If you’ve been around the SEO block, then you’ll inevitably have come across the industry’s favorite cliche, ‘content is king.’ If you haven’t and you’re a writer looking to make a name for yourself, then take note. Producing good quality content is one of the most valued assets in the current digi-sphere, with it being crucial to generating more traffic for businesses, creating bridges with their target market and enhancing brand value. It’s the linchpin to success in digital marketing and businesses are hungry for it.
Being able to write is half the battle since you still have to market your services and make your name stand out from the crowd. An effective but long-term strategy would be to start your own blog. Here you’ll find the right tools and tips to get you started.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is creating and distributing material online to attract attention to your website. Content can come in many forms, including:
The astronomical rise in technology has propelled society into the digital age, forcing businesses to adapt to a new form of marketing. The reality is that the effectiveness of traditional marketing is declining, forcing firms to adapt to the new environment they find themselves in: the digital playground. It’s easy to see its relevance when you realize just how accessible information is to you. A niggle of uncertainty can be cleared up by typing in a few words into Google on your smartphone and within seconds you have an answer that adds clarity.
What are the main benefits of content marketing?
Apart from being able to attract, engage and enlighten customers, content marketing offers so much more:
- Drives conversions
- Increases brand visibility
- Improves brand awareness and recognition
- Creates loyalty and trust
- Helps to build and foster strong customer relationships
- Generates traffic
- Improves conversions
The advantages of blogging
OK, so creating valuable content is one of the most effective tools for promoting brand awareness. The trick is leveraging this tool to your advantage by starting your own blog. As mentioned previously, it can be a good platform for showcasing your writing talents, but the advantages go far beyond just self-promotion.
Stepping stones to becoming a published author
The publishing business is not the same as it was before and the new digital age has created so many more opportunities for authors to get their foot through the door. All it takes is some initiative, and blogging demonstrates this. A blog is your online platform for showcasing your writing. This is significant because it’s less likely than ever for a publisher to take a chance on an unknown author.
They are much more willing to contract an author with a built-in audience of readers and that’s where your blog comes in. By creating an online community of readers, you’re putting yourself on the quickest route to becoming a published author.
Increase your network
Connecting with new people online is one of the greatest benefits of blogging. This is a sure way of making new friends and perhaps getting in touch with important people online that could progress your career. For example, a publisher in your field of writing may be a big fan of your work and could be willing to sign you up.
You will receive job offers
As well as demonstrating exceptional writing skills, blogging illustrates to employers that you have many of the skills that businesses are looking for today, such as ambition, initiative, and responsibility. Putting your blog on your CV will make it stand above others.
How to start your own blog
This part of the journey may be slightly overwhelming to some, especially if you don’t have much experience with websites. Here are the three biggest obstacles that you’ll have to overcome just to get your blog up and running from the ground.
Choosing the right Content Management System (CMS)
With so many CMS platforms to choose from, each offering its own pros and cons, you might initially find it tricky to pick the right one. WordPress.org is probably the best CMS to choose since it gives you complete freedom and control of your blog.
Find the perfect domain name
Your domain name is a key element of your website, so choosing the right one is very important. It’s your visitors’ first impression of what you and your blog are offering since the URL is often the first and last thing they will see. It can leave either a good or a bad impression, and a bad domain name can send visitors running. Secondly, it affects SEO. Although exact match domain names are no longer necessary, putting the right keywords can help influence your SEO ranking. Here are a few pointers to keep in mind when choosing a domain name:
- Use the right domain extensions (.com, .org, .net): Many people believe that ‘.com’ is the best one to use because it’s the most familiar and easiest to remember.
- Make it brandable, not generic: Your domain name is how your visitors will find and remember you. Make it unique.
- Shorter is better than longer: Aim for 6-14 characters.
- Make sure it’s easy to pronounce: Avoid confusion by making sure that it can roll off the tip of your tongue.
- Consider using ‘niche’ keywords that reflect your website.
Choosing the right hosting
This is arguably by far one of the most significant decisions you’ll make when starting a blog because this is where your web files will be stored. A lot of people have opted to take the cheaper route by choosing to go with free hosting – which tends to be a bad idea. The old saying ‘you get what you pay for’ rings true here since free website hosting has many risks.
Instead, always aim to go with some of the more reputable companies. If you’re using WordPress as your CMS, then you should use Onyx as your hosting to help your website get fully optimized.
Do keyword research to identify demand and write compelling content
The power of words is undeniable: they’re used to persuade, to influence and to stir emotion. But, without wrapping them in SEO, they will carry little weight, forcing your audience to search for your content in the dark. But as a blogger, you don’t have to be an SEO guru to help rank your website.
Before writing anything, you need to know what the demand is in your niche. Topics that are currently trending are more likely to attract people onto your website. You achieve this by doing keyword research, which is perceived by many as the most important part of digital marketing. Keyword research is what keeps your ears to the ground and helps you keep in touch with your audience. There are plenty of SEO tools that you can use to conduct your keyword research but a good place to start would be Google Ads.
James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.