Things are changing in the Blogosphere. Again. Remember the ’90s when — as article marketers — we would submit our work to hundreds of article distribution sites? When blogging erupted in the 2000s it was essentially Article Marketing 2.0, and launched a new and better way to share information.
Like every other platform — including video and podcasts — there are hundreds of blogging tips online to help guide your path to success.
But what are the pros — the advanced bloggers — doing that helps them earn at least $50,000 per year? Is blogging even a viable option any more?
Sure, video and podcasting have their well-earned places in the content marketing arena, but blogging offers benefits that neither of these can.
For example, blog posts:
- Are written, so they are naturally Google-worthy. In order to rank pages with videos or audios, you have to write a page of content that is optimized. Unless that audio is in actual podcast format where Google Podcasts can find, transcribe, and rank it.
- Don’t require a lot of bandwidth to host on your site or to read from a mobile device.
- Are silent. Waiting for your car’s oil to be changed? Sitting through your son’s or daughter’s basketball practice? Blog posts can be consumed anywhere, anytime, without the need for earbuds to avoid bothering others.
- Can be easily and instantly shared. Again… bandwidth comes into play.
- Are quick to read. Even 2,000- to 3,000-word posts can be consumed in 15 minutes. A podcast usually takes between 30 minutes to an hour or longer.
According to Google, in 2018 there were approximately 500 million blogs. To compete in a space that is this crowded, you must have a few skills and some understanding. Otherwise, you’ll fade away just like over-washed black jeans.
Here are 5 blogging tips that advanced bloggers are putting into practice that you can use today in order to boost your readership and rankings.
Advanced Blogging Tip #1: Understand your readers’ wants & needs
One major factor that separates advanced bloggers from others is their ability to understand their readers. Instead of choosing what they want to write about, advanced bloggers cater to the information needs and wants of their readers. After all, these are the people their blog was created for, right?
If you’ve never done a reader survey, now’s the time. With easy-to-use tools such as SurveyMonkey.com, you can create a survey, share the link, collect up to 100 results, and review the results for free. Paid options are also available with more features.
Take the time to ask multiple-choice questions about:
- Their occupation
- Struggles they have that you can help solve
- The biggest issue facing them in the next 6 months
- Issues they have not found good solutions for
- Their level of expertise (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
- Their interest level when it comes to the products / services you offer
- And other pertinent information
Then use the answers you receive to craft your content marketing plan.
Advanced Blogging Tip #2: Find your most popular topics
Does this sound familiar? You launch a blog post. You share it everywhere. You watch the search counter tick up and up and up. Then you’re on to the next post.
Do you ever go back weeks or months later to see which of the posts continued to pull readers? You should.
Advanced bloggers have a continual eye on older posts for several reasons. Knowing your most popular topics allows you to:
- Plan for future posts on similar topics.
- Compile older, popular posts into content upgrades such as ebooks, checklists, etc., and use them for list building.
- Develop ideas for new products or services.
- Create slideshows, videos and/or webinars using the information in older posts.
- And more.
Advanced Blogging Tip #3: Write enticing titles
Think this doesn’t sound like an advanced blogging tactic? Have you seen the titles found on most average blogs?
Your titles act as a gateway. Readers walk up to the door and read the title. If, and only if, it catches their attention, they open the door and walk through to get the rest of the content.
In addition, inserting keywords and phrases into the title is a core element of blog SEO that helps drive traffic to your site.
What makes an enticing title? No, it’s not clickbait. It’s not hype. It is originality and a bit of puzzle work. Here was the process for this blog post title.
I started with the idea of providing some simple steps that could help improve search traffic and engagement. The first attempt at a title was:
5 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Blog
I didn’t want to add just any old, overused advice. My goal was to provide some more advanced strategies that pro bloggers who are making real money use. In addition, this post isn’t only about improving your blog in general. It’s specifically about increasing readership and how you rank in Google.
That led to:
5 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your Blog’s Readership & Rankings
After performing some keyword research, I decided to go with the primary keyphrase blogging tips. If I were using the word blogging I no longer needed the word blog. With a couple of tweaks (and a few other variations in between), the final version became:
5 Advanced Blogging Tips To Improve Your Readership & Rankings
It’s enticing, informative, interesting, and engaging. If you’re a blogger who wants to improve your blog, this information would most likely be tantalizing to you.
Advanced Blogging Tip #4: Pull readers along with juicy subtitles
While there is a great deal of agreement that titles are vital to blogging success, there is less discussion about subtitles. If titles are the gateway / doorway, then subtitles are the host/hostess.
What happens when you enter an upscale restaurant? You enter the door. Then the host shows you to your table. Along the way, he usually turns around a time or two to make sure you’re following behind. He might say something such as “Watch your step” or “Are you having a celebration tonight?”
As you walk to your table, the host guides you and keeps you focused. That’s what subtitles do. You should write them in such a way that reading the title and subtitles give a solid overview of what the post is about.
That way, when skimmers glance through the post, they want to stop and read each section because the subtitles keep pulling them in.
Advanced Blogging Tip #5: Optimize for search engines
There’s more to SEO for blogs than brainstorming a phrase or two that you think might possibly be a keyword. The effort you put into learning and implementing SEO goes a long way toward bringing a steady flow of traffic to your site. In fact, according to a survey by GrowthBadger:
- Bloggers who earn over $50,000 per year tend to put a lot of emphasis on SEO. Their #1 traffic source is typically Google organic search, and compared to lower-income bloggers, they are 4.3 times as likely to conduct keyword research.
- SEO is the #3 most important item for success ranking above social media, the number of email subscribers, and frequency of publication.
While a full study of SEO techniques for blogs would take an entire course rather than a blog post, here are several of the must-do activities I do with every post I write.
- Choose a Primary Keyphrase — Typically 1,000 estimated search volume per month or higher.
- Choose One or Two Secondary Keyphrases — Depending on the length of my article and the scope, these keyphrases will be longer-tail terms with estimated monthly search volume between 400 and 900.
Keyphrases should be highly relevant to the topic of the post. If I’m writing about housebreaking a puppy, I wouldn’t choose a primary keyphrase of new puppy tips because it’s too broad.
I would look at terms such as crate train a puppy, potty training puppy or others which are similar. Secondary phrases might include something along the lines of potty training a stubborn puppy or potty training schedule.
Those keyphrases would then be entered in the:
- Blog post title (primary phrase)
- Subheads (secondary phrases)
- META description / excerpt (primary keyphrase)
- Link slug (the portion of the link after the /)
- First paragraph (primary phrase)
- Image attribute tags (any of the phrases)
It doesn’t take a lot of work to optimize a blog post. If you access your Wordtracker account and spend 30 minutes on keyword research and optimization, you can begin to see your posts steadily rise in the rankings.
Putting these advanced tips into action will give you a whole new way to engage your audience, grow your list, earn more passive income, generate leads for your services, and more.
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