by Creating a Social Media Strategy
Yesterday I talked about being truly productive by starting with a strategy every day. How does a blogger or writer develop a strategy? Today we’ll talk about that it takes and what you need to learn how to become a successful blogger.
4 Questions to Ask to Become a Successful Blogger
Remember the 4 questions that are involved in establishing a strategy from yesterday’s post? Right. So let’s start with those:
- Where do you compete? (Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin’, etc.)
- What unique value do you bring to those markets? (For example, what do you blog about, what is unique and what you offer for a price)
- What resources and capabilities do you utilize? (You’re obviously talented at something!)
- How do you sustain your value? (How do you keep it going?)
Jot down your answers to the above questions. We’re on our way to creating your strategy.
Successful Blogger Goals
Now – we’re going to put some goals to those questions.
- How many followers do I want to gain per day on each channel? What am I willing to do to grow to expand my audience? I want to have _____ amount of “likes” per week and _____ amount of retweets.
- How can I build a unique product that solves a problem? I’m going to create ____ amount of products that fit that solution by _____ date. I will develop a message about what I offer by listening to my ideal customer and what they want.
- I’m going to use my talents as a _____ to develop this product. I will reach out to _____ for help with what I can’t create on my own. My goal is to be known for _____.
- Keep the productivity high and workload to only 8-10 hours a month on maintaining my product and developing a new one. I’m going to work on my blog 5-10 hours a week to improve image, and blog daily.
From there, you can create tasks around your strategy and goals. Only you will know what tasks need to be done to achieve your goals and make your strategy a successful one. If you put this in place, work it, and follow through, trust me… you’re going to succeed.
Rules for Successful Blogging
Now, let’s go over some basic rules for blogging for success. The earlier you start implementing these rules, the sooner you’ll create consistent traffic.
Longer Content Ranks Higher
When writing your posts, be sure to pay attention to your text-to-html ratio. The ideal text to HTML ratio is somewhere from 25-70%, but any SEO checker like SEMRush, what I use, will recommend making sure your ratio is above 10%. This ratio refers to the visible text as opposed to HTML elements like coded elements and embeds, along with non-visible information, and image tags. This is why you see sites with more visible text on their web pages ranking higher on search results.
So do you need a lot of words? How long should posts be? I’ll give you an example from my own site, but just know it largely depends on how much code you have on your website. My average blog post is anywhere between 1300-3000 words long. That gets me just above 10% for most of my posts and well within the 20-25% range for others.
My longest post is over 16,000 words long. So be sure to place a lot of focus on high-quality text content, and not just images. I’ve found that Google has rewarded my site with impression views as well as SERP (search engine results pages) when I have lots of words and keyword phrases.
Focus on Keywords and Keyword Phrases
There’s a pretty thick line between a healthy use of keywords and keyword phrases and keyword stuffing. You’ll want to make sure that your blog has a natural voice to it, and not have your blog posts sound like a robot generated a bunch of text with defined words to use.
Finding your voice as a writer takes time, especially when you are discovering ways to combine keywords into the mix of how you speak. We refer to this a lot in publishing as ‘writing to market’. So you have to write specific words to be marketable, with certain themes, but still appease and appeal to your audience at the same time. It’s a delicate balance.
Keywords are going to be key. To accomplish keyword ranking in Google, you’ll need to keep a list of keyword phrases to include (naturally) in your posts and pages. I highly recommend using a tool like SEMRush to get this done, as well as Yoast SEO Premium. For my blog, they have been a game-changer and clued me into everything I was doing wrong with my keywords.
Focus on Quality Content and Not Quantity
There’s the argument for quantity, and there’s the argument for quality. Which wins? From a business and traffic perspective, you’ll have a higher probability of being discovered if you have a higher quantity of blog posts.
But you’ll have a better chance of selling and retaining your visitors if you focus on quality posts for your blog. Why? It’s all about user experience and delivering value. Short posts are definitely out, as per Google’s ranking system, and quality keyword-rich posts are in.
Deliver High-Value Lead Magnets
One of the best ways I’ve retained and captured a strong email list that converts is by delivering high-value lead magnets. These are documents that are in-depth, that help my audience solve one specific challenge. Strong lead magnets are key to growing your blog and email list.
Having them available directly on your website rather than on a third party platform (like your email subscription service that offers a free webpage to deliver your opt-in) will make a difference for both traffic credit to your website and overall user experience.
With high-quality lead magnets you’ll also drive in a lot of traffic from Pinterest, and the likelihood of finding your ideal audience will only improve. You can learn more about creating better lead magnets here.
Create Pillar Content
Pillar content, also known as cornerstone content, contains the foundation of your blog. It’s the kind of content you want to be known for. For example, I want to be known for lead magnets, lead magnet design, and lead magnet conversion. I also have a high degree of expertise on Pinterest, which helps facilitate traffic to engage with those lead magnets.
Pillar content landing pages contain a ton of information that can be broken into many derivative sections, pieces, and materials. Examples of content pillars include eBooks, reports, and guides, as well as in-depth landing pages.
What you can do is break down pillar and cornerstone content into sub pieces, such as blog posts or content upgrades. From there, you can get into even more detail into those subsets of information. Google feeds on content like this like molasses on a bear paw.
Learning how to become a successful blogger takes time, and it may require substantial investment, as well, to get the kind of feedback related to your blogging and writing activities. This is a long-term thing, and definitely not a get-rich-quick type of venture. So if you’re in it for the long haul and not trying to earn a quick buck, this is going to be a career venture you might be interested in.
Successful bloggers know they’re going to stumble sometimes. I certainly have. You might neglect your blog, your SEO, your email list (I’ve done all three – gasp!), but what is more important is getting back up again after you’ve fallen.
I know you have it in you somewhere deep down inside to become a wildly successful blogger. Are you willing to put in the effort and time? My hope, is the answer is ‘yes’.
Also published on Medium.