Know Your Audience
Focus on your buyer personas and determine what their interests, needs, and pain points are. Create content that speaks to your audience and addresses these elements.
Create an Editorial Calendar & Formatting Guidelines
An editorial calendar is the key to organizing your content marketing system. It ties all of your content goals to a detailed plan-of-action. Ideally, you’ll want to set-up an editorial calendar six months to a year out. If it makes sense for your company and goals, organizing the content around a theme, topic, or event will simplify the content creation process. A spreadsheet or Google Calendar are both good tools to use to create the editorial calendars.
Posting frequency will be determined by your company’s size and resources. At a minimum, you should strive to post once a week, if not more.
Keep the Blog Posts Organized by Using Categories & Tags
Readers need to easily be able to find the information they are seeking. Using categories and tags will help keep your blog organized.
Pay Attention to the Design of Your Blog
Many visitors to your site may enter via a link to a blog post. In this case, the blog will be their first impression of your company. The blog should have the same look and feel as the rest of your website and incorporate your company’s branding and personality. If the overall visual appearance of your blog seems amateurish, it could reflect on their perception of your company.
Keep the Blog Posts Short
Readers don’t have time to read through pages and pages of a blog post. A general rule of thumb is to keep your posts between 300 and 600 words.
Optimize the Posts for the Search Engines
Blog posts are great at “feeding” search engines with keyword-rich content. Make sure the title of your blog post includes the post’s primary keyword phrase. The primary keyword phrase should also be included in the post’s meta description tag, any images’ alt tags and file names, and throughout the content of the post.
Make the Blog Posts “Sticky”
Make it easy for visitors to stay on your blog as long as possible by providing links throughout the posts to similar types of posts, product info on your site, etc. Three to five links in a good range depending on the post’s size.
Make the Blog Posts Sharable
If your blog posts provide a lot of value to your readers, they are likely to share the information with their social networks. Make it as easy as possible for them to do this by providing social share buttons on each blog post. This also has an SEO component as Google is starting to rank content that’s shared higher than content that is merely optimized.
Build-up Backlinks to Your Blog Posts
Sharing your blog posts is a great way to drive traffic to your blog. Each time you publish a blog post, post it on your business Facebook page, your Twitter account, Google plus, Linkedin, Stumble, Delicious, and all the places people love to see new content.
Provide Calls to Action
Every blog post should have at least one call to action steering the visitor to engage further with your company by making a purchase, submitting a contact request form, subscribing to your email newsletter, downloading a white paper, etc.