogs featuring list-focused posts, and The Verge has hundreds of competitors, PopsciThe New YorkerThe Huffington PostBuzzFeed, and Wired, to name a few. What sets both The Verge and ListVerse apart, however, is that they recognize these competitors and understand what they can do to offer something different.

The Verge, for example, is decidedly edgier than its competitors while Listverse has just taken popular and in-demand list-focused blog posts and consolidated them into a single, wide-ranging platform. Because these blogs have focused more on outsmarting the competition than they have overshadowing it, they stand out as some of the most interesting blogs on the web today.

2. Unique blogs employ lateral thinking

Too many bloggers fail to move forward because they’re too tied up in the fantasy of explosive creativity. While explosive creativity is great when and where it exists, it’s also exceedingly rare. Much more often, innovation is driven by the willingness to think laterally. Blogs that manage to become successful owe their success in large part to a desire to think laterally. Because lateral thinking is creative thinking that is also rooted in legitimate demand and context, it’s often more successful and much more attainable than raw creativity.

3. Unique blogs target fresh angles

There is nothing new in the world and bloggers who spend all of their time searching for that unturned stone are never going to write a word. The fact of the matter is this: there are millions of blogs online right now and we live in an age when upwards of 27 million pieces of content are shared every single day. In light of this, it’s impossible to be entirely original, which means that your energy is much better spent being fresh. Unique blogs succeed by approaching existing topics in new ways. By doing this, they provide value for readers and help boost the level of discourse in their industry.

4. Unique blogs are credible

It’s all well and good to create a blog that looks unique, but that effort is for naught if the information on the blog isn’t reliable or credible. Unique bloggers aren’t afraid to step outside of their comfort zones, but they also understand how important it is to research, back claims up, and use credible sources. It’s impossible to build a good reputation without a hearty share of credibility, and truly unique bloggers understand this.

5. Unique bloggers understand the value of their content

To create powerful, exciting content that readers want to read, bloggers need to understand the value of the content they’re publishing. If you asked the owner of any exceedingly unique blog on the web why their content was valuable, they’d be able to tell you quickly and easily. This is because unique bloggers understand what makes their content exciting. They understand which viewpoints, perspectives, language, and writing styles benefit their content, and they capitalize upon it accordingly.

Nobody wants to be the owner of a boring blog. Fortunately, you don’t have to be. These five traits are what make some blogs stand out from the crowd while others simply blend in and by cultivating them in your blog, you can create a content destination that visitors are excited to stumble upon.

Don’t Join the “Floating-By” Crowd: Swim Upstream Instead

When it comes to being a blogger, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.

One one hand, you could follow the crowd and become one of the thousands of “floating-by bloggers” who are just getting along.

On the other hand, you could take your content creation into your hands and become a unique, distinctive blogger that readers are genuinely excited to find.

By understanding what makes blogs unique and then following the five steps laid out above, it’s easy to create a unique blogging style that allows you to connect with your audiences and build a following.

The web doesn’t need more sub-par bloggers, so don’t be afraid to go against the flow and stand out!

Need to hire a professional writer to help you build a unique blog? Visit our Content Shop today!

blog is our business card illustration

From Start to Finish: A Guide On Creating & Maintaining a Solid Blog

Blogging is crucial for brands and businesses. One simple reason: marketers that blog get 67% more leads than those who don’t.

If you haven’t launched your blog yet, or you have one but you’re not yet serious about it, it’s time you make that commitment. And I’m here to help you.

If you’re ready to write for and launch your blog, just how do you launch a successful blog?

Many people experience a fear of the blank page, or let’s say blank blog, and try to think up ways to conquer the world, or make a dent when they hurry up to meet a blogging schedule or launch their new blog. Then the worst of the worst happens, in the blogger world (or blogosphere). With no definite direction, newbies risk the all-too common problem of floating by: becoming the next sub-par blogger with no audience presence and no ranking potential on Google. Don’t be that blogger; read our guide to start off strong and maintain a blog that you’re proud to show off to your friends, family, and most importantly, potential customers.

blog is our business card illustration

Your Brief But Ultimate Guide On Creating & Maintaining a Solid Blog

After years of writing and publishing blogs, and with over 300 keywords in the top 10 pages of Google, I like to think that I know how to write blogs that rank; I’ve also been the most-read guest blogger at Search Engine Journal and Content Marketing Institute. So, here’s a few thoughts from my vault.

I. How to Start a Blog

Without further ado, here are thirteen ways to start and maintain a solid blog: and to make it easier, I’m going to break them up into I. How to Start a Blog & II. How to Maintain a Blog.

1. Find YOUR Niche

Not just a niche but your niche. The one that makes you thrilled to wake up, excited to voice your thoughts on. Yeah – if you know that feeling, and you can identify what makes you feel that, you’re golden.

And narrow down here. Do you like the business niche? Okay, what kind of business? Coaching entreprenuers? OK, what age group? You like young, inspired people? Okay, that’s your blogging niche. Could you be the world’s foremost peanut butter authority or an expert on locksmith tips for an average homeowner?

Hone down, my friend, hone down. Find your niche and your viewpoint on any and everything about your topic.

And here’s a tip for those who have a niche that’s somewhat broad and maybe a bit unoriginal. It’s okay: businesses and people may have been ruminating on the topic for years, but as long as you’re able to follow the next few steps, you’ll find yourself running with the big dogs.

2. Develop a Unique Idea and a Point

Developing a unique idea is difficult and somewhat daunting, but it’s doable. Maybe you want to explore how to write a unique post in an in depth way that few bloggers, if anyone, has explored before.

The post linked to in the last sentence isn’t necessarily a unique blog topic, as many people have explored how to write a unique post before, but it is very unique in its depth and how it gives the step-by-step process the author takes to come up with an idea, writing the blog, and posting it.

Although you can also develop a unique blog post by giving broad strokes, you want it to be at least somewhat focused. A successful blog post won’t be titled “5 tips on X” and ramble for 1,000 words; you’ll get very few hits. What you can do is expand your idea and tie together seemingly disparate concepts in an interesting way.

Unique spins show that you’re well versed in your topic as well as gives your blog some SEO weight.

3. Analyze the Competition and Keywords

Figure out what the crux of your blog is and whittle it down to a key word or phrase (one to two words in most cases). Use SEMrush (see my guide here) to take a look at how often your SEO keyword is searched. If it looks good, make sure to put it in your title, description, and metadata. Also, have some minor keywords sprinkled throughout your post. This will generate a few more hits you wouldn’t have otherwise had.

After you have your unique idea and keywords, analyze what you’re up against. Search common keywords related to your topic and check out what the competition on the first page looks like.

Domain authority is a big one. If you’re up against heavy hitters and massive corporations, you may want to rethink your keywords. Again, keep it natural enough that the average person will search for it, but try to avoid going up against H&R Block if you’re blogging about tax law.

