Amplifr is a social media scheduling and analytics platform

Learn more

Content Marketing Strategy: A Guide on How to Make it Count

Content marketing – contrary to popular belief – is a serious investment that requires thoughtful planning and long-term strategic thinking, especially if you want to pull it off just right.

By Ana Simova, content writer at Ranking Press

When it’s done correctly, content marketing can be one of the most cost-effective ways to reach your target audience, generate new leads, drive them through the sales funnel, and finally – gain loyal customers.

Let’s consider some interesting statistics:

  • Content marketing costs around 60% less than traditional marketing.
  • Content marketing produces 3 times more leads (per dollar spent) than paid search marketing.
  • Up to 60% of readers search for a product after reading content about that product.

The facts are that good content impacts your search engine ranking, boosts engagement and brand awareness, generates new leads and sales, drives traffic to your website, and overall, adds value to your brand.

However, all of the above doesn’t mean that more content equals greater success. Success actually lies in finding the right balance between quality and quantity. In other words this means finding a way to keep a tight rein on quality control, choose the right topics that will keep your target audience invested, and push out content consistently – without going over budget.   

Which inevitably leads to the question: how does one hit all the marks and devise a killer content strategy?

We’re glad you asked.

Ready? Let’s get the ball rolling.

Finding Your Content Marketing Goal

Making your business a success without a good content marketing strategy can be a strenuous task, not to mention time-consuming and expensive.

That’s why one of the first things you should do if you want to gain more customers and expand your business is to find your purpose and set your goals.

It’s very important for every business to first figure out what they’re trying to accomplish and only then create and publish their content. What’s the purpose of the content you want to create and curate? It can be a number of things:

  • Building brand awareness.
  • Driving more engagement from your audience.
  • Driving more traffic to your website.
  • Generating leads.
  • Working towards greater customer retention and loyalty.

Brand Awareness

Improving brand awareness is crucial for new businesses, and just as important for brands that have been around for years and have strong and well-known competitors.

Whenever a company creates a new product and wants to launch it, increasing brand awareness should be their top commitment since having a brand that’s recognized by people more often is crucial for both sales and lead generation.

In order to boost the awareness of your business, there are two somewhat obvious things that need to be done: increasing your brands’ mentions and increasing the reach of your social media posts.

And although this is a subject that everybody agrees on, the reality is that making both people and media more aware of your product and brand is easier said than done.

Fortunately, there are many free and paid ways to do exactly that.

For example, you can set a goal to focus more on reach when publishing an ad for your content on social media, instead of getting more clicks, or you can include your brands’ name and/or logo to every graphic content you plan to publish in the future, and so on.

Audience Engagement

There are many social media profiles with a large number of followers, but if you analyze each post separately, you’ll notice low engagement.

Why is engagement important?

Well, it’s simple. Engagement is a much more precise measure of whether your audience likes your brand or products as opposed to getting mere likes but also means that your content will have more organic reach.

What’s more, better engagement leads to better brand awareness, so don’t underestimate it.

Read our social media engagement guide to increase your engagement and grow your brand.

Since high audience engagement is directly responsible for a thriving social media profile, check to see if your business needs to improve this key area. Asking your followers relevant questions, creating funny posts, polls, and giveaways are some ways in which you can accomplish higher engagement.

Website Traffic

Many businesses use social media primarily for driving more traffic to their website, which is a great way to acquire more customers.

Sharing content on social media with the goal to redirect your followers to your websites is useful, but can look spammy and decrease your audience engagement if you don’t do it right. If you’re active on social media with the goal to get more traffic to your website, app page, or YouTube channel, you need to do this the smart way.

You can do it by creating and sharing related blog posts that your audience would enjoy reading. You can additionally include a call to action and offer your followers a mini eBook or some downloadable content from your website so they’re motivated to visit it.

If you’re a video creator, you can embed the videos on your website and then share that blog post with your social media followers.

Lead Generation

Lead generation is the key focus for many businesses and entrepreneurs. Every company wants to generate more leads, and many of them are active on social media just to fulfill that goal.

However, getting your followers interested enough in some piece of content so they’re happy to leave the content they were previously reading can be tricky.

