Blogging has changed over the years.
When I started blogging it wasn’t that competitive.
You write an article … about pretty much anything … and get some social share.
And then you’d try to build links, but of course even if you weren’t good at link building you would get more backlinks over time.
Just take a look at one of my first blog posts that I wrote on August 31, 2005. Here are the first few paragraphs …
SEO made easy
The hardest part for any website owner these days is getting the search engines to properly list their website. The search engine friendliness of a website is the key to the success of search engine optimization. A site must be written in a language that the search engine recognizes, e.g. B. HTML. In addition, the site must have defined keywords to be used to classify the site.
In fact, search engine optimization is nothing more than simple common sense. The whole goal of optimizing your website is so that search engines can easily find your website and catalog it in their systems so that it can be easily accessed by consumers. Basic SEO is not difficult and only requires a basic understanding of how algorithms work in relation to programming. The two most important things to remember when trying to learn the basics are how a search engine spider works and how to identify the content that is relevant to the keywords you have chosen.
I didn’t really provide anything actionable in the post. I even discussed how search engine algorithms aren’t that complex.
But there weren’t many blogs back then. Now there are over a billion. That’s about 1 for every 7 people in the world.
Because of this, you have a hard time generating backlinks, social shares, or even SEO traffic while blogging.
So does that mean all hope is lost and blogging is concerned?
Of course not. It just means that you need to adjust your approach to blogging.
And I’ll share that today. Here is the new formula for blogging.
Not all content is created equal
Before I get into the formula that you should follow, the first thing you should do is have a better understanding of the type of content that will work well.
And it’s not the same for all platforms.
Just check out the screenshot below on the NeilPatel.com blog. These are the top blog posts by traffic …
What do you notice?
The first post describes how to get Instagram followers.
The second tells you what the 4ps of marketing are.
The third post shows you how to check a website’s traffic.
The fourth part describes how to make money with Instagram.
Do you already see a trend?
Here’s another clue. Let’s look at the keywords that are driving traffic to the 4ps post.
As you can see, the keywords that drive traffic to this page are basic and beginner’s terms.
But here’s what’s interesting. I’ve broken down all of my beginner content versus advanced content.
Beginner content receives, on average, 3.68x more SEO traffic than advanced content.
At first I thought this is because beginner content is more shared on the social web. But that can’t be true because I just skip beginner content myself. That’s why I decided to look at the social shares per post on Facebook (I could get Linkedin and Twitter statistics due to API restrictions).
Interestingly, advanced content gets an average of 91 more Facebook shares and 288 additional visitors from Facebook.
Now let’s look at the backlinks. (Here you can check the number of backlinks for each page.)
On average, my advanced content generated 4.81 times more backlinks than my beginner content. (When going through the backlink counts, we removed links from scrape sites and RSS feeds as we don’t really consider quality links, but rather spam.)
So what does that tell you
First of all, not all content is created equal.
Second, advanced content tends to get more backlinks and social shares.
However, basic content tends to generate more SEO traffic.
And no, it’s not just NeilPatel.com
To make sure we aren’t the only ones seeing this, we analyzed 191 blogs using Ubersuggest.
Can you imagine what we found?
The results were somewhat similar.
Here’s what we’ve seen from a social exchange perspective.
As you can see, expanded content generated more social shares. Now we couldn’t see people’s Facebook traffic stats, but it’s a pretty safe assumption that posts with more social shares usually generate more social traffic.
And here is backlink data.
Extended content generated more backlinks. It wasn’t 4.81 times like NeilPatel.com, but it’s still a significant difference.
And as for search traffic, base content based on our Ubersuggest traffic estimate will generate more SEO traffic.
So what’s the new way to blog?
The beauty of owning an advertising agency is that you can see a lot of data, spot a lot of trends, and find out what works for all industries.
We have over 700 customers worldwide. This allows us to test a lot to see how we can get the best results in the long run.
Here is the formula that we found good.
