How do you become a member of the “10K Business Blogging Club”?
In a recent article, Business Blogging Secrets Revealed, Michael Gerard of Curata writes that “the best marketers have figured out that if you’re going to have long-term success in this content marketing evolution, investment in owned digital properties is mandatory.” He then identifies an elite group that from a study of 428 marketers—from CMOs to specialists—who have been dubbed as members of the “10K Business Blogging Club.” These are the businesses who run blogs with 10,000 or more page views a month.
Tapping into the root of their blogging success, the study found some commonalities among the members of the 10K Club. They each have some type of team dedicated to content strategy and development (80%), publish blog posts at least weekly (90.5%), write at least 500 words in 50% of their posts, and plan to hire additional blogging resources in the next 6-12 months (56%).
What stuck out most to me, however, was the fact that only 4% of the 10K Club businesses have been blogging for over five years; and 56% of all surveyed bloggers who have been blogging for over five years did not make the 10K Club. In other words, longevity does not automatically equal success. Whether you’ve been blogging for one week or ten years, a blog that drives traffic requires creative, diversified, and consistent content that draws in readers and converts leads into prospects. A long shelf life alone isn’t going to cut it.
But with the numbers that the 10K Club is putting up, how can you possibly fuel the content machine enough to churn out fresh relevant content without getting stale?
Here are some tips and ideas:
Do your competitive research
Who else but your competitors is creating content geared toward your same audience? Scope out their blogs, the keywords they are using and building posts around, and the types of posts that are getting the most attention via social media. You may even find something you can link to or repackage with your own spin—SAP did this with a major competitor’s white paper and saw huge gains. This is fair game. In fact, there are some great tools to facilitate this type of research. Get started!
Conduct expert interviews
Seeking out industry thought leaders for interviews or short Q&A’s is another way to generate quick and easy content. Not only are you forming a relationship with an expert in the field, you are increasing your reach by engaging their audience as well as you own. Ann Smarty of Entrepreneur Magazine offers tips for such interviews, writing that questions should stand out and be fairly open ended to elicit longer, more candid responses. Even the Curata study found that bloggers in the 10K club were outsourcing content to external staff (23.6%). Diverse voices make for a well-rounded blog and a broader engaged audience.
Why reinvent the wheel? There’s lots of great content out there for curation; and sometimes the best content to curate… is your own! Once your posts have had a chance to simmer with your audience (for a few months—or even years if it’s still relevant), don’t be afraid to go back and use them again! One great way to do this is to generate “Top 10..." or “5 Tips for…” lists (especially towards the end of the year when year-in-review posts and predictions are popular). With posts like those, you can write up an intro catering to your theme and dive right into a list of items, borrowing from copy you’ve already written and/or linking back to historical posts.
What are your ideas for creating high quality, traffic-driving blog posts? Share in the comments section!