It’s time to think about your blog a bit differently. Sure, blog articles are still a great way to drive traffic to your website, but they can be so much more. Start treating your blog like a lab experiment and amazing things can happen.
3 Experiments to start running on your blog today
Experiment #1: Test and draft a white paper
White papers and eBooks are hard to write. It takes long blocks of focused time and that is something that most marketers can rarely find. Instead of trying to approach white papers as a “big bang” project, try to draft them in your blog. That’s right, just think of each blog as a chapter of an eBook.
White papers that lend themselves well to this are ones with “steps” – “6 Steps to Achieve X” or “8 Steps for Making Y Successful”. Then schedule out in your editorial calendar to write a blog every 2 weeks for this series. Don’t over think the blog, write it as a standalone post that may refer to the previous step and highlight the next one coming (get that cross linking in).
When the series is done, take the blog content, throw it into a single document and start editing. You’ll find that you have a solid white paper in no time. And it will be much more pain free than trying to sit down and write one from scratch.
See an example eBook that started out as a blog series here.
Experiment #2: Pilot SEO for permanent web pages
The most common experiment that you might already be doing with your blog is writing posts with SEO in mind. But if you’re stopping at just thinking about traffic to your blog, you’re missing out on value. The real value is to test out key terms that you think might be good permanent pages to your website. Topics like “Frequently Asked Questions on X” or “Top Resources for Y” might be SEO goldmines. Test them on your blog first and if they drive good traffic, convert them into a permanent page.
On the flip side to this, you should be checking the organic traffic performance of your blog monthly. You may discover that a niche topic is a great SEO driver and could warrant a permanent web page too!
Experiment #3: Get creative with CTAs
Driving traffic to your blog is great, but do visitors leave after they are done reading? Most do. Your challenge is to find ways to guide them to read other posts or checkout your website or download an asset. You should spend as much (if not more) time testing out CTAs on your blog as you do writing the blogs themselves.
The key to this experiment is topical relevancy and readiness. Ask yourself, “If they like this blog, what other content might they be interested in?” The more relevant the CTA, the more likely they’ll click thru. Regarding readiness, a blog reader likely isn’t ready for a demo so make sure you have calls to action that are baby steps, not leaps.
Another experiment with CTAs is format and location. Most blogs have some locked-in CTAs in the sidebar, but very few make use of the blog body. Take 15 minutes and look at some of the major news sites or your favorite publications. Chances are you’ll see some annoying ads, but you’ll likely also see some clever placements of relevant content. Experiment with subtle hyperlinks in text, with banner ads in between paragraphs or at the end of the post and any other CTA formats you find on other sites.
Time to put on your lab coat
You spend a lot of effort writing blog posts. It just makes good sense to also get white papers, high performing SEO pages and traffic that engages with your website further too! Start experimenting with you blog today!
Need help turning your blog into a high performing part of your content strategy? Contact me today and I’ll happily share more ideas.