About half of the world’s population is online. You don’t want to miss an opportunity to meet people where they are — especially if you have a website.
This beginner’s guide to blogging and digital content strategy will start you on your way to getting your business in front of the online world.
What is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the practice of creating valuable, informative content that attracts your target audience and drives engagement — including sales. This can be through written, audio, or visual content, like blog posts, podcasts, videos, ebooks, and white papers. Content marketing’s goal is for the audience to become engaged with your brand, whatever that engagement looks like (i.e., being a reader, viewer, listener, or customer).
Content marketers create, curate, share, and distribute content that is relevant and helpful to the target audience. In doing so, this positions the company as a trusted resource. There are many benefits of content marketing, including:
Content marketing makes more people aware of your products, explaining how the products benefit them and encouraging them to make a purchase.
Content marketing educates the audience about the products and services you offer and makes your company an authority in your industry. You also show the audience how your products and services work and solve their problems.
Content marketing builds relationships between your customers and your business that help make customers more loyal. You turn prospects into fans.
A blog is the foundation of your content marketing strategy. Blogs are considered the most effective way to turn casual readers into customers. Most companies today that understand the value of content marketing have blogs.
Companies with blogs produce 67% more leads on average per month. Other benefits of blogging include:
Blogs provide search engines with new, relevant content, creating an opportunity for you to use keywords to attract readers to your website.
Engage With Customers
Blogging allows you to connect differently with potential and current customers. You aren’t selling to them on your blog. Instead, you provide them with information that helps them solve problems or otherwise meets their needs.
Blogging helps you establish your business and executives as thought leaders in the industry. Readers begin to recognize your company as a trustworthy, expert source of information.
Blogging connects people to your brand by helping them see the company’s personality and inner workings.
Blogging allows others to share your content with people they think it will benefit. This sharing creates greater awareness of your brand and assists in growth and sales.
Guide to Blogging and Digital Content Strategy
A blog is an important part of a digital content strategy for your organization. But you need to prepare some areas of your site and your content strategy before you’re ready to go live.
Before you launch your site, prepare:
These are the pages on your site that hold standing content, like the About, Contact, and Products/Services pages. You’ll build these pages and their content in advance, but you won’t revisit them each time you post. They’ll remain static unless there is a change in your business that requires them to be updated.
Your blog’s sidebar (the narrow column on the left or right of your main content) should be built in advance and also won’t change much. Sidebar content includes items like a search bar, a brief about box, social buttons, an email subscription box, and maybe even advertising.
These pages are the regular topics your blog will address. They also will make up your menu and a big part of your blog’s SEO strategy. Categories are the topics your blog will be known for. You’ll create a page for each of these categories. Write 50-150 words for each page — this helps search engines identify your site for those subjects.
Once you have these standing features and pages set up, it’s time to start creating content.
Developing a Content Strategy
Before you start writing posts, outline a content strategy that will serve your site now and in the future. When developing this content strategy, consider:
Brainstorm Blog Topics
You know your blog’s niche and, generally, what categories and keywords you want to be known for. Now it’s time to think about how you will consistently produce content around those topics.
Create a list of blog post ideas/working titles that you plan to cover, based on your content categories and keywords. Jot down ideas on this list each time they come to mind, so you never run out of things to write about.
Don’t just sit down at your computer and start writing blog posts. You want to have a clear idea of how you are going to present the information to your audience.
Consider the various approaches you can use to present the information, like how-to guides, tutorials, and lists. Outline the structure of each post (introduction, sections, main points, subpoints, conclusion), then begin gathering resources you’ll use to actually write it.
Write Posts in Advance
You’ll want to write 5 to 10 posts (800-1,200 words each) before you launch your blog. Writing posts in advance will help ensure you can remain consistent in posting. You want your posts to be informative and entertaining. Use stories, keywords, and data to support your points. Don’t forget to proofread for spelling and grammar.
Add photos, videos, pull quotes, or graphics to your posts to break up the text and capture your readers’ attention. Blog posts with visuals get 94% more attention than those without, so you want to make sure that every post has plenty to look at besides words.
Optimize for SEO
Organic search provides most of the traffic to blog posts. Use keywords in every post to encourage search engines to find your content and recommend it to others.
Plan a Calendar
Consistency is key when building a digital content strategy. You want your readers to know when to expect new content and never be disappointed.
Decide in advance how often you want to publish to your blog and when (for example, weekly on Wednesdays). Build out a calendar of those first five or so posts you wrote, then continue building from there.
Host Your Blog with Nexcess
While we can’t write the content for you, Nexcess can make hosting your new blog secure and worry-free.
Nexcess offers content hosting on multiple platforms, including WordPress.
Fully managed WordPress hosting from Nexcess is hassle free. That means you don’t have to take time away from your business to handle site maintenance, security concerns, or any other web-related issues.
Fully managed WordPress hosting from Nexcess offers:
- Free site migration.
- Fast site speed with CDN and image compression.
- Customized technology plugin options.
- A 24/7 dedicated expert support team.
- And more!
Check out our hosting plans to get started today.