Creating a blog is one thing, and there are thousands of blogs out there on any given topic. The truth is, only a few rises above the rest and become influential blogs. The rest fall into horrible blogs that do nothing for the person or business who created them, mediocre blogs that are just okay, and good blogs that really do work well, but never rise to a true influencer status.
If you want your blog to be an influential one in your industry, there are several keys that will help set you apart.
Get Started on the Right Foot
The first key to building anything, from your business to your home, is to have a good foundation. This means that everything from your domain name to the titles of your web pages and posts must be spot on and optimized.
What if you already have a domain name? Make the best of what you have, unless it is awful, and you need to start over. However, apply the same rules to page post titles as you do to your domain name. Make sure they are relevant, simple, and contain the right keywords for the things you want to rank for.
The key here is that not only must your website be a high quality and well-designed one, but users who are searching on Google and other search engines need to be able to find it. Discoverability is key, and without great SEO and keywording, it will be much harder to establish exactly what your site is about, let alone become a big influencer in your industry.
Create Compelling Content in a Variety of Media
Here is the thing to remember about influential blogs: they appeal to a variety of users. There is no one cookie cutter answer when it comes to creating compelling content, and so you need to create a variety of content in a variety of formats. You can even reuse concepts and ideas, but create one in video format, one in audio, one with very visual graphs and charts, and the other in more of a standard blog format.
Different users will gravitate to different types. Think of the example of MOZ and their Whiteboard Fridays. The SEO company produced one video a week which was accompanied by a blog post about the video topic and included the illustrations from the whiteboard throughout. If you have not seen these, you should check them out as a great example of how to do content marketing well.
Consider everything from Slide Share to infographics, short social media videos, and more. All of these tools are effective ways to go from a good blog to a truly influential one.
Create Content for Different Users
It may come as news to you, and we mentioned it above, but not everyone the same. Not everyone uses the internet for the same things, and different searchers are looking for alternative types of content. The majority search and read on their phones, so your content needs to be optimized for them as well.
This means you should be paying attention to the Google AMP project and mobile first search results. It also means you need to understand there are four types of internet users, and for your blog to be truly influential, you need to have content for all of them.
- Streakers: These are fast searchers, looking for a quick answer to a question, a short instructional video, or to make a quick purpose. Short form content, video, and a fast checkout are essential to them.
- Strollers: These users are strolling around the net, looking for something, but open to new information. They are usually not interested in long-form content, but they will read medium-length blog posts or watch short videos and listen to podcasts to get the information they are looking for.
- Studies: These users are looking for in-depth information on a subject, and long-form content, case studies, white papers, and other detailed information will appeal to them. They may come to your site as part of a long-tail, multi-site search.
- Researchers: These are the rarest types of users, but also the most likely to share your content. They are researching a topic or purchase in a thorough way before they make a decision or are journalists or academics studying a topic in depth.
Want to be a true influencer? Create content that appeals to all of these types of users.
Network with Other Bloggers and Influencers
Want to be truly influential? You are known by the company you keep, and so networking with the right bloggers and influencers, even if they are in a different industry, is key. They will have tips and tricks for you that will help you stay on track with your goals and can share mistakes they have made along the way.
Through networking, you can build up each other’s blogs and audiences, and even share posts and information. A network is almost always a good idea, and with blogging, it is almost essential for you to be a true influencer.
Market, Market, Market
You would not launch a product and then not market it, just expecting others to find it and buy it. The same is true for influential blogging. No matter what kind of network or audience you have, you will need to market your blog to increase both your audience and influence. The thing is, this also helps your Google rankings.
Google and other search engines not only expect your site to earn organic traffic and links, something you can increase with deliberate link building, but they also expect that like any other business, you will pay for ads. Paying for ads and getting links that way lets search engines know your business is legit, but it also brings users and readers to your site.
If you are going to be an influencer, you will need to stand out from other blogs. This means you must market, network, and above all have great content created for a variety of internet users. Follow this guide to be on the path to influence in your industry.