*This post is geared towards businesses/brands who are blogging as part of their online marketing plan
What is the central goal of your blog?
Is it to drive traffic to your website or is it an important piece of your integrated marketing approach? Most would say “both” but the reality is if you’re trying to build a credible reputation in your industry, your focus must be on creating content that builds your reputation, complements your sales funnel, and is so valuable to your potential customers that they are willing to pay you for more. A focus on traffic alone won’t help you achieve your goals.
Most people are guilty of this at some point. They find a topic that is highly topical (maybe in the news, people talking about it, highly searched, etc) and try to capitalize on it by writing content that is geared towards those keywords. The central goal for the post is to generate traffic and be shared. Visits from these type of posts are generally superficial and quick with high exit rates and low visit depths. They are commodity posts – they serve only one purpose and have no lasting value to your brand or reputation. People don’t care about your business or other content because they are there solely for that post. Simply, they’re Freeloaders. You need a long term, value generating process.
Writing posts with sustainable value is difficult. The internet model of the past was to build websites designed to generate traffic for ad views (commodity traffic). That’s the easy part. But what takes work is creating content that aligns with your brand and sales funnel. You have to create content that is valuable enough that your customers are willing to pay you for more.
Be the expert that creates new avenues of discussion and contributes to the world’s knowledge. Over the long term, you’ll get the traffic you seek because your content is that good. People are always willing to share good content.
Where Are You?
Determining where you are can be an exercise in psychology. Maybe you think you’re creating great value with your posts but the reality can be much tougher to grasp. A quick look at your analytics might be telling:
- Do people read the post or are they just bouncing off of it? (does the post meet their expectations)
- Are they visiting other pages/posts?
- Are they sharing/commenting on the post?
Without going into a discussion on analytics, an answer of “no” to any of these questions probably means you’re guilty of creating commodity posts.
There’s an even easier way to not only see what you’ve done in the past but to prevent yourself from creating these one-and-done pages while focusing on creating long term value.
Ask yourself these two questions:
- Is this helping to build my reputation as an expert in…?
- Are you answering the why/how or just the what?
The difference between answering why/how and what is a tremendous amount of value.
Examples of Commodity Traffic Posts
Simple lists are an example. If I give you a list of the top trending hashtags on Instagram, it’s useful but would you pay for it? Would you even investigate more of my site or blog if I gave you that list? I highly doubt it. The value comes in explaining to me why these hashtags are important, maybe an explanation of why they’re trending, or how I could use these to help market my business. Provide insight into your topic.
Link roundups are another example of not providing enough value. If I provide a list of 5 blog posts you should go read without telling you how they matter or why you should read them, where is the value I’m providing? The blogs I listed obviously have some sort of value but the post I just gave you has nothing of substantive value. Will you consider me an expert because I provide external resources of value? Probably not. Unless you already have a reputation built as an expert, providing links is not a good way to showcase who you are and what you know.
Many blogs are often willing to sacrifice value for the sake of traffic. Don’t do this. Aim to only write and publish blog posts that bring genuine value to the reader. This is the only way to build a blog that truly helps your business acquire new customers and leads. Remember, be so good that people should want to pay you.