You’ll also want to be mindful of backlinks. This will let you know if you’re going up against blogs or posts with 54 viewers or 54k viewers. Needless to say, one is easier to knock out than the other one.

Finally, take note of the age of the blog. Shoot for blogs that are older and not updated or newer. Those are the low hanging fruit you want to compete against. Older blogs that are updated frequently get an air of authority about them in the search engines.

4. Research and Find Links

There are two types of links that you’ll want to use to create a successful blog: internal and external links.

Internal links are links to your own site. This will generate more hits to your site and show the search engines that people are staying on your page for longer. This correlates directly to domain authority.

External links should be chosen carefully and should be to high-ranking sites. These links, again, add up to domain authority, a higher ranking in the search engines, and more page views. Keep in mind that this should come naturally. Ideally, backlinks in today’s SEO era come through shares: you reach out to someone who has a great site, ask them to share your content, and if they really like it, link to it; or someone likes your content so much they’ll link to it. (That usually comes in time after you’re more of a known blogger.)

A simple way to do this is to leave a thoughtful blog comment on someone’s high-quality blog that’s relevant to your topic, and leave a link to your blog. Something like: Hey, Joe! Thanks so much for this helpful piece on content marketing. I’m going to try to work on scoring my headlines according to your tips in #8 now. Would you like to read the blog I wrote as well on a similar topic, How to Create Headlines for Your Email Campaigns? {link}

5. Outline a Structure

This post would be an unreadable mess if it were a simple stream of consciousness. Rather than write how a person would say all this in a casual conversation, there was a deliberate outline and structure that went into it.

The structure of this blog post is as follows: introduction, a step-by-step process for your first blog post that can be used for subsequent blog posts, and a guide for maintaining a successful blog.

Make sure that your reader can digest each point in its entirety before you go on to the next one. Just because a strangely laid out narrative structure worked for the movies Memento and Pulp Fiction doesn’t mean that it will work for your blog.

6. Write

By this simple “write” I mean that you should put your outlined ideas down how they come out naturally. Just let them flow and don’t worry about the details.

When you’re writing, be mindful of the word count. Short form blogs are all well and good if you can pump them out by the bushel full but longer posts can gain hits too. For instance, this post is roughly 2,000 words long. That was decided before pen hit the page (or fingers hit the keyboard in this case).

7. Get Visual

Once you have your basic structure pinned down, get some images. They break up your blog into easily digestible pieces, illustrate the point further, and look fantastic.

Get our guide: 20 incredible FREE stock photo resources

Think of a longer Wikipedia post like “Philosophy.” It doesn’t necessarily need pictures; it’s an abstract concept. That being said, it has pictures of famous philosophers because it breaks up the post and looks nice to the reader. A successful blog post will have a smattering of images throughout.

8. Proofread

After you write and find images, take a day away from the post. Come back to it with fresh eyes and really get into the nitty gritty of your post. Reword awkward sentences. Check for flow. Deliberate every comma. Ensure the post reads well and is flawless in spelling and grammar.

As you become a bit more successful with your blog, you’ll find that it’s nice to have a new set of eyes take a look at what you’re writing. This is beneficial in a few ways.

The benefits of someone not being emotionally invested in the content can’t be understated. They’ll take an objective eye to the project and won’t hesitate to cut out the fat and correct your mistakes.

Another massively important benefit to an outsourced writer is that you, as a writer, will learn things about writing that you never thought about before. This will make you a better writer and your blog more successful.

II. How to Maintain Your Blog

Maybe you wrote your first post and it was a runaway hit. Or maybe you wrote your first post and it got a few hits, but you want to keep writing either for the love of the game or to create a successful, unique blog.

It takes work on your part. Blog posts don’t grow on trees.

9. Pay Attention to & Answer Comments

If your post gained enough traction to have a significant amount of comments, take a look at them. Find out what is being discussed or what common threads go through each user’s input.

They’re telling you what they want to hear. Take those ideas and run with them for subsequent posts, even if they’re not your next ones.

Then, answer those people to encourage them to keep reading and commenting.

10. Write Down Ideas

Keep a notebook of your ideas, whether it’s virtual or physical. Note the word “a” in the preceding sentence. You won’t want your blog ideas written down on a dozen restaurant napkins, in three notebooks you used for college, and inside of a book you were reading last year. You want them accessible at any time and easy to find. I use a Google Doc.

Ideas don’t need to be limited to blog titles or subjects. Anything that catches your fancy might be used in a future blog. As they say, it’s the little things that matter.

Every week or two you should take an inventory of the ideas. Pick out the good ones and ignore the bad ones. Keep the “bad” ones around; they may be helpful in the future.

11. Motivate Yourself

Motivation is a tricky one. Everyone has different motivations in life and different motivation techniques work for different people.

One piece of advice that will motivate you from the start is to pick a niche that interests you and you’re passionate about. If you’re not at all interested in Ancient Rome, don’t blog about it just because it’s a topic you can choose from. If you love what you’re writing about then it’s easier to motivate yourself to write.

One way you’ll find yourself lethargic, scared, and unmotivated is to set your bar too high. If you’re thinking that you’ll make a living off of three or four blog posts, you might set the bar low for yourself in terms of writing content. Make the expectations realistic so you aren’t quickly burnt out.

Another way to stay motivated is to get inspiration from others! I hold weekly Skype sessions where my team and I “brain-dump” on new topics. It’s fantastic for new ideas!

12. Find, and Maintain, a Schedule

The holy grail of writing a successful blog is figuring out how often to write your pieces. This was briefly touched on before but it bears going into more detail.

Your schedule should be directly affected by how much you plan to write per piece.

If you’re writing brief, pithy posts about current events, you may want to write a few pieces per day. This is dangerous territory, especially for those who have full time jobs. If you’re only putting out 300-500 word pieces once a week, you likely won’t have people sticking around on your blog for too long, hurting your domain authority. Read my post on why evergreen content (which is long-form, very thorough content) matters so much.

Newer blogs or blogs that have short, but original content can be updated about once every day. This is still somewhat trying, but it can be done if you’re taking a few hours to write every day and laying out blogs a week or two ahead of time.

Some people decide to post certain topics on regular days. For a fashion blog this might mean posting “Wardrobe Wednesdays” or “Monday’s Workday Apparel.” For these types of blogs, a few postings a week will suffice since they are frequent, but regular.

Finally, longer blogs can be written and posted around once a week. Don’t take the risk of posting bi-weekly or monthly since readership might decline and people might lose interest in that long amount of time.

In the end there is something to be said for experimentation in this area. Successful blogs tend to follow a set schedule and a few rules, but there is some flexibility in posting frequency.

I publish to our own blog three times weekly: the third post on Fridays however is created by Rachel, our Social Media Specialist, and is a recap of our Twitter chat #ContentWritingChat. On guest blogs, I publish an average of 10 blogs/weekly. I know – I write a lot!

