by Will Rogers
So you blog all of the time. Maybe you're starting to monetize your blog. Great. I have bad news. Ready to hear it? No one’s reading your post. Yes, that post you care deeply about. The one you spent days thinking about writing. The one you waited forever and pressed publish with one hand over your eyes because you were nervous and loved it so much. It was your baby.
I want to be nothing if not honest. No one saw that post. And, think about it, what’s the point in spending all that time if no one’s going to find it?
I understand. Each post is your baby. You care deeply. You want folks to see it. I’ve written posts that embarrassed me because of the little amount of page views. Then, I’ve had posts that have done pretty well. Here’s the thing: I don’t doubt for a second that you have great content. You’ve spent time polishing that content. And, you know what you’re talking about.
But, the truth is, for most posts you publish, maybe your spouse or mom reads it. Actually, they’re busy. They aren’t reading your posts either. I said I’d be honest! : )
All things in balance, the posts where I’m intentional about creating content with these seven things in mind—the stuff Google will rank you for—has the best chance of getting the most eyeballs on it—both now and long term.
This is a tough one for me. I often think to myself that I have great ideas of what others need to know. But, it always amazes me to see what comes back from them when you ask. For a great mix on doing this well, start by asking your current audience.
First, start with your followers’ problem. How can you know your followers’ problems? You simply need to ask. Create a simple survey. We’ve talked about some parameters around a survey in how to monetize your blog. Here’s the point: can you clearly articulate your followers’ problem and do you have the resources to help solve those problems?
Not sure where to start with all of your followers’ problems? Make a list and prioritize the list. Consider organizing the issues or questions into buckets based on how many people share the same problem or category of issues.
Use natural language in your content. For example, when trying to use keywords, be sure you’re speaking like a follower would speak. People don’t think like robots, so be sure to ask questions and speak common language your followers would type in search.
Here’s one example: notice in this blog post, I could have titled the post “Google’s Blog SEO Strategy & Algorithms”. Guard against this type of robotic speech. Instead, focus more on how you would talk when searching. You would type something closer to “How to Create Content that Google Ranks You For” or something similar that’s more intuitive to how you would naturally ask the question.
Now, let’s talk about writing content specifically as it relates to creating content for ranking purposes. Here are a few of the key ideas you should consider as you write content to get ranked for.
Make your content clear, simple, and accurate to what you say you are offering. Always try to use less words instead of more. Think your post is wordy. Then it is. Cut words.
You can go overboard here. Be careful not to overstuff keywords. Google will know! Make sure they fit what you’re talking about. Again, be as human as possible here!
This snippet shows up in search. Resist the urge to copy and paste the title here. Do a bit of work to make the idea and goal of the post stand out in a few punchy words.
Most bloggers overlook this. You’re done with the writing. So, you think you’re done with the post. You’re not. Many searchers will find your post because of the image you use—if it’s optimized. Be sure the file name of your image includes the keyword or phrase of your post. And, depending on what marketing tools you’re using, be sure not to forget the alt image text of your image.
It doesn't matter the size of your digital community, you need a content-publishing rhythm that works for you and your content. It may be weekly, every other week, monthly—and here's the thing—stick to it. The goal here is more about your frequency than volume of posts.
Don’t set a standard you can’t keep up with. Readers will follow your lead, but don’t make it difficult to follow you because your posting doesn’t have a rhythm.
Protip: Don’t write from a blank slate. Try and stay ahead of your posting schedule by at least three to four posts. You can always change up posting based on timing or culture or news. But, I’ve found it’s better to have ideas in the hopper so you avoid the blank white empty space of a blog post.
Now, there are more than seven things to consider in ranking for Google. But, these are a few of the key ideas you should be aware of and start with as you write great content.
You want to have a significant impact on the world AND generate revenue. In order to do that you need valuable resources and a means to deliver those great resources. Download the free eBook: 5 ways to monetize your community.
About the author: Will Rogers is the Founder and CEO of CauseMachine. Will’s career has been spent leading organizations and helping to mobilize communities to shared vision. He has served in various leadership roles to build community engagement and movements teaching him valuable hands on skills and experience. Will has developed business and community engagement strategies for dozens of organizations in nearly 50 countries. He and his wife have two sons and now live in Kentucky after two decades in Colorado.