How many blog posts do you need to publish this month?
If you’ve looked at investing in blogging, you’ve probably asked or Googled this very question. You’ve also probably come across a variety of answers, from once a month to over 16 times per month. How do you know which number to use, and how can you justify that number in your marketing budget?
Blogging can be time-consuming, and it’s extremely likely that you don’t have the capacity to produce 16 blog posts every month—but, luckily, you don’t need to. By taking a strategic approach toward developing content for your blog, you can maximize the value of each piece – and produce additional content at a lower cost.
Part of the reason people recommend producing a high volume of blog content is that each individual piece of content only stays relevant for a couple of weeks at most. Typically, the life cycle of a piece of content is short.
But it doesn’t have to be.
If you can produce content that gets results long after it’s posted to your blog, you don’t need to be as concerned with frequency. If each piece of content you create produces leads for months or even years, without requiring continuous updates, you can generate shares, links, and leads while focusing your attention on other efforts. This evergreen content can achieve impressive results, but full disclosure: it is more difficult to create because it requires much more work up front.
Research shows that long-form blog content gets shared more, linked more, converts better, and ranks higher in search results.
This is partly because the key to creating effective evergreen content is comprehensiveness that will continue to provide value. Covering every detail of a specific subject is more likely to be evergreen because it can remain relevant outside of the news cycle. One common concern that arises about evergreen content then is length. Aren’t people less likely to read content that takes more of their time?
Research from the search optimization company Moz and other sources actually shows that long-form blog content gets shared more, linked more, converts better, and ranks higher in search results.
You’ve invested time, conducted research, and hit publish. What happens next? Even if people read your blog content, how do you turn readers into leads?
Blogging doesn’t end when you hit publish. It’s unrealistic to expect readers to spontaneously dig through your website, find your contact page, and ask to become a customer. When a lead does come in, it’s likely that your blog content was just one touchpoint in the journey that turns visits to conversions as contacts move through the sales pipeline.
So with each piece of content, you need to create additional touch points. Your blog content is less helpful if your audience reads your post but immediately goes back to what they were doing. How can you increase reader interactions with your content?
The first approach is to increase the time readers spend on your website. By including links to related blog posts that might interest them, you can tempt readers into continued interaction. Adding social share buttons can similarly facilitate interaction, as well as bring in new visitors. There are a number of word-press plugins that will also show related content from your site once a user gets to the end of the post.
However, the holy grail of online content is the opt-in. When readers give you their information, they grant you their permission to follow up with additional content or marketing materials. Email is the most direct form of communication you have with most of your audience, so tactics that allow you to collect an email address should be prioritized.
At the least, this means including an email opt-in form alongside your content; if readers want to subscribe, they should be able to do so without hunting for your newsletter. But also offering a download of additional materials can maximize your content’s effectiveness. By gating some content and requiring an email address for access, you can collect leads and begin developing a long-term relationship.
Creating content for a blog is time-consuming, so why not use one blog post in multiple ways? Chances are, you can produce several pieces of content on the same topic. The trick to repurposing is finding ways to add additional value in every piece.
The possibilities for repurposing are limited only by your creativity, but there are a few tried and true methods that typically get results. Specifically, Place, Format, and Spin.
The first category of repurposing is distribution, or place. You’ve created one piece of content and it lives on your blog, but have you considered placing it in other spots, like in print, or somewhere else on the internet? Creating similar content on that same topic should be relatively straightforward, as you’ve already completed relevant background research, but publishing it in a new place can grant you exposure to a new audience. That could mean:
- Targeting one or more publications to pitch with your topic
- Targeting different online groups, forums, or social media channels for distribution
- Targeting a different keyword for search engine optimization
The second category of repurposing is format. If you’ve created a series of blog posts on a particular trend, you can adapt the information to turn it into a white paper. You can also turn an article into a checklist or infographic, or even a slideshow or animated video.
If you have material that’s already a proven success, reiterating it in a new format is a simple way to attract more people; some people prefer watching to reading, and some need content they can consume quickly. Re-creating content in multiple formats lets you become a content hub on a single topic, allowing you to connect with more of your audience.
The final category of repurposing is simply changing your content slightly—by putting a different tilt or spin on your story. Producing new content on a topic you’ve already covered can be accomplished by interviewing new experts, or by shifting the emphasis of an existing article.
For example, an article titled “4 Best Practices in Pharmaceutical Serialization” could easily be repurposed into one titled “How to Avoid the 4 Biggest Pharmaceutical Serialization Mistakes.” This new tilt keeps content fresh, and may even help with ‘place repurposing’ by targeting new keywords.
Marketing with blog content can be effective, but it is most effective when you extract every ounce of value from each piece of content. Producing high-value evergreen content, optimizing it for conversions, and repurposing it across places and formats can help you develop a successful and efficient blog.Keywords: blogging, content, content marketing, conversions, engagement, Lead Generation, sales, social media, writing tips