This article is part four of a series on how to grow your website by Ezoic Publisher Ron Stefanski. Be sure to read part 1 on knowing your market, part 2 about finding the right tech stack, and part 3 that covers tips to launching your website.
Now that you have all the tools in place and your website is up and running, it’s time to start getting to the fun stuff. Here we will go through the benefits of blogging, a few best practices so you can get more traffic to your content, and helpful tips from a fellow blogger on how to crush the blogging game. And whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned blogger, there’s good news to report: According to recent reports, marketers who prioritize blogging experience achieve up to 13 times more ROI (return on investment) than ones that don’t.
Blogging also comes with a ton of other benefits. For instance, it helps to drive organic, targeted traffic to your website and it helps you convert that traffic into leads.
The practice of blogging on a regular basis is a great way to position yourself as an expert in your field, and it can help you drive long-term results for your business.
But, for you to reap these benefits, you must have an effective content marketing strategy, and for that, you need to keep blogging best practices in mind.
Blogging Best Practices
Here are a few blogging best practices to help you hit your traffic goals and scale your business.
1. Stick To Your Niche
If you’ve been following this series of articles on how to build a successful blog online, then you already know that you must pick a niche and stick to it if you want to be successful online.
It’s a lot easier for you to grow a loyal, engaged, audience if you only concentrate on one main topic and it will make it a lot easier for you to create content that your target audience finds relevant and appealing.
You can break down your main topic into subcategories and use them to guide your content creation efforts. That said, you’ll want to make sure you understand how to increase your text relevance so that both readers and search engines best understand the purpose of your site.
While on the subject of staying on topic, keep in mind that you are writing a blog for your audience. Don’t make it about you, but rather look for ways to solve the problems or questions that your audience has and use your content to address their pain points, needs, challenges, goals, concerns, etc.
This will keep them coming back for more and will set you up as an expert in your niche to whom they will return anytime they have questions relating to the topic.
If you are looking to create another site or your first site, be sure to check out a recent blog by Ezoic’s CMO Tyler Bishop where he answers questions from publishers about starting a new site, and he even includes some popular topics that he would consider if he were launching a new website today!
2. Conduct Thorough Keyword Research
The next factor to consider when growing your website is keyword research. This is part of SEO (search engine optimization) and it’s a critical process that you must get right if you want to rank high in Google and other search engines.
High rankings will result in a ton of free traffic to your blog, which ultimately means more conversions and sales.
Here’s how it works:
- First, pick a topic for your blog post. Let’s say you blog about “how to build a website” and you’d like to write a post about the best “website builder”.
- Targeting the keyword “website builder” will be incredibly competitive, but you can narrow it down by opting for a longtail keyword, instead.
A longtail keyword is typically three to five-plus words. It’s more specific and often has less search volume, which also means that it’s less competitive and easier for you to rank for.
Where there’s search volume, there’s usually tons of competition, and as you can see from the image below, search volume typically goes down for long-tail keywords.
For the example above, long-tail keywords might include phrases such as:
- Best website builders for beginners
- Free website builders for small businesses
- Best website builders for musicians
… and so on.
To find long-tail keywords, you can search for your main keyword on Google and then scroll down to the bottom where the Related searches are displayed. There, you’ll see some ideas for long-tail keywords.
Alternatively, you can head over to Answer the Public. Execute a search for your keyword and you will be presented with tons of ideas in the results for even more long-tail keywords that you can target to help your blog post rankings, and result in more traffic and revenue.
3. Craft Click-Worthy Titles for Your Blog Posts
The title of your blog post has a huge impact on the number of people that will actually read the rest of the article. You must create captivating titles that will entice readers to click through to check out the rest of your content.
Fortunately, there are tools to help you come up with magnetic headlines, such as CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer.
All you have to do is enter the prospective article title into the tool’s search box and you will be presented with a score for your title between 1-100, along with a few suggestions and recommendations to improve your title and make it more click-worthy.
Here are a few tips to help you beef up your titles to get more people to read your blog posts:
- Use Alliteration: Alliteration is where you use two or more words that start with the same letter or sound. This makes your title a lot more fun to read, for example: “Making Money Make Sense“.