To generate more leads you need to offer your audience content they’d find useful while asking them to fill a form if they want to get it. The content you’ll be giving them can be some useful tool or resources like checklists and worksheets, an eBook that covers some of their interests, or a case study that they can’t get elsewhere.

Customer Retention and Loyalty

The path to getting customers isn’t easy, but once you do it’s not the end of your work.

After your business acquires new customers, you should do all you can to make them happy in order for them to come back again and buy your product(s) or use your service(s). Making your clients and customers happy with your services, products, and support builds trust and loyalty which is always great for your relationship.

Improving customer retention and loyalty is the ultimate and final goal you can set.

Delivering on it will make your brand stronger and more successful since customers will be satisfied and will return or recommend your business to others.

You can try to make progress in this area by creating video tutorials for every new product or service your publish. You can also offer a free original eBook that would help them or write about the latest trends in the industry while also giving exclusive deals and offers to your past customers via email.

Once you’ve thought carefully about the goal that you want to achieve with your content marketing, what are the next steps? Well, the first one is something just as important – figuring out who you’re writing for.

Determine Your Buyer Persona

Many new businesses overlook this step and that’s one of the biggest mistakes you can make if you’re just starting your business.

Producing content before determining your target audience is the biggest reason for low engagement and missed sales. This is why you should take your time and concentrate on defining your target audience, or more specifically, your buyer persona(s).

Defining this archetypal depiction of your perfect customer is important due to the following reasons.

Firstly, figuring out your buyer persona will help you answer many important questions that can be incredibly beneficial for your overall marketing strategy.

  • Who am I speaking to?
  • What’s important to my ideal customer?
  • Why do they care about my brand?
  • Why do they need my product(s) or service(s)?

Secondly, determining your buyer persona will help you really understand your ideal customers and speak directly to them by adjusting your tone of voice and style of writing.

This will help you create content that’s relevant to them, meaning you can expect a boost in engagement and more traffic to your website.

And lastly, statistically speaking, those brands that really know their buyer persona(s) have a better overall performance since they know what drives their customers to buy their products or use their services.

So, where should you begin?

In order to determine your buyer persona, the first thing you need to do is ask the right people the right questions. The right people are your target audience(s) who you can identify by analyzing your current customer base and determining the characteristics and interests they all have in common.

After you do that, ask yourself these two questions:

  • Who needs my product(s) or service(s)?
  • Who will most likely buy what my company has to offer?

And voila! You can now begin to target the ideal buyer persona which is a much more detailed version of your target audience.

The next step is to dive into the demographics and psychographics of your target audience, and this is the time to ask the right questions to the right people we previously mentioned. By looking at the analytics or directly asking your target audience, you should be able to have answers to the following questions:

  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • What’s their gender?
  • What do they work / study?
  • What’s their education and income level?
  • What’s their marital status / do they have kids?
  • Where to they gather information?
  • Which social media platforms they mostly use?
  • What are their interests / hobbies?
  • What do they value in life?
  • What are their goals?
  • What are their needs?
  • What problems are they trying to solve?
  • Why do they use your product / service?

After you analyze the answers you’ll have the necessary information to create your buyer persona, or a couple of buyer personas if you want to target more than one ideal customer.

Also, putting yourself in your customer’s shoes will help you to define those perfect customers who’ll represent your target audience even better – so take your time and start analyzing.

Picking the Right Content for Your Brand

You have your goals and you’ve done your research. You know exactly who your target audience is. But how to figure out exactly which topics to cover in your content strategy?

When you produce content your readers find engaging, valuable, and trustworthy – it sparks a dialogue. Then, it becomes easier to transform this dialogue into business results. This is why some of the best content topics are the ones that can produce the greatest ROI (Return on Investment).

Identifying the best ROI-producing topics for your business can be accomplished by making a goal-specific list. Then you can filter each topic by two metrics: volume and value.

Here’s how.

Before even thinking about writing down a topic, ask yourself the following: “What problem will my content solve?” Then, come up with a list of content topics that best answer that question. You can play around with words to see which topic gets the most interest, and once you’re there, proceed to filter each topic by volume and value.

