How to Beat Your Competition in Blogging
Every business needs a blog. There are countless reasons why, and we’ve comprehensively covered them in this blog. Read it – it’s a corker!
But, as with many things in the digital world, there’s a lot of blog competition out there. Which is hardly surprising when you think that a blog is one of the best ways to attract and convert leads online.
As far as we’re concerned, that just means that you must consistently produce the best possible blogs to outperform your competitors.
Read on to find out how…
Know Your Audience
Cyril Connolly, the great literary critic but (sorry, Cyril) failed novelist, famously wrote: ‘Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self’.
OK, so the internet wasn’t even conceived as an idea until 22 years after Connolly’s death. But his argument was – knowingly, no doubt – deeply flawed even in a world before digital, keyword research, SEO and audience data analytics.
Why? Because every piece of writing or content has to matter or mean something to people, or else it becomes irrelevant. Especially in a digital world where people have short attention spans and no patience for anything they think is wasting their time. Sad but true, as Metallica put it.
So, before you even consider writing or planning out a blog, ask yourself the question: “Who am I writing this for?”.
Try to really laser in on exactly the type of people that you want to read your blog; because, that way, you can build a picture about their interests and the challenges that you want to help them overcome.
For instance, this blog post is aimed at marketing managers, directors or companies that want to do more digital marketing but don’t have the capacity or skillsets to do it themselves. We – Chetaru – want to provide those digital services for them, which is why we’re addressing their challenges and presenting solutions.
In the case of a components supplier (as a broad example), that supplier will want to aim their content at people responsible for making purchasing and supply decisions within large manufacturing firms. Why are their components superior? How will they improve the manufacturing firm’s products, service levels or processes?
In short, whichever industry you’re in (or whether you’re B2B or B2C), your blog is a way of regularly showing your potential customers that you understand their challenges and goals – and that you have the solution!
Which takes us nicely onto keyword research…
Do Your Keyword Research
Which specific terms are your target audiences looking for online?
Which questions are they typing into Google searches when trying to solve work challenges or find expertise?
Use (but don’t overuse) these keywords and search terms in your blogs!
Don’t know what those terms are? Then you need to invest in keyword research.
Your keyword and SEO research team (and if you don’t have one, you know where you can find us!) will find and analyse search terms that people enter into search engines with a particular goal in mind, such as answering a query or finding a product or service.
Keyword research provides essential insight into the exact things your target audience is actually searching for on Google or other search engines.
This insight will help inform blog calendars and strategy, as well as your wider content marketing strategy.
Google’s current algorithms are also very much influenced by the idea of great user experience, including blogs that provide highly relevant answers to a Google user’s searches or questions.
Provide Social Proof
It’s all very well saying that your company supplies great parts or works with big brands, but users need to see the actual proof for themselves these days rather than take you at your word.
That’s why it’s so important to provide highly visible social proof in the form of case studies, testimonials and reviews that you can link or refer to in your blogs. Check out our Case Studies Page for examples!
Find Your Purpose
Don’t be tempted into playing it safe and taking a generic approach to your blog content.
Readers and potential customers want to know that you have something to say which differentiates you from the competition.
They won’t stick around for beige; and if Google picks up on the fact that people are clicking away from your content within a couple of paragraphs, they’ll push your content further down the rankings, thereby making it less visible to potential leads.
On the other hand, if Google sees that people are sticking around to read your content because it’s colourful and genuinely useful, it will reward you by pushing you to the top of its rankings for keyword search terms relating to your overall content strategy.
There’s a lot of talk around thought leadership and building personal brands these days, and that’s because these are the tactics that will help separate you from the crowd.
What do you or your brand have to say about industry hot topics? What excites you?
Or, where do you stand on world issues like sustainability, ethical supply chains or the environment?
While brands might once have just dedicated a single static page to these issues, consumers and B2B audiences alike are now voting with their feet by walking away from brands that don’t constantly address these world problems in their content and try to solve them by improving their business approaches.
Create Great Blog Content!
Believe us, too many people think it’s OK to take a half-hearted approach to creating blogs and other content. It’s not. They’re just wasting their own time and resources.
Content is not only still king – it also has to live up to that billing.
And just as online shoppers expect amazing product content and shopping experiences on Amazon, Alibaba, Etsy and elsewhere, so too do B2B or B2C audiences expect to read great blogs that keep them engaged and even entertained.
Spelling, good grammar, short sentences, readability (yes, it’s a thing with a very important metric attached to it), sparkiness and the ability to keep audiences hooked are essential to any blog.
And it’s not just about words, either. You need great design in the form of relevant and accompanying imagery, video and signposts to other content.
Great content takes dedication, skill and time. Do you or your team have the capacity and capabilities to plan and write great blogs? If not, we’d strongly recommend that you hire a professional copywriter or outsource your blogs to an expert digital agency (like, ahem, Chetaru!).
Promote It to High Heaven
Remember Wayne’s World 2, and the ghost of Jim Morrison inspiring Wayne to stage a Woodstock-style event with the famous words “Build it, and they will come”?
Yeah, well, the digital world doesn’t actually work that way, sorry. You could have hired Cormac McCarthy or Margaret Atwood to write your blog, but nobody’s going to see it unless you promote it.
How you promote it is up to you. Social media channels are the most obvious channel. SEO and paid ads, too.
But email newsletters are making a comeback in a big way. Why is that?
Chiefly because your GDPR-compliant email list subscribers are dedicated followers who have actively signed up to read your content, and expect it at a set time each week or month.
Build that list and encourage those subscribers to share the content through their own channels, and you’re onto an absolute winner.
Chetaru Are Blogging Experts
This blog post is only a snapshot of what it takes to develop a great blogging strategy.
We barely touched on building content plans, responsive websites, algorithms, technical SEO and so forth. Because, frankly, if we did, you’d be here all day. And what was it we said about people’s attention spans and keeping them hooked?
Blogging is not a quick-win strategy. It takes great content, excellent SEO practices, time and patience to establish trust with Google and other search engines.
Blogging is a long-term investment and strategy that increases your website rankings for specific keywords related to your products or services – and creating the blog content that users want or need will generate traffic and quality leads for years to come.
Get in touch with us if that’s something you like the sound of!
A no-nonsense digital marketing agency which develops websites, builds apps, creates content, boosts SEO and delivers a full range of digital services at a fraction of the cost of an internal marketing department.