Blogging is a great way to showcase who you are and what you do. It is also an effective tool for delivering on your unique selling points, entertaining your audience, and establishing yourself as an authority in your field.
You can definitely have some fun with the delivery of your blog. Unfortunately, this is something business bloggers often forget since they get caught up in generating large amounts of content on a regular basis.
But there are many ways to use blog content to your advantage. You ultimately have control of your own online space, where you are able to write about topics that you are passionate about whilst promoting your brand or business.
However, the questions remains:
How do I make money with a blog?
Well, if your blog is set up correctly and has engaging content that is relevant and appropriate for your target audience, you are already well on your way to getting subscriptions, ensuring consistent traffic is driven to your website.
Discovering the secret to creating a good blog will unlock many opportunities for your brand. It really doesn’t require huge expense (provided you can do it in-house) and can achieve wonders in building credibility, boosting search engine rankings, increasing website traffic, and fostering relationships with potential and current customers.
In fact, companies with blogs generate 67% more leads per month than those that don’t, and companies that have a blog generate 97% more inbound links.
If you don’t know these ‘inbound links’ are, we’ll tell you, because they’re a concept that is vital to understand if you’re to run a lucrative blog.
An inbound link – also referred to as a backlink – is a hyperlink on a third-party web page that points to a web page on your site. So, the link actually takes internet users to your site. Clearly this is something you want to happen and an opportunity you want to take advantage of for your business.
So, an opportunity to blog should not be missed. Every business needs one!
And in this blog, you are going to find out exactly how to increase your subscribers and start making money from your blog, with our top 5 tips.
1. Identify blog topics that are important to your target audience
If you know who your target audience is, you are going to find it really easy to pinpoint topics that will be relevant to them. However, this is only the start. Once you identify topics that are of interest to your target audience, you then need to find a title that contains keywords that people are actually going to search for.
Keyword research is crucial here. There are a wide range of tools available – including SEMrush, Serpstat and Google Keyword Planner – designed to display the number of monthly searches for particular keywords, and find out how difficult it would be to rank for particular search phrases. You could also try out Google’s free tool, Google Trends. This tool will actually show you how people are searching and can provide great inspiration for your blog titles.
Armed with your keyword research, you next need to ensure that your keywords feature in all the right places in your post – this includes your title, meta description (the snippet of text that summarizes your webpage’s content), headers and body copy.
If you’re still looking for inspiration for a blog topic, you can also take a look at content that’s already popular as a guide, then write on topics that you think your target audience will really want to read about.
You can listen in on conversations online surrounding your field; take a look at social media and other forums. This way, you will be able to see what’s currently trending and what the latest discussions are. You may actually find that a trending topic is particularly relevant to your product or service and you can provide valuable insight to your target audience.
Another online area that is popular for keyword research is Quora. If you are not familiar with this platform, it is basically a place to gain and share knowledge. People use the platform to ask questions and connect with people who contribute unique insights and informative answers.
Using Quora, you will be able to see what questions are being asked that relate to your particular product or service. And when you start exploring, you may actually find that many people are asking questions about one particular topic.
When you come across something like this, a blog post in the form of lists and How-To guides are particularly useful. Blogs with headings in these forms are very popular among readers because they are so easy to follow and they provide actionable content. They are titles people like to share.
The other online platform that is particularly helpful is Buzzsumo. This tool identifies the content what is working and what is, well, not working. With this tool, you will be able to see what other people have written about in your field, and make a blog post that takes the content to the next level. That way, you will be staying ahead of your competition.
2. Stay ahead of your competitors
The point above leads nicely to this next one. Staying ahead of your competition guarantees you with a great subscription base simply because your content is going to be better than anything else out there. Imagine how that would feel – pretty awesome we think.
But, to stay ahead of your competition, you need to stay on top of your competitors. This means you need to know what your competitors are doing. What are they up to?
There’s only one way to keep tabs on your competitors effectively, and that involves some detective work. Sign up to your competitor’s newsletters, their mailing lists, follow their social media and video channels. Only then will you know everything that they are sending their customers and the content that they are providing.
By studying how your competitors interact with their customer base, you are observing a series of experiments. You can see what works, and what doesn’t, by keeping up with how your competitors coordinate their campaigns. What do you think of their campaigns? Are their emails enticing? Do their newsletters make you want to explore their products and services?
Make sure you keep an eye on any reviews or comments your competitors receive. There is no better indicator for the effectiveness of a campaign than the audience themselves.
By seeing what works for another company, you can build on their success.
At the end of the day, you need to stand out from your competitors. You need to provide content to your subscribers that they are not getting. So, ask yourself what is working for them, what they want more of and how you can deliver.
To really stand out, to really get ahead of your competition, you need get out there and research.
What features of their blog do you like?
What doesn’t work for you?
Once you have these answers, go further and make your blog more user friendly, more enticing, easier to share. By doing all this, you will stand apart from your competitors and guess what? Your subscriber list will increase dramatically.
3. Showcase your USPs
Now that you have a blog topic that is of interest to your target audience and you have researched your competitors, the next step is to start writing your blog. When you do this, an important element that needs to resonate throughout your blogs is your USPs – your unique selling points.
