How to Powerup your Blog

blogging site structure

Four actions you can take right now to extend your blog’s reach

Introduction

Scrolling through crypto and blockchain websites, I always check for a company blog. A place where the company showcases its brand and raises awareness of its products and services. Almost every site I visit hosts a blog. Some companies even blog regularly and consistently.

One of the primary benefits of a company blog is how it can help increase traffic to your website. But publishing consistently may not be generating the interest you were hoping for.

blogging site structure

So, other than publishing quality content, consistently, how can you optimize your blog to extend your reach?

This series, How to Powerup your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your blog’s reach, will discuss four actions you can take right now to get more traffic to your blog:

  • Action 1: Powerup your blog structure
  • Action 2: Powerup your social media
  • Action 3: Powerup your headlines
  • Action 4: Powerup all channels – SlideShare

This first post explains how to structure your blog with categories and tags so search engines can find your content, driving more traffic to your website.

Action 1.        Powerup your blog structure

Without a proper structure, as your blog grows, your readers will get lost in the search for the information they need. Your posts will disappear in the crowd. Search engines won’t be able to find them.

blogging site structure

How do you add structure to your blog? You start by using categories and tags. Strategically implemented, categories and tags extend your blog’s reach, get your content found, and improve your SEO.

Categories

You use categories to group your content into ‘global’ segments. Categories increase usability and enhance SEO. Search engines will find posts more easily if they aren’t competing with each other.

You can define and describe your categories in WordPress under the Posts menu. Each post should be assigned a single category. The description you use is displayed on the category page so make is compelling. For instance, the ICOWriter categories are based on the services I provide: Content marketing, White papers, Blogging etc.

Once all your blogs are assigned to a single category, you can put category pages on your site. Category pages sort your posts and display them on a separate page for each category. Links to category pages can be on a menu bar on in a sidebar. Remember, search engines love more pages!

As your blog grows, you can add sub-categories to add another layer of structure. Evaluate your site structure regularly to keep it in order.

Tags

Hashtags are a word, or group of words after the # sign (like #hashtag, #icowriter, #contentmarketing etc.). Most people know of them from their use on Twitter as “tweet chats” – open group discussions around a particular topic. They are also known as metadata tags. You use tags to add further structure to your blog by describing your posts in more detail.

blogging site structure

There are several types of tags:

Brand & Campaign tags

A brand hashtag is your company name or tagline. You use your business tag on all of your social media sites.

A campaign hashtag is one you develop for each of your marketing campaigns. If you can get people to use your hashtag, your campaign will get extended reach. Link relevant posts to campaigns with campaign tags.

Trending tags

A trending hashtag identifies a topic that is very popular. By using a trending tag in your blog post, you can potentially get your message out to a very large audience.

Content tags

Content tags are common hashtags that are related to your post content. You use content tags to further sort your posts, improving SEO. Base content tags on keywords related to the category and the post.

Content tags help get your updates seen by prospects who are searching for, or using, the hashtag words.

There are different ways to structure content tags. You may want to use:

  • product hashtags (e.g. #whitepapers, #casestudies)
    • service hashtags, (e.g. #contentwritingservices, #proofreading)
    • location hashtags (e.g. #onlinefreelancer)
    • event hashtags (e.g.#endofyearsale)

As well as adding structure to your blog, you can engage with people using related common hashtags – whether it’s a retweet on Twitter or a Like on LinkedIn.

STEEM tags

For those of you on STEEM, the tags you use can earn you coins. The team at STEEM-ENGINE have made it possible for you to earn multiple coins from one post. By adding the right tags, you can qualify for these rewards and your post shows up on the tagged sites as well, extending your reach. Here are a few for you to check out:

  • Palnet – earn PALCoins
  • Steemleo – investment content
  • Steepshot – share phots with family and friends and earn coins

Conclusion

Structuring you blog with categories and tags will increase traffic to your blog by enhancing SEO.

The next post in the series, How to Increase Traffic to Your Blog: Four actions you can take to extend your reach, action 2 is about effectively dispersing your message through lots of different social media channels.

For more free information about how content marketing provides benefits to the water and environmental industries:

Check out the ICOWriter Blog!

Read this post on STEEMIT

Get that project blog up and running in 4 weeks – Week 3: Write your project blog so that it gets clicked, read, and shared

write project blog

4 weeks to an awareness-generating project blog

Introduction

You’ve convinced the team of the benefits of a consistent, quality project blog. You’ve written the blog plan. You have a production schedule, a list of topics, and a goal for each post. Now you need to write.  This can present a challenge, whether you like writing or not.  How does one go about writing a blog post?

Check out these 3 tips on how to write a post that gets clicked, read, and shared.

Week 3: Write your project blog so that it gets clicked, read, and shared

Tip 1: Get the basics right

There is a basic structure to any piece of quality content. Get the basics right and your blog is that much more likely to get read.

Title/headline

write your project blog

The headline presents the first impression of post.  It’s important to get it right or readers won’t click through to read the content.  A headline should be actionable and keyword-focused.  Try to keep it brief.  Be clear and definitive, maybe even intriguing.

Research shows certain headlines catch readers’ attention better than others. The ever-popular How to…, is popular for a reason. It works! Other phrases work too:

  • The truth about… (e.g. The truth about ICOs)
  • Facts you should know… (e.g. Seven facts you should know about investing in crypto)

There are lots of guides out there on how to write a great headline.  Most agree that you can spruce up a mediocre headline by:

  • including numbers,
  • adding an intriguing adjective, or
  • using action verbs.

Make sure the headline is specific. Your post is about a specific and emotionally-compelling idea. Keep the title specific too.

Keep the headline as short as possible. It’s best if it will fit in search results displays. Even before the internet, research proved a title of 8 words or less is most effective.

The body copy

Now it’s time to write the post. It helps to start with an outline, even for a short piece of content like a blog post.  Organize all the information that supports the one big idea and make sure it follows a logical flow. Use headings and subheadings to divide the supporting information into sections.

Two critical headings to use are the Introduction and the Conclusion. As with a good story, in the introduction you set the scene. You tell the reader what you’re going to tell them. Follow with the body copy, subdivided into sections with headings and subheadings relevant to the topic.  This is where you tell them about the one big idea and the problem it solves. Finish with a conclusion that tells them what you told them.

Unique to blogs is the chance to get a conversation started. Find a way to invite your readers to comment. Ask a question. Follow the discussion and contribute solutions.

The call-to-action

write your project blog

Finish every post with a call-to-action (CTA).  As a powerful top-of-the-funnel tactic, your blog is the perfect place to pull prospects further into the funnel. Tell your readers what to do next:

  • subscribe to your blog,
  • contact you, or
  • read about your product and services on your website.

Go back to your blog plan and check the goal for your blog. Make sure your CTA will help you achieve that goal.

Tip 2: Readability IS the new SEO

Although keywords and keyword phrases remain important, search engines are increasingly focused on readability. Search engines want to be sure your content will fulfill the reader’s intent. Most readers prefer easy-to-read text. Here are some ways to make your text easy-to-read:

Keep it concise and to the point

When writing about complex technical subjects, you need to construct your sentences carefully.  Direct, simple sentences will help get your point across.  In fact, long sentences almost always have complex grammatical structures.  This puts a strain on the reader’s immediate memory.  The reader has to retain several parts of each sentence before he can combine them into a meaningful whole.

Here are a few tricks to help you keep concise and to the point:

Trick #1: Keep sentences and paragraphs short.

The average length of your sentences should be 20 words or fewer

Trick #2: Sentences should focus on one idea

Keep it simple. Cover only one idea per sentence and one theme per paragraph. Get to the point; don’t wander around first.  Find one emotionally compelling idea and stick to it. 

Trick #3: Use the active voice

Use the active voice.  The passive voice tends to seem evasive. If you don’t want to appear to be hiding something, you should use active voice.

Use personal pronouns

Using personal pronouns gives your writing a conversational tone. Personal pronouns seem to connect the reader to the writer. A conversational tone helps your reader focus on your message rather than your language.

Just be sure that they’re are right for the content. Using personal pronouns may not be appropriate in every situation.

