I am a firm believer that everyone is a storyteller.
Inside everyone is the ability to convey a unique message in a unique voice, and because of that, I believe that every business and brand should [without a question] make blogging a part of their strategy.
Marketing experts and SEOs (search engine optimizers), however, have drummed up this image of what effective storytelling looks like tactically and I think this has tainted our perspective on content marketing in general. We put these rules and parameters around writing content like there is a science to storytelling.
We shouldn’t write to entertain search engines, we should write to tell a story that adds value to another human’s life.
Well, when you have a bunch of SMB owners who think there is a science to blogging, you end up with a bunch of dead blogs.
…and it’s sad.
Yes, there are general guidelines that help your content become more visible online, but I promise you there is no equation or science to it. Your best bet is to put your voice out there consistently, and be the best you for the sake of your business.
So, if you are still struggling with a dead blog, here are a few tips that may help bring those dead bones back to life again.
Discover True Content Marketing Success
55% of content marketers lack a clear idea of what content marketing success looks like for their organization.
Confession alert (in my DJ Khaled voice.) The Modern Marketer blog is not where it needs to be to support such an engaged social media audience. Yes, we get decent traffic, yes, we have a decent sized email list, yes, we have tens of thousands of social media followers.
But, I have big plans to turn the tables on the actual blog.
Time and time again, I’ve been able to build blogs from either the ground up to 50k+ monthly unique visitors, or add tens of thousands in traffic to a blog that already has decent traffic. Time and time again…I let my own blog fall behind.
So, I was happy when I finally decided to become consistent with posting here, because now I am going to hire a content marketing director to ensure that our blog editorial is just as valuable and consistent as Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube.
Why am I telling you this?
Because so many of us know the importance of content marketing but struggle to get our blogs off the ground and get attention. I can tell you clearly as being someone who knows what both sides of the spectrum look like, that it all comes down to creativity and consistency.
With consistency being the bigger player.
Content marketing success looks like month-over-month traffic growth, lead generation growth and engagement growth with core KPIs (key performance indicators) that align with your objectives.
And your biggest objective should be the leverage of attention. As Gary Vaynerchuk would say, “what matters most is the attention, not the numbers.”
The Deeper You Go The Stickier The Content
A blog webpage that ranks in the top 10 for search results has an average word count of 2,000.
This is not the first time I’ve mentioned this statistic from Neil Patel at Quick Sprout. So, if you haven’t taken the time to write long-form optimized content, that’s where you need to start.
- In order to have new distribution opportunities, there has to be a base.
- In order to have micro content, or episodic content, there has to be a base.
- In order to get rich snippets on the search engine results page, there has to be a base.
- In order to repurpose content, there first has to be a base of thick, juicy content.
So, backing up for those of you new who don’t know this. We practice a concept with our clients called the Power 120, in which we produce/publish daily content for 120 days. This is challenging and creates this environment where a company brain dumps all of the value they possibly have into fresh content.
From there it is about distribution, expansion, segmenting, and making the content stretch on forever. Letting it evolve as we gain more experience and have more case studies to infuse into that base.
So, I encourage you on this journey of content marketing to first dump out everything you know on a subject or niche into long form content.
Not only will your articles rank better, but the value will become indispensable to your audience.
There is a Lot of Competition for Attention
On WordPress alone, 56 million blog posts are published every month.
The other day I went on a Snapchat rant that received the most response I’ve ever received on Snapchat.
The premise of the rant was to stop marketing your business like someone else. To stop operating, and communicating, and hiring, and spending, and networking like someone else. That so and so brand that is bigger than you or that thought leader that you look up to can’t be a better you than you can.
So stop trying to be them.
Why does all of that apply to this statistic of 56 million blog posts? Because look at how much content that is. Just think about that logistically. 56,000,000 blog posts on WordPress alone every month.
You want to know how you cut through that noise? Creatively be yourself. Period.
I knew that in order to gain traction, I had to migrate my content from my blog into episodic like pieces of content on Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. This is all content I have been developing and publishing for years, but it’s just now gaining traction.
The cool part about this, is now when we re-launch The Modern Marketer website, we have and audience of over 10k to share that content with. That has a tenfold effect on things like SEO, traffic, awareness, leads, conversions and ultimately sales.
I took a different approach than the 56 million other posts, and it’s working.
What can you do?
Your Content Is Your Best Salesman
82% of marketers who blog daily acquire customers from their blog.
…and that’s the point right? To eventually nurture readers into sales?
If you aren’t going to commit to writing daily, the least you could do is commit to writing in general. To commit to telling your stories at least on a weekly basis. Don’t say “I get it, but it’s just not for my business” when you have no idea the power of blogging because you’ve never done it consistently.
You’ve never drawn a straight line between writing content, and selling stuff.
It’s one thing to not understand how to execute (that can change), it’s another thing to know something works but justify why it doesn’t work for you. I am not saying that from a place of judgement, but a place of experience.
I’ve never seen this much growth in my business, ever. And I can attribute 80% of the growth to creating content daily.
Some who follow The Modern Marketer probably aren’t even aware that I own a marketing firm. But for the 10-20% that do, most have reached out to me and I’ve started working with several of them.
Now, of course there are a ton of steps in between writing content and selling products or services—not to mention, The Modern Marketer isn’t here to sell marketing accounts. It’s here to provide value and build brand equity. It just so happens that the value is so relevant that SMB owners dig deeper and find my team and I.
I tell you that because it sheds a little bit of perspective on the power of content. Even if it’s unorthodox like The Modern Marketer where I micro blog all day every day.
Content is king; there’s no question about that. In order to do the royalty justice, however, we must dedicate ourselves to constantly coming up with fresh, innovative, and informative topics so our readers stay happy and engaged.
Your content is your best salesman.
Bonus Tip: Adjust Before It Dies
As a professional content creator, I will freely admit to you that blogging can be a drag. Sometimes there’s just nothing left in your brain!
When you reach the point where you are unmotivated to produce new content even though you know your business will suffer if you don’t, it’s time to switch up your strategy and find new blog topic ideas.
Or else you will fall into the trap of terrible topics for blogging.
For many small businesses, writing blog content is a very structured process. You must have X amount of blog posts. You must use these particular keywords. You must meet this deadline. Your stuff must be fresh, innovative, useful, remarkable, informational, intriguing, as well as thought leadership material.
That’s a lot of pressure!
Content should ultimately be written around two things: value and creativity.
If that’s not how your business manages their brand’s content production, they’re doing it wrong, and it won’t take long for the readers to notice. However, the first step to always having topics to blog about is to focus on the needs of your customers. They will always have questions that need to be answered, and your brand is the one to provide them with solutions.