So, if you haven’t already thought about it, think about it. What is it that your product or service offers your target audience? What will they find valuable? And what is going to generate the most amount of interest?
From our experience here at Adversent, we have found that the most successful content meets a specific need, or a question that your audience is struggling with and wants an answer to.
Content these days fall into two categories:
- Cool and funny
- Useful and educational
So, to start on the right foot, just choose one of those angles.
Once you have chosen, you then need to think about your approach and then stick with it. Keeping the angle consistent will help you to develop your individual and unique writing style, that readers and subscribers will familiarize themselves with.
As with any aspect of your business, being consistent always has a positive overall effect. The consistency of your blog will help you form a rapport with your readers. If your content is great, and they get it consistently, they’ll keep coming back.
Another really important aspect of your blog, and one that you want to make the most out of, is using your blog to convert your reader into a paying customer. When this happens, it can increase loyalty and brand advocacy within existing customers.
But to do this, you need to showcase your USPs in an engaging and clear manner. You need to make it explicitly clear why a user would benefit from your business.
What value will your product or service provide?
Showcase that value in your blog. Then, not only will your subscriber base increase, you may also see your conversion rates increasing!
4. Longer the better
Ah, long-form content. This is really what it’s all about in today’s digital world. Regardless of which topics you decide to blog about, you should focus on trying to write long-form content.
Having said that, quality is still more important than quantity. So, if you’re going to write a 2000-word blog, make sure you don’t compromise on the value it provides. You’re wasting your time if you think it’s merely about the word count.
Long-form content is about writing posts that go into huge depth on a particular topic and are of genuine quality. It’s all about providing value to your readers, isn’t it? In-depth information contributes a huge amount towards that value.
Even statistics show that long-form content performs better in search results than short or ‘thin’ posts. Take a look at the graph below:
The graph clearly shows the positive impact long-form content has on a page’s ranking in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). The graph also shows that the top-ranked content is around 2,450 words!
So, whilst your word count should never be your top priority, it evidently contributes to a successfully optimised blog post.
Longer posts will also naturally be more keyword-rich, therefore they will be more likely to crop up as results for ‘longtail’ keyword searches. This name is just a technical way for referring to keywords that are made up of more than two or three words.
The in-depth nature of a long post is also more likely to satisfy readers who come across it. The post will be likely to answer your visitor’s query, or solve their problem, which again, brings us back to the point of providing value. And being something that provides value, the post is more likely to get shared on social media or get linked to from other sites — which all provides positive implications for traffic.
You may now be thinking – how long is long?
We recommend that you focus on producing articles that are 1,200 words or longer. If you write articles with this many words, you will be able to provide blogs that are thought-provoking, informative, and most of all, educational.
If possible, you also want to provide the ‘value factor’ where you educate the reader about your product or service and make the value of your business clear.
5. Optimize for SEO with Keywords
As we mentioned briefly before, having long-form copy provides a positive impact for your SEO endeavors. Blogging positively impacts your SEO by positioning your website as a source that provides relevant answers to your customer’s questions.
When you write your blog, don’t forget to fill it with keywords. In other words, what term do you want to rank highly for? Use this term throughout your copy.
In general, search engine optimization is incredibly important for marketers. When you optimize your web pages – including your blog posts – you’re making your website more visible to people who are entering keywords associated with your product or service via search engines like Google.
And, as you may already know, search engines love fresh content. What better way to provide frequent content than with blog posts? By blogging consistently, and optimizing your blog posts, you will be providing Google and other search engines with new content to index. This creates opportunities to plug in those all-important keywords to prove your relevance for high-converting search terms.
Did you know Google drives billions of searches a day?
If you didn’t, now you do; you want to be using keywords to get a piece of that pie.
The key thing to remember with SEO, however, is that all good things come in moderation. Here are some simple dos and don’ts that will keep you on the straight and narrow.
- Link your blog to other related posts that you’ve written on specific subjects; this provides more value to your readers in the form of additional related content for them to read, which may answer even more of their questions, or problems. But be careful with this.
- Use keywords in context, but don’t participate in ‘keyword stuffing’ – that is, don’t just include a keyword if it doesn’t make sense in your copy. The risk here is that search engines will try to penalise you for over-optimising your page.
- Use longtail keywords. Being less competitive terms to rank for, they will help your site achieve a top SERP spot in Google.
- Include so many links that every other sentence is dotted with blue hyperlinks. This is unnecessary and will only annoy your readers, and your text won’t be reader friendly.
- Put keywords and crawlers before user experience. If the keyword is not going to flow naturally in your text, or leave your sentence not making sense, then leave it out.
Using keywords in a valuable manner and providing informative content to your reader will help you quickly grow a subscriber list. And this in turn will allow you to start making money from your blog!
Armed with these five tips, you have the knowledge to grow your blog’s reader base beyond belief!
And we will leave you with one other important aspect of increasing your subscribers:
The subscribe button.
As simple as it sounds, having a clear subscribe button for your blog will make it so much easier for people to follow your blog. The last thing you want is your potential subscriber to get lost in a maze of content and sidebars.
Want to learn more tips? Take a look at our comprehensive blueprint, 0 to 10k Blog Subscribers.