13. Want to Stay Committed? Get Blogging Backup

I wouldn’t be here without my writing & design team. I seriously feel like I have the world at my fingertips with the resources I have here at the writing agency I’ve built.

And while I realize not everyone has the luxury of owning an Express Writers, I also know it’s easy to find some accountability partners, or simpler yet, a writing solution backup. Whether that’s just ordering a blog from time to time.

Remember, blog posting doesn’t just mean you need to be writing and posting 365 day a year. Quality over quantity. But, don’t disappoint your audience. Blogging does mean a serious commitment of both time, effort and actual published pieces; if you’re not blogging at least twice a week, I don’t think you have the opportunity to really build a sure audience, especially as you’re new. If you’re not blogging at least once a week – you, my friend, are not a serious blogger.

But as you get further into the world of blogging, get regular readership, and find a few blogging buddies, you’ll find it easy to ask for a guest blog or two. Guest blogs are great for a few reasons – just remember to get a high-quality guest on your blog, or it’s all worth crap (really). First, the owner of the blog gets some much-needed rest while still providing content. Second, the owner of the blog gets a bit more recognition since the guest will link to the post on your blog. Third, the guest gets some exposure to your readership and a few more hits because of it. Finally, the reader is exposed to a blogger they may not have heard of before and may come to love.

Conclusion

Reality: my thirteen steps listed above are not easy and blogging isn’t a quick way to drive business or earn a living. It takes tons of work, dedication, and creativity to gain traction. I have over 600 blogs on my site in the last 4 years to earn my 300+ keywords in the top 10 positions in Google. (Say whaaa?)

However, I can tell you right here, right now that blogging can be a massively rewarding undertaking in and of itself, for your brand, business, credibility boost, and lead generation.

Also, blogging gets creative juices flowing, allows you to integrate with social media, causes you to see the world in a new way, and provides an insight into what drives people. Not only are these things useful for businesses, they’re beneficial for the individual who wants to get out there and start a successful blog.

Need a blog, several blogs, or a monthly package? Check out our services!

be a better blogger

15 Tactics To Start Using Today for Better Blogging

You’ve got a blog, but where are the readers?

It’s gotten to the point where you’re wondering if you’ve got something worthwhile to say.

If you’ve had this thought, even though you don’t know how to put it in action yet, I have good news–you’re headed in the right direction.

It’s not just about reaching a lot of people. If you can reach millions and your content is useless, your Return On Investment (ROI) will be so low it doesn’t justify the time spent writing.

There are some crucial things you can start doing right now, in the fundamentals of your blog writing process itself, that will turn around and bring you more readers and more success. Get on the road to better blogging today with a few simple, but key, tips.

be a better blogger

15 Keys to Start Using Immediately And Get on a Path of Better Blogging

You’ve got to have a good mix of value and reach, but finding that mix is daunting. Following is a list of fifteen ways that have proven successful in helping blogs reach a wider audience and becoming a better blogger, overall.

1. Outrage, Uplift, Mystery: Emotions in Headlines Matter!

Whatever you’re writing, it needs to catch the eye and be emotional. Upworthy established a formula proven successful in the increase of clicks. It is comprised of creating headlines that alert customers of an “outrage” they can resonate with, uplifting them with the possibility of a solution or some other fulfillment, and establishing mystery throughout. Here are examples of headlines that use this formula:

  • You Won’t Believe The Discount Opportunities This Weekend, Or The Secret Coupons
  • Don’t Be A Victim Of Internet Scamming Through Hidden False Flag Social Media Campaigns
  • Is Our Government Losing Its Mind? Insider Tips On Corporate Savings

Note how each of these hits the reader in a relatable way at the beginning of the headline. Then, each title gives the reader a possible “uplift” (opportunities, don’t be a victim, tips). Finally, none of these titles give away enough information to let the reader move onward without clicking.

Now, one thing I’d bet we all hate is the “click-bait-that-doesn’t-deliver” title. You know, the ones that get you to do a thousand clicks through a ton of ads before you can get anywhere. Don’t be that person. You can be honestly outrageous without outing a cold lie about what your content delivers.

So, a couple do’s and don’t’s here:

  • Do: Be authoritative, challenging, fun, and even shocking in your title–as long as your content delivers on what the title actually says. (Give them those coupons and the coupon code. Give them actual examples of those bad social media campaigns. Show them a list of 10 great insider tips–not something that’s common knowledge.)
  • Don’t: Mislead. Click-bait title with no content that actually delivers on what you’re offering in the topic. (10 Ways You Can Actually Find Your Soulmate Today, for example, is pretty hard to fulfill on.)

CoSchedule has some pretty awesome headline resources. Check out their headline analyzer and read their tips on how to get more emotional with your headlines. Check out the Advanced Marketing Institute’s headline analyzer as well.

We also have a free guide with over 120 power words for better headlines: get it here.

Playing around with that tool and utilizing guides with power words can get you great results.

I worked on the headline of this very blog for about 20 minutes to get this score from the AMI tool:

advanced marketing institute headline tool

2. Is Your Blog Mobile Friendly?

Simple, but key. Half of all consumers conducting a search locally on their smartphone followed their search with a visit to the store within 24 hours, while only 34% did the same on a computer tablet. As smartphones become regular features of society, blogs that are easy to navigate on them will naturally increase in readership. When writing a blog, don’t forget to keep the mobile angle in mind.

3. Utilize Good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Techniques

3 out of 4 people (75%) who conduct a search on a search engine won’t scroll further than the first page of results. This means that if your blog doesn’t show up within that first page, it is 75% less likely to even be seen. You’ve got to have it optimized for a search engine, and SEO techniques like keyword inclusion are a great way to do that. You shouldn’t go overboard with keywords, but the right amount will very likely increase your readership. Writing a good meta description for every blog is also a key of SEO blogging. Also, beyond outrage, uplift, and mystery, have a title that is likewise optimized with your keyword.

4. Aim Your Blog At The Right Audience (Share-ability)

It’s all about opportunity cost. You want the greatest opportunity for the least cost. That means you want to aim your content at an audience who’s likely to share your blog. If you give your content value and properly engage this audience, you stand to see circulation in a way that’s wider than any solo efforts could produce (Moz).

5. Do You Have Share Buttons Visible on Every Blog Post?

Not only that, but share your blog on every social media platform yourself. Making sure your share buttons are visible is important to give every reader a chance to share with their network. Twitter has nearly the entire population of the United States in worldwide users monthly making posts, Facebook has about one billion users that are active, while Google+ and LinkedIn both have constituents that transcend 300 million. Between the four of them, that’s 1.871 billion potential readers—though certainly some crossover between the platforms is to be expected. The point is, you’ve got at least a billion possible readers out there through social media, just waiting to check out your blog. Increasing readership through social media is really worth your time. A lot of people in the above-listed networks share content they agree with. If you get yours trending, the potential for cost-free marketing is high. I’ll give you a secret here, too: I’ve found huge engagement through sharing my content within private social media groups (I’ll talk about that soon).

