As we’ve explained previously, blogging is an important element to both search engine optimization and Inbound Marketing. However, most businesses now understand the value of creating content and we are reaching a point of content overload. If EVERYONE is writing blogs, what do you need to do to stand out from the competition?
The purpose of creating content is to attract ideal clients to your website by writing on specific topics they are interested in. Your aim should be to be seen as an expert resource. However, writing blogs, and posting them for linking purposes, is a time consuming activity and this often leads to outsourcing. Outsourcing by hiring a specialized SEO/copywriting company is a fabulous idea! But not all companies produce quality content and there are many out there that are just working to produce high volume content.
You’ve seen these blogs…blogs that have obviously been written by someone who doesn’t speak English as a first language, or maybe they’ve used a program to copy content and replace words with synonyms to try to out smart Google and not have duplicate content….
Anyway, what do you need to do to stand out from the rest? Focus on the quality of your content. 2 high quality blogs a month are better than 4, 6 or even 10, low quality blogs. Get specific in your topics – everyone is writing general information so learn to dig deeper. This will mean that more time is spent in the research and development stage for each blog but the results will be stronger and more qualified leads for your business.
When it comes to blogging, there are three levels of content that you should consider when coming up with a post. Each level caters to a specific type of reader and the higher the level; the more valuable the content is to the reader. Here is a more in-depth look at the three levels of blogging:
The first level of blogging teaches the fundamentals, or basics, of a topic to people who are new to the subject. The objective is to catch the reader’s attention and then educate them on a certain subject.
In addition, blogs at the first level can be for entertainment purpose. Online publishing companies like Buzzfeed and Cosmo Magazine are known for posting topics that have “click-bait” titles that are only meant to entertain.
Examples of Level 1 blog posts are:
Lists: “Top 5 Marketing Tools on Hubspot”
Tutorial: Tips, Tricks, & How To’s
The second level of blogging involves teaching skills within a subject for someone with more knowledge and a bit of experienc. For example, a marketing manager who has a few years of experience might want to know how to use a new SEO platform that they are interested in using. A blog post that reviews that platform, or even compares it to other competing SEO platforms, would greatly benefit them.
On the flip side, you can answer specific questions that experienced people would search on Google. Providing solutions to issues that your audience searches on Google gives your website value and thus becomes a resource of information to your readers.
Examples of Level 2 blog posts are:
Specific Function: “How to manage marketing campaigns on Hubspot”
Review/Comparison: “Hubspot vs. Marketo: Picking the Best Marketing Automation Platform For A Law Firm”
Case Study: “How We Used HubSpot Inbound Marketing to Grow Our Client’s Business 400% in a Year”
In the third level of blogging, the objective is to write posts that are more meaningful to your audience. Topics like this involve expert advice from industry thought-leaders, answers to very specific searches, or any new & innovative ideas.
Blogging at the highest level can also be thought provoking, or even a controversial idea that goes against the grain. Not all methodology is black and white and you can play “devil’s advocate” on a topic you already wrote about to provide both sides of an argument. Any topic that can open the mind of your reader and show you as an expert resource is a great top-level blog to write.
Sometimes the hardest part is finding topics to write about, so start listening. Keep careful notes the next time you talk to your customers, or on a call with a lead. Listen to the questions they ask and take special note of any particular zingers (thought provoking questions that make you pause). Listening to your audience is the best way to know what interests them in order for you to write content that caters towards them.
Examples of Level 3 blog posts are:
Specific Function: “How to create a CTA on Hubspot and add it to your blog”
Interviews with Industry Thought Leaders
Controversial: “Why Search Engine Optimization IS NOT the Way to Grow Your Business”
The first level of blogging can cater towards any reader as long as the subject matter is interesting to them. These are more successful at pulling your general potential clients to you doing initial research. The objective for posts in the first level is to grab their attention and educate them on a subject. Topics in the first level include lists, tips, tricks, and how-to articles.
The second level of blogging caters towards readers who are experienced in their field and are looking to expand their skills or look for answers to questions they might have. Topics in the second level include case studies, reviews, comparisons, and specific function articles. These are clients who may be familiar with your topic to use industry terms or detailed questions.
Lastly, the third level of blogging caters towards readers who are looking for more meaningful & thought-provoking posts. The objective is to present expert information or advice to an expert-type of reader. Topics include interviews with industry thought leaders, controversial or “devil’s advocate” posts, and very specific function articles. These are often your dream ideal clients – those who know enough about the subject to ask the right questions, but will rely on your expertise to implement.
Want more advice on marketing your website & blog? Like we discussed earlier, you want to create meaningful blog posts that connects to your ideal target audience. To help you get started identifying you target market, you can download a free copy of our Ideal Client Personas guide below: