Business Blog Tips: Fresh Traffic From Older Content 3 Ways

Business Blog Tips: Fresh Traffic From Older Content 3 Ways

You love your business blog, and it’s an essential marketing tool. However, you’re missing out on traffic. Google’s serving up personalized content, and if content isn’t fresh it’s dead. Although you have great content, it’s unappreciated, because no one sees it.

Here’s the key to making the most of older content – plan to revisit and revive it. It takes less time to polish older content than to create brand new material.

Let’s look at how you can turn older content into a traffic generator.

Tip: while you’re revising, update your calls to action (CTA).

1. Revise older content, and republish it.

How much content do you have? I have several thousand posts on some of my blogs, so this year I’m making a concerted effort to bring back older content that’s appropriate and valuable for my audience today. If your blog’s older than a few months, your visitors will completely miss the content you published when your blog was brand new and you had little traffic.

While you revise, you can add new content as appropriate. If you’ve changed your mind about something in the original post, create a heading: “Updated in 2014”, then add your new information and insights.

Add internal links as appropriate to fresher content. If you’re using WordPress, consider using a related posts plugin.

2. Create new content, linking to your older content.

Keep a list of the content you’ve freshened. You’ll get story ideas from it. Then, when you create the new content, quote and link to your older content.

If you have posts you’ve written in series, turn them into ebooks, and offer them as downloads. One of my blogging friends has been collecting her series posts into ebooks, which she offers in EPUB and MOBI format, as well as in PDF. Here’s a comparison of ebook formats; they tend to be confusing. In a nutshell: MOBI’s for Amazon’s Kindle, EPUB is for everything else.

3. Create roundup posts, linking to older posts.

Large blogs which post multiple times daily offer round-up posts on a specific day of the week. Consider doing a roundup once every couple of weeks, or once a month, going forward.

You can create roundup posts at any time that it’s worthwhile for your readers. If you’ve been getting lots of questions about something you’ve covered before, create a roundup post on the topic. For every person who asks a question, ten others will have the same question.

A “this time last year” roundup post brings back content today’s visitors haven’t read; you can create these kinds of posts if you’re too busy to create new content for your blog.

Your business blog is an asset; so are its archives. Make the most of them.

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, and on Twitter: @angee

Blogging Tips: 5 Easy Tips To Simplify Your Business Blogging in 2014

Blogging Tips: 5 Easy Tips To Simplify Your Business Blogging in 2014

Love blogging or hate it, it we’re all looking for tips which will simplify our blogging. Although I’m in the “love” camp, I have lots of other writing I need to do, so I look for shortcuts.

Here are my top tips to help you to blog more effectively in 2014, so that you can turn your blog into a powerful marketing tool for your business.

1. Before you start writing, decide what you’re selling.

We discussed thinking about conversions, rather than traffic. Ideally, each blog post you create will have a call to action. If you ask your visitors to do something, some will.

Way back in 2004, when blogging started becoming mainstream, commercial blogging was frowned on. A little of that “content for content’s sake” mindset remains. You don’t need to blog with a “buy this!” mindset, but you do need to include a call to action.

Tip: each month, look through your list of posts, and edit your calls to action. Your business and marketing goals change over time. Update your blog posts to reflect this.

2. Batch-create, always.

If you’re creating a blog post, you might as well create two. Or more. Here’s the key to batch-creation: always have blog posts in draft form.

This simplifies business blogging, because your brain hates unfinished tasks:

After starting a task, your brain will be more enticed to finish it to its “conclusion.” You also tend to see that it’s not as big a mountain as you initially imagined, and that the work involved in completing this task won’t be so terrifying after all.

Here’s how this works. Let’s say you’re writing a blog post. Create a list of keywords for the posts, as you usually do. Then in addition to the article you’re writing, begin another couple of articles.

As the old saying goes, “well begun is half done”. Just writing working titles, and a couple of sentences for each draft, helps you to conquer procrastination.

Add the drafts to your editorial calendar. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you complete the posts you’ve started.

3. Before you create, decide how you’ll get more value from each blog post.

You can get more value from a blog post by: using it in a short report or ebook, creating a podcast or video from it, or by using it in your company newsletter.

4. Write fast, edit at leisure.

Writing and editing are two separate mental processes. If you try to combine these two processes, you’ll get frustrated, and will decide you hate blogging.

Batch-creating comes into play again. Give yourself 20 minutes to write a quick draft. Use a timer. I like Repeat Timer Pro. Then spend ten minutes adding content to a couple of your draft posts.

You can edit your posts another day, or later in the same day. I always say that professional writers expect to write cr*p, because they know they can improve on what they’ve written. You write to discover what you think. Just get something written, and let your subconscious mind do the grunt work.

5. Get out of your office: use your camera.

Your cell phone camera is an amazing blogging tool, so get out of your office, and wander around, snapping some photos.

It doesn’t matter much what you photograph. Your photos act as triggers to your inspiration. You can use them on your blog, or not, it’s up to you, but if you frequently find yourself thinking: “I don’t know what to blog about”, take photos. Your images will inspire you.

Try these simple blogging tips. They work. You may discover that you love blogging too. :-)

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, and on Twitter: @angee

Blogging Short: Itty Bitty Blog Posts Anyone Can Create

ittybittycontent

Who’s got enough blog content? No one, that’s who. I’ve shared my big content time-saving trick – plan your content on Sundays. If you don’t want to plan on Sundays, do it anytime you like, but don’t do it in your office. You need time, and a calm, relaxing atmosphere. I hike myself and my iPad to our local park, or on cold days I snuggle up on the sofa to plan.

My big secret for the Sunday planning sessions is creating draft posts using the Drafts Dropdown plugin on my WordPress blogs.

On most blogs, I’ve got at least ten draft posts, so I know that on my worst day, I can create content.

Here’s my second big blog content secret: SHORT posts. Little itty bitty posts… You may find as I do that these little posts get more attention than long screeds.

Here are some ideas for itty bitty content you can create FAST.

Instant content: embed tweets

I save all my tweets to Google Docs using an ITTT recipe. Just activate Twitter and Google Docs in your If This, Then That account, and your tweets will all be saved for you.

Tweets saved in Google Docs
Tweets saved in Google Docs

I can click on an individual tweet, and embed it in any blog post.

Here’s one:

Facebook and Google+ allow you to embed content too – these embeds create short, fast, blog posts.

Create a tips list (just the list – expand later)

Create a list of tips about anything at all. Don’t bother expanding on the tips, you can expand on them later. If you have a blog post with ten tips, each of those tips can expand into a brand new article.

Create a roundup of posts from your own, or others’ blogs

Roundup posts are short and simple to create.

Some bloggers create roundup tweets, and roundup Google+ posts. Bring your older content to reader’s attention.

In similar vein, update older content with a fresh tip, insight, or with the latest news on the topic.

Post photos: quote images are HOT

We’ve talked about quote images:

Love them or hate them, quote images are everywhere. Here’s why. They work. They get Likes and attention. There are another reasons too — they stand out, and they’re FAST and EASY to create.

Create a poll

Do a Google search for “create a poll”, and you’ll come up with many sites which create free polls for you.

I use Polldaddy, because it has a WordPress plugin. Whatever blogging service you’re using, Polldaddy has embed codes, so you can add a poll to any blog post with copy and paste.

Other options for itty bitty content

There are many other options for short content. Create a post, and insert: a link, a YouTube video, an aside (short comment), a status update, a quote, a chat…

Blogging needn’t be a chore – it can be fun. Have a planning session once a week, and use itty bitty posts. :-)
, and on Twitter: @angee

photo credit: JD Hancock via photopin cc

Content Merry-Go-Round: 5 Easy Ways to Create Content For Your Blog

merrygoround

At least once a week, a blogger tells me: “I’ve got nothing to blog about!” He’s experiencing blogger’s resistance. This is common, and it will stop you cold if you ascribe meaning to that feeling. Don’t do that.

Ascribing meaning to your resistance is a trap, just as procrastination’s a trap. If you’re procrastinating, you can read books about it, talk about it, and figure out ways you can stop procrastinating… or you can just get on with it.

I used to be the Queen of Procrastination, until I discovered the magic of timers. Now if I don’t want to do something, I set a timer for ten minutes. Then I spend ten minutes doing it. You can stand anything for ten minutes.

Feelings come and go. Your resistance doesn’t mean that you truly have nothing to blog about, nor does it mean that you should stop blogging.

Leo Babauta wrote an article on resistance, and gave excellent advice:

Just start. In the end, all the tips in the world won’t make as much a difference as this simple (and timeless) instruction. Just sit down and start.

You do have things to blog about. Let’s look at five easy ways to create content – even if you are experiencing resistance. :-)

1. Make a list of blog topics you’re covering

Look at your blog categories. Make a list of five categories. Choose one category, and set a timer for ten minutes. Jot down as many blog post titles as you can in ten minutes.

You’ll find that at the end of ten minutes, you’re ready to write. You’ve broken through inertia and your resistance.

Don’t throw those post titles away. Add them to your blog as draft posts. If you’re a WordPress user, try the Drafts Dropdown plugin for easy access to your drafts from the WordPress dashboard. (It’s an older plugin, but it works fine in WordPress 3.6.)

2. Answer questions

Check your email’s Sent Mail folder. What questions did you answer? Make a list. Expand on one, and create a blog post.

If you didn’t answer any questions you can blog about, check Quora. It’s a Q and A website, with thousands of questions you could answer.

Pick a question that intrigues you, and answer it on your blog.

3. Check the news and press releases

Create Alerts in Google News for topics you cover on your blog, or for topics which interest you. To create an Alert, search Google News for your topic, then click the “Create an email alert” link at the bottom of the page.

Which companies do you follow? You can subscribe to press release updates from companies, or to a specific company’s newsletter.

Share the latest news in a blog post.

4. Check social media feeds

Reading feeds can feed your inspiration. Make a list of topics. Choose one, and write your blog post.

5. Use your experiences

Think about challenges you’ve experienced. How did you meet those challenges? Tell the story of a recent challenge in a blog post.

So there you have it: five easy ways to create content for your blog. Try them.

What about you? How do you create content? Please share your favorite tip.

, and on Twitter: @angee

photo credit: Swamibu via photopin cc