6. Use Google Analytics to Review Your Content

Using Google to analyze the effectiveness of your blog is a quantifiable way to identify trends and successful practices; plus it’s free, and can save you a lot of time.

7. Reach Out and Be a Guest Blogger

Getting an established blog to host your posts can put your blogs in front of a diverse, established readership that is more likely to offer a high ROI-quotient than solo marketing. Find blogs that are of high quality and resonate with products and services you’re purveying. Contact people who run the site and see if there’s a way you can do a guest post.

5. Never Refrain From Humor

Next to sex, you can’t beat humor. According to authors Noah J. Goldstein and Robert B. Cialdini, as well as Steven J. Martin (despite his humorous involvement, it’s a different one than the SNL alum), a cartoon strip that isn’t offensive sent during negotiations is integral to generating higher levels of trust. This is quantifiable to the tune of 15% higher profits.

Say you’re in the business of dog grooming. Here’s a great example of a pertinent cartoon that is inoffensive and has to do with the business of dogs:

Image credit Funny Paws

Image credit Funny Paws

The Far Side is a well-known comic strip with many fans, and you can usually find a joke that in some way pertains to your blog post. Not always, but there are numerous comic strips out there. If you can’t write humorously, pull in the big guns and go with jokes you know will work. A funny blog is a lot easier to read than one that’s purely serious.

9. Offer Truly Useful Content

Another simple key. Design your blog not just to sell your products or services, exposit them, or market. All these things are definitely useful to your audience and potential clients; but the blog that goes above and beyond in a relatable way will have more readers. Give the reader something they can sink their teeth into. Something that affects them directly, and is useful in their daily lives. If you’re selling a lawn service, maybe relate a memory about an extremely well-groomed garden that has affected you throughout your adult life. Then maybe offer some reasons why neglecting to groom a lawn can keep such memories from coming to others. The more useful your content is, the more likely it will be shared.

10. Long-Form Content

Dichotomously, despite the short form writing which attracts mobile phone readers, long form content actually gets more shares—ten percent more, in fact. (Read my recent post on how to create long-form content.) One of the reasons for this is that a reader is more likely to become invested in a long-form post and share its content. The key is to have both short and long form posts. Be sure your long-form posts are optimized for mobile viewing, and that you’ve got a short list or takeaway to summarize the long post inside at some point (10 key takeaways, etc.).

11. Visuals, Visuals, Visuals

More pictures doesn’t automatically equate to more readers, but having at least one image on your blog post more than doubles both Twitter and Facebook Shares. Branded images that have the topic + blogger’s identity are more and more becoming the norm, replacing crappy, standard old stock imagery.

12. Hit All The Emotional Chords

Humor was touched on earlier because it’s easier to facilitate than awe, but as the graphic from Buzzsumo demonstrates, by far awe is the most popular emotion, followed by laughter, amusement, other, and joy.

13. Establish a Regular Publication Schedule

Add content to your blog predictably, so readers can incorporate you into their routine. I can’t tell you how much a regular schedule is key to consistent rankings, too. Google knows to eat up new content from you, and will regularly (use long-term key phrases to win at blogging). I blog 3 times weekly, over 1000 words each post, and our rankings have been increasing since 2014 when I seriously committed to that many blogs. We have over 300 keywords in the top 10 spots of Google. (Read our blog post on how we gained 300 spots for more on our content schedule.)

14. Boost Old Blogposts That Are Relevant

An old post already has hit its peak of readers, but sometimes an old post becomes relevant again. Think of the economy. Certain stocks go up, and they come down; and different blogs over the years could prove useful in identifying trends. If you’ve written a past blog that suddenly becomes relevant again, blast it across social media with a new blurb citing your clairvoyance. It’ll help build trust and awe, and if you’ve got a colloquial amount of charming snark, you might even get a laugh.

15. Analyze and Try, Try, Try Again

Okay, you can’t try everything, but you can go after a number of different tactics and see which ones work the best for you. The old adage, “you don’t know unless you try” is as true here as it is anywhere else. Don’t be too risky, but don’t be afraid to take risks either; after all: “fortune favors the bold.” Don’t forget to analyze and track your results.

Successful Blogging Doesn’t Come Overnight (Or Does It?)

Now that you’ve got some useful tips to help you get started, try a few out and see if you don’t start getting more readers. You may not have success overnight, but then again, with the viral nature of the Internet, you just might.

Need great blogs (or maybe a blogging plan)? Let us do the heavy lifting (*cough* writing) for you! Shop here.

long-form blog content

How To Create Long-Form Blogs That Google & Your Readers Will Love

Have you had a blog for a while and just aren’t getting the results that you want?

Maybe you post every day with high-quality content, promote yourself, and you make sure that your content is perfect?

You might even have a lot of readership. But you’re nowhere near where you want to be.

The problem may not lie within your content, or that you’re not promoting yourself properly.

The problem could be that your blogs are simply not long or thorough enough, like long-form blogs would be. Let’s discuss more. 

long-form blog content

What, Exactly, IS A Long-Form Blog?

Long-form blogs is basically a lengthy blog, upwards of 1,500 words and sometimes 3,000 words in length. (Wordstream defines it as 1,200 words long.) I’d agree with a minimum of 1,500 words.

The content within is evergreen—meaning that it will stand relevant and worthy, no matter what season or year it’s read in.

These “long blogs” go against the convention of normal blogging by providing the readers with a large amount of information. This information is set to the tune of words, pictures and statistics. Long-form blogs are meant to provide comprehensive information on the subject that the blog is about.

In a world where people have short attention spans and want instant gratification caused by the influence of the Internet, it can be hard to find anything of substance online. Long-form blogs are like a breath of fresh air in an Internet-driven culture where we commonly see short lists and quick infographics.

When publishing a long-form blog, many bloggers may be concerned about the connotations that come from having long-winded excerpts of information, but the way that a long-form blog can be put together is anything but boring.

By using short paragraphs, interesting facts and user-grabbing language throughout, bloggers can hold onto the readers’ attention for much longer than they would if they wrote an eBook, for example.

One of the biggest elements that can be seen in long-form blogs is personal branding strategies. When you walk into a Ralph Lauren store, you instantly know where you are because of the big logo polo horses slapped onto everything. When you “walk” into a blog, you should instantly know which blog you are looking at because of the language that is used and the format that outlines the blog.

This is personal branding and it is what works for the long-form blog to keep the attention of the readers.

So you think you can write julia mccoy 

How Can A Long-Form Blog Attract More Readers?

“A lengthy, wordy blog will never work for me. My readers like quick content.”