Avoid jargon

It’s easy to be drawn to words that are common in your industry – jargon. But are they common to your audience?  When writing for non-specialists and you have a choice between words, use the common, everyday word.

write your project blog

A couple further pointers on word choice:

  • Use positive words. Negatives like don’t in front of a verb can make some readers stumble.
  • Avoid long strings of nouns. Sentences with several nouns in a row can be difficult to navigate.
  • Use inclusive language. Unless your document is about men, don’t use only male pronouns (he, his).

Sometimes you may have to use a technical term, even when you’re writing for non-specialists. In that case, choose words that will help your readers.

Be careful about words like very, really, actually, or carefully that don’t serve any purpose.  Keep in simple, keep it easy to understand.

By adopting an easy-to-read style, you can start engaging your audience.  Use personal pronouns, where appropriate.  Avoid jargon by choosing the right word and avoid padding your text with words that serve no purpose.

Need help with readability? I’ve designed a plain language checklist that will help you write more readable content. You can download the checklist for free here: https://www.watercopy.com/free-checklist-five-steps-to-more-persuasive-writing/

Tip 3: Design it to move right readers through to the CTA

write your project blog

You may not want to know this but not all your readers will read your entire blog.  Many blog readers (43%, according to Hubspot) admit to skimming content.  Rather than being offended by this, play to those readers.  Cater to all readers with the design of each blog.

White space

Dense blocks of text can intimidate readers.  Clever use of white space – areas with no text or graphics – will lessen the stress. Keep paragraphs short and use line spacing to add a little white space between paragraphs.

Putting in a pull quotes add variety to the blog’s visual flow. Photos, graphs, charts, and tables add visual appeal while providing in-depth information in an eye-catching format.  Keep graphs and charts relatively simple.

Headings and subheadings

Headings and subheadings not only help with the flow of logic of the post, they provide a break from the text.  They allow skimmers to get the gist of the blog without having to read the entire article.  It helps with SEO to optimize headings for keywords, where possible.

Bulleted or numbered lists

Anytime your information allows, break up blocks of text with bulleted or numbered lists.  Again, they cater to skimmers, but they also help organize information into short concise portions.

Conclusion

After all the meetings, the brainstorming, the planning, it’s time to write.  Writing posts for the project blog may never be your favorite thing to do but with these 3 things about 3 things you can help to ensure your post will get clicked, read, and shared.

Do you have any tricks for writing great blog posts that readers love to read? Please share them here!

write your project blog

If your team is already working to capacity delivering quality services to your clients, how do you manage to produce and consistently deliver a quality blog?  WATER COPY can help!  I provide blog writing services that will keep your content machine running smoothly.  Contact me to discuss your blogging needs.

CONTACT AN ICO WRITER

The Truth about Your Project Blog – Week 2: Planning a consistent project blog

plan your project blog

4 weeks to an awareness-generating project blog

Introduction

Although by nature blogs have a certain spontaneity about them, an effective project blog is meticulously planned and consistently executed.  Planning ensures you meet your marketing goals by publishing quality content on a regular schedule.  Your subscribers and interested readers want to know when they can expect new content from a source they have come to trust.

plan your project blog

The project blog plan sits within and supports your greater content marketing strategy.  However, a project blog is such a valuable marketing asset that it needs a plan of its own.  A plan that describes:

  • Your blogging goals
  • Your audience
  • Your content
  • Your publishing schedule
  • Your promotion campaign

This post will examine each step in building a project blog plan that ensures success.

Week 2: Planning a consistent project blog

Your blogging goals

The first step in any plan is to set goals.  In a blog plan, goals for the blog should support the project’s business goals as well as the goals of your strategic content marketing plan.  Goals like building your list, increasing traffic to your website, or establishing thought leadership.  By establishing goals and objectives for your project blog in general, and for each individual blog, allows you to understand what success looks like.

Your audience

To be effective at generating awareness, you need to understand your audience. Market research helps you define your audience and assess your competitors.  The more you learn about your audience, the better able you’ll be to provide the content they want. By understanding your competitors, you can craft better content to gain that critical edge.

