5 easy steps to
better blogging
If you were starting a content marketing strategy from scratch,
item one on your to do lis...
There are lots of documents you can create
or download that will help you write an
interesting and effective blog, but her...
Once you have your rules, you’re going to
need some ideas. Something that will help to
keep your editorial calendar full o...
Part of the value of sweating your content
assets is that it encourages you to explore,
not just the different topics your...
Once you’re producing all this great content
you’re going to need to organise it. Organising
your blog is really important...
“Being on Google+ alone is a
potential ranking boost, one
that can sometimes trump all
other factors, including links.”
Da...
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5 easy steps to better blogging

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There are something like 2 million blog posts published every day and that number is only set to grow as more brands invest in content marketing.

So with all this competition, how are you going to get your blog articles in front of the right people? How will you cut through the noise?

To give you a helping hand with this increasingly difficult task we've pulled together 5 tips for improving your company blog.

By implementing these recommendations your blog will be more engaging for your target audience, more crawlable for search engines and easier to produce for you.

If you'd like to know more about blogging or other aspects of content marketing, visit our website or connect with us on social media. Castleford is the leading content marketing business in Australia and New Zealand with unrivaled experience, scale and global expertise.

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5 easy steps to better blogging

  1. 1. 5 easy steps to better blogging If you were starting a content marketing strategy from scratch, item one on your to do list would probably be creating a blog. If you already have a blog, you’ll always be on the lookout for ways to improve it. So whether it’s the 1st or the 1,000th day of your content marketing campaign, check out these 5 simple steps for better blogging. Castleford
  2. 2. There are lots of documents you can create or download that will help you write an interesting and effective blog, but here are two that you absolutely need: The first is an editorial brief. This sets out your preferred tone and style, broadly the topics you plan to cover and may even establish an editorial line on particular issues. When you start a company blog, it’s important to start thinking of yourself like a traditional publisher – and any publisher, even a student newspaper, has an editorial brief. At Castleford, we write and maintain briefs for each of our clients. The blogs on our website have briefs. Even our internal blog, which we only use for company updates and can’t be viewed outside the business, has a brief so that the different contributors are following some simple rules on what we do and don’t talk about, how we format our posts and what font sizes and styles to use. If you have company brand guidelines that would be the ideal starting point for your editorial brief. You don’t need to come up with the finished article in one hit. Instead, think of it as a fluid document, something you’ll want to add to and update regularly. Second is an editorial policy. This bit often gets missed, particularly when smaller organisations venture into blogging for the first time. While your brief sets out what your blog will look like, you also need a policy on how you’ll produce it. How do you minimise your risk of libelling someone? Where will you get your source material from and what are the risks associated with that process? If you’ve got different people contributing, how do you make sure they’re not stealing pictures from Google Images? Your editorial policy can establish best practice across not just your blogging activity but your content marketing strategy in general. It’s a really useful risk management tool and it will help the higher-ups feel more comfortable about what you’re doing in their name. “Editorial briefs are absolutely essential for content marketing. When there are multiple people writing, reading, approving and posting content, it is crucial that they have a shared document to refer back to when they have different opinions of what would work best.” Amanda Gross, Managing Editor at Castleford 1. Write some rules
  3. 3. Once you have your rules, you’re going to need some ideas. Something that will help to keep your editorial calendar full of great content is what we call “sweating your content assets”. In an interview with Heinz Marketing, Joe Pulizzi, founder of the Content Marketing Institute, said that when he was planning to write a book, he would blog about each chapter, which then made writing the book much easier. This is a really good rule to apply to your content marketing strategy. If your company produces whitepapers, case studies, downloadable guides or offline collateral, you should be mining those items for blog post ideas. You’re not only helping to keep your blog up to date with fresh and relevant content, you’re also providing an opportunity to highlight or link to those documents that may be either not available online or buried deeper in your site’s hierarchy. Linking to related content is great for SEO and it will also help drive users to valuable and useful information that they otherwise may not have found. This can be especially handy for marketers who may have control over the blog, but might have to defer to the IT department for what happens on the rest of the site. You might not be able to get five years of whitepapers organised how you want or easily crawlable, but you can blog about them and link to them without opening a new tech ticket. This tactic works just as well with other content assets. If you’ve created or commissioned an infographic, for example, it shouldn’t just be sat on your blog looking pretty. You should be writing articles about it, promoting it on your social media and reaching out to other bloggers who might want to use it. More people will see your graphic and you’ll get more use out of all the good research and prep that went into it. “When I start thinking about writing a book, I start putting the chapter together and then blog them out one by one. It makes the actual book writing process so much easier and efficient” Joe Pulizzi, Founder of the Content Marketing Institute 2. Sweat your content assets
  4. 4. Part of the value of sweating your content assets is that it encourages you to explore, not just the different topics your audience might be interested in, but also the different types of content you can use to get your message across. Embracing content diversity will help your blog stay fresh, engaging and ahead of the competition. People often think of blogging as a place for news updates, market commentary and company announcements. But there’s so much more you can do with a blog. Your blog is the perfect platform to host graphics, animations or videos, providing the ideal platform to then go and share and promote these assets across your social media, your email campaigns and around the web. Even if you’re restricted to writing articles, you can interview people around the business, curate customer feedback from your social channels or start building an FAQs section. If it’s properly organised, your company blog can become a resource centre for the business and start driving traffic towards the revenue generating sections of your website. “26% of internet users look for more information after viewing a video ad. 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week.” Digital Sherpa, 25 Amazing Video Marketing Statistics 3. Embrace content diversity
  5. 5. Once you’re producing all this great content you’re going to need to organise it. Organising your blog is really important, because it will help you win more search traffic and improve useful metrics like dwell time and page views. You should think about organising your blog on two levels: the first level is the categories, which would be like the contents page of a book. You might have sets of categories for topic, product group or content type. The second level is tags. These work more like a book’s index. Your tags are specific to what each post is about. Categories can provide the user with easy navigation around your blog. You can have your category list on the side bar and readers can use it to find content they’re interested in whether they want everything you’ve done on a particular subject or they just want to see all your videos. Tags are more dynamic and you’ll create new ones as you cover different topics. Tags allow you to quickly build hub pages on trending stories, which will often do really well in search. They’re also great for your readers if they want some background on what they just read. “Categorising and tagging your blog posts is one of the most important steps in running a successful blog. When you fill a filing cabinet, you organise it in alphabetical order. Why? It makes it very easy to find what you’re looking for. The same should apply to your blog.” Trent Paul, Content Marketing Strategist at Castleford. 4. Organise your blog posts
  6. 6. “Being on Google+ alone is a potential ranking boost, one that can sometimes trump all other factors, including links.” Danny Sullivan, Editor at Search Engine Land. So, you’ve got your brief, your editorial policy and loads of great content nicely organised with categories and tags. What else do you need? How about fame and fortune? That might be stretching it a bit but you can get recognition for some of your hard work by setting up Google+ Authorship. This is also a great perk for encouraging your colleagues, customers and suppliers to contribute to your blog. Authorship is very easy to put in place and when it’s done correctly you’ll see your face and name alongside your articles in Google search results. Articles shared on Google+ get indexed almost immediately and there are already some indications that they do better in search. Over time, it’s very likely that what is often referred to as “author rank” will become a significant search signal. If you start building your reputation with lots of quality articles all linked to your Google+ profile now, you’ll see the benefit in long-term. Castleford Media is Australia and New Zealand’s leading content marketing business. Set up a demo today to see how our unrivalled content marketing experience and our unique, full-scale production set-up help clients build engaging and effective websites. 5. Google+ Authorship

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