Every year I like to write about changes taking place within the New Year because this will help guide your focus going forward. For example, last year we looked at how guest blogging, content marketing, networking and infographics grew to a point where they couldn’t be ignored anymore. In this content you’ll find many of the same things, however I’m going to provide you with solid reasons why they continue to empower, and shouldn’t be ignored. If you understand the science behind these methods, then you’ll be able to apply them in your blogging business. I’ll be looking at the following:
- Guest blogging
All of the above continue to make a huge impact online, and I use them in my content marketing or business right now. Over the years I’ve learned a lot about blogging, and tried so many strategies, however, the factors above have produced the MOST results. To me it’s all about finding what works, and what doesn’t, then apply positive strategies to increase engagement. It’s that simple!
Let’s get started and your feedback will be greatly appreciated.
Guest Blogging 2016
This continues to be a very popular traffic building strategy if done correctly. It all depends on your ability to find the right blogs to guest post within your niche with high amounts of traffic because this is what will build momentum. At this point your best friend will be Google search because you’ll be able to find a handful of relevant blogs within your niche quickly. I’ve been blogging for years so know EXACTLY which ones to focus on, however for those getting started, you’ll want to do the following â€“ do a quick search using â€œyour keyword + blogsâ€. It’s important to replace your keyword with a â€œtargetâ€ niche related keyword you’re focusing on. You will want to try a combination of different, but relevant keywords when conducting your search.
I suggest you compile a list of 4-5 popular blogs within your niche, and here are some ways to determine which ones are great for outreach.
Social Followers â€“ The first thing I do is check the social followers because popular blogs will always have a huge following. If you can find a handful of blogs with thousands of followers, then you know you’ve hit the jackpot as far as popularity. Focus on the top social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
Comments â€“ You can learn a lot from the comments below the post. For example, popular blogs will have a huge readership with many of them leaving comments. Visit any popular blog, and you’ll notice they have 20-30 comments under each blog postâ€¦right?
Posting Frequency â€“ A busy and popular blog will ensure they always have fresh content being posted. Either the blog owner or guest posters will be posting content because it’s important they have a solid frequency to keep the readers engaged.
Alexa.com â€“ Once in a while I like to head over to Alexa.com and do a search using the blog domain. The Alexa.com score is a good indicator of how many people visit the blog daily or even monthly.
Once you have determined the popular blogs, it’s time to reach out to each looking for guest blogging opportunities. I like to craft a solid email and send it out to the owner at their email address which you’ll be able to find on their blog.
Here’s what the email will contain:
- My name
- My personal blog with sample writing. (If you don’t have a blog then you should have some samples)
- The MOST important is to include topic pitches or ideas you’ll like to write about. When you do this, you’ll let the blog owner know about cool topics which will be on their blog. They want content which elevates their readers so awesome content idea’s is definitely important.
Once you have sent out the first outreach email I like to wait 2-3 days to send out another follow-up if I haven’t heard anything back from them. When you hear back, and you’re ask to submit the guest post it’s important to follow the writing guidelines which are normally provided by the blog owner. Create a spreadsheet of the bloggers you have emailed so you can keep track of who has replied to your message, and which ones you should follow-up within a few days.
Through guest blogging you can drive enormous traffic to your blog so it’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on. This strategy has been used for years, and continues to be very powerful in 2016.
Networking (Content and/or Topic Idea’s)
This is become even more important in 2016 because it’ll help you get a competitive edge over your competition. For example, when you network with high authority bloggers within your niche, you’re automatically increasing the chance to gain access to their followers, content, traffic and engagement. This means when you write valuable content, authority bloggers can share your content to thousands of people which is important to generate momentum. Imagine networking with a powerful blogger who has over 100,000+ social followers? You can write high value content, and send it to them to share on their profiles. Depending on the relationship you have they might be willing to do this generating enormous buzz to your blog. However, the MOST important thing is to ensure you have created a genuine relationship with these bloggers. Here are a few cool strategies to use when doing outreach.