Audience research

Getting to know your target audience is key to crafting relevant content.  You need to learn what:

  • people expect from blogs in your niche;
  • kind of content they find useful and exciting;
  • benefits they expect to receive from your blogs; and
  • makes them tick and compels them to keep coming back for more.

It may not be easy to define your target audience when you have no blog subscribers. One way to get an idea of what your audience wants is to conduct a survey. Ask your audience what they want more information about. Ask what they like about your blog and what other blogs they like.

Competitive analysis

As well as understanding your audience you need to understand your competition.  How are they promoting their content?  What are they blogging about?  By having an insight into their content strategy, you can fine-tune your own.  Find your own unique voice in your niche.  You can only do that if you know the competition.

Your content

While there are many sources of ideas for topics to blog about, you can boost your search results by using keywords to come up with topics. That means carrying out keyword research.

Keyword analyzers

Start with your main keyword.  Keyword analyzers, such as Google AdWords, suggest keyword combinations and then rank them on the number of searches a month that used that combo. You then check out related words and terms. Search on semantically-related words as well, such as the individual components of water treatment systems.

plan your project blog

Long-tail keywords – 3 to 4-word phrases, will get you less traffic but more targeted searchers. When they find your page, they are more likely to become a lead because the search was more focused.

Search engines

You can also find keywords and phrases through the auto suggest from a Google search.  When you type in a keyword or phrase, a dropdown list will display previous search phrases. 

At the bottom of the Google search page is another source of keywords.  Google provides a list of other search terms and phrases that are similar to the current one.

By basing the topics on keywords and featuring the focus keyword in page titles, headers, alt tags, and images you can optimize your blog for search engines.  Be sure to provide links back to your power pages – products and services, and a call-to-action that encourages further engagement.

Your team

Another important resource for topics is your sales team. Find out what questions customers and leads are being asking, what problems they are facing? Join and follow forums in your niche, paying attention to problems being discussed. Check these against your keyword phrases. You may find many parallels.

Your publishing schedule

The production schedule for your project blog fits into content calendar of your greater strategic content marketing plan. Plan to post weekly to start but that is really a minimum.  Hubspot found that B2B businesses who blog at least 20 times per month have five times more traffic than those who blog less than four times per month.  Just keep it at a frequency you can maintain consistently.

You may want to plan posts in a series with a contextual lead magnet at end of each.  Be sure each post is based on one compelling idea, and that all posts compel your audience to read the next post, and ultimately to download the lead magnet.

Your promotion campaign

The whole point of a blog is to get your posts read by as many people as possible.  That requires promotion.  The first place to post you blogs is on your project website, of course.  But there are other ways to get your information out to your audience. 

Share each post on all your social media channels with a link back to your website.  Have your employees send it out to their networks.  Send updates out to your email list with links to your recent post.

Consistently publishing quality content is important. Be sure to get it read by as many people as possible by promoting it effectively.

Conclusion

An effective project blog is meticulously planned and consistently executed. To make it work, you need a project blog plan. A plan that describes:

  • Your blogging goals
  • Your audience
  • Your content
  • Your publishing schedule
  • Your promotion campaign

Implement this plan consistently and reap the rewards!

The next post in the series: The Truth about Your Project Blog – 4 weeks to an awareness-generating project blogWeek 3: Writing a project blog that gets clicked, read, and shared, explains how to write that blog post.

Do you have a blog plan? Is it documented and implemented?

If your team is already working to capacity to deliver a quality offering for investors, how do you manage to produce and deliver a consistent quality blog?  ICO Writer can help!  I provide blog writing services that will keep your content machine running smoothly.  Contact me to discuss your blogging needs.


CONTACT AN ICO WRITER

The Truth about Your Project Blog

consistent project blog

4 weeks to an awareness-generating project blog

Introduction

You have a blog on your ICO project website. You maybe post occasional project updates. You use your blog try to sell your token. The truth is – that’s just not good enough.

Let’s think about marketing for launching your ICO and beyond.  What are you selling? Highly specialized and often complex technology that entails a certain amount of risk. These investments don’t sell themselves nor will the hard sell impress the people who invest.

consistent project blog

How will a project blog help you launch your ICO? What your audience needs is information.  Not just about your project but about the problems you will solve.