- Leverage Juxtaposition: For the most part, juxtaposition results in higher click-through rates. Use a number along with your text, for example: “7 Unique Ways to Grow Your Website Traffic“
- Use Power Words: Power words will help you write remarkable headlines. They evoke emotions and pique your reader’s curiosity. They inspire action and help you get more people to click through and read your article.
4. Write Accurate Meta Descriptions
The character limit for the description snippet field is about 160 characters for desktop and 130 characters for mobile. Although many marketers overlook this, it’s actually one of the most important things you can do to help your content rank higher on the search results pages.
Make sure your meta-description is an accurate representation of what that specific page offers. It should be solution-based so readers know exactly what to expect when they click through to your blog post.
Here’s an example of a meta description for one of Ezoic’s pages:
It’s a good idea to try and include your main keyword in the meta-description, but only do so if it can be done in a natural way, otherwise, it could actually hurt your SEO efforts if you try to stuff keywords in an unnatural way.
5. Focus on Quality Over Quantity
When it comes to effective blogging, you must focus on quality over quantity. Your blog must serve the readers’ needs, and not your own ego.
So, for each piece of content you create, put yourself in the reader’s shoes and try to understand the benefits they get from reading your blog posts. In other words, what’s in it for them?
A simple way to help you write for your readers (as opposed to yourself) is to replace most of your “I” statements with “you” statements.
Here are a few other tips to help you produce quality content for your blog:
- Write With Your Brand Voice: You must decide on a unique brand voice and work on consistently building your personal brand when creating blog content. This will make your content more recognizable to your audience, make them relate to it more, and help you build trust and boost engagement
- Use Engaging Features and Templates: When creating a blog, you want to ensure that you use engaging features and templates across all your blog posts using your preferred web design software.
- Write for Humans First: Focus on writing for people first and search engines second. The last thing you need is to try so hard to rank your content that you end up with robotic text that does nothing to satisfy the needs of your readers. This is also important when considering the use of AI for creating content.
- Keep Your Writing Simple: The majority of people online read at a middle school level. So, unless you are writing for a highly intellectual audience, make sure you write your blog posts in a way that is easy for everyone who reads them to understand your content. Run your writing through a readability test like the Hemingway app.
Now that you know some of the top blogging best practices to help you build a successful site, let’s take a look at how you can outsource your blog content creation so you can scale your website even faster.
Outsourcing Blog Posts to Scale Your Business
There are certain things you should outsource as a blogger if you want to grow your business. If you are the only person working on your website or blog, your business can’t grow far beyond what you can do.
Also, wearing all the different hats in your business can leave you feeling overwhelmed, and if you want to stay sane, it’s a good idea to outsource certain aspects of your website.
By letting others do some of your tasks, you’ll be able to manage your blog like a business, pull the biggest levers that move the needle for your site, and focus on increasing your income.
Outsourcing blog posts, in particular, is a great way to scale your business.
The truth is, there are times when content creation isn’t the most important thing for you to work on in your own blog.
If you spend all your time writing, then you have little time left for link building, developing relationships with other bloggers in your niche, adding affiliate links, growing your email list, and so on.
But, you can free up your time by having someone else take care of things such as:
- Keyword research
- Content writing
- Proofreading and editing
- Web/graphic design
- Guest blogging
- SEO Optimization
- Link building and distribution
…and many other tasks associated with blogging.
Darshan Somashekar, who runs the jigsaw puzzle platform I’m a Puzzle explains that outsourcing can improve your blogging efforts as well. “I eventually started outsourcing my blog posts because I didn’t have the bandwidth to write them anymore. However, I found partners who were much better writers than me, and their work drove more visitors and shares than mine.”
Here’s how you can get started outsourcing your blog content.
Step #1: Find a Good Writer
If you are lucky, you’ll be able to hire an individual writer who can take care of everything from the initial drafts of your blog posts to keyword research, content writing, editing and proofreading, and even content promotion.
However, as you scale your business, you will find that you have to build a team where each individual specializes in one particular aspect of your content creation process.
But, you can start your outsourcing journey by finding a writer on a website like Fiverr, Upwork, or the ProBlogger job board.
ProBlogger is a particularly good place to find exceptional writers. All you have to do is post your job on the job board, and experienced writers who have the exact skills you’re looking for will apply for the job.
You can then look at the resumes or writing samples to make your selection. Once you’ve narrowed down your search to a few writers that match your style and price point, you can then send them an outline and ask them to write a draft article for you.
From there, it should be easy for you to select the one whose tone most closely matches that of your brand.
Once you’ve made your choice, you can start communicating with your new writer via videoconference on Zoom or through email programs. You can then discuss with them your overall strategies, expectations, payment methods, etc.
Step #2: Set a Budget
Your next step is to set a budget for your outsourcing efforts. Keep in mind that scalability means longevity with regard to enterprise blogging. So, take the time to create a content calendar where you can flesh out all the details of your individual blog posts according to what you can afford each week.
This will give you a clearer view of your website strategy plans for growth. You can use a tool like Co-Schedule, HubSpot Editorial Calendar, or GatherContent to set out your plans for content creation.
Your outsourcing costs will vary depending on writing quality and niche. But, on average, costs range from $0.03 per word to $0.25 per word.
On ProBlogger, you’ll be able to find really good writers in the $0.05-$0.10 per word range. This means that for a 1,000-word blog post, you can expect to pay between $50 and $100.
Keep in mind that if you want your writer to perform other tasks such as promoting your post on social media, you can expect to pay more per word.
Step #3: Choose the Right Collaboration and Automation Tools
As with all your other marketing endeavors, like using social media to post videos, maintaining your blog should be systematic and data-driven. You must analyze all your search and performance data in order to see which types of content perform best so you know what to post and when.
You can do this by using analytics tools to analyze how people interact with your website and what actions they take. While Google Analytics is a great free platform, there are other options available like Capturly, which I’ve personally used in the past and recommend if you need deeper insights, especially if you have eCommerce functionality within your site.
You also need project management tools that will help you keep your content development, publishing, and promotion on track.
There are a ton of project management and collaboration tools to choose from, including tools like Trello, Wrike, Asana, Monday.com, etc.
These types of tools will make organization, communication, research, and analysis a lot easier as you start outsourcing your content creation.
You’ll be able to set up automated processes for your blog maintenance and promotion (e.g. publishing posts to your blog) that will save you time and money while also ensuring consistency in your efforts.
Step #4: Create a Comprehensive Brief
Once you’ve chosen your writer and are set up on the right collaboration platform, it’s time to get started producing content for your blog.
However, to do this right, you must first come up with a comprehensive creative brief that will set the tone and help your content creator stick to your brand.
Your brief can include the following:
- A description of your business, products, and/or services you provide.
- A clear description of your blog’s target audience
- A complete description of your target persona(s)
- A list of your blog’s competitors
- Detailed guidelines for written content (word count, headlines, tone, style, keyword use, formatting, etc.) with examples to demonstrate these expectations
- Detailed guidelines for visual content (e.g. number of images per post, design themes, color palettes, etc.)
Note that a lot of the elements that you include in your initial brief might change over time.
So, in order to maintain scalability, make sure you update your creative brief anytime you have a new product or service offering, or when you expand or evolve your target audience, or anytime there’s a major shift in your industry, business, or blog.
Step #5: Edit and Publish
All that’s left now is to spend a bit of time editing and publishing your ghostwritten post. Convert your Google Doc into WordPress so you can publish it on your blog with the click of a button.
Depending on your agreement with the writer, you may still have to do the keyword research and plan your content, but if you don’t have to write the entire post yourself, then you are already saving hours of time on each blog post.
And that’s it! You now have the 5 best practices for blogging, as well as the 5-step process for outsourcing blog content so you can scale your business faster.
By focusing on the right tasks and outsourcing the rest, you can optimize your efforts and maximize the value of your time spent on building your blog so you can make it profitable in the shortest time frame possible.
Use the information in this article to help you grow your website by implementing the most effective strategies for creating high-quality content that both Google and readers will love.
Has this article helped you determine how best to scale your business so you can accelerate your path to passive income? Share thoughts in the comment section below!