Filtering Volume and Value

After you’ve sorted through the list for the most valuable topics, score each topic by volume and value. What do these two terms mean? In content marketing context, volume refers to audience reach, whilst value basically means “of how much benefit a given topic will be for your business?”

How to do this?

Step 1: Gathering Data

The first step is to gather all supporting data related to the topics on your list. This should include how many people are interested in a given topic, and whether or not they find the topic/keyword useful. Sources of data can include:

  • Keywords that your audience used to search before they arrived at your site.
  • Collecting keywords from your internal search data.
  • Examining topics from your Twitter/Facebook feed.
  • Analyzing your customer support inquiries.

Step 2: Organizing Data

Remember, Excel is your ally. Go ahead and input all of that previously collected data into a spreadsheet. What you’ll notice is that common themes will keep resurfacing in all of that data, found more in certain topics rather than others.

Prioritize those topics and make a list in accordance with their popularity.

Step 3: “Separating the Wheat from the Chaff”

…Which refers to identifying the content topics with the greatest potential for audience reach. In fact, once you have your data organized, it will be easier to see which topics your customers are most interested to read. Don’t be afraid to remove the topics with the least potential for reach.

Step 4: Double-Checking

Notice a pattern: we’re continuously sifting and removing mediocre content topics or topics that are just so-so. Continue with this trend by cutting out topics that don’t fit with your overall marketing strategy. Here’s an overall idea of how to apply this step strategy-wise.

You either optimize for:

  1. a) more top of the funnel visitors
  2. b) more upselling of existing customers
  3. c) combine these two approaches one by one (in whatever order suits your business goals)

But now, since you have your topics and will have thoroughly sifted through them – you’ll have to know how to create engaging content that sells (or increases traffic for a potential sale in the future).

Crafting Engaging Content

This is where most marketers stumble, and for a good reason too: they just can’t produce quality content that engages audiences no matter how hard they try.

They’ll either experience the pitfall on not having a consistent tone of voice, fail to hook the readers (and fail to capture their attention), or produce a highly repetitive article that just doesn’t have that good of a “feel” to it (mainly the drive that keeps us reading until we “consume” the whole thing).

In fact, these are the three main things all content marketers should strive to achieve:

  • Have a consistent tone of voice all throughout your content.
  • Have a “hook” that will capture audience’s attention.
  • Avoid being mediocre and strive for greatness (write something no one thought about before, such as comparing apples to oranges if you’re selling apples and, well, oranges).

Determine Which Types of Content You Want to Create

Businesses which are active on social media know that creating content can sometimes be difficult since in order to get a higher reach and better engagement, you need to create interesting, relevant, and engaging content.

This being said, there are a few types of content that are predominantly shared on social media and each one on average has different engagement rates – and it’s used for achieving different goals.

Depending on your goals, you should carefully choose which type of content you are going to pay more attention to. In order to help you out, we’ll look at the most popular types of content, and your job will be to determine which ones are the best for both your company and your customers.

Images and Visual Content

In today’s world, image-rich content is immensely popular on the web which is why many social networks like Instagram and Pinterest were created in the first place.

Sharing images on social networks that aren’t primarily focused on visual content can be advantageous as well.

There are many studies which show that if you include an image to a textual post, you’ll double your engagement rate and even your click-throughs. In fact, around 90% of posts with the highest engagement rate on Facebook include images, when compared to posts which only feature textual content and links.

That being said, you shouldn’t post or share every image you like, but choose or create an image that’ll tell a story and engage your customer’s interests instead.

Lists and How-to Content

The popularity of lists and how-to articles is still strong, and the reason is mainly because they’re informational, easy to read, and are often entertaining as well.

If you want to create content that’s not only well-organized but also easy to understand by your readers, look no further than list-based articles or videos.

When shared on social media, the listicle content has higher chances of being clicked.

As for how-to content, it’s number one when it comes to solving problems in an engaging, comprehensive, and informative way.

Just like the lists’ titles, how-to articles can also have catchy and appealing titles that your followers will be tempted to click on. If you think this is a type of content you need to start creating, be sure to fill your posts with visual content like videos, diagrams, images, etc – it can never hurt, and it’ll definitely help.