You gain trust by giving your audience quality information without a hard sell. An important channel for publishing this information is your project blog.

The first step in establishing an effective project blog is to sell it to your team. It is essential that the blog is adequately resourced, so consistency and quality is maintained. In this first post in the series: The Truth about Your Project Blog up – 4 weeks to an awareness-generating project blog, we identify four key benefits that will help sell your blog idea to the team.

Week 1: Benefits of a consistent project blog

Your project blog is a long-term marketing asset – a critical part of any inbound marketing program.  And although there are many direct benefits from maintaining a project blog, four stand out:

1:      Increasing traffic to your website

A conventional project website tends to be static.  You may occasionally publish updates or refresh some text, but the content mostly stays the same. With a blog, subscribers and new readers come to your site regularly for the fresh content.  Once they are there, they may browse other pages and find further value.

consistent project blog

Your white paper landing page, roadmap, and token structure page are all important pages to highlight.  Put in-links from keyword-optimized hyperlinks in the blog to increase traffic to these critical pages. In-links help boost your site’s status with search engines too.

2:      Building awareness of your offering

By sharing information, you to build awareness of your offering, your solutions. A blog is the perfect place to do just that. Think about what problems your project is addressing and the currently available solutions. With a consistent, educational blog, your project is more likely to come to mind when a prospective investor considers his options.

A key aspect of content marketing in general, and blogs in particular, is to avoid the hard sell. Your posts should inform and educate, not constantly blast your audience with ads, brochures, or technical fact sheets.

Convince prospects that you’re involved with and informed about the crypto community. Sharing information on your blog gives your readers insight into the value you offer. Guide your audience and educate them about your project and the problem it will solve. Help them understand the complexity of the problem and its solution.

3:      Moving your project website up the search engine list

Search engines love blogs. If you blog frequently – and frequency counts – you create more pages and more content for indexing.  This enhances organic traffic to your site when your blog comes up on the first page of a search.

Optimize each blog for keywords by developing blog topics around your keywords and keyword phrases.  Be aware though, ‘stuffing’ content with dozens of mentions of keywords is not optimizing.  In fact, search engines frown on the practice, which could lead to your site never appearing on the first page of Google.  Used strategically, however, keywords will bring more traffic to your blog and help to generate leads.

Remember that SEO is not limited to keywords anymore.  Search engines now assess the readability of content.  The idea is readers prefer content that is easy to read. Improving the readability and visual appeal of your project blog is the topic of an upcoming blog.

4:      Converting leads through Call-to-Actions

Blogs are a classic example of a top-of-sales-funnel tactic.  Prospects who come to your blog for the quality content can quickly become leads. Bring them further into the funnel with a clear, compelling call-to-action (CTA) each time you post.  Make the CTA relevant to the topic of the blog. Invite the prospect to download educational or useful content in exchange for contact information.

consistent project blog

An effective CTA leads to an offer that a prospect is willing to trade their contact information for. In general, you will use the white paper as your lead magnet.

Conclusion

Clearly, there are many benefits for a startup in the crypto community in maintaining an effective project blog. The benefits your solutions provide can be difficult to quantify. Investors want information. A blog provides a powerful platform to publish that information.

So, there are many reasons to love your project blog.  The big four are:

1:    Increasing traffic to your website

2:    Building awareness of your solutions

3:    Moving your project website up the search engine list

4:    Converting leads through Call-to-Actions

An effective project blog is a cost-effective way to raise awareness at the top of the sales funnel.  Consistently publishing quality content on your blog will position you as thought leaders in your field.  It keeps you top of mind with investors.

The trick, of course, is to post informative and interesting content consistently.  Next week’s post is all about blog planning, and how to develop a production schedule that will keep your blog on track.

What benefits do you reap from your project blog?

If your team is already working to capacity to deliver a quality offering for investors, how do you manage to produce and deliver a consistent quality blog?  ICO Writer can help!  I provide blog writing services that will keep your content machine running smoothly.  Contact me to discuss your blogging needs.

CONTACT AN ICO WRITER

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