This protest comes from many bloggers. These bloggers may have been doing their blog for a while and getting stellar results, but they still need something more. The way of thinking makes no sense because they clearly need help increasing their readership, but are unwilling to do something unconventional to up the total number of people who come to their blog.

Long-form blogging is usually just what the doctor prescribed for blogs that are getting excellent results, but need that extra push to skyrocket their blog’s numbers.

The way that long-form blogs can drastically increase readership can be seen in blogs that went from “eh” to “WOW!” with just a few switches in the format.

From 400 Words to 1500 Words: The Difference Is BIG

Blogs that are between 400 and 699 words (the conventional number for blog word count) see a lot of quick traffic. Readers come to the site, read what they came for and move onto the next site.

Blogs that have 1,500 words or more give reader substance and allow them to stick around on the site, increasing metrics and clicks on the site.

Bloggers who are still skeptical about the long-form blogging procedure can see that long-form blogging is set to be a great new trend in this world. In 2015, the average top five blog results boasted between 2300 and 2500 words. The remaining five in the top ten had anywhere between 700 and 2000 words, much higher than the commonly respected blogging norm.

Taking a chance with a higher word count blog could be just what your blog needs to increase readership.

2 Tools To Make Your Long-Form Blogs Better: SEMrush & BuzzSumo

Long-form blogs are great, but they cannot just be walls of text with no valuable information or statistics. The substance that they have needs to be backed up with real-world facts, up to date statistics and keywords meant to draw in the most readership possible.

1. SEMRush

A long blog is worthless without rich keywords and other analytic tools. SEMrush for blogs allows bloggers to get the information that they need to perfectly optimize the long blog.

SEMrush is a huge SEO tool (and one of the best online) that allows you to conduct keyword research and find top opportunities for your blog; run an entire audit on your whole site and blogs, and find out where broken or bad links are, or missing/duplicate metas, entire duplicate or bad pages, besides myriads of other factors inside the audit; research competitor sites and their top keywords in the rankings; and export any findings in an Excel so you can track your SEO keywords and work from there.

Besides that, you can conduct research on backlinks and know exactly who is linking to you; create all kinds of ad campaigns; and even research your competitors on social media with their Social Media analysis tool. Lastly, you can run any research as an ongoing project, which means you can log back into SEMrush and check your rankings (drops or gains) immediately, within seconds.

Here’s a sneak peek at the dashboard (we’re running a project for Express Writers):

semrush express writers

2. BuzzSumo

Another fantastic tool for improving your long-form blog content is BuzzSumo. BuzzSumo allows marketers to analyze content and find out what sorts of topics and keywords are performing best in any given niche. For example, if you wanted to write a piece on lead generation, you simply sign into your BuzzSumo account and search a keyword phrase like “Inbound Lead Generation.”

buzzsumo

According to the BuzzSumo results, you can see that the most popular result by far was a HubSpot article which gained 3.3K shares across Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+. This allows you a pretty solid idea of what types of content will perform well in your industry. BuzzSumo also allows for content curation, which is an important piece of any great content strategy. With the tool, you can locate trending or valuable content and share it through your various distribution channels right to your audience. Additionally, BuzzSumo allows you to program content alerts that allow you to track which content is mentioning your keyword or when competitors in your industry publish new content you want to know about. You can also use the platform for tracking the performance of your competitors, analyzing comparative analytics, and exporting all data into an easy-to-track spreadsheet that will help you determine what’s working and what’s not in your content strategy.

Think of BuzzSumo as your best friend in long-form content creation: the platform allows you to know what’s going to perform well and then tap into the analytics you need to write content people genuinely want to share and interact with.

Question: Aren’t Short And Sweet Blogs Better? 

Sometimes, sometimes: short blogs have their place. Take Seth Godin, for instance. The dude writes 100 or less word blogs. He is a best-selling author (of 18 books); owner of two companies; and—ready for it?—owner of one of the most popular blogs in the world.

Overall, here’s my advice: Unless you’re the next Seth Godin, Ted Rubin, Brian Clark…don’t take years establishing a personality if you’re trying to build a business and brand online in SEO. Focus on long-form blogs instead. Be invested in the meat of blogging: long-form blogs.

Blogs that manage to be long, but captivate the attention of the reader tend to do better in the way of readership, return users and organic clicks. Blogs that boast long-form content give readers exactly what they need all in one place. The best long-form blogs have short paragraphs that are easy for readers to get through, but still have all of the information gathered into one blog. Would you rather read one seemingly long blog post that has a large amount of information stashed in it or three short blogs with the same amount of information posted on separate pages?

The answer is simple: it is much easier to read long-form blogs that have short, eye-catching paragraphs and information that is not likely to change any time in the near future.

To better understand why long blogs are better than short blogs, you can break down some of the statistics that were gathered over the course of several months from blogs that come in many different categories. A blog that has between 400 and 699 words (remember that magic, average blog word count number), gets shared an average 32.19 times. This may seem like a big number, especially for you new bloggers who are excited to have your first post shared once.

In comparison, a blog that has 1500 or more words will be shared an average of 56.89 times. This number is almost double the number for shorter blogs.

Not only will your properly formatted long-form blog attract more readers, but it will be shared many more times than a traditional blog of only around 500 words.

Where Can I Find Content?

Now that you’re fully aware of how awesome long-form blogging is, it’s time to get started. We understand how daunting it can seem to write a big blog, especially when you’re used to smaller ones. On the hot topic of Google’s search quality guidelines, when Google’s 160-page doc came out in November 2015, we wrote a 3,500-word blog and it turned out to be our most-shared blog at over 300 shares.

The best advice that we have for your long-form blog is to break it down into smaller parts, use the long-form blogging tools, gather as many statistics as possible, and write–well.

Remember, it’s simpler, better in the long run, and just darn easier to hire a professional who can give you the a long-form blog that is perfectly optimized to your blogging genre and guaranteed to attract more readers to your blog.

business blog

15 Key Steps to Run a Successful Business Blog in 2016

When a B2B marketer maintains a business blog, they get 67% more leads than marketers who don’t. What’s more, companies with blogs earn 97% more website links than those without.

Convinced you need to blog?

Maybe the only problem is this question. How do you become a business blogger? How do you find blogging success in boosting your company, rep, and rankings online as a brand?

Get our free guide: “The Fast-Paced Business Owner’s Guide to Successful Blogging In Just 5 Minutes A Day”.

The process isn’t as hard as you might think. We’ve outlined 15 key steps to get you going this 2016. Ring in the New Year the right way – with great business blog foundations!

business blog

15 Foundational Steps to A Successful Business Blog

There are 15 key things you should be focusing on for blogging success—here they are.

1) Determine your niche

With so many businesses online right now, it can be tough to stand out from the crowd. For this reason, it’s important to decide what it is that you can do better from anyone else. Determining your niche is the foundation of everything from your target audience to your style of content, and it can help you go far in terms of deciding exactly what and how you will write.

