These days, it seems like everyone has a blog – or plans to launch one if they can just carve out the time. For those on the sidelines of the blogosphere, getting started with content creation can be a bit intimidating. Where do you even begin?
Luckily, Greg Secrist, CEO and co-founder of BKA Content, is here to guide you through the process. Secrist has worked in search engine optimization and content creation since 2009 and currently leads a team of 300 to 400 writers who produce a variety of blog posts and articles for clients. Here, he breaks down the simple steps to become a content pro.
POW: What should I blog about?
Good blog topics are all around you; it’s just a matter of seeing them. Think about your customers’ common questions – are you constantly asked about certain topics like jumbo loans or non-QM
? Turn your answer into a blog post. You can also think about the everyday challenges you encounter on the job and share how you successfully navigated them. It’s also a good idea to read competitors’ blogs and analyze your own past content to figure out what works with readers and what doesn’t.
POW: How often should I blog?
GC: A HubSpot study found that blogs with at least 16 posts a month see three and a half times the traffic simply because Google ranks them higher in search results. It can take time to work up to this rate of posting, and remember that even a few posts are better than nothing. While quantity plays a major role in driving SEO, quality content is critical for actually hooking readers and converting them into customers.
POW: How long do I need to blog to build a strong online audience?
GC: The timeframe varies somewhat based on the industry. For a competitive field, like mortgage, it can take six months to a year to gain any real traction, while other industries only need a few weeks of posts to pull in readers. Geography also plays a role. If you are blogging in a more remote area, you probably have less competition and can make strides faster.
POW: How can I effectively use keywords?
GC: Keywords make the difference between a post rising to the top of a Google search — and consequently, finds thousands of readers — and getting lost in the digital weeds. Use a tool like SEMrush to figure out which keywords are too hard to dominate and which you can own. You can also type keywords into Google and see what other variations have been searched. The search engine will automatically list related phrases, allowing you to come up with some clear targets. Focus your writing on keywords that are valuable but not too competitive.
POW: What goals should I set for readership and other analytics?
GC: Unfortunately, there is no simple answer here, but everything comes back to traffic. Google Analytics can give you straightforward data on your clicks per story, then you can examine outcomes like conversions. There are a lot of moving pieces, but the stats could help give you valuable insights. For instance, if you have high traffic but few conversions, your website might have a design flaw like an online form that is tough to access. If you can get steady traffic to your site, you are at a good starting point – and frequent posting drives traffic. Consistency is key.