Spend 40% of your time creating basic content
As you think about basic content, I want you to keep the “how to” in mind.
Anything aimed at beginners is usually considered beginner content.
You can find these keywords in two easy ways …
First of all, you can go to Ubersuggest and enter a keyword related to your field.
You will see an overview of how popular the keyword is.
Then click on “Keyword Ideas” in the navigation on the left. You’ll see a large list of keywords, and if you click or scroll the tabs, you’ll see hundreds, if not up to a million, ideas.
Beginner keywords are often searched and in many cases have a lower cost per click than advanced keywords because they are more prominent and less likely to instantly turn a visitor into a buyer.
The second way to find these keywords is to go to Ubersuggest and enter a competitive URL.
Click on “Keywords by Traffic” in the navigation on the left and you will see all the keywords that your competition stands for.
Regardless of what industry you are in, this information on keywords or general terms can increase brand awareness. It doesn’t matter if you are an e-commerce business or even a B2B company.
It’s great to have this traffic as some of these visitors are converted into customers. It won’t have a high percentage (usually a fraction of a percent), but you can reach millions of visitors because of the volume so it’s still meaningful.
If you’re not sure how to create basic content, follow these instructions. Or you can see this …
Spend 10% of your time creating advanced content
Think of advanced content as anything an industry expert or public speaker would discuss.
Think about reasoning.
Whether you’re including stats, talking about trends, or what the future will be like, this is the type of content that generates the social shares and backlinks.
And if you want to go a step further, we’ve found that inserting charts and graphs tends to generate more backlinks than if you don’t.
Here is my backlink count of posts with charts and graphs compared to posts without:
You can use Canva to create them, which is free.
For the most part, you probably won’t have the data like I was able to show you in this post, but you can get it.
Sites like Upwork let you hire researchers for $ 5 or $ 10 who can contact companies and help you collect data, or they can search the internet to find it.
The most important thing about advanced content is that it would be good if you shared it on the social web. If you wouldn’t, then others probably won’t.
Spend 20% of your time updating old content
What you will find with blogging is that your old content will receive less SEO traffic over time.
The easiest way to see this is to follow this video …
If you spend 20% of your time updating old content, you will not only maintain it, but you will also increase your SEO traffic from your older posts.
It works so well that I have a team that just updates old content for me because it’s too much work when you have thousands of blog posts.
If your blog is new you won’t be updating a lot, but once you have 100+ blog posts you will find that it will take a lot of time to update.
Spend 30% of your time marketing your content
I shared this saying with my team …
Don’t forget about “marketing” in content marketing.
If you write content, whether advanced or simple, it doesn’t automatically mean that it will work well.
If no one sees it, no one will share or link to it.
How do you make sure your old content is read? It starts with 3 easy steps.
- Internal link – I want you to add 3 links to the new blog post you just published from your old content. Go into your old blog posts that are relevant and add 3 links from relevant old posts (one link per post). And if it fits well, link your new post to old posts that fit well or that you referred to.
- Social shares – Follow this process to get social shares (scroll down and read the “Ask people to share” section). It’s boring, but it works, and that’s how we get social shares for every new blog that doesn’t have an audience, a large social following, or even a large budget.
- Create links – Of course over time you will get backlinks like me, but when you start you will have to manually create them. Don’t buy them or do anything shady. Just follow these instructions and you will create more links over time.
Blogging still works. It is not dead!
All you have to do is change the way you approach blogging.
Copying what people or even I did years ago won’t work. You have to take a new approach. And this new approach is outlined above. 🙂
If you follow this for 6 months you will see results. If you follow it for a year, your traffic will be noticeably different. And if you stick with it for 2 to 3 years, the results start to worsen.
What do you think of the above process?
See How my agency can drive Firmly Traffic volumes on your website
- SEO – Unlock tons of SEO traffic. See real results.
- Content Marketing – Our team creates epic content that is shared, links accessed and visitors drawn.
- Paid media – effective paid strategies with a clear ROI.
Book a call