Blogging. Aren't you just tired of hearing & seeing that word?
But there's a reason that it's such a buzz word.
Blogs can increases your business' market share, jump start consumer engagement, drive revenues up & give real return on investment (ROI) & of course, you want to do that. Seriously, who wouldn't!
We know that some of our readers are super smart & business savy and that you already know the answer but it's a question that beginners need answered: What's the difference between blogs and websites?
The answer is simply. Websites are like novels, meaning they don't change much. Once they've been published they kind of stay the same in content and layout. A blog however, is like a newspaper.
You frequently get a new edition, giving you current information about whatever is going on in the world that you're most interested in. Simply put Websites are static while a blog is dynamic & ever increasing in content.
Why should you blog at all?
The short answer is, that you will increase your search engine ranking if you blog regularly and consistently. For most people that bottom line is more than enough motivation.
But you don't have to take our word for it, here are some business blogging stats & facts you should know:
2 out of 3 people read blogs at least several times a week. 45% have reached out to a blogger to inquire about a product when considering a purchase, and 84% buy products based on the content they find on blogs. (ClickZ)
80% of B2B marketers include blogs in their content marketing strategy. But just 60 percent of surveyed marketers consider them effective. (ClickZ)
More than three-quarters of companies that have a blog report a positive ROI for inbound marketing, and 79% of best-in-class marketers rank blogs as the most effective marketing tactic. (Stratabeat)
B2B businesses that blog generate 67% more monthly leads than those that do not. (Stratabeat)
Blog posts continue to drive traffic and generate impressions up to 700 days after they go live. (ClickZ)
That being said, there are plenty of popular blog topics out there, but not all of them are fun AND will make you money! If you’re working to build your blog’s audience, you really want to write about topics that say something useful or helpful to your readers. These may even be topics that you have found useful in life or in business. For every blog post you write, you should be asking yourself just 2 critical questions:
How will this post deliver unmissable value to my audience? (also known as the “what’s in it for my readers” question)
How can I present this information best so that it will be read and shared by as many people as possible?
Blogging with a purpose however is really the gold standard. We mean, just look at this:
Courtesy National Association of Advertisers
But even after all of this information a lot of people are stuck on a major fundamental question: What do we blog about?
For companies, that question is easy to answer, just follow these steps: 1) Know what you’re selling, 2) to whom you want to sell, and 3) what blog topics are relevant to both (the happy intersection).
For individuals or other organizations who want to start a blog to monetize, the answer to that question is a bit trickier. A great blog has to start with a topic, a great topic!
That's why our team compiled a listicle of the top 16 types of articles, topics and approaches that have demonstrated massive success in the past and statistically will continue to do so.
1. Listicles: "The new face of content marketing"
Some people think listicles lack quality and are the result of laziness. And that could be true for some of them. Listicles, like any form of content marketing, have their pros and cons.
But let’s face it, people love to read listicles, it isn't just a trend. It’s scientifically proven! That’s why the article you’re reading right now is a listicle. Yup!
When was the last time you snuggled up with a glass of wine and the instruction manual to your toaster? So how do people figure out how to do stuff? They Google it.
WikiHow became insanely popular based on how-to articles alone. You might be surprised to see the kind of things people are Googling. If you can find your niche audience, cater to their curiosities, and give them some helpful answers, you can’t help but create a popular blog.
Recipes are a great way to draw traffic to your blog.
There’s always a new diet fad, cool new ingredient and so there’s always new recipes to be discovered.
4. Beginner Guides
Before you can convince someone that you know the advanced stuff, start with 101 beginner guides.
My own beginner guide has been very popular. Everyone has to start somewhere and beginner guides are often an effective way bloggers can build organic search traffic.
5. Ultimate Guides
Subject matter experts (SME) on the other hand, are always seeking out the most credible ultimate guides for their areas of expertise.