Videos and GIFs

Nowadays, video content is everywhere.

Its popularity has never been higher and by the looks of it, video content won’t stop growing any time soon. If you wanted to start creating and sharing videos that are interesting, funny, and/or useful to your followers, there’s no better time to start than right about now.

Videos are a great way to get and keep your followers’ attention.

If you don’t have the time or the resources to create videos, you can try creating shorter ones or use some online apps to create animated ones. You can also share GIFs, or even better, edit them with your own custom message for your followers to see.

Infographics, Graphs, and Statistics

Infographics are the leaders when it comes to the types of content that’re most likely to be shared.

They’re a very powerful piece of content, not only because they’re visually stunning, but because they’re useful and educational as well. They inform and sometimes entertain the readers through the combination of images and text.

One study even states that infographics are three times more shared than all the other types of content. Fortunately, there are quite a few online applications that you can use in order to create your very own infographics.

If you decide to go with this type of content, make sure that the topic is relevant to your business and interesting to your followers. Include visuals, facts, and statistics. If you have more useful or interesting statistics to share, you can also create separate graphs and see how your followers respond when you share them.

Repurposing Content

You’ve probably heard the phrase: less is more.

Sometimes that can be just as true for content marketing. The strategy of repurposing your content is amazingly good and can help you to promote your business better.

When it comes to content marketing, “less is more” means that publishing fewer blog posts can be useful but only if you repurpose the quality content you already have. This will help your company in many ways, like promote your brand better and reach new audiences by using different types of content to pass a certain message to your followers.

Presentations and Infographics

If your content is still relevant, one of the ways to refresh it is to make it into a presentation or an infographic. Depending on the type of content you already have and the information you share in it, you can create a great presentation or infographic, or even both. This way you’ll create something that is visually better and definitely more shareable. You can then share this on SlideShare or Pinterest and reach new audiences that you previously didn’t have the chance to get.

Update and Republish Older Posts

If you have popular articles or videos that are full of old statistics or other information that stopped being relevant, your best choice would be to update them with the new data.

After updating your article, you can republish it and share it on your social media platforms by announcing that it’s updated with the newest available data. By doing that, you’ll have an updated post for your audience to read, more engagement on the same post, and if it has good keywords, the search engines may even switch it to a higher position.

Create an eBook

For business that already have a solid number of high-quality articles on their blog, one of the smartest things they can do is turn them into an eBook. There are many uses for eBooks in ways that can promote your business.

For example, you can use smaller eBooks to collect more emails. When you ask your followers to leave their email, tell them they’ll get a free eBook after they fill the form. If you create a larger eBook covering a topic that most of your audience is interested in, you can even sell it directly on your site, social media page, or simply sell it as a Kindle Book via Amazon’s website.

Create Podcasts and Videos

Some people have the majority of their free time only while commuting, working out, or taking a walk while others have plenty of free time before or after work or school. What do these two groups have in common while using their laptops or smartphones?

They would much rather watch a video or listen to a podcast than read an article on the web.

That’s why missing your opportunity to create podcasts and videos is also missing out on the opportunity to reach new audiences and acquire new followers. Want to try your hand at podcasting? We have just the right guide: Social Media Planning for Podcasters!

Repurposing your content by creating a video or a podcast series is very useful in this day and age, so at least think about it before you say no.

Choose Your Social Media Wisely

We all know that in today’s world, having a successful business is close to impossible without being present on social media.

However, randomly choosing which social media platforms to use for your brand isn’t a good idea since the goal is to present your content in front of the right people. This is why you should choose your social media wisely, and we’re here to help you do just that.

A rookie mistake that many new businesses make is being present or trying to be present on all social media platforms.

While there’s definitely a case for using multiple social media channels, this, when done just for the sake of it, is a mistake. Firstly, because not all audiences will find your content relevant and interesting, and secondly, because you’ll waste valuable time without receiving much engagement and traffic.

This is why it’s of utmost importance that you choose only a couple of social media platforms, ideally three, but that depends on your business, and focus your time and efforts only there.

This way you’ll reach those who’ll most likely be interested in your brand and what you have to offer both content and product wise.

