One fact of life sometimes lost in the fine print: You can’t actually proceed to the next calendar year unless you’ve made at least one official resolution before midnight of the current calendar year.
Just think: All of this time, you’ve bowed to social pressures and begrudgingly tossed out a promise on Facebook to stop stealing cars so friends and family would get off of your back, but if you hadn’t … my god … you wouldn’t even be reading this. You’d be reading B2B content marketing advice from 2013 and before over and over and over again for eternity. Did a chill just go up your spine? I bet it did. So, here we are at the end of 2014, and the hour is growing late. It’s time for another round of resolving.
Your personal life is your business, but your blog is ours.
We want to help you with a little self-improvement. What does “improvement” mean in this context? It means transforming your blog from obligatory set dressing to legitimate lead generator. It means converting visitors into customers. What does it not mean? It doesn’t mean driving traffic to your blog, as some might think. Rather, we believe in building a blog audience.
5 Resolutions for Building a Blog Audience in 2015
Nobody likes traffic, but everybody loves an audience. The difference is more than connotative: Driving traffic to your blog results in stats. Building a blog audience results in sales.
Driving traffic is like walking down the street and yelling to everybody within earshot that you’ve got a great surprise for them if they follow you. It’s just creepy. Building a blog audience, on the other hand, is like advertising a used washer and dryer via a well-designed, informative, and funny flyer – complete with those little pull-off contact tabs – and finding the primest spot on the community bulletin board at a busy laundromat.
If your blog is stuck in a rut or lagging behind – or if your website isn’t driving revenue like you thought it would – it’s time to make a few resolutions for it so you can hit 2015 running. Below, we’ve paired five best practices for an original content campaign with the five most common types of resolutions. Fair warning: Like any other real improvements, reinvigorating your blog will take hard work – but it’s well worth it.
Eat Well: SEO + Social
Fad diets come and go, but you can never go wrong ditching the junk food for broccoli, bananas, and sweet potatoes. SEO and its complementary social media efforts are those fruits and vegetables. They’re also the meat and potatoes. Bread and water, too. Sensible and targeted keyword research will nourish your content, no matter what the naysayers might say. In fact, your blog will need it to thrive: Don’t starve it – feed it the best stuff, and rotate your recipes to keep things fresh.
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Exercise: Stay Consistent
How many times did you actually pop in that Tae Bo tape? To stay in shape, you need to find the right routine so that exercise is manageable and even fun. The same goes for your content. Once you find a schedule that works for you – and for your blog to see any results, we recommend you publish, at minimum, one post a week – stick to it! Building a blog audience is a lot like building muscle – it takes time.
Travel: Explore Possibilities + Experiment
As a fun New Year’s resolution, travel is all about trying something new and setting out to see what you’re made of. Your blog is your business’s ticket to places it has never been before. Provided you’re doing your due diligence with SEO and scheduling an editorial calendar, your content can take just about any form imaginable. Track the performance of posts to see what works and what doesn’t. Try writing the blog yourself or find the right talent to get it where you want it to be. Above all, look at it as a challenge and rise up to meet it!
Learn: Lessons + Links
An original content campaign is not a pottery or blacksmithing class, but it can be a like a new language. Try to gain knowledge by reading your favorite blogs around the industry – both in your niche and elsewhere – and be sure to link sources and like-minded articles throughout your posts. Get a feel for the analytical side of things and learn a little coding!
Quit: Identify Your Vices
Finally, we all have bad habits we’d like to break – the same goes for your blog. If you’re relying on stock photos, for instance, branch out with local artists. If you’re going to the well for the same call to action with every post, try a new line now and then. Clean up your broken links. Update your stale content. Your readers do notice these things, and a lazy, static blog will turn them off to not only your posts, but possibly to your product, as well.
Building a blog audience takes a lot of resolve. If you want to make strides next year and see your business maximize its potential, try one or all of these resolutions for your content’s self-improvement. Trust me on this one. Do nothing, and 2015 could turn into Gandalf holding a staff and sword shouting “You shall not pass!” You’re the Balrog Demon on a disintegrating bridge in that scenario.
What’s your 2015 resolution for building a blog audience? Let us know in the comments!