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3 Tune-Ups Your Blog Needs Now
By: ML Haynes
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Clearly, constantly fresh website content is a traffic magnet. You’ve seen the reports and read the case studies. Just as clear, oftentimes painfully so, is the fact that creating that content is difficult. It’s certainly difficult to keep it up over time, long enough to truly have an effect. But what if someone could break it down for you and tell you how you could leap over that hurdle and start to really make an impact? Here are three activities you can begin today — your blog is waiting!

I recently read a post by Adam T. Sutton on the MarketingSherpa Blog highlighting results from the new MarketingSherpa 2012 Search Marketing Benchmark Report SEO Edition. Based on the responses of SEO marketers, it appears that content creation is critically effective when organizations harness search engine optimization to realize business objectives. With 50% of these marketers agreeing that content creation is “very effective” and another 42% saying it’s “somewhat effective” it is clear that, as the author states, “SEO thrives on content.”

Equally notable is the struggle that these organizations are up against when it comes to exactly that — content creation. Marketers readily place this tactic, “one of the most difficult tactics to execute,” according to Sutton, in the top three most-difficult SEO tactics. In order, and from the same MarketingSherpa report, the most-difficult tactics are: external link building, content creation, and blogging.

With this in mind it’s refreshing to find that some marketers are tackling this issue head-on and with great results. Sutton notes the success of Marcus Sheridan, CEO of River Pools & Spas, one of the largest pool installers in the U.S. and currently owner of the most visited swimming pool website in the world, a product of strategic inbound and content marketing methods. He also showcases three tactics Sheridan suggests for cultivating a traffic-generating blog and highly effective site.

While these tactics may, at first read, appear to be more appropriate for a small to medium commercial business, I began to think about how other organizations might benefit from this approach. How could your business — or your clients’ business — begin to grow using content creation tactics like these? See what you think:

Tactic #1. Answer prospects’ questions
First, gather everyone in your company and ask them to list the top questions they’ve received from prospective customers. Write down a list of 50. Those questions are the titles of your first 50 blog posts.

Tactic #2. No, really answer their questions
Some companies are afraid to answer questions about price or to directly compare their products to alternatives (which is another popular question). Sheridan urged companies to overcome their discomfort. Prospective customers are asking these questions, regardless. Who would you rather have answering them?

Tactic #3. Two posts per week for six months
Once you gather questions from your team, keep everyone involved. Get them excited about writing a blog post to answer a question. Divide the work across the company and set a strict schedule.

“If you set 50 titles and you do two per week, then you have 25 weeks’ worth of blog content. Within that six months time, everything will start to change for that company and that business and the traffic they’re starting to get on their website.”
– Marcus Sheridan, CEO, River Pools & Spas

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About the Author

ML Haynes, hybrid creative and interactive director, pixel pusher and wordsmith, strategist and activist, thinks out loud here. Follow her on Twitter.

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