Building A Content Strategy – Step 3 To Surefire Blogging Success

Building a content strategy is a critical element of building a corporate blogIt’s been said before, and I’ll repeat it here. Content is king. Without content, there is no reason to visit your blog.

But content isn’t the whole story.  You could write the best articles in the world, but if you don’t spread the word, and get your articles in front of the right eyes (not to mention the search engine spiders), they’ll be the greatest unread articles on the Web.

So, while content may be king, context is most certainly queen.

Let’s start with content

What you write is going to depend on your blog plan. Before you ever put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, you need to know why you are writing, who you are writing for, what the common theme around your articles will be, and why the content is more valuable than similar content out there. Once you have your blog plan in place and you understand what messages you want to send, you can start building your blogging style. Some things to consider are:

1) Will your blog posts be short or long? Short posts are quick and easy to read, but longer posts offer more information and are often more attractive to search engines since they are more likely to be filled with keywords. There’s no magic word count that will attract readers and search engines, just be sure to write how ever many words it takes to convey your message. Some posts might be short, some might be long. Just make sure your readers get what they have out of your article and they’ll be more likely to share it via channels like Facebook and Twitter.

Be sure to add images to your blog and leverage the Title, ALT, and Description tags2) Speaking of sharing, be sure you write article titles that are attractive to readers. Your article will have a significantly higher chance of being spread across your social network if the title draws readers into your content. Don’t stuff your title full of keywords in an attempt to attract the search engines. Your title should explain what the article is about and excite your reader about the article. Sometimes it might be humorous, sometimes snarky. If you’re writing for a series like this one, be sure that your title indicates that it’s one of many in a series. Make sure that you add easy-to-use buttons that allow readers who like your article to share it to their social networks.

3) Focus less on keywords, and more on content. When starting a new blog, a lot of folks focus on how they can get listed in the search engines fast. Some might even be tempted to engage in black hat SEO (also known as tricking the search engines) and still others might consider buying incoming links just to get traffic flowing. My recommendation is to ignore these temptations. Write good content, be consistent, publish frequently and traffic will come. It takes time and it takes commitment, but it will come.

4) But don’t ignore keywords completely. Keywords are important, just don’t let them eclipse your content. Do some research and determine how to use tools like Google’s AdWords tool to find similar keywords that might be in high demand that fit well in your article. Making just a few slight adjustments to your content may make a word of difference in how your article gets ranked in the search engines.

Keeping your content fresh will help attract new readers and satsify the search engines5) Images are important! Images that add visual elements to your article are more than just eye candy. Images can break up large text blocks, making your content easier to read. Images also add explanation to your content, especially when then topic is complex. Use diagrams, infographics, and photos to help your readers better understand what your writing. Additionally, be sure you learn how to add Alt tags, descriptions, and titles to your images. All three of these image attributes offer opportunities to add additional content and keywords to your articles.

6) Write as frequently as you can. Readers and search engines both like frequent content, so write and publish as often as possible, while adding valuable content. Just like in any conversation, no one likes a chatterbox, but two-way dialog makes for engaging content. So write often and share your experiences, opinions and knowledge.

But What About Context?

Once you publish your article, whether and where you share it is a critical element in whether your blog becomes popular and whether it’s considered a valuable resource by your customers, peers, competitors, and readers. Check out the next article in the Surefire Blog Success series to see how your social sharing and SEO strategies can make or break the success of your article!

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