First, do some research so you have a list of authority blogs within your niche. If you are going to be putting the effort of reaching out to bloggers, you might as well reach out to the most popular blogs.
Secondly, write down their contact information so you can add it to a spread-sheet to keep track of the people who have emailed. This will come in handy when you are doing a follow-up. Third, I would start by asking them a simple question so they can provide their expert opinion. This works because bloggers will always help, and like to be respected especially when it comes to their audience. I did an expert post where I reached out to 15 bloggers, and 14 of them wrote back with an answer. Here’s something else which is cool: I still network and email around 6 of them for advice, and help when I publish content worth sharing. These relationships have allowed me to grow in my niche, and learn new content marketing strategies which otherwise would have been impossible to learn.
The more you reach out to bloggers within your niche, the easier it gets going forward. I would suggest starting off slow until you have perfected the outreach, and message.
I’m thinking I should have put this at number â€œ1â€, however you guys will still pull out the value when I’m done here. As time goes on research is becoming more important for many reasons. First, people are becoming way more precise in their search, and what they are looking for which means you need to incorporate better keywords into your content. You’ll have to focus on target, LSI and long-tail keywords going forward. The more precise you are with your keyword research the better content you can write for your audience.
Secondly, you have an abundance of tools available which make it easier for you to do research so why NOT use them. It’s funny because the more accessible the tools, the more research people tend to do going forward. Just the fact these tools are around, I would encourage you to use them to get an upper edge on your competition.
Third, you have to find better ways to appeal to your audience in a very competitive market. Before, it was tough starting an online business so experience would prevail allowing those with knowledge to conquer. However, you can have a blog setup in 4-5 minutes so there popping up everywhere which means you should be on high alert. Research will allow you to understand your audience better so you can get the upper edge on your competition. This will allow you to cater content to them increasing engagement to your blog. This will allow you to improve ROI, and be overpower your competition.
The Use of Infographics
The biggest trend I’ve seen over the last few years is the introduction of infographics, and image content. This trend came into dominance because of the VAST people visiting blogs from all over the world. As the audience changes, it’s important to write content which can be read by everyone no matter what the language barrier. This is why image content, especially infographics, have become so popular.
Here are a few reasons why you should consider adding infographics to your content strategy for 2016.
First, infographics are very cheap to create because companies have created low cost hosting tools that allow you to customize quickly. They offer you charts, text, images, flash objects to create something relevant, and interactive at the same time. This means you’ll create content which people love, and is very engaging.
Secondly, infographics are a great way to relay your point quickly which is important when things are so competitive. People looking for information know what they want, and want it as quickly as possible. Having infographics showcasing your content is a great way to provide your audience value quickly.
Third, they are being indexed by Google which is awesome because you can rank your infographic. Create one which is valuable, and infographics so people will love to link back to it. I forgot to mention that social networks have tweaked their platforms to display graphics more visibly. When you share on Facebook, Twitter and others they are displayed in full with them being very engaging at the same time.
Times are changing rapidly online, and we have to ensure we keep up with the changing trends always. We have enormous competition no matter what the niche, so find creative ways to stay ahead of the game. Above I have just gone over some important changes I’ve seen in 2016, so go through them making a list of how there effecting your blog. For example, if you’ve notice your growth stagnant then it can be due to NOT implementing some of the strategies listed above. If you have read my other content, then you know I always encourage all of you to read through making details notes on what you can do going forward. Find ways to implement the strategies above, and have a way to track the data so you know what’s working. Next,
Start networking with other bloggers within your niche which is something you’ve either been doing or not. If you have and it has produced very little results, then it’s time to start outreaching even more. Do a quick search in Google, and reach out to other topic bloggers within your niche. Look over their content, ask them questions or even pitch them some content ideas for the future. This will help you build the initial line of communication, and then you can reach out to them when you need them. I’ve noticed if you ask them a question, and publish their answer on your blog, it’s a great way for you to open up the doors of communication. Going forward, you can ask them to share the content, or other value content you have written.