2) Determine your goal

If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re going to have a difficult time getting there! That’s why it’s important to make a decision about the purpose of your blog at the outset. Are you trying to drive conversions? Make sales? Increase engagement? No matter what your goal is, defining it will help you reach it.

3) Decide on topics

Now that you know what your blog’s goal is, which topics are you going to cover? The universe is a big place and it’s impossible to write about everything well. For this reason, it’s important to decide on which topics within your niche you’ll write about. For example, if you’re a business that specializes in inbound marketing, some of your main topics could be inbound lead generation and social media marketing.

4) Hone your point of view

Nowadays, honing your business’s point of view (POV) can go a long way toward earning you readers. Today’s consumers are much more willing to connect with a person than they are a company, and when you hone your POV you personalize your company, thus gaining a direct line into the minds of consumers.

5) Learn from your peers

Once you’ve decided what you want to write about and how, you’ll want to look around at what others in your industry are doing. Writing is a learned skill and if it doesn’t come naturally to you, you can learn a great deal from watching other people. Even if you are a strong writer, watching industry leaders can give you ideas for content and help you stay up to date on the hottest happenings in your industry.

Tip: Use a tool like BuzzSumo to find leaders and track the most-shared content in your niche.

6) Be consistent

One of the most important aspects of business blogging is remaining consistent. I almost put this as #1.

Just how consistent?

I’ve put out 600 blogs now between 2013 – today. 600. And 50+ website pages. Over 100 of my content pages (blogs, web pages) rank in the top 10 positions of Google. I gained that by writing and posting content at least 3x a week for over three years.

Business blogs that publish content on a regular schedule gain more leads than those who don’t. Additionally, every blog you write is one more page indexed in Google, which means that blogging on a regular basis can help produce an SEO boost that can make your company more visible online.

7) Interact with readers

Imagine if a band went out onstage and sang their songs but never signed autographs, gave high-fives, or took photos with their fans. Do you think they’d have fans for very long? Probably not! The same goes for your business blog. Once you’ve started to gain readers, it’s incredibly important to interact with those readers.

Tip: You can do this by reading and responding to your comments and polling readers about topic ideas and what they’d like to see more of. This creates an environment in which your readers are engaged and interested, which is the perfect platform for your business blog to thrive.

8) Be ethical

Your business blog isn’t going to get far if you don’t insist on ethics from the beginning. Blogging ethics can be a little complex and they go far beyond not copying other people’s work. Ethical blogging also includes things like ensuring your links are legitimate and not spamming readers or other bloggers. While building blog traffic doesn’t happen overnight, maintaining an ethical blogging practice is one of the best ways to ensure that your blog has a healthy, long lifespan.

9) Diversify your content

While 44% of B2B marketers have a content strategy, only 42% feel that the strategy is effective. Many experts believe that part of the reason for this perception this is true is that business bloggers aren’t diversifying their content enough. When you use your blog to share a variety of content types, you diversify the experience for users. This can lead to more readers, more leads, and more sales.

10) Use video & good visuals in your content

While it may not seem like videos have a place in a business blog, videos are some of the most popular content on the web right now. In case you needed proof, YouTube is uploading 72 new hours of video content each minute and, as a general rule, visitors spend approximately 88% more time on sites that include video. What’s more, video earns a site 3 times as much traffic as other types of content and consumers are a whopping 46% more willing to seek out additional information about a product, good, or service after being exposed to an online video.

Along with that, infographics and interactive gifographics do very well to spice up the content you deliver and publish and add visual flavor on your website. Attract more readers and viewers with content that’s visual as well as typed.

11) Include social sharing buttons on everything

We live in the social age and one of the best ways to ensure that your blog gets all of the traffic and shares it deserves is to include social sharing buttons on everything you write. In order to make your buttons effective rather than overwhelming, include no more than 2-3 buttons. For example, Google+, Twitter, and Facebook. While it may sound counterintuitive, whittling down your social sharing buttons actually increases shares by making the decision-making process more simple.

12) Categorize posts

One of the most important factors for both SEO ranking and user experience is a site’s organization. If your blog is cluttered and difficult to navigate, it’s going to drive readers away, which will harm your SEO ranking and reflect badly in the SERPs.

For this reason, it’s important to categorize your posts to make them easy to find. Using categories, tags, and labels helps ensure that your readers can find the information they’re looking for every time, which in turn makes your blog a more enjoyable place to spend some time.

13) Focus on SEO

One of the best ways to ensure that your blog gets the attention it deserves is to focus on SEO. SEO stands for “Search engine optimization” and is the process by which you make your blog more readable to both people and search engines, which allows it to be found more easily by Google users. To optimize your blog for SEO, you’ll want to target the correct keyword phrases, optimize your images, build your linking strategy, promote user engagement, and use social sharing to expand your reach.

14) Measure your results

Once your business blog is up and running and features several quality posts, you’ll want to measure your success according to several important blogging metrics. While there are many success metrics, the most important for a business blog are visits, traffic sources, returning visitors, audience engagement, subscriber conversion, social shares, and visitor activities (bounce rate, etc.).

These metrics can help you gain insight into how well your content is working, or not. If your metrics are lower than you’d like them to be, poll your readers for topic ideas, consider hiring an expert content writer to ensure that you’re publishing high-quality posts on-time, and seek to diversify your content. These simple fixes can often go a long way toward boosting your traffic and producing metrics that make you smile.

15) Have fun!

Business blogging doesn’t have to be a stuffy affair! Take it from us 😉

Example: Want an example? Consider new-to-the game startup MeUndies, whose mission statement is funky, bold, fresh, and inspiring – words that aren’t often used to describe something as utilitarian as underwear. Have fun with your content, tell your story, get creative, and we can promise you – your business blog will go far.

Conclusion: There’s No Time to Business Blog Like the Present

Download our free new guide, “The Fast-Paced Business Owner’s Guide to Successful Blogging In Just 5 Minutes A Day”.

If you’ve ever considered starting a business blog, there’s no time like the present. Blogging has the potential to increase your site’s traffic and help you make more sales while also promoting user engagement and helping you bond with your customers. Plus, blogging has never been simpler than it is right now. You don’t have to be a whiz-kid or an SEO expert to start a killer business blog, simply follow these 15 steps, keep and open mind, and work hard. Chances are, you’ll see results sooner than you can say “Publish.”

blogging for business

10 Reasons You Should Start Blogging for Your Business Today

Nowadays, it seems like everyone has a blog.

But have you ever stopped to consider why?