So, how to narrow down your choices? Simply by familiarizing yourself with the different social media platforms out there in order to find the perfect ones for your business. Let’s mention the most popular platforms for businesses and give you a short overview of each one.

Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social media platform that exists at the moment – both for users and businesses.

With around 1.5 billion daily active users, Facebook has established itself as the most widely used social media platform with the most diverse audience, mostly men and women from 20 to 50+ years old.

Speaking of audiences, since Facebook has such a diverse demographic of users, it’s the first and most obvious choice for businesses.

This is the place where the majority of businesses can easily find their target audiences, especially when using the targeted advertising platform Facebook offers. You can customize your ads in such a way so they’re seen by a very specific group of people.

For example, if you sell vegan products, you can target those users whose interests are vegetarianism or veganism, who are in a certain age group, who are connected to or follow similar brands to yours, and more. This way only those who are already interested in what your business has to offer will see the ads and engage, so you’ll easily find your target audience.

Mainly due to its large and diverse audience, all types of content work on this platform, from textual posts to images, videos, ads, events – you name it. This is why businesses from almost all industries produce content and find their audience on Facebook, from fashion to e-commerce, travel, entertainment, health and wellness, sports, marketing, real estate, and more.

You can check out our guide on Facebook SMM if you want to learn more about marketing on this platform.

Instagram

Beautiful photos and short videos are the types of content you’ll usually see on this platform, edited to perfection and carrying a particular aesthetic, which is why they are Instagram’s strongest attribute.

People love sharing photos of themselves, their food, and the new places they visit with a passion, and that’s the main reason why this social network became so popular in the first place.

Nowadays, Instagram is used by more than 1 billion users, of which over 500 million are active every single day, and around 100 million posts (photos and videos) are shared every day.

According to these statistics, you can see that Instagram is not a social network used only by teenagers.

Instead, most of the users who are active on Instagram are from 18 to 29 years old. Since many businesses want a place where they can publish photos of their beautiful products, Instagram is the perfect one, especially for companies in the beauty, makeup & cosmetics, fashion, lifestyle, and wellness industries.

Sign up to Amplifr and connect your Instagram profiles to receive best posting time predictions.

Be that as it may, if your target market consists of mostly younger people or people under 40 and your products are visually stunning, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to be present on Instagram. Check out our Instagram guide to learn more on the subject, or see what we have to say on the subject of design and aesthetics.

Twitter

We all know that Twitter is an amazing social networking site for posting short messages, including photos, videos, and links.

But did you know that more than one-third of its users are from 18 to 28 years old?

Nowadays more than 330 million people actively use Twitter, from which more than 20% are users from the United States. Although almost two-thirds of the users are male, in some countries like the United States, the gender ratio is split evenly.

Those stats are important when you’re deciding which platforms you’re going to use to promote your content and your brand. Posting one or two sentences followed by a link is how most of the Tweets are constructed, including a relevant hashtag or mentioning someone will help you reach even more audiences, and so will images, videos, and gifs.

When it comes to small to medium business, this is where Twitter shines.

According to Twitter research, 93% of the people who follow some small or medium business plan to make a purchase while 69% already bought something from a small or medium business that they saw on Twitter.

Also, it’s important to note that this platform is the primary social media platform that businesses use to offer fast customer service.

Check out our Twitter SMM guide for more.

Pinterest

Pinterest is another place (like Instagram) where visual content rules – but mostly because it’s the only choice.

When it comes to Pinterest, most of the posts are images, with a little sprinkling of videos and gifs.

There are 250 million users on Pinterest that use the platform every month. Although 80% of them are female, it’s interesting to note that 50% of all new signups are male, so there’s a demographic change on the way.

Pinterest is great for businesses that have visually stunning products. Some of the most popular categories on Pinterest are about Art, Hobbies, Flowers, Food, Drinks, Gifts, Home, Garden, Health, Beauty and Clothing.

If you want to promote content that’s about those categories or have a business active in those industries, you should seriously consider using this platform.

Sign up to Amplifr and connect your Pinterest profile to post across all social networks.

Pinterest is great for sharing images with long height, and that’s why infographics are very successful there.

Roughly 50% of those who use Pinterest say that they’ve made a purchase after seeing a promoted pin and 93% of active users say that they use Pinterest to plan for a purchase.

