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2017 State of the Blog Address
As search parameters and browsing platforms change, so do the methods and strategies of blogging. With the ever-changing functions, services, and trends it can be a full-time job just to stay up to date.
This shouldn’t dissuade anyone from starting a blog, far from it in fact!
With this article I hope to illuminate a few, simple things that make blogs successful today and how they can be used by someone just starting out.
During the process of setting up the foundation of your blog, it is important to look at it as if you were one of your readers/viewers/followers.
Do some research and see what kind of functions and features you like on other websites. Copying is never the way to go, but finding your own way to implement the things you like is a great practice.
Quality AND Quantity
Now to the meat and bones of a blog.
The most important thing to remember when blogging is to never, ever skimp on quality– the same as if you were starting any other business or service.
Creating content that is engaging, relevant, comprehensive and carries value to the consumer is the best weapon in the arsenal of creating a successful blog. The content you’re generating can come in just about any form you want: podcasts, videos, text posts, photos, what ever!
If you’re having a hard time finding what kind of engaging and relevant content you want to produce; use some keywords in a search engine about some topics you might be interested in and see what kind of blog content is being searched for in regards to the subject. You can also use BuzzSumo, which is a great tool to find those top trending topics that might interest you.
Some of the more effective content strategies we’re seeing today are to offer the reader a series to tips or tricks. Top [insert number] lists also seem to be towards the top of the trending charts week in and week out. However, these strategies don’t work for all blogs; it heavily depends on the type of content you are posting and the theme of your blog. For instance, it’s hard to do a top ten list every week if your blog is about your experiences living in another country.
With whatever style of delivery you want to use, the general rule of thumb is to post consistent, impressive, and informative content. Make sure the people reading your blog feel compelled to share it with others, and then come back for more.
As for the quantity: more isn’t always merrier, you don’t want to put too much out there that readers can’t keep up with what you have going or feel annoyed with the constant updates. But it is important to post content consistently. Take a look at blogs that may be similar to yours; are they posting every day? Every week?
Excuse the hash tag; I couldn’t help myself.
In the blogging world of today new tools, practices, and strategies seem to pop-up every time you go online. To stay relevant and to create a successful blog it is important to stay in tune with what is going on.
The majority of blog traffic comes from people using search engines. It goes to say that bloggers that are on top of the trends in this regard will maximize the chances of success, and viewership, of their blog.
A few noteworthy trends include:
• Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP): Introduced by Google and a couple of its partners the primary intent of AMP is to create a lightening-fast mobile search environment, where articles load within milliseconds. Webmasters and Search Marketers of high traffic publications and blogs were encouraged to integrate AMP as a way to earn extra exposure in Google’s “Top Stories” carousel, as well as providing a fast experience for their readers.
• Mobile-first indexing: About two months ago, Google announced the official roll-out of its new indexing and ranking system. Prior to the mobile-first indexing, Google used the desktop version of the site to evaluate the content and its relevance to the user, and then ranked those pages accordingly. This has now been changed. Google will now be looking at the mobile version of the site first, and then adjust the rankings.
• Google’s Penguin 4.0 update: This one might be quite challenging to digest, especially for those who are just starting out. That said, if you have been tightly bound with search marketing, you are probably aware of Google’s complicated algorithms and how they evaluate which pages to rank and which not to rank. In few words, a cute name “Penguin 4.0” is not as cute in reality. It’s an update to one of their core algorithm that fights spam on the web.
Ye’ Olde Subscriber List
The influence that social networking has in our daily lives is beginning to be impossible to ignore. Because of this influence it seems like aspects of websites like the subscriber list are going the way of the flip phone. But believe it or not, they are are remaining as strong as ever, simply because people like to receive updates from brands they trust and follow.
A great way to implement a subscriber list is to simply make it worth the time for a viewer to enter in their info. Considering throwing in rewards, giveaways and contests, or access to exclusive content are a great way to get people to add themselves to your subscriber list and regularly check in on your blog.
Communication is tied in with the whole subscriber list and follower base. Blogs and brands who communicate with their audience tend to be much more successful than the ones who do not. Finding multiple platforms for this communication is important, making it more convenient for your followers as well as getting new ones to hit the links to your site.
This doesn’t mean you should join every single social networking site and bombard the Internet with self-promotion, but adopting channels that your followers use is great for keeping the online relationship strong and interesting.
In the End
Blogging is a great outlet for creativity and information, and I encourage everyone to give it a shot; whether as a hobby, or a serious business venture. Creating a successful blog and one that stands out from the rest of the noise over the Internet can certainly be hard work, but hopefully this article helped to give a good jumping off point for creating the next exciting blog!