The term “ultimate guide,” however, is a bit overused. You can use some alternate terms if you want, such as these from Business Casual Copywriting:
Last Guide to ____ You’ll Ever Need
6. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
They serve as a resource for people, and they are blogging gold in any era.
Google’s algorithm uses FAQs, questions, and other popular topics as part of its Knowledge Graph. If you’re lucky, you might score a top spot in this coveted place.
The best way to set yourself apart from the ocean of bloggers is to gain insight from industry experts.
Whether it’s with people on your team or from other companies in the industry, set up interviews on websites like helpareporter.com to gain valuable knowledge from a professional.
8. Personal Stories & People Features
While personal stories may not be the keyword-filled anchor pieces you want, they’re still a valuable addition to any blog. Through sharing personal stories, you give readers a chance to relate to your business on a personal level, which helps build brand affinity.
Featuring select people—customers, professionals, authorities and leaders is a great way to add personality to your blog and create a sense of connection. It's like having a guest on a talk show. Your voice maybe great but other voices add dimension and can reach the persons that your voice alone may never draw. One of the most popular blogs doing this today is Humans of New York.
Occasionally featuring a real person—including photos, quotes, and other personal information—is a great way to produce strong engagement with your audience.
9. Charity and Activism
Any type of charitable actions, events, or activism you support should be blogged about.
Crowdfunding sites such as KickStarter, IndieGoGo, GoFundMe, and the like appeal to the good in people, and showing you’re active in these communities can build your readership.
Even an occasional Change.org petition can help the brand image.
10. Product Reviews
Not only are product reviews a trusted resource online that will draw traffic, but they are also a revenue stream for bloggers.
If you want to monetize your blog instantly, this is a smart move. By linking to product pages through affiliate links like Amazon Affiliates, you can monetize a blog almost entirely on product reviews.
Make sure you go niche, since this provides the greatest platform for credibility and expertise.
11. Troubleshooting Guides
I’m always on the lookout for reliable troubleshooting tips.
Troubleshooting guides speak to the pain many content seekers are looking to eliminate. They want to solve a problem, which is exactly what a successful troubleshooting guide will do.
12. Tips On _________
Featuring valuable advice to readers on just about every subject can raise the readership of your blog. Life advice, regardless of the subject matter, is a valued commodity.
Popular tip topics for example would be parenting. There will always be parents around, and any parenting tips are appreciated. It's a tough job!
Parenting and pregnancy websites are the top source moms and expectant moms use to learn about products and services. (eMarketer)
55% of active (daily) social media moms said they made their purchase because of a recommendation from a personal review blog.
87.1 million women online are active on a weekly basis in social media (including blog interactions, Facebook, message boards, and other social networking sites). (BlogHer/iVillage)
No matter how connected we get, travel will always be a popular topic for online searches. With 126 million passports in circulation in the U.S. today, you know people are traveling—or at least they want to.
Check out this travel FAQ about passports: https://www.passportindex.org/passport.php
We all want to travel somewhere exotic and new. Any advice on how to do it cheaply is always appreciated.
14. Funny stories
Posts that make people laugh get shared on social networks. There’s a reason why Buzzfeed, The Onion, Clickhole, and BoredPanda are among the world’s most popular websites. Humor is a great stress reliever and pastime.
15. Upcoming events
You can always tell when an event is coming up by the buzz in the blogosphere. Whether it’s global events like the Olympics or local events like a concert or book-reading, events saturate many of the most popular online searches.
The best ____ of 2016, the 2000s, this century, and of all time are all great articles to read.
WatchMojo built an entire business on top 10 lists, and many others are following suit. Including best-of lists focused on everything within your industry is a great way to draw reader attention.
Blogging is great but the most important part of it is responding to readers. It makes your brand or business tangible & real to customers and to readers. Having a real conversation and allows you to address individual concerns, build relationships and connections.
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About Caribbean Social Media HQ (The Social Media HQ):
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