Those are great numbers and if you have or want to create and share visual content so you can promote your brand, then Pinterest may be the perfect place. In any case, it’s surely worth to try to market your content there and see how it goes – and you can read our Pinterest marketing guide if you want us to lend you a hand.

Maintain a Content Strategy (Quality, Quantity, Consistency)

You’ve created a detailed profile of your ideal buyer persona, you’ve strategized on which social media network you’ll probably find them, and you’ve picked out the best topics to start your content strategy. You have your goal and an Excel spreadsheet, and you’re determined to pursue it.

Now there are three things you always need to have in mind if you want your content strategy to be successful.

After creating your content strategy, it’s of the utmost importance to continue to maintain it. Planning in advance is great when you are dedicated to implementation.  

That’s why you must be careful and responsible so that your content strategy has a positive effect on your business.

The three most important parts when it comes to maintaining a content strategy are quality, quantity, and consistency – and we’ll clarify them one by one in the following paragraphs.

Content Quality

This is the vital element for having stable engagement or increasing the engagement of your posts for that matter.

High quality posts is something that every business should strive to have. When we say quality we mean relevant, relatable, or valuable content for your followers.

Additionally, the content should be original and engaging, and of course, of high-quality (high resolution, bright colors, etc.).

Incorporating humor in your content in order to increase likes and shares is often a good idea if your brand’s image allows it, of course. If you manage to entertain your followers while informing them at the same time – bingo. You’ve hit the motherlode.

If you lack inspiration, the best thing you can do is research your top competition on the same social network, and see which posts work for them best. This is bound to give you plenty of ideas for your own content strategy.

Content Quantity

Keeping a strict posting schedule is also important to maintain. Depending on the social networks you use, different numbers of posts are recommended for different social media platforms.

If you surpass the recommended number or don’t post as much as you should every day (you publish 10 posts instead of the recommended 2, for example), the reach of those posts will be much lower.

Some studies tell us that the smartest way to post is:

  • Once per day on Facebook.
  • 15 times on Twitter.
  • 11 times on Pinterest.
  • 1-2 posts on Instagram.

Having a content (editorial) calendar, such as Amplifr’s for example, can help a great deal in this area, so keep that in mind and explore your options.   

Sign up to Amplifr to create a content schedule and receive the best posting time suggestions.

Posting Consistency

Being consistent is important for having better engagement and that applies to every social media platform. The quality of your posts is vital, but keeping up with them is just as important.

If you’re consistent, you’ll not only be telling the social media network’s algorithm that you’re quite the busy bee, but your audience will also know what to expect. So, don’t pile up 10 blog posts, or videos, or a single photoshoot, and call that a content strategy. You have to be consistent!

On The Subject Of Blogging

Blogging may seem very easy at first: who doesn’t like to write, right?

The truth, however, is that blogging (at least, the good type of blogging) is complicated, requires weeks if not months of planning in advance, and is everything but easy as most are initially led to think.

In fact, blogging is not so much about writing blog posts (which is only one part of the whole blogging process, and when done correctly, it can be very rewarding), as it is about juggling dozens of different responsibilities all at once.

Mishandling one of these responsibilities is fairly easy, and it can lead to throwing your hands up in the air in exasperation and getting demotivated. Well, blogging is not for the easily disappointed.

On the other hand, what if you’re already blogging, but you’re finding out that things aren’t going as well as you initially thought they would?

The answer to all of these queries is systematic planning.

In other words, you need a list (or an excel spreadsheet) of items that need improving, items that you need to add to the process, and items that you need to remove from your blogging strategy or blog as soon as possible.

So, here’s a list of 10 things (and several sub-things) which you can do to improve your blogging in mere minutes (well, it’s a figure of speech).

12 Most Important Things to Know Before You Start Blogging

1. WordPress

In order to improve your blog posts, you first need to improve your blog.

If you haven’t already, consider moving your blog to a self-hosted WordPress platform. Now, the important thing to remember here is the difference between a self-hosted WordPress blog, and a WordPress.com hosted one.

