Creating a blog does so much more than just provide information about your product or service. It helps shape your online presence and grow its authority. Here are some top tips for creating a blog that ranks your brand in your industry:
First to market
More and more blogs are competing for attention. Most are easily forgettable, simply echoes of every other blog in their niche. One or two stand out and stick in your mind. Great content is important for engaging our audiences. However, it might still not be enough!
People have only so much time and attention to share. If they are already subscribed to three excellent gadget blogs, why should they add yours?
This is where the brand to be the first to market an idea or piece of content has the advantage. Being first means you stand out simply because you are the only one. What are some ways your blog can achieve this kind of notoriety?
First in mind
Oftentimes, the first you think of was not the first in the industry. It is just the first that comes to your mind. People will usually announce something on their blog that they think is new only to have a comment come back saying “old news” or even “so and so did this last year.” If the first is not particularly well known or even that good, you could most likely be first in mind by having a better launch or better product!
You can also be first in mind by being first in a brand new category that you create. It is very difficult to compete with an entrenched leader. For products, the top three usually share all but a tiny amount of the audience. The number one blog usually has double the share of the number two blog who has double the share of number three. Poor number four has the crumbs that are left, and the rest pretty much starve for mainstream attention.
Take the following situation, for example. There are already several blogs out there discussing professional blogging issues. Performancing launched the first multi-blog that focused only on professional blogging tips and strategies. It is usually easier to find an unoccupied position and fill it with something good than trying to compete with a leader, even with something great.
Optimize for keywords
Keywords are one of the keys to on-page SEO. They refer to the words, terms, or phrases that users type into search engines. While writing a niche and unique blog is great and all, it would be irrelevant if your audience can’t find it. This is where keywords come in. Once you’ve established what you want to focus on, you need to conduct research on the keywords that work best for your industry.
This requires you to know your audience, including what they are searching for and what keywords receive high flow traffic. Luckily, there are several keyword research tools, both free and paid plans, that can assist you in this endeavor. There are some things you should consider when including keywords in your blogs.
For one, you should ideally optimize for long-tail keywords. They tend to get less search traffic, but more often than not, they result in a higher conversion rate since they are more specific. Also, you should include keywords in your post’s URL, title tags, and meta descriptions. As you optimize your blog with keywords, don’t forget to optimize for voice search as well.
Create buyer personas
Before writing any blog, take a moment and consider how well you know your audience. You can’t target everyone, and that’s why you need to have a clearer picture of your readers so you can create more effective and relevant content. This is the premise of developing and using buyer personas. Buyer personas are like character sketches for bloggers. They define your audience by their age, interests, habits, and online behavior.
You can easily create a buyer persona based on data from your site analytics, site-visitor surveys, social media monitoring, and interviews with your readers. With a buyer persona, you can directly speak to your audience, address specific issues your audience has, and be more granular in what you write about.
How can you make your blog different?
If you can’t think of a new category you can create, here are some ideas for how you can be different:
- Size/Scale: You might post more often or just have one killer post per day. Obviously, your audience would need to know how often you are going to post, or they might not work out your difference.
- Focus: This is a good way of being different. I am not going to blog about “computer games”; I am going to be the XBOX360 blogger or even a “first-person shooter blog.” By sacrificing related variables, you gain clarity in the audience’s mind.
- Gender/Age/Sexuality: There might be a bunch of blogs in your niche, but are there any written by someone from your demographic? A gadget site for girls or a Linux blog for over-50s, for example.
- Location/Geography: Lots of blogs are USA-centric. You can be different just by writing about your niche in your hometown/country/continent.
- Market/Platform: Take a winning formula and switch the market. Business blogs can choose to write only about small to medium-sized companies, and techies can choose to only write about Mac, Windows, or LAMP.
- Target Audience: Similar to the previous tip, choose a winning formula and switch the audience. You can be different by aiming at experts or beginners, professionals or hobbyists.
- Celebrity: Get a celebrity on board or create a celebrity. I am not necessarily talking about Brad Pitt. In every niche, there are names that pop up all the time. Cozy up to them, interview them, and get them talking about you.
- Medium: Alter the medium slightly, and you have a whole new ball game. Think blog to podcast, then podcast to video. Mix up the medium!
Is your blog unique?
Once you have settled on your own differentiated niche, you need to articulate this difference. Your blog needs to project and exude this difference in the content, the design, the tone of voice, your marketing, everything. The visitor needs to always be aware that yours is the ________ blog.
Now you have some ideas of how you can think differently, so ask yourself, “Is my blog unique?” Can you help make it unique with your professional services?
This post was originally published on 5/28/2020 and updated on 9/16/2021 for accuracy and a larger scope of information.