For one, many people misunderstand the purpose of blogs. Blogs go far beyond the mundane – they’re used for everything from showcasing personal writing to offering actionable tips that can help people solve problems and make their lives better, raise brand awareness, and in many cases (like ours) drive a huge percentage of online leads to their business.

blogging for business

10 Key Reasons to Start Blogging For Business (Now)

To me, blogging is like the surety of an umbrella on a rainy day. As long as we consistently blog (along with a formula of high quality content + promotion of what we create), we keep our SEO rankings up and thriving, and our visitor numbers flourishing. No matter how “rainy” the day gets, these leads will come in. If you’ve ever considered starting a blog for your business, here are the top 10 reasons you should do it right now.

Learn how to be a better blogger today with our free email course, 10 Days to a Better Blog.

1) Blogging will drive traffic to your site

Blogging is HUGE, HUGE for driving traffic to your site.

Not convinced by me just saying it? Okay, okay… go read two of these posts:

Seriously, though, how do people typically find your website? If they come to it via paid aids, it’s likely that you’re spending a lot of money that you don’t have to. If this sounds like your situation, it’s probably wise for you to start dividing your time differently.

Instead of spending tons of money on paid ads, you can start blogging, beefing up your social media presence, and optimizing everything you do for SEO.

Here’s why it works: if you don’t blog, your website is a little stagnant. It’s likely that you don’t have a ton of pages and, of the pages you do have, very few of them are updated that often. In a setup like this, you don’t have many pages indexed in Google, which means that you’re only marginally visible to people who may be searching for a company like yours. This, in turn, means that one of the only real ways to grab traffic for your site is to pay for it. When you blog, though, all of this changes.

Every time you write a new blog, you provide a new page to be indexed in Google. By creating content that your readers and customers love, you ensure that people can find your page. Plus, when you share your blogged content on social media, you create an entirely new outlet for traffic and social shares. (And content is HUGE for Google. Their recent 160-page doc, which we analyzed, discusses how their standards rely on the quality and expertise of the written content.)

2) Blogging can help you make conversions

Once you’ve begun to drive traffic to your site via content, you’ll need to find a way to convert that traffic, right? Enter the power of the blog. Because every page you write is a new page that Google gets to index, every page you write is also an opportunity to create new leads and help those leads convert into subscribers, sales, or shares.

Blogs work best for conversions when you focus on including a high-quality CTA at the end of every blog post. By doing this, you tell your viewers exactly what you want them to do and help ensure that nothing is lost in translation. It’s really that simple.

3) Blogging helps establish you as an authority

What’s one of the most important aspects both of ranking well and drawing in new readers, done with blogging for business? If you answered “authority” you’re right on. Page authority is incredibly important and it’s not something you can buy. The only way to create authority on the web is to create content that is genuinely useful, helpful, and interesting to readers.

Nowadays, the majority of people (about 81%) conduct nearly all of their product research before ever speaking to a company or its customer service representatives. One of the primary places that people turn to conduct this research is the web. When you build and maintain a business blog where you publish valuable, educational, helpful content, you can be the person who provides the answers to questions your would-be customers ask during the research process. By doing this, you establish your company as a leader in the industry, as well as helping ensure that when the customer is ready to purchase, they’ll come back to your site.

4) Blogging for business is a long-term plan

There are many marketing tactics that produce short-term results. While those things can be effective to drive huge bursts of traffic, they’re seldom cut out to be a long-term solution. Blogging, on the other hand, is designed for the long-term.

When you sit down to create a blog, you create a valuable piece of content that long outlives your efforts and your investment in it. By generating shares, drawing views, and producing conversions, each blog you write has the potential to draw traffic long beyond the day it is published. In fact, HubSpot reports that upwards of 70% of its monthly traffic and 90% of its overall leads come from blogs that were published in previous months, some even as long as a year ago.

5) Blogging is low-cost, high-return

Have we mentioned that blogging only costs what you want to invest for writing and imagery? The ROI is way, way worth the small investments. Blogging is both one of the cheapest and one of the most effective ways to drive traffic, views, and attention to your business website and, while it has the potential to produce a huge return investment, it doesn’t cost anything to get started.

6) You don’t have to be a tech expert

Blogging isn’t a pastime reserved only for the uber-techy. Instead, it’s a simple, accessible move that virtually everyone can make. Platforms like HubSpot and WordPress are designed to be hugely people-friendly and not require outstanding design skills. While it’s all well and good to know HTML and CSS, you certainly don’t need to have these things mastered when you start your blog.

Just remember to get a good writer who knows what he or she is talking about in your industry, and you’re set.

7) Your blog provides you with a source of content gold

Content creation is tough, isn’t it? When you have a blog, though, you supply yourself with fodder for all of your other social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and all of your marketing copy like emails, newsletters and eBooks.

A blog provides an important source of original content and helps you stay on schedule in terms of content creation and distribution. This is especially true when you hire a team of writers to handle your content creation for you.

8) Blogging keeps you on your toes

If you’re not creating content, there’s an argument to be made that you’re not keeping up with the times. Because blogging requires content, it makes you perk up and pay attention to what’s going on in your industry, including where new developments are coming from, who’s winning at the game, and what’s helping other marketers succeed.

Keeping an ear to the ground in these topics will help ensure that you’re on the cutting edge of your industry and will help you provide your users with awesome content that they find illuminating and helpful.

9) Blogging is a great place to tell your brand’s story

Nowadays, consumers want brands they can relate to and support fully. There’s no better way to produce this for your company than to tell your brand’s story. But how do you tell your brand’s story? There are many ways, of course, but ta blog is one of the best.

When you have a blog, you can dedicate time to developing a unique POV that helps you further your brand’s mission, stand out from the crowd, and provide important insight for your users. This, in turn, promotes bonding with your customers and keeps your brand fresh in their minds.

10) Blogs provide insight into your customers

Once you start posting blog content and people begin to interact with it, you’ve gained yourself a valuable look into your customers’ behaviors, preferences, and sharing habits. By analyzing your blog analytics, you can learn more about what your readers read, click, and share, which allows you to plan your marketing efforts better and to better cater to your unique users. All of these things are important to attaining business success and, when done well, can help you ace your marketing and produce better conversions and more sales.

Conclusion

When it comes to blogging for business, if you’re not doing it, you should be. Creating a blog for your business is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to boost your SEO, gain more leads, make more sales, drive more traffic, and stay on the cutting edge of your industry. Plus, blogging is a fantastic way to gain inspiration and have fun in your industry.

Get our free email course, 10 Days to a Better Blog.

By seeking to create great content on a daily basis, you put yourself in the ideal position to learn, expand your horizons, and make new connections, which is great for your company and for you as an individual!

Need high quality business blogging services? Check out our blog writing services!

The-Age-of-Visual-Content

The Age of Visual Content: Your Guide To Placing Photos in Everything You Write

Imagery in blogs and web content: they vary from the sublime to the ridiculous (crash test dummies in love, anyone?) but they’re vitally important to your content.

Research has shown that articles that feature images earn 94% more views than those that don’t. This makes sense given the fact that we live in what some have dubbed “The Visual Age.” There are currently more than 2.5 billion camera phones in existence (whoa!) and image-sharing sites like Instagram are exploding in popularity.

With all of this in mind, it’s clear that images should be playing a large part in your content strategy.

The-Age-of-Visual-Content

 

The Power of Visual Content

According to an infographic created by Wyzowl, only 10% of people remember things that they have heard and only 20% of people remember the things they read. In contrast, though, 80% of people remember the things they do and see. This is why so many of us, myself included, categorize ourselves as “visual learners.”

The human brain is wired for visuals. We process visual information 60,0000 times faster than we process textual information and 93% of all human communication is not verbal. For this reason, the addition of visual content into blogs and other content marketing materials has the power to boost views and strengthen your content.

Get Your Free Copy of 20 Incredible Free Stock Photo Resources.

In fact, Jeff Bullas states that the COO of Shuttlerock, Paul Bingham, has noted these changes firsthand. According to Bullas, when customers optimize visual content using Shuttlerock, their email lists grew by upwards of 44,000 subscribers and they earned 23 million new impressions via Facebook timelines. One user even experienced a 57% growth in sales and another gained over 33,000 page visits after running a photo competition.

How’s that for proof?

5 Benefits of Visual Content

Visual content, which includes images, videos, infographics, memes, and many others, has many benefits. These include the following:

  1. Visual content can promote sales
  2. Visual content can increase brand awareness and help consumers remember your company
  3. Visual content can promote sharing on social media networks like Facebook and Twitter
  4. Visual content can provide an SEO boost
  5. Visual content can increase reader engagement

While many marketers steer away from visual content because they believe that the only option is cheesy stock photos or that they’re not qualified to create other types of visual content, like infographics, that provide marked traffic boosts, including visual content in your marketing is actually much simpler than it sounds.

The 5 Main Types of Visual Content You Should Be Using

There are many types of visual content, but some perform better than others. According to KISSmetrics, there are several types of visual content every marketer should be using.

1) Images

You know what they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. But when you augment your high-quality blog posts with equally high-quality images, they can be worth a thousand views instead.

content in 2016

Now more than ever, people don’t want to wade through dense, impenetrable content that offers no relief. For this reason, images are an important addition.

There are many different types of images, varying from personal photos to high-quality stock photos and each has its own unique set of benefits. On one hand, images taken by you add a personal touch to your content and can help add value to deeply personal topics (it would be strange, for example, to purchase a stock photo for an article about your family). On the other hand, unless you’re a professional photographer it may be difficult for you to produce images that are as high-quality as they need to be in order to feature prominently in your content. In these cases, it may be a better idea to purchase images from a reputable stock photo company.

You can even do something really cool and get a custom artist to illustrate you something, like we did in the How to Tell Your Best Story post above. You can find decent $5 artists on Fiverr.

To give your stock photos an extra boost, you can use a service like Canva to create unique photos via a drag-and-drop design interface. We’ve added a link in this post to a free resource we created giving you 20 awesome free stock photo resources.

Just remember that if you are going to use images, you must be conscious to always purchase them from a reputable source rather than simply copying and pasting them from the web, as this can easily result in a lawsuit.

2) Videos

According to Moz, posts that feature videos earn 300% more inbound links than their video-less counterparts. Videos are one of the most useful ways for marketers to present solutions, relay information, and introduce products.

Express Writers Explainer Video from Express Writers on Vimeo.

When done correctly, a high-quality video can boost a content campaign by providing a personal touch, giving readers an insider view of the company, or clearly showcasing a product.

Videos can also be used to drive conversions. In fact, one study demonstrated that featuring a video on a landing page increases conversions by an average of 86%.

There are many different types of videos, from how-to videos to interviews, to customer service and tutorial videos. What’s more, live-streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat have ballooned recently and many marketers are using these platforms to offer behind-the-scenes footage or to promote secret sales and giveaways.

3) Infographics

Infographics are the prom queen of images. By combining visual and textual content into an information-dense powerhouse, a great infographic can easily go miles in your content marketing strategy. In order for an infographic to be as effective as possible, though, there are some important things to remember.

Here’s an infographic we did on the Ultimate State of Content Marketing.

First of all, the layout of an infographic needs to be simple and impactful. This means using the right colors, images, and formats to convey data in a simple and easily digestible way. Additionally, the information included in an infographic must be accurate, authoritative, and relevant. Because infographics are boiled down to nothing but the facts, this is especially important.

When done correctly, infographics are one of the most popular forms of content. Keep in mind that 40% of people respond better to visual information than they do textual information, which means that infographics can be a very effective part of your content strategy.

4) Memes

With all of the silly memes floating around the web, it may be hard to see how they would have any place in content marketing.

incorrect meme

Fortunately, they do, and they can be very effective. Unlike infographics or videos, memes are seldom used to convey deep or information-dense topics. Instead, they’re an important form of fun, easy-to-create content that is ideal for sharing and driving traffic.

To create your own meme, you can choose to use one of any of the dozens of meme creation services on the web. When creating memes, think about where you’d like to distribute them. Memes are ideal for social media and places where younger readers hang out, like Facebook and Twitter. One way that marketers often use memes is to share in-jokes about a specific industry or occupation. This expands the reach of a meme and makes them highly shareable on sites like LinkedIn and, of course, your personal blog.

When creating your memes, you’ll have the best luck if you keep them relevant, witty, sharp, and funny. This ensures that they’ll appeal to a wide variety of audiences and that they’ll have a lifespan far beyond their publishing date. While memes aren’t ideal for heavy topics, they can be a fantastic way to make your readers laugh and get your content shared around the web.

5) Screenshots

Screenshots are a valuable way to underline a concept.

Here's a screenshot we did to illustrate a recent post about content auditing.

Here’s a screenshot inside SEMrush we recently took to illustrate a post about content auditing.

When you grab a screenshot and include it in a blog post or tutorial, you allow your readers to see what you’re doing rather than simply read about it. This is important because people respond better to directions when they include images then they do when they are text-only. That said, the next time you’re trying to illustrate a complicated point, grab a screenshot and give your readers a hand.

Conclusion

While there are many benefits to including visual content in your blogs and social media, the most prominent benefit is user engagement. By including high-quality images, infographics, videos, memes, or screenshots, you add bulk to your content, break up text-heavy pieces, provide additional information, and essentially make your content more compelling and attractive.

Get Your Free Copy of 20 Incredible Free Stock Photo Resources.

Keep in mind, though, that any visual content you add to your blog will need to be high-quality, attractive and relevant. Visual content is just like anything else – the more time you spend making it great, the more likely it is to attract viewers and produce positive conversion rates. So get creative with your content and beef it up with beautiful visuals of your choice.

Order blogs with custom-made, branded Canva images from us today.