Blogging is an open dialog between the writer and their audience. It allows for a two-way communication through an original post and the subsequent comments and conversation. It provides fresh, unique content for the search engines to crawl and index. It exposes people within an organization to the outside world and lends itself to feedback much earlier in the planning stage rather than at the time of promotion.
Other blogging benefits include:
- Your blog is your home for all social media activities
- Fresh content is published about your products & brand
- More frequent visits from the search engines
- Micro-conversions on your website such as blog subscribers, social shares, etc.
- Provide your advocates with simple ways to share your content for you
Through two-way communication, many things can be shared (words, images, video, other media) and one of the beautiful things about it is that you can build an audience and rapport, but also the ability to create a platform to show off your products and services.
You can also consider blogging on others' blogs to expand your reach into new audiences. Doing so, you bring your message to the built-in audience of another blogger and provide that blog with unique content that enhances their offering as well.
If you sell software, it's a great place to show how to use your software. If you sell clothing, you might show how to wear the clothing in different settings or how to add it to an outfit.
You might use a blog to publish your product images or related products. For example: mens watches to go with sunglasses, shorts, shirts, flip-flops, and/or entertainment. How does the person wear this watch. What do they wear when they're wearing the watch. Why are they wearing the watch? Because it makes them feel stylish or because they need to know the time? We see this on Pinterest with inspiration boards.
Fresh content is an opportunity to get your web pages indexed in Google in a way that's organized into quality content hubs. This content supports your domains message, audience authenticity, keyword association, search engine crawlability, and so on.
If you sell men's watches, you create blog and tie together men's jeans, men's shirts, and men's shoes, you create content hubs that related your product with these other items that your demographic owns. You find inspiration everywhere: online, offline, through traditional marketing channels, and even virtual worlds where virtual people share virtual things.
Through this, you end up with content hubs of information that are organized and gives you permanence in your rankings with hundreds of related search terms that your users are using to find similar products. You can also expand your efforts to give some insight into your culture, curate the best videos on relevant topics, organize teams internally, and contribute to your marketing gravity.
You also gain internal links, external links, multi-formatted content that can be used to repurpose information about your products and brand.
Lets look at 9 ways to create a content hub on your blog:
- Organize your product/services into top-level categories -- there will be some overlap and related topics, which provides a great opportunity to link your content as you develop it.
- Determine what topics you will discuss within each of these hubs -- do a little research to see what other ways people have talked about that same content.
- Start writing headlines (or capture what other headlines have been written) so you can start to identify what topics have been covered and how well they match what you're trying to say.
- Find related keywords to get a feel for what terms people are using to find your product/services. Some of your visitors may search for "mens watches" and others may search for "deals mens watches," As you weave these variations of phrases into your content, you expand your visibility among your audience.
- Develop a publishing schedule -- make sure you're publishing new content on a regular basis. This may require publishing more than once daily or less frequently. Consistency matters as much for you as it does for the search engines.
- Publish to your schedule -- don't fight it when you're traveling or have other distractions. Setup a publishing process that is smooth and considers your needs.
- Encourage shareability among your readers -- this will expand your reach and raise search engine awareness.
- Find new places to promote your content -- if you published something 3 months ago and a new social network emerges that would be a perfect distribution channel for your content, re-promote it there for maximum exposure.
- Revisit your content strategy every 60 days to ensure it's clean and purposeful for your goals.
What did I miss? There are countless other excellent tips for maximizing your content hubs and I'd love to hear about them.