The modern consumer wants to get to know you before they commit to your brand, making blogs important places for you to woo them with your content. And where best to look for inspiration and to stay up to date with trends than other content marketing blogs?
Showing just how much the content you write online says about your brand, a study by Dragon Search cited 61% of consumers’ purchasing decisions as being influenced by custom content. Even a seasoned content marketer may be surprised by what they don’t know in today’s incredible online marketplace. We suggest following a few key blogs that cover everything you need to know:
WooContent is for the wordsmith in you, with a specific focus on how to write compelling content. Covering all aspects of content writing and content marketing, it’s particularly good for copywriters or those looking for tips on how to write their own content.
One of the best things about the WooContent blog is that there’s something to interest everyone, from beginners just starting out, to more experienced writers. The information is concise, easily digestible and gives helpful links to further reading. It’s clear that the advice comes from an agency of seasoned writers and content marketers.
Convince and Convert is a great all-round blog, covering a broad range of topics. For us however, it’s their social media content that particularly stands out. Luckily, they have a handy little filter to help refine your search.
C&C covers every element of social media you could possibly need, and specifically discusses individual platforms. This gives readers great insight into how to differentiate their content marketing strategy across different social media channels.
They undertake their own research and have social media experts on hand to write about important developments and key events as they happen, as well as give you advice on how to respond.
Marketing Interactions is the blog to follow for those with a B2B content marketing focus. It instructs readers about the dos and don’ts of planning, creating and implementing B2B content marketing. What’s particularly useful about this blog, however, is that it provides you with a background for each topic it discusses. Marketing Interactions places B2B content marketing problems in a real life context, making potentially dry and complicated subjects more interesting and understandable.
Its blog posts also provide helpful suggested improvements for the topic at hand by year. This allows you to see how trends are developing and may even help you formulate your next move.
If you’re looking to truly understand the market you’re writing content for, Smart Insights is there you and is relevant for both B2B and B2C readers. The blog covers digital marketing topics such as predicted ’Digital trends', Mobile marketing statistics and ‘how to’ guides, from ’3 easy steps to optimise your website for mobile’ to ’How to score SEO points'. They also often have insider interviews with industry experts.
One of the many things that makes Smart Insights stand out are the infographics. This visual element of the Smart Insights blog not only breaks up blocks of text but makes large amounts of data easily digestible. Their visual representation of numerical information means that Smart Insights can communicate complex messages and trends to their readers, with little effort on the reader’s part.
Following these blogs is sure to help keep your finger on the content marketing pulse. By doing so, you can ensure that you’re making brilliant content that your users will find value in.
Of course, as you’re reading this, then the Ad-Rank blog is hopefully one you follow too. If you like what we say then get in touch to find out how we can help with your content marketing and SEO strategies.
If you're reading this, it's likely you've entered the blogging world to gain visibility in front of your target audience and build a content hub. But with readers inundated with such excessive amounts of information, it's hard to stand out and engage with them.
If you're seeing a high bounce rate (explained by Hubspot in this concise, 100-word post), no social shares and low readership, it may be time to re-examine your writing.
Below are 7 common blogging mistakes that may be scaring your readers away.
A major blogging faux pas, this is just downright annoying. If you had landed on this page and it was actually about seven blogs with spelling mistakes, you'd most likely leave. It wouldn't be the advice you'd come for, and you wouldn't waste your time reading content unrelated to your search.
Attention grabbing titles should always follow quality content. No matter how enticing the headline, if the content doesn't equally engage, people will leave.
To combat this, write working titles instead of set-in-stone ones, or simply don't write one until the piece is finished. This gives you breathing room and allows you to tailor your title to your blog post, a win-win all around.
If you've made it this far, that means we've done a successful job of keeping you interested. This is not a stroke of fate, but a planned style, format and tone that you can implement on your blog.
Readers skim. That's reality in today's mobile, on-the-go world. So your writing should reflect that impatience by breaking up text with headers and avoiding paragraphs longer than three to four (short) sentences.
Likewise, your posts should hover around 800 to 1000 words. Leave those 2,000-word guides for rare occasions, because while they can bring in dedicated visitors and rank well in Google, the majority of readers only spend 15 seconds on your blog.
Readers can see through this, and it causes your blog posts to become flowery and unfocused. The biggest pitfall comes when writers try to copy someone else's writing style. Even though Moz or Hubspot may garner a lot of traffic, it doesn't mean forcing your writing to sound like theirs will work for your target market.
Following this guideline is especially difficult when you write for an agency or as a freelance blogger, because your topics tend to be assigned and not always of interest to you personally. Do your keyword research and find the angle that keeps you intrigued.
While blogs may follow the typical university term paper outline of intro, body, conclusion, the comparison ends there. Dry, scholarly writing full of industry lingo and impressively large words have no place in the world of blogging. And proper sentence structure is a loosely followed principle (as just demonstrated by starting this sentence with 'And').
You're not being graded by anyone but search engines such as Google. And Google likes readability – just like your readers.
The best bloggers write like they talk. They create posts that sound as if they're talking directly to their readers, and keep the flow and voice natural and compelling.
No one cares about you. There, we said it. When visitors find your blog, they don't want to hear about your experience using Moz Keyword Explorer. At least not solely.
Instead, they want to know how your experience with Moz Keyword Explorer can: a) benefit them when they use the tool, b) keep them from making a mistake, or c) relate to their business.
Stop writing stories and start turning them into actionable posts.
SEOs and bloggers everywhere shout about the value of link juice, but how many links is too many? Google gives the vaguest help, saying a 'reasonable amount' is good. Kissmetrics is slightly more useful, but here's the general rule:
Having too many links is considered spammy, whereas too few links lead to a high bounce rate and lower authority.
For instance, in a 1000-word blog (like this one), adding two links to every paragraph would make the whole post look like a colourful, underlined mess. Adding only two overall gives readers few places to go to check my sources or read further, so they leave.
Important note: anchor text – the words that hold the hyperlink – must be relevant. If a company links to their social media services every time a blog post said 'Facebook', not only is bad anchor text like that annoying and misleading, Google hates it.
In the mad rush to get as much content published as fast as possible under the guise that 'content is king', bloggers skip the most important step: editing.
While typos may slide when you're president of the United States, grammatical errors slow your readers down and make your work look sloppy and unprofessional. After two mistakes, people stop reading and look for a more reliable source. And you should never link to an article with errors – it reflects poorly on your own post and minimises the hard work put in to gain readers' trust.
Build steps into your writing process that include a first, second, third, and even fourth edit. Take a break from the article, come back to it and make changes. Use software such as Grammarly or just your basic Microsoft Word spellcheck to locate errors and correct them.
At the end of the day, blogging is about authenticity and quality. Keep your target audience in mind and write posts to meet their needs and answer their questions. If you simply don't have enough time to pump out excellent content, consider outsourcing to a content marketing or copywriting agency.
Not only will your audience begin to appreciate your content (and in turn your brand), Google will award you some brownie points as well. It's a win-win.