Most beginner bloggers get confused and they sign up for either one of the two services without knowing which one they actually want. Moving your blog to a personal host will make it look more professional and will enable you to have more control over its features – the theme, the add-ons, and integrations, the overall design of your blog, both front-end and back-end – in other words, literally everything.

2. Choose Your Niche

This is important simply because you don’t want to cast too wide a net and miss your target audience by a mile (everyone has a target audience, even the smallest blogs in existence).

On the other hand, you probably don’t want to confine your blog to too narrow a niche, since that would eliminate a large chunk from your potential audience.

3. Write an Eye-Popping Tagline

Making your tagline stand out will improve the information about your blog, which is ultimately the main driving force behind naturally growing your audience.

4. Hack-Proof Your Blog

If you’re new to the blogging game, then by now you probably know about the benefits of ‘https’ over the ‘http’ protocol. ‘Https’ is safer because it passes all information through an encryption-decryption process and makes it harder for ill-fated individuals to steal your data. Additionally, you can hire a third-party service to keep your site security up-to-par, but usually these services are more expensive and it’s up to you if you’d go for one.

Improving Your Blog’s Design

5. Remove Clutter

Nothing repels your readers more than a confusing interface and a cluttered UX as well. To combat this, use some of the myriad plugins offered by trusted third-party developers via WordPress (SiteOrigin CSS, Child Theme Generator, CP Blocks, and more).

If you’re really into improving the look and feel of your blog, consider learning HTML5 and CSS3 for an even deeper dive.

6. Popular Posts

Show a list of your most popular posts. Putting your best work on display allows your newest visitors to get a good sense of your writing style and the themes you cover as well.

7. Subscription Form

Put your subscription form in a prominent position for everyone to see. Some webmasters tend to hide their subscription forms and then proceed to complain that no one ever subscribes to their blog. Don’t be that person and guide your readers towards immediately subscribing to you (top right on your sidebar usually works wonders).

8. Guest Posts

Write up very clear rules about guest posting, including advice on minimum/maximum word length, grammar rules and guidelines (if you’re outside the U.S.), dofollow vs nofollow links, what kind of content you’re looking for, and more. Guest posting is one of the many ways in which you can improve your existing content and increase your traffic all at once. Just be careful and personally look at every post to weed out the potential spammers and scammers alike.

Content Is King (Or Is It?)

It depends. The main idea here, however, is systematic organization. So:

9. Keep an Idea Spreadsheet

Always be ‘on the prowl’ for new ideas to get inspired to write. Same as with social media content, be sure to store these ideas somewhere where you can easily refer back to them later. An excel spreadsheet is the ideal type of document because it gives off that sense of professionalism that an ordinary paper or a notepad file doesn’t.

10. Do Regular Surveys

Sooner or later, you’re going to be experiencing a writer’s block. Ask your readers what they want to hear about and the findings may surprise you.

11. Write Compelling Headlines

Easier said than done, but coming up with compelling headlines is half of the job done. Try to approach this problem from a reader’s point of view. Is this going to make someone click to find out more (without writing ‘click to find out more’)? Is the title relevant to the content below? Is my title too click-baity for my blog’s standards?

These are all skills which take years to hone, so do give yourself time and never give up (writing headlines).

12. Tell A Captivating Story

What do the most successful people have in common? They all have the superhero ability to tell a compelling story.

I’m calling this a superhero ability because it can open the door to new possibilities. It can make you popular with both your old and new friends, land you your dream job, diffuse conflict, and it can make you immortal by forever engraving your work into the minds of each generation that was, and the ones to come (think of Homer’s Ulysses, Dante’s Divine Comedy, and Cervantes’ Don Quixote).

So, how to tell a captivating story you might ask? Well, there’s no quick fix, but I can tell you this: whether or not you’re born with a storytelling talent, you can always improve this ability by taking a course, reading a lot, and simply working hard.

Did we miss a tip? Share your comments below!

Conclusion

Now that you have all the tools at your disposal, have at it and be sure to let us know as to how it all went down. Happy planning, writing, and posting!

If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to hit us up on Twitter and Facebook, and if not, be sure to check out the other resources on SMM available on our blog.

Share the story

Subscribe and get new articles